03 novembre 2014

N'Gouja at sunset.

              The place goes crazy about once a year, fighting over things such as salaries, football matches and the price of chicken wings, but Mayotte can also be a very beautiful place when it sets its mind to it. These photos were taken last week at the most touristic beach in Mayotte, down south. It's called N'Gouja. The white beach. It's where all the m'zungus go on weekends and Wednesday afternoons (no school) to swim, laze on the beach and look at the turtles.      ... [Lire la suite]
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02 juin 2014


           I'm currently writing a lesson plan on graffiti and street art, the idea being to teach the kids what the point of each is and how to tell the difference. As there are a lot of tags here, I wanted to start off with pictures of graffiti around their home village in the hopes that they would recognize some of it and be able to find the rest pretty easily. What started off as a short trip down the main road turned into a two-hour photo safari throughout the village, with cries of "Miss... [Lire la suite]
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08 octobre 2012

Let the Teacher do the Work

                  Recently, I've been taking my kids into the computer room. For a start, there are 15 computers, 4 of which don't work but which all the kids absolutely want to try anyway, "I'm sure I can make it work, Miss". Of course, they can't, so we all get frustrated.        Instruction n°1 : Switch the PC on. "Miss, what's a PC?" "A computer." "Miss, I haven't got a username or password, last year's don't work." "That's OK, use the ones on the board." ... [Lire la suite]
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11 décembre 2011

Christmas Market - R.I.P.

         Two hours later, I went to the driving school for two hours of motorbike lessons. It had already started drizzling, so the monitor told two of us that we had better come back another day as the rain looked like holding. It's OK to learn to drive in the rain - especially here, we're going to need to know how to do that - but a soaked track when you're just starting and can't really balance properly yet is not the best idea. Ten minutes later, we heard a huge clap of thunder and the... [Lire la suite]
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10 décembre 2011

Christmas Market

            There was a Christmas market today in front of the M’biwi Café, just down the road from us. I thought a Christmas market by 32°C sounded interesting, so I went along after work to see what sort of things were up for sale.                              The first thing that struck me was the bright and colourful aspect of it all. The... [Lire la suite]
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20 octobre 2011

Opting out

 Mad at CRS riot police. This morning, while setting off for school, a colleague rang to say that he'd heard that there weren't any lessons today. Once there, some said that lessons should continue as normal - public service - whereas others said that it was too risky. So far, a 9-year-old boy has lost an eye, courtesy of a gendarme armed with flash-balls, and a 39-year-old man died yesterday while fighting against the police. There was a riot yesterday, which blocked all Mamoudzou (capital) and nearby towns. I was told it was... [Lire la suite]
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18 octobre 2011

The Gold Rush

                        Things have been a little complicated recently. First, the strikes started because of the cost of living here. For example : 4.20€ for a 1kg packet of rice, 2.83€ for three large potatoes and 3.50€ for a packet of butter. "Essential" products here are chicken wings, rice, sand, bottled gas, meat and milk. These were the strikes with blocked roads, burning tyres and hundreds of children in the... [Lire la suite]
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29 septembre 2011

He runs... he strikes !

               It was the school cross-country race today. All teachers and staff had to be present, even those on their day off, which happened to be my case. We were sent into the undergrowth to cheer the students on and to give out water and sugar where necessary. However, there was a strike the day before and today – they plan to go on for three months if they need to – the water bottle delivery hadn’t arrived, so there was no water to give out. The sports... [Lire la suite]
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24 août 2011

School has started.

         School started today, with the teachers getting together and meeting the heads. Quite an exotic-looking school, with coconut trees and banana trees growing in the playgrounds. The rooms themselves are pretty run-down, with flaking paint, windows that either don’t open or don’t have any glass in them, fans on the ceiling which don’t work because the fuses have blown and there aren’t any spare, no curtains on the windows because the school doesn’t have enough money... There are two TVs... [Lire la suite]
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