wayfaringwordhack: (maki2)
For mangos.

Kids are in the small vacant lot in front of Lio's house, tossing branches, rocks, and sawn-off bits of pipe into the towering mango trees in hopes of knocking free some of the dangling fruits. I'm sitting on the terrace trying to get my words for the day, and the air is filled with the sound of tearing leaves, crashing sticks, pinging, clanging metal, crying and shouting and singing. It serves to remind me that my fictional worlds need to be filled with the noise of living, too.

99% of what the kids knock down will be unripe, but they'll gamely take a few bites before throwing the mangos on the ground where they'll shrivel and rot. There is no point in trying to reason them into waiting. They are between three and seven years old, after all, and quite probably hungry.
wayfaringwordhack: (palmier)
The net connection at Lionel's house is as infernal and unstable as I thought it would be (I've been disconnected four times just trying to get this page open), so I'm not going to take the time to respond individually to all who wished us well. Here is your collective thank you: Thanks for thinking of us! *g*

Two days after emptying our house, we are still in the middle of sorting our affairs. I weighed our baggage and cats today, and we are 40+ kilos over our limit. That means we have 120 kilos of stuff to haul with us!!! Needless to say, the post is cheaper than air fret, so we are in the middle of weeding out some of the heavier stuff and putting it into boxes to mail ourselves. Why oh why did we not do a better job when we packed for our shipping container?

No idea (well, aside from the rush and tiredness), but done is done. We have to live with the mess we still have. Luckily, Lionel flew back to continental France on Monday, so he has not seen the bombsite that is now his house. Our fellow house squatters arrive on Saturday, but for our own sanity, I would like to wrap it all up today.

We have yet to take advantage of our last days here because we are so worn out and busy taking care of last minute details, not to mention because the weather has been horrid with too much wind (our night dive was cancelled! *wails* And there won't be another before we leave) and even hissing, spitting, unseasonal rainshowers. I haven't written since Monday; I'm so exhausted every night that I can't sleep; the mattress we have here sucks so bad that I wake up several times per night with cramps in my neck, back, and thighs. We have had no water since 8 a.m. today... All in all, I'm just ready for this stage to be over.

Enough whinging. Think happy thoughts. Happy. Happy.

Back to work.
wayfaringwordhack: (sail away)
Going on a two-day* trip on the catamaran with another couple and their child. We're aiming to sail completely around the island and will sleep on the boat. Tis the season for whales, so I hope we'll spot a few. And dolphins. Want to see them one last time before leaving Mayotte.

Be good while I'm while gone. 

______

*as of tomorrow, but Saturday is our going away party, so that'll make three days that I'm not online and keeping up. If you need to let me know about something that happened while I was away please comment here or send me an email.
wayfaringwordhack: (animated rugby)
 I'm watching my last rugby match in Mayotte today. Tomorrow, we have to take the satellite decoder back and cancel our subscription. The lady who bought the television is picking it up tomorrow, too. Not a big deal. Without satellite, there is nothing to watch here. Only one channel and we don't have a satellite to receive it.

This morning, Julien packed all the odds and ends that remain and took them to the Place du Congres, where there is a group "yard sale."

Isn't he a swell guy? He went to put up with that hassle while I stay home and watch rugby! :P
wayfaringwordhack: (palmier)
 In 3 weeks and 4 days, I'll be singing Leaving on a Jet Plane, the line "don't know when I'll be back again" being particularly apt. That being the case, I'm naturally starting to look at the island with my goodbye eyes.

Just a few things I doubt I'll be seeing back in continental France:

...A row of bouenis (Mahorais women), employed by the city, sitting in the shade, florescent green safety jackets on over their salouvas (traditional wear, see photo below), masks of powdered sandalwood on their faces, rakes and brooms lying carelessly at their feet...

...an ambulance having a hard time advancing because a man can't get his herd of zebus off the street...

...a lady carrying a box of groceries on her head...
wayfaringwordhack: (sail away)
 Yesterday, [profile] mana_trini  and I hiked Mount Benara with nine friends, 9.3 miles in all, 6 hours of walking. I'd say that was a good way to train for our world trip. Today, we are going out with pretty much the same friends (minus 2) on the catamaran. The lagoon isn't lovely and mirror-flat like I like, but the wind is up. Perfect for sailing and resting aching leg muscles. 

This flurry of sudden activity feels like the end. One never seems to take advantage of one's surrounding until it is time to move on. Er, if you want, you can remove "one" and insert "Miquela." :P
wayfaringwordhack: (Maki World Domination)
 *sigh* I haven't been out taking photos lately, and I don't have any to show you of the island right now.

