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]

04 septembre 2014

The Malagasy Highway Code

The Malagasy Highway Code for Motorbikers           When you see a lorry coming your way, take a big breath and hold it. It's going to stink.         A full helmet is great for safety if you fall and hit your head, but it does mean you can't scratch your ears.              Even after 1500 kilometres of practice, you still can't scratch your ears. Stop trying, you're in the middle of the road.          You'll... [Lire la suite]
01 septembre 2014

Alefa Madagascar! Part 2 of 2.

          The starting point of anything Malagasy is Antananarivo, the capital city, generally shortened to Tana. It's bang in the centre of Madagascar, and it's where all the planes go to and come from. So, logically, this was the starting point of my adventure. It's also the only place in Madagascar where you can rent a motorbike (or any other vehicle, for that matter). I started off down the RN7, which is the best-known and best-maintained road in Madagascar. It's tarred pretty much all the way down,... [Lire la suite]
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02 décembre 2013

On the Art of Little Pots

                         In Mayotte, one of the most useful things you can buy in the local supermarket is a Tupperware (or similar) container. Here, the brand is Eda, so they're Eda containers. They come in all shapes and sizes and are absolutely wonderful. The reason for this is that anything that is sold in paper or cardboard packaging needs to be removed from its packaging upon arrival at home and instantly transferred into a container. And, in turn, the reason... [Lire la suite]
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28 octobre 2013

Wedding Dances

         Last Saturday, something rather exceptional happened. The Blue Mango, my music group, is followed around by the Dancing Lizards, who are a group of folk dancers who come to all our concerts to dance. One of these dancers is a Comorian lad called Halidi, nicknamed Tony to make him sound Western. And on last Saturday, he invited us all to his cousin's wedding. Weddings in Mayotte aren't as exclusive as weddings in Europe. Generally, the whole village is invited, and each guest is free to invite... [Lire la suite]
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19 mars 2012

Fish and Chips

   We ate out this lunchtime. This is fish and chips. Red tuna - I know, it's a protected species in the Atlantic, but it isn't here - in a spicy vanilla sauce with little bits of vanilla pod. Bon appétit :).         Ingredients (Serving Size : 4) : 4 fillets of seabass (Tuna or Mahi Mahi) 1 shallot 25 cl heavy cream Butter 1 glass of dry white wine 1 tsp beef bouillon 2 tsp of vanilla extract or 2 vanilla pods, slit lengthways Salt, pepper         ... [Lire la suite]
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19 décembre 2011

She'll be coming round the mountain...

                            I went round the Mont Choungui last week-end with a walking group. It's near the bottom of the island, and is the most famous mountain in Mayotte, if not the highest (That's Mont Bénara, 664m). From its top, you're supposed to be able to see all the southern half of the island. It's actually a volcano rather than a mountain, but it has been inactive for ages. ... [Lire la suite]
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22 octobre 2011

Sans Queue Ni Tête

  A rather eventful morning today, because as it’s been fairly calm for the last 24 hours, I wanted to see if the supermarkets had reopened. Unprepared as always, I saw a great long queue in front of the local Sodifram and decided to join the fray. Again, the supermarket was so full that customers were waiting outside, only allowed inside twenty or so at a time. 9.30 a.m. : Arrived at supermarket and joined a queue of a hundred or so people. Some white, some black. Some waiting patiently in line, some pushing in from the... [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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