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]

28 avril 2014

Carnival Week-End I : A Motivated Zebu

              Sunday 27th April is Slavery Abolition Day in Mayotte. This is usually commemorated by a carnival, comprising various dances, an exhibition of some sort at the Tourist Office and possibly another event. On Saturday, something was planned to start at half past three. Nothing was said about what was to happen, just that there would be something in the Republic Square of Mamoudzou. I invited a friend along and showed up in time to see a wonderful Mahorese corrida. In a Spanish... [Lire la suite]
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31 décembre 2012

Scenes in Mayotte

             Two Mahorese ladies, decorator and decoratee during a Tourism Committee festival. They draw geometrical figures and flowery shapes on their faces for all sorts of ceremonies, from weddings to end-of-year school parties, generally with a white paste. Sometimes, as they're already wearing their beauty masks, the drawings have to go over the top and aren't so easy to see.                  Typical view of a Mahorese village in the... [Lire la suite]
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27 août 2012

Charming flora and fauna

        A brief review of some of the various animals and plants we've seen during my first year in Mayotte. These photos do not come close to showing what it's really like, and I haven't taken photos of everything. Please bear in mind that all these animals are relatively big. Water buffalos are the size of decent horses, lemurs (maki) are larger than cats with long tails, the black and white birds (pie-corbeau) have a wingspan of roughly 1.2m, same for the bats. The birds with the yellow feet (mainate... [Lire la suite]
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26 septembre 2011

Birds and Beasts

             The first animals we saw upon getting out of the plane were zebus. Cow-like four-legged creatures with a bump on the back of their neck where they store water and fat for later. They stared at us, we stared at them and wondered where on earth we had ended up. There are plenty of those around. We regularly see them in the middle of towns, crossing roads on their own to get to the grassy roundabouts. They’ve often got a rope round their neck, but the end of said... [Lire la suite]
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