10 juillet 2015

Pamandzi

                  On my last day in Mayotte, I returned the flat keys in the morning, then went to see the man who was buying the car from me. When he had come to my flat to test-drive the car, he had brought a young mechanic with him, and hadn't actually driven the car at all. Today, he asked to drive the car round the block, and exclaimed vigourously at each noise or unusual movement in the car, such as the gear stick which was slightly loose. He then walked round the car and... [Lire la suite]
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29 juin 2015

Pneumatophores.

                      I've been fascinated by the mangrove since I arrived in Mayotte. The mangrove goes pretty much all round the island. From most points on the coast, you can either see it or smell it, or both. Mangrove trees are salt tolerant, and they have an very simple way of coping with the salt they're immersed in all day: they're mostly impermeable to the stuff, so it doesn't get much farther than the tree root. They also limit the amount of water lost from... [Lire la suite]
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]
23 février 2015

N'Gouja, probably for the last time.

                                   It's the holidays next week, so this weekend was really the last one before the holidays on which to go to the beach. I don't go that often - not really interested in lying around in the heat, and not bothered about salty water and small fish - but H loves the beach, and I'd promised to bring him back some sand from his favourite beach in Mayotte. So I rang up a colleague who... [Lire la suite]
08 décembre 2014

Rain at School

                           It's been raining quite a bit recently. This is the effect of all this rain on my school: quite impressive, actually. Everything and everyone gets soaked five minutes in, the kids go swimming in the puddles, bags and books included, and you can't hear a thing because of the water pounding down on the corrugated iron roof. Even falling on concrete, rain is very noisy stuff, and when there's that much of it, you truly and... [Lire la suite]
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10 novembre 2014

Raindrops aren't falling. Period.

The only existing postcard of Mayotte during the rainy season.                         The rainy season has just started. Just. As in two days ago. This is worrying the meteorologists.          You see, Mayotte usually gets two lots of rain. A small spell, which usually comes some time in October and lasts for a week or two, and is known as the "Pluie des Mangues", or mango rain. This is because it hails the beginning of the mango season. And... [Lire la suite]
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22 septembre 2014

Here we go again...

                      This time, it all started with a football match. Majicavo and Kawéni, two neighbouring villages, were playing against each other. Majicavo was winning 3 - 0 when the referee gave a player a yellow card instead of the red card he should have given him. The supporters exploded and everyone went wild. The colour of the card was just a pretext: the two rival villages have hated each other for years, so the two gangs were overjoyed to have a reason to... [Lire la suite]
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14 juillet 2014

Hiking around Saziley

          Sunday was a rather hectic day. First, it was the day two of the musicians from the Blue Mango were leaving Mayotte, one forever, the other for a holiday. The one who was leaving forever hadn't been able to come to our last going-away party and I had a present for her, so that needed delivering. The one who was going back to France on holiday knew I was going to Madagascar again in August and wanted me to deliver a package to his wife's nephew in Antsirabe, south of Antananarivo. The... [Lire la suite]
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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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31 mars 2014

Hellen

                 The weather was pretty grotty this weekend, so I haven't been out much. In fact, Mayotte was placed under "strong rain warning" on Thursday evening, because a depression was forming in the Mozambique channel, along the coast of Mozambique.  On Saturday morning, the depression turned into a tropical storm and was christened Hellen. Strong winds and rather a lot of rain came thundering down on the north-eastern side of the island, causing trees to topple over... [Lire la suite]