15 juin 2015

Tsoundzou

               These are some typical roadside scenes in Mayotte. The above photos were taken in the village of Tsoundzou. There's a bridge over a pretty river, where various outrigger canoes were parked.                                The bridge is actually fairly new. It was started about ten years ago, but the soil kept on being swept away by the river and the rainy season, so it only advanced in... [Lire la suite]
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11 mai 2015

Market Day Has Gone Forever

                     There used to be two markets in Mamoudzou. The official one, and the clandestine one. The official one is under cover, in a fairly recent building where sellers rent out spaces the size of your average garage for 120€/month. Pretty expensive by Mahorese standards, and difficult to cover when your only customers are tourists who want to look round but would rather buy cheaper and better-quality clothes online. Add to that the fact that every seller is... [Lire la suite]
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28 juillet 2014

This Little M'Zungu Went To Market... and she bought...

                    This is the outdoor market in Mamoudzou. Pretty much a permanent fixture, currently augmented reality thanks to the Ramadan market which has appended itself on top of the original. I'm quite pleased with these photos because photos of the market are hard to get, assuming you're being relatively polite and actually asking permission before getting the camera out... which is usually my case, but not this time. Three markets are pictured above, all in a... [Lire la suite]
19 mai 2014

Repoblikan'i Madagasikara : a visiting vazaha.

                   Just spent a week in Madagascar, and absolutely fell in love with the place. It's beautiful. It started off with a rather strange idea of going to Antsiranana - more pronounceably known as Diego Suarez - to learn to kitesurf. One of those all-inclusive holidays where you have a bed, food and kitesurfing lessons all rolled into one package, and they even send a taxi to fetch you at the airport. The airline company for Madagascar is Air Madagascar.... [Lire la suite]
30 décembre 2013

Sleeping Bouéni

            In England or France, shopkeepers and shop assistants are always on their toes. And on yours, half of the time. They're always alert, they're always looking for something to offer you to make you stay a little longer and buy something else. They'll say hello, they'll ask you questions, they'll offer to take your things for you and they'll find stuff you can't. Then, when you've bought whatever it is and are ready to leave, they'll wish you a nice day and request that you come again, as your... [Lire la suite]
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24 juin 2013

Dramatic

       For the last six months, three colleagues and I have been doing a drama workshop with the kids at school. I filed it as a "school project" at the end of last year, so the Vice-Rectorate (high education authority) gave the school a grant of seven hundred euros to "promote culture in schools". Only one rule: the theme was to be "Culture and History of Mayotte". We therefore asked the kids to produce scenes of their own invention, as they were necessarily going to act scenes of their everyday life, which is... [Lire la suite]
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01 juin 2013

Bigfruit

        I just thought I'd show you the rather large papaya I bought at the market in Coconi this morning. It measures 42 cm, the size of a smallish baby, and it's about the same weight at 3.3kg. It's not ripe yet, but you're welcome to come and share it in a few days!                     
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31 décembre 2012

Scenes in Mayotte

             Two Mahorese ladies, decorator and decoratee during a Tourism Committee festival. They draw geometrical figures and flowery shapes on their faces for all sorts of ceremonies, from weddings to end-of-year school parties, generally with a white paste. Sometimes, as they're already wearing their beauty masks, the drawings have to go over the top and aren't so easy to see.                  Typical view of a Mahorese village in the... [Lire la suite]
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06 août 2012

Population Study episode 1 : Bouénis

              Bouéni means "madam" in Shimaoré. It's the name given to all married women, or those who look old enough to be married. It's more than a name, though, it's a way of life.                 Bouénis are the ones who have all the power in Mahorese societies. They're the ones who own the houses, do the shopping, look after the children, work at the markets, they're the ones you see most of, with their brightly-coloured salouvas and sparkly tops.... [Lire la suite]
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22 mars 2012

My Granddaughter Went To Market And She Bought...

               We went to the market the other day. The big, covered market in the Place de la République in Mamoudzou. We'd never gone inside before, never really gathered that there was actually something in there, just seen the big pink building from the outside. It's joined to the tourist office, which is also pink. The covered market opened in 2009 and was welcomed as a godsend by the street sellers, supreme recognition of their jobs. The building stretches... [Lire la suite]
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