I had a whole file of them, but that was on the external hard drive that "crashed." Remember? The one where I found the files still on it and only needed to buy a recovery program to get them back?

Yeah, well, J took it to work instead and asked his computer tech colleagues to have a look at it.

Yes, the files are there, they said, just reformatted for Ubuntu (remember the returned pc?)  We can get them back for you. Just have to wait on X to bring in his machine.

So we waited. And waited. And J finally went back and asked where the drive was because, frankly, the wait was getting ridiculous.

The external hard drive's cover was there...BUT NOTHING ELSE. They stole or lost it.  All our photos, our videos, our memories, my book files.

I was so disgusted and hurt and angry that I never blogged about it, but now, looking at my meager photo album, I'm reminded of it all again.

I hereby solemnly swear to myself to get out this week and take some more photos. I will not leave Mayotte with bitter loss in my mouth; I will make new memories of my time here.
wayfaringwordhack: (sail away)
 We've had to call the plumber twice in the week we've been back. First a leak in the living room because of the shower. He changed one part. Everything was fine. Until last night. The on-off lever refused to understand "off" during Julien's shower. Now that must be changed, too.

Thank the Lord this is not my house. Can I get an amen?
wayfaringwordhack: (Maki World Domination)
  A good ear and fitfull sleep ("thanks" to my illness) are what helped me hear the would-be burglars who just tried to break into our house. They are the reason I'm not a-bed and a-dreaming at 1:50 a.m. 

We forgot to lock the front gate tonight--and, come to think of it, for the past few nights (getting complacent as the end draws nigh)--and I heard it opening oh-so-softly. I leaped out of bed and saw a kid--in his early teens--stepping out into the street.

My "Hey, what do you think you're doing here? Julien, wake up!" sent him and his cohort-in-the-shadows scrambling. The one I saw was in a yellow shirt (polo t-shirt, I believe) and light-colored (probably white) capri-style pants. I'm too tired to think of what those pants are called when a guy is wearing them. :P Anyhow, Yellow Shirt bolted down the street, jumped on the bicycle he'd left parked on the corner, and zipped away, while Cohort kept to the shadows and hightailed it up the ravine of the Vigie.

Julien called the gendarmes and asked them to alert any patrol cars they have out. We expect nothing to come of that. A quick tour of the yard showed the thwarted thieves hadn't had time to take anything. Our laundry would have been the most they got in any case.
wayfaringwordhack: (N'gouja)
 So, the Very Nice Lady is taking the house; the landlord is cool with it; and all is happiness in the Faure household.

Especially since my wonderful wubs is whisking me away for four days to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary.

See ya next week. :D
wayfaringwordhack: (kickin' it island style)
The seemingly impossible has happened. 

We've found someone who wants the house and our furnishings, and we found her before the 24th when the double-crosser arrives. [livejournal.com profile] frigg , your will is a mighty thing; thanks for bending it to our cause.

We informed the double-crosser by email last night but have yet to hear back from her. I'm betting she called the landlord or that we haven't heard the last of the matter in some form or fashion.

But, whatevs...the lovely designated new renter is coming by at noon to finalize things and to see the landlord.

Looks like I can kick back and relax.* Stress begone!

______________________

* I wish! I think I'll be able to actually take a breather on the 2nd of May. I've decided that, unless something changes drastically, I won't be making any more jewelry (unless it is filling orders) while on Mayotte or attending the markets in Coconi. I have too many other things to take care of.
wayfaringwordhack: (Maki World Domination)
 Our landlord gave us permission to find the next renters so that we can find someone interested in taking our furniture, appliances, etc.

We found someone through one of J's colleagues.

That someone agreed to our deal and then asked for the landlord's number, which J gave willingly.

Later the same day, the landlord told us that the lady had called and had sounded very nervous.

We then received an email from her saying she would be taking the house--and had already reserved it--but she would not be taking our furniture as agreed.

We said that wasn't the deal.

She said we misunderstood her intent and "Oh, so sorry, but that's the way it is. I already reserved the house with the landlord."

We politely told her that we are waiting on a response from someone else, so she called the landlord, behind our backs, if you will, and insisted she wanted the house UNFURNISHED. The landlord told her he was confused because he knew we wanted to sell our things. She INFORMED him that she was arriving soon, she had reserved it, and would soon set matters straight. He didn't like her tone and basically informed her right back that he is letting us find the next renters.

I dearly hope we find someone else. Just the thought of losing to a double-crosser like that chaps my hide.

wayfaringwordhack: (droplets)
 Thankfully it rained yesterday afternoon, hard enough for Julien and me to "shower" in the backyard.

