04 mai 2015

Carnival commemorating the Abolition of Slavery

                                                                Slavery Abolition Day was on April 27th, and brought with it a bank holiday, a closed exhibition, a time-wasting conference and a small carnival. These photos are of the participants in said carnival. There weren't very many groups,... [Lire la suite]
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23 mars 2015

Dictée Bolé

                                                      This weekend, I took part in a quintessentially French way of spending a fun Saturday afternoon. As part of the Language Week, a local association had organized a Grand Dictation in order to promote language awareness among schoolchildren and adults. In the morning, the schoolkids had their... [Lire la suite]
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09 mars 2015

The Nutrition Transition

            A rather interesting article turned up in the newspaper this week. Mayotte has been in the middle of a nutritional transition (poetically put) for quite a few years now. From not having enough to eat and suffering from various lacks and deficiencies, the Mahorese people now tend towards something called metabolic pathologies, said the article. In Mayotte, food is generally associated with conviviality and hospitality. There's none of the eat-on-the-go style of doing things: a Mahorese... [Lire la suite]
02 mars 2015

Grating coconut

                     In Mayotte, coconut and coconut milk are frequently used in cooking. Mataba, one of the most common dishes here, is made by mashing cassava leaves and mixing them with coconut milk, sometimes adding meat or fish later on. Fish and chicken are regularly cooked with coconut and coconut milk to make poisson coco or poulet coco. Kakamoku is soup made of fish heads cooked in coconut milk. You can eat that in most local restaurants, and you might... [Lire la suite]
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23 février 2015

N'Gouja, probably for the last time.

                                   It's the holidays next week, so this weekend was really the last one before the holidays on which to go to the beach. I don't go that often - not really interested in lying around in the heat, and not bothered about salty water and small fish - but H loves the beach, and I'd promised to bring him back some sand from his favourite beach in Mayotte. So I rang up a colleague who... [Lire la suite]
09 février 2015

Still playing.

                   On January 24th, we had our Annual Fest-Noz. With capital letters. It's a huge and terrifyingly-organized evening centred around Breton music and dancing, it needs so much work put into it that there is only one per year (compared to several per week in every region of mainland France) and it attracts a disproportionate number of people of which about a fifth come from Brittany. This year, it was held in a room which is half covered by roof, half exposed to... [Lire la suite]

12 janvier 2015

Je suis Charlie

                                       Yesterday, Mayotte had its second gathering in homage to the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack. The first one took place just after the attack. This one was called a "white march". My plane arrived at 7.30, I got my luggage very quickly and took the taxi then the ferry to the large island. Collected my car, sitting in a huge puddle of mud and water,... [Lire la suite]
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05 janvier 2015

Bangas

                  Another fairly recent series of photos by a local magazine called 101 District. Mayotte is France's 101st department, so that number comes around quite a bit. Above are the boys' lodgings. At age 17 or so, the Mahorese tradition wants boys to build a cabin out of wattle and daub, or, more recently, out of corrugated iron. They carefully and brightly decorate these cabins, which then act as a home to the boy and his friends. He will bring girls back to this cabin... [Lire la suite]
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22 décembre 2014

It's a beautiful place, really.

                 There have been a couple of rather pretty-pretty series of photos of Mayotte around recently. Two projects, in fact. The first was the Vanilla Islands project: an effort to put forward Mayotte, Reunion and the Seychelles on the touristic scene. We did actually have a visit from a cruise-boat full of American tourists. The photos of their arrival were all over the newspapers, so exceptional was this. No more news filtered out, so we never learnt what happened to... [Lire la suite]
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15 décembre 2014

The teacher is in the hammock.

             A colleague used to draw these cartoons about Mahorese women, known as bouénis. This is one he drew for me, turning the bouénis into English teachers... hard at work!         
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