wayfaringwordhack: (writing: food for thought)

If you want a lovely start to your day...nay, if you want a recipe for an entire day chockfull of loveliness--not just the morning--pack a tasty breakfast (in our case: chorizo, ewe & goat cheese and cow cheese from local farmer, homemade bread slathered in butter with a side of (also local) honey, some fruit, coffee and water), and head to a place with a nice view for an early-bird picnic.

IMG_1859

When all are sated, in both tummy and vision, send the significant other off with your child so that...

view

with only skinks, sparrows, and petrified whales for company, you can work on your story before the pages calcify like those of the tome below:

The rest of the recipe for a wonderful day )

If your day goes anything like mine, you'll come back home feeling lighter and freer and more in touch with everyone and everything around you.
_____
* Bay of Loya sounds a whole like Moya, in Mayotte, which is what the view from above reminded Julien I of (last photo in this post).
wayfaringwordhack: (art journal)

 I kept up my journal, even when I couldn't connect to the net, but I'm not going to play catch up with photos.  Today, I did two sketches, though, one in ink from an idea I had and a view of my village in charcoal.



I would have liked to ink in the water even more, but S woke up from her nap and the ink and calligraphy nib had to be put away.

 

I took S for a walk in the stroller to the lock down the canal. I've been meaning to sketch the village from this vantage for quite a while and am glad to have finally gotten around to it.  My perspective is way off, so I'll have to go back and try again. Have to hurry, though; exactly two weeks until our move. :D  

Here I am, posting about Sancerre, but the song below came up while doing so, reminding me of life in Mayotte, and before I was finished typing and before the song ended, Julien called to tell me that he just got through speaking to a Mahorais in Le Havre.


(the song is not Mahorais, but it was popular in Mayotte while we lived there)

Lala ha unono. (sleep well--my favorite phrase to say to my neighbors back in the day.)
wayfaringwordhack: (frangipani)
This truly will be my last post from Mayotte. These days are filled with lasts, and as used to moving and leaving behind places and friends as I am, I still have an ache in my heart today as I think about parting from our home of the last three years. This afternoon, it is hitting me hard that the final moments and quick visits to favorite haunts are really and truly lasts. 

Here is your final glimpse of Mayotte (posted from Mayotte. I have a few things to share that must bide until I have more time). I took the photo this morning at Badamier Beach after dropping Julien off at the quay for his last spearfishing expedition.

Maybe not what you were expecting, but I don't have the heart for color.


Next time I see you, it will be from the shadow of the Black Mountains in France. Fare you well until then...
wayfaringwordhack: (guitton - housework)
 [profile] mana_trini  and I are moving house today. All the packing and cleaning and hauling our affairs to Lionel's house must be done by 4:00 p.m. Lionel has an Internet connection that is very sketchy and apparently often completely dysfunctional. For that reason, this may be my last post before we get back to the northern hemisphere on August 5th.

If I am not tired out of my mind, which I shouldn't be because we upgraded (with our travel miles) our tickets to business class, I'll make a point of checking in when we get to my mother-in-law's place.

So, I don't see you guys before then, take care. 
wayfaringwordhack: (sail away)
Yes, we did go sailing on Thursday and Friday.

No, we did not make it around the island. The winds did not will it so. Instead we got as far as M'tsamboro, an isle northwest of Grande Terre. I got a bit seasick so took two motion-sickness pills that knocked me out. I went down and napped in the "coffin" (berth) as we skipped the waves around M'tsamboro, struggling to get closer to it. We dropped anchor in the lee of the island and spent the night there. 




Grande Terre on the left, M'tsamboro on the right.



Aren't those colors too incredible for words?

[profile] mana_trini , spearfisher extraordinaire, et François went hunting the next morning and brought back three yummy fishes. Delphine took Titouan for a ride in her kayak while I snorkeled and saw my first-ever pencil sea urchin.

Even though we didn't make it around Mayotte, even though we saw nary a whale or dolphin, and even though we had engine trouble that delayed our departure and our return (contrary winds, read "nonexistant," remember?), we had a good time. I'm glad we went.

Once we got back, it was time to cook and clean for the going away party. I cooked too much. We have leftovers out the wazoo, but that means I don't have to worry about cooking as we pack up and move to Lionel's house for our last week here in Mayotte.

Speaking of moving, I've got to get to sorting and packing. We vacate the house tomorrow afternoon because NIGHT DIVING, baby, tomorrow at sunset. It'll be my second time and Julien's first. I'm psyched. I'll wax ecstatic on Tuesday if we have the net at L's house.

There are good things, many of them, amidst the bustle and sadness of leaving our home of the past three years.


wayfaringwordhack: (shroom sweet shroom)

The last of the Dubai photos, with a few aerial views thrown in. Soon, I'll do a write up.





Camels anyone?
Camels anyone?

It was amazing to me how open people were to getting their picture taken. Very different from Mayotte.
 
Portraits and a view from spaaaaaace )

 
wayfaringwordhack: (guitton - housework)

After my post yesty, I conked out for two hours. I could have slept longer but I had to get up and teach. The lesson went fairly well, and I didn't have any more of a headache afterwards than I did before. I took painkillers and went to my dance class. All in all, I was glad I went. The meds and invigorated blood flow made me feel almost human. Nonetheless, by 9pm, I was in bed again. I had a full night's sleep, but now, at 10am, I feel a ghost niggle, presaging another headache. 

I can't sleep the day away though because I have two classes to prepare and teach this afternoon, and that means I need to do the tidying that I didn't get around to yesterday. Not to mention I'm never going to have enough stuff to sell at the brunch if I don't get a move on.

So here are the essentials:
- Yoga
- 15mn meditation

- Sweep (yeah, I have to do this one every day. Comes from having three cats and all doors and windows always open)
- tidy living room
- dishes
- prepare lessons
- S's English class
- C's English class

I need to go drink some water...and just after that, I guess I can tackle those dishes.
wayfaringwordhack: (gecko)

Gecko love!

I'm so depressed that I wasn't able to get a better photo. In two and half years, this is the first time I've seen geckos mating, so I doubt I'll be so lucky again.

I was teaching when I noticed N'djema staring at something on the fence. I got my glasses and saw the lovebirdsgeckos, so I ran up the stairs and grabbed the camera, telling E I would be right back. I snapped this photo and was just trying to adjust the settings to get a better pic when E stood, scraping his chair across the tiles of the porch. When I looked back up, the geckos had disappeared.

wayfaringwordhack: (droplets)
 These aren't the ones I had in mind, but since they are what I have, they are what you get. Or rather "it." Only one today to see if I have the hang of this MacBook photo resizing thing...


To my knowledge, there are two tiny islands of white sand in the lagoon, on in the southeast and one in the northwest. This is the one in the north. 

You can't see them looking in this direction, but there are fabulous rain clouds looming over Grande Terre behind us. The beauty of the rainy season in Mayotte is that the rains rarely last all day, and we can have beautiful weather instead of constant cloud cover and gloom. I want to do a panorama of it, but that'll have to wait until I get the photos on the other pc...
wayfaringwordhack: (chameleon)
I did get out on the bike to take  pics as planned. Not planned, however, was being constantly interrupted in my photographic endeavors. The advantage of Petite Terre is being able to bike around the majority of it in an hour. The disadvantage is not being able to go more than 300m without running into someone I know. Tends to slow things down. Imagine how painful it would be if I weren't such a hermity soul. :P

I did snap a few pics but had no time to upload them. In lieu of those, I'll give you a few I took in my own backyard with my new Sigma 150mm macro lens.


I imagine the hibiscus pollen as yellow caviar for the ants scurrying up and down the branches and flowers.


A new chameleon in the backyard. He's stretching out, trying to reach the clothes line from the hibiscus bush.


And he made it! And caught a tasty fly, which he is chewing. He was a bit disgruntled to be caught with his mouth full, obviously.
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: (Default)


A handful of pics from the Lac Dziani/Moya walk... No whale picture, though. The others that I'm posting are too pretty to spoil with one over-zoomed, over-bright photo of a blob with fins. You'll just have to believe that I saw it. :P





 

Different angle, different green...
 

South side, where the coconut trees give way to a steep savanna...


All roads lead to Rome somewhere...
 

View of Moya II (just below) and Moya (between the outcropping and the tiny spur in the center). The bluff in the background is the place from where I took the landscape photo in my first post.

wayfaringwordhack: (sail away)

Y'all have just been hoping and hoping I'd post another moon picture, right? Yeah, I thought so. Here you have it setting, in its golden glory,  behind Mbouzi, an island that is a dedicated reserve for lemurs; the lighter mountains in the background are part of Grande Terre. The pretty "star" on the water just beneath the moon is the light of a fisherman's pirrogue.



[livejournal.com profile] kmkibble75 , I worked on icons with the other photo, but it just doesn't look as nice in a small format. :(

wayfaringwordhack: (chameleon)
Upon seeing our yard, as tiny as it is, I thought we might get a chameleon or two in the bushes or trees, and I was right! Today I spied my first chameleon in the avocado tree. I even got to see it shoot out its gluey tongue and snap up a fly.  Wouldn't you know, though, that the batteries aren't in the camera, and I have no idea where [profile] mana_trini put them. Pity; it would have made a nice glimpse for today.
wayfaringwordhack: (gecko)
We received mail at our new addy, addressed to our new addy. An electricity bill. Anxious to see if the meter mess had been sorted, I opened it and...It was the final bill for our old meter! Yes, I know this is just fascinating business, isn't it? But I share all of this in order to say:

[personal profile] frigg it appears that mail is a go at the new house, so you can send my goodies whenever you are ready. Send them nownownownownow I know you have guests, so take your time and mail them NOW whenever you get a moment.

We had dinner guests last night and are having another couple over this evening. I think we've done about as much entertaining in a few weeks in this house as we did in two years in the other. That's an exaggeration, of course, but not by much. Now that we have a table and chairs (and an always-tidy house), we no longer have an excuse for not hosting the occasional supper.

Oh, and speaking of having people over. The other night, I went out on the porch to work on some research. No sooner had I settled in then I was greeted by kids on the balcony across the street. After much shouting back and forth, one of the boys told me that his sister wanted to know if she could come over. I said sure because I didn't really think she would. She's at least 14, I'd say, and super shy. Whenever she sees me, she ducks down and CRAWLS behind the balustrade...as if I can't still see her. O.O

But lo and behold, she did come over. And then another one wanted to come, and then another. By the end, we had two women, three girls, and four boys out on the balcony with us, not counting the shy one, who had scurried back home amidst all the comings and goings. At one  point, when the women were coming in, I went downstairs to get some soda for our guests. I heard whispering by the side of the house, so I poked my head over the porch railing and saw one a woman squatting down, PEEING.

Well, what to do? I laughed along with them, trying to convince myself that no, a grown woman was not urinating on my walkway. But yes, when I saw them out, there was the telltale wetness. And this is the woman who asked me if I needed a cleaning lady. o.O

I'm not in the habit of giving people job advice, but I'll stick this out there: Don't relieve yourself on a prospective employer's property, unless it is in the facilities designed for such purposes and you have  permission to be there, naturally.
wayfaringwordhack: (N'gouja)
As promised, a link to [profile] mana_trini's post about the tire race with, as threatened, many more photos.
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
He who says Mayotte, says Course de Pneus. OK, maybe the tire race isn't a big enough deal to be synonymous with Mayotte, but it is an annual event that exudes local color. As a glimpse-giver, I'd be very remiss if I didn't share some of [profile] mana_trini's photos of the 25th annual Course de Pneus with you now. (I did wait for him to get some photos up himself; and I waited; and I waited.) So, not to steal his thunder or anything but...



If you want to try tire racing at home, you'll need:

A tire; two long, solid sticks; some soap suds* to make it all slide nicely; two fleet feet; and a good pair of lungs.

*Before, the participants used dirty transmission oil to lubrify the inside of the tire. Not very green that.  Now the sponsors give everyone a soap-based lubricant that