And thankfully, I woke to the sound of running water this morning. One of us forgot to turn off the tap in the bathroom sink, and the noise woke me around 8:15. Those utilities folk may end their days early, but apparently they start them early, too.

In celebration, let's have a water photo, shall we? We'll call it our glimpse of the week.


Oh, you wanted to see what made those splashes. :D

I feel so cool now that I've actually photographed dolphins myself. :P
wayfaringwordhack: (droplets)
 So, is there anywhere else in this world that you can go seven months without paying your water bill and never once get a letter asking you to pay up or lose your water privileges? Apparently in Mayotte, it's perfectly possible.

Back in July, when we moved, we had to sign a new contract with the water company, close our old account, etc. And at that time, we specified that we'd like to continue having our bills deducted automatically from our bank account. Did that happen?  No. Did I realize that it wasn't happening? No. Yeah, I suck at bookkeeping. Anyhow, today, with no warning, I had no more water. Thinking it a general outage, I didn't do anything. Not until 2:30 when my neighbor told me *she* had water.

I called the water company, only to have them tell me that it's perfectly natural I don't have water--I haven't paid my bills. Well, can someone come turn it back on? I ask. Nope, they've all gone home for the day. At 2:30. Yeah, I'd like that kind of job.

So no water until tomorrow morning. Maybe.

In other island news, I saw my first pack of wild dogs tonight. Seven of them running in the night-quiet street, snuffling and bowling over garbage cans. I often hear them barking and howling, but not too close to this house. I'd never hurt them or run them off--I feel sorry for the poor, abused, abandoned things--but I wouldn't want to be caught out in the street with them. They're known to be vicious on occasion.

Torn

11 Mar 2009 01:52 pm
wayfaringwordhack: (sail away)
 As the end of our stay in Mayotte draws near, I find myself torn. Excited about leaving, wishing [livejournal.com profile] mana_trini 's contract would be renewed for the fourth year. And everday, I encounter things that make me do the pendulum swing.

Cleaning mold from cabinets--inside and out--doors, appliances, I want to go, go, go. Ditto for getting eaten alive by mosquitos and having to use the air conditioner all the time. Same for the neighbors' spoiled, whiny I-am-GOD children.

But things like sitting in the office, seeing banana plants and coconut trees through the window; standing on the balcony to catch a glimpse of the lagoon, the smell of jasmine drifting up to me; watching geckos chase ants; spying a chameleon in the avocado tree; the laid-back life; the possibility of going for a swim in the ocean when I feel like it or picnicking on a deserted isle...those things make me want to stay.

But it's out of our hands regardless of all the pros and cons lists I come up with. 

All I can do is look forward to the next place we'll land.

Today I...

8 Mar 2009 09:40 pm
wayfaringwordhack: (maki2)
 went for a short stroll and:

saw 
the almost-full moon, hanging over coconut trees
in front of which sat
a hummingbird, metallic-green feathered head flashing in the setting sun, atop a small accacia 
islets sitting in a sky-colored sea
the cows going home, ie a herd of zebus crashing out of the bushes to my right, taking a sharp right turn and meandering down the paved road in front of me before taking another right about a quarter of a mile down the road...all without the guiding hand of a herdsman.

heard
said hummingbird singing to said moon
bare feet slapping as boys and girls ran down the hill past me
giant bats squabbling over roosts
zebus lowing
kittens mewling
"Madame, someone stole my bike!"
"Rastafari man!"

smelled
wet moss and rain damp fallen leaves
a crushed lime leaf
the leaves, berries, and flowers of a bush that reminds me sharply of a place I lived as a child

felt
the stings of spiders that I disturbed being too curious about the plants around me
an ant stinging my toe when I tried to get too close to some flowers.
the tiny hairs on the stem of a creeping vine covered with vibrant pink, teardrop shaped blooms.

tasted
er, I was a good girl and didn't stick anything in my mouth.


Just thought I would share that
wayfaringwordhack: (N'gouja)

Yesterday, we went to Grande Terre for a swimming competition. The swimmers were taken to Bambo Island by boat and had to race back to Musical Beach, a distance of 2km, as fast as their little arms and fins could take them. [livejournal.com profile] mana_trini  was participating, along with three other friends, not I.  I truly didn't expect him to be in the top ten; he doesn't swim much (spearfishing is totally different), and he only trained three times.

But he came in 3rd! out of 150 swimmers!

Go JuJu Bean!

We spent the day there, picnicking, visiting, lounging, getting sunburned, listening to a djembe session, eating homemade crêpes (thanks to that super-fast swimmer of mine. :D), reading, and just enjoying the beautiful vista.
wayfaringwordhack: (droplets)
So, as I explained once several months ago, we live in a dead-end street on the slope of Mount Vigie, and where the tarmac ends, a footpath works it way up a ravine to where there are several bangas (typical Mahorais housing, which are no longer made of mud and straw and bamboo and palm thatch but of corrugated tin). When a heavy rain falls, water gushes down the flank of the Vigie, carrying with it mud, detritus, and alllllllllllllll the garbage that the inhabitants of the bangas toss into the ravine or into the pathways outside their yards. The majority, if not all, of the people living up there are illegal immigrants and there is no trash collection service up that way.  Not that that would likely change the littering habits, which seem so ingrained in the population here.  Anyhow, aside from soda cans and soiled diapers, you also have to watch out for floating freezers. The probability of the water being contaminated with diseases is high as well. No plumbing up there, either...


Our landlord, barefoot and apparently unworried about damage to his feet from rusty cans and nail-studded boards, trying to make sure the majority of the trash keeps flowing down the road instead of getting stuck in front of our houses.
 

Here is F, the neighbor, dashing back in after moving his car out of further danger, ie, the possibility of *another* freezer shooting down the road and banging his bumper. The torrent carried the first one off too quickly for me to get a good shot of it. Zebu owners hollow out old fridges and freezers and use them as troughs for their animals. Empty or not, not something you want ramming into your car.
 
wayfaringwordhack: (maki2)
Ask a rhetorical question, I guess. I could have called this post "Wiped out," "The little piggy finally made it to the market," or "Out with the new in with the old, or the unboundless stupidity of some people."  Let's take those one by one, shall we?

Wiped out:

I'm so freaking tired. I feel like a wet noodle. No, worse. Noodles do not, to the best of my knowledge, have eyes that burn with fatigue. The doc gave me iron, potassium, and folic acid, as well as allergy medicine to take (have I already said that? I'm too tired to double check) until my blood tests come back, but so far, I don't feel them making any difference...

The little piggy finally made it to the market:

Yes, this morning, Julien and I got up at 5am to go to the craft market on Grande Terre. The fatigue is partly due to that fact, I know. It rained and it rained and it rained. There weren't a lot of visitors at the market, but I still managed to sell 96€ ($122) worth of stuff. I guess that isn't too bad for my first time out.  This coming week, I'll be busy doing more crafts because there are a few more markets to hit before Christmas.

Out with the new in with the old, or the unboundless stupidity of some people:

We no longer have a new computer. Long story very short: We bought it from a business that puts the pcs together themselves instead of through a chain, etc. The techs installed a modem that is not compatible with Linux. It created conflict with the sound and other things. We ferried our car over twice (15€ a pop) to try to get the prob resolved. Asshat-owner never calls us with an update as promised, so J calls back.

The verdict: Asshat wants us to buy a new modem that will cost us 50€ more than what was agreed. Instead of giving us the compatible modem and respecting the contract (which was signed and a down payment given before the construction of the pc) as a gesture of goodwill in regards to our phone and ferrying bills racked up because of THEIR incompetence, Asshat tells Julien, and I quote; "This isn't the Red Cross," and then hangs up on him.

Yes, you read that right. He hung up! What kind of business person is that????? Naturally, J was pissed and went straight to GT for a refund, which Asshat didn't want to give us. Don't worry. We got it today (a day late and by an employee). But...ARGH!!!!!

OK, I'm going to go chill out in front of some rugby. I need it. Sorry if this is typo-ridden and lacking in sense. Too tired to reread.

wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
Last Saturday we had a huge storm that created havoc with our telephone lines. We haven't had Internet service because of that.  When nothing had been done by Wednesday, I called the phone company using the neighbor's phone, who, curiously, had a working telephone but no net. They said that there was no prob with our line. 

So, back at my house, I plugged in our neighbor's phone, and, sure enough, had a dial tone. Turns out that there was something wrong with our cable for the net. I should say cables, actually, because we have five of them linking the downstairs outlet with the computer in the upstairs office.  As I was unplugging and wiping down the prong of each, I got shocked. That was an unpleasant experience, but once I removed the faulty cable, the net starting working.  Kind of. The connection is sporadic, so I don't know when I'll be up and running again. I've tried catching up with LJ, even if I haven't commented on everything. I'm like the net: here, kind of.

And another glowering, growling storm is on the way. Better shut the pc down. Don't want to fry it, even though the new one should be ready today or tomorrow, hopefully, at the latest.

Thinking of you all...

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