07 octobre 2013

Those who can, cook. Those who can't, eat.

         I've been teaching my students about food recently, as you saw in the recent blog post about the European classes. They love learning the English words for their local fruit and vegetables: cassava, breadfruit, chicken wings... they're shouting over each other to get the answers out. Unfortunately, they shout it out in Shimaorese first. When I complain, they shout in French. So I point to the giant "WHAT'S THE ENGLISH FOR...?" sign at the back of the room. Everybody suddenly goes quiet, you can... [Lire la suite]

30 septembre 2013

Parent-Teacher Meeting

                       It was National Parent-Teacher Meeting Day on Saturday. You can thank the Vice-Rectorate for that. What a mess. It started off innocently enough. Instead of each school organizing its own PT meeting, the high education authority in Mayotte decided to set one morning aside for all the schools to have their meetings at the same time. Saturday 28th September, from 7.30 to 11.30. So far, so good. Our school had planned on getting the teachers to show... [Lire la suite]
02 septembre 2013

Here we go again.

            School's back. Again. The yearly rush of pupils who have been hanging around the school doors for a good week now, staying outside all day and convincing their parents that classes had already started up, thereby getting out of working in the fields and cooking lunch. Kids who've moved on to the next school up shouting hellos in the street or popping up in the supermarket. The blank looks when the teachers ask the students to take a pen and paper, somehow imagining that said students might... [Lire la suite]
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29 juillet 2013

Cascade

              The Soulou Waterfall, on the west coast of Mayotte, is a place which is renowned for its thefts, break-ins and various attacks of all kinds. Unfortunately, it's also recognized as one of the most beautiful sites on the island. That's why, when a friend wanted to go, she decided to open the outing to three or four of us, saying that it would be even better if we could recruit a few friends each to take along. Which is how the outing started at 3 people and finished at 30, a good... [Lire la suite]
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22 juillet 2013

The Blue Mango Strikes Again

           On Friday, the musicians had a party at one musician's house including all musicians and dancers. I think everyone had a good time, there was certainly a lot of dancing going on. On Saturday, we planted ourselves in the middle of the monthly farmer's market to play together. The reason for these photos and festivities involving the Blue Mango was the departure of Laurence, our violinist, who has finished her 4-year contract and who is now on her way to Angoulême, where she will be a... [Lire la suite]
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15 juillet 2013

Tsumu n'djema wa aïd m'baraka

            Ramadan started last Wednesday. People started rushing into various markets and supermarkets to buy the necessary food for the feast before the fast. In Mayotte, celebratory foods include mabawas (chicken wings), green bananas, cassava, breadfruit, goat meat and alcohol. Mothers spent ages cooking for their families, and the evening before Ramadan, everybody got together to have a whopping meal. Rice isn't a popular food any more, as it's considered as a "staple" food and therefore not... [Lire la suite]

08 juillet 2013

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

                                Rules for the Tyre Race. Wear the official Tyre Race t-shirt while racing. Collect one number sign per team the week before the race. This number sign will be necessary to collect the remaining number signs for each team. Without the first number sign, the team will not be able to race. Pin your number sign on the front of said Tyre Race t-shirt at chest height. The soap used to grease the tyre must be that given... [Lire la suite]
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01 juillet 2013

Practising for the Grand Tyre Race

         About two weeks ago, the lady in charge of the Bretons of Mayotte Association sent a collective e-mail out, asking for people to become "ambassadors" for the tyre race which was to take place on the 29th of June. I responded, asking what would be involved, and she obviously transferred my e-mail on to the guy in charge of the Breton tyre-racing team because the next thing I knew, I was told that the only difficult thing about the race would be running with your arms together to hold the tyre... [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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17 juin 2013

Starry Skies

        On the 1st of June, the Mayotte Astronomy club organised its annual Sun and Star Party. They invited the local schools to make and show models and exhibitions about space, they hung up big colourful balls, they had posters up about light pollution or asteroids and they showed photos taken from the ISS. It rather reminded me of making woolen pom-poms with Nanny to represent the sun and the planets when I was in middle school in England. As the violinist in my music group belonged to the club, she invited... [Lire la suite]