25 septembre 2011

Dress codes

At the airport          The traditional dress here is called a salouva, and they have a turban on their head, known as a kishali, often just worn as a scarf over the head. It’s all very colourful, though probably not terribly practical. Salouvas are made from three lengths of material sewn together, basically a long tube of material which is about 1m50 in diameter. Girls and women here wrap themselves in this material, knotting it in front. The salouvas don’t seem to stay up that well, as... [Lire la suite]
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13 août 2011

Everything Must Go

          Preparing to leave for a long time in a foreign country is easier than I thought it would be, actually. That’s before you get there and realise you’ve forgotten your driving license, clean socks and cats, who should be wailing their way round Paris airport by now. I am lucky enough to have several people around me to remind me first thing in the morning of whatever it was I spent all night thinking about. Parents, grandparents, friends are all doing their best to think of... [Lire la suite]
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10 août 2011


          Mayotte, Maoré or Jazirat al Mawet (the Island of Death - very reassuring) is the 101st French department, as from May 2011. It's a collection of several small islands in the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar. Its total population is 209 530 mostly spread over two main islands, "Petite Terre" and "Grande Terre". The small island is 6km long. The big island is 20km by 40km. The total area of Mayotte is 376km². We're leaving for Mayotte on 14th August 2011. The train... [Lire la suite]