19 mai 2014

Repoblikan'i Madagasikara : a visiting vazaha.

                   Just spent a week in Madagascar, and absolutely fell in love with the place. It's beautiful. It started off with a rather strange idea of going to Antsiranana - more pronounceably known as Diego Suarez - to learn to kitesurf. One of those all-inclusive holidays where you have a bed, food and kitesurfing lessons all rolled into one package, and they even send a taxi to fetch you at the airport. The airline company for Madagascar is Air Madagascar.... [Lire la suite]

12 mai 2014

There haven't been any underwater photos for a while.

               On Easter Sunday, I went out on a boat trip with the Bretons of Mayotte association. Dragged a friend along, too, and there also happened to be a couple of folk dancers on the same boat. We went to the north of Mayotte to look for dolphins and possibly manta rays. Found a few dolphins - not the usual few hundreds, just ten or so - and watched them for a bit, then we stopped off at the Îlots Choisil for lunch.                ... [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]
03 juin 2013

Mahoraid

                    On Pentecost week-end, like last year, all of the sailing boats in Mayotte who wished could embark on a tour of the island. My musician friend Franck, who owns and lives on a sailing boat, wished. He took a few of his friends and me on his boat with him, and we spent three nice days trying to get enough wind into our sails to actually go forward instead of nowhere. Good fun.                       We... [Lire la suite]
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08 avril 2013

Makis and Turtles

        While P was here, we went down to the south of the island to one of the most beautiful (and most touristic, unfortunately) beaches in Mayotte: N'Gouja. Twice. The first time was during the school holidays, the second time was on the Monday when everybody went back to school... and as I don't work on Mondays, we thought the beach wouldn't be too full. It was almost empty, which was nice because most of the time, there are so many people there that you can tell where the turtles are by looking for the... [Lire la suite]
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22 octobre 2012

Turtling

                         We've had friends from France over this week. This is the first time people have come into my flat to stay, but everything went well. After taking them to a beach near our flat for starters, we went to N'Gouja beach to go turtle-hunting. N'Gouja is about an hour's drive from the flat, it's the main "white beach" of Mayotte. Almost everybody is white and armed with a mask, tuba and flippers. The beach itself is well-known for its turtles,... [Lire la suite]
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10 septembre 2012

Sea's out.

      Last weekend, yet another beautiful day, how tiring ;). School has been back for three weeks, so like every other teacher on the island, we went to the beach. At low tide. Very low tide. So low that we could actually walk right up to the coral reef drop-off, the part where the coral suddenly falls away and you can see a lot of coral and fish. A little hard under the feet, because there were bits of coral and various assorted rocks everywhere, it was a case of finding the least pointy bits to walk on, but... [Lire la suite]
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04 juin 2012

Radio Tour de l'Île ! Infos, quizz, musique, fun !

       Over the Pentecost week-end, a friend of ours was participating in the Tour de l'Île, a sailing boat tour of the larger of Mayotte's two islands. He told us that he does this every year, and that he usually ends up being the only one playing music on the beach, so would we like to come and accompany him with another two instruments? Yes please.              Our skipper was our musician friend Franck, who plays the accordion in our... [Lire la suite]
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01 mars 2012

What Emily Did

               Several things have happened at school recently. The second term has just finished, so we’ve been having conseils de classe, end-of-term reunions of all the teachers for each class plus two class-elected students. It’s a time to see how each student’s been doing over the term and either encourage him/her to keep up the good work or warn him/her about what terrible things will happen if he/she carries on misbehaving and not working properly. It’s... [Lire la suite]
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29 octobre 2011

Sandy Islands

                      Yesterday, the school closed at midday to avoid taking any risks linked to demonstrations, road-blocking, car-burning or stone-throwing, which seem to have become rather fashionable local pastimes. Faced with a long week-end, as Tuesday – 1st of November, All Saints’ Day – is a bank holiday and I don’t have any lessons on Mondays or Wednesdays, I was thinking about all the wonderful sleeping-in I was... [Lire la suite]
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