11 juillet 2015

Kwahéri Maoré

          When I arrived at my Mahorese school, I met several teachers who were in their last year in Mayotte. And universally, they told me that when you're in your last year, you're already at your destination in your mind. One, named Henri Denglades, was going back to his native French Guyana at the end of that school year. From September until the end of the year, he was mentally already there, thinking about how he would see his family again and reclaim his house. Every month of his last school year,... [Lire la suite]
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15 juin 2015


               These are some typical roadside scenes in Mayotte. The above photos were taken in the village of Tsoundzou. There's a bridge over a pretty river, where various outrigger canoes were parked.                                The bridge is actually fairly new. It was started about ten years ago, but the soil kept on being swept away by the river and the rainy season, so it only advanced in... [Lire la suite]
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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 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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14 avril 2014


The village I live in is called Majicavo. Literally, it means "where there is no water". Like all Mahorese villages, it's a very poor place, but near enough to the capital (Mamoudzou) for people to want to be modern and Westernized. Also like all Mahorese villages, it has a lot of shops, known as doukas, and small local restaurants, called brochetti or brochetterie because they sell mainly chicken wings and kebabs of meat or fish. They have names such as "Welcome Mayotte", "Mastéréhi" ("Enjoy your meal and be at rest"),... [Lire la suite]
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20 mai 2013


               My school and most of my pupils belong to the village of Kawéni, between Mamoudzou and Majicavo-Lamir. Both village and school have quite a reputation. The village is known for being the starting point of most of the complaints, robberies, strikes and riots in Mayotte, as it's a poor suburb of the capital city. The school is famous for its disruptive pupils who come from extremely poor families. Currently, there are 1500 pupils, and we're expecting another 300 for next... [Lire la suite]
25 mars 2013

The North from East to West

                   When P was here, he wanted to see if his scooter still worked. As I hadn't gone anywhere near it for the past few months, it didn't start. P pulled bits of it out and put it all back together, gave it some petrol and kept trying, and it started a couple of days later. So to make sure it kept working, he wanted to go on a fairly long trip with it. As we hadn't yet explored the north of Mayotte - too busy when he was here, and I'm not doing that on my own - we... [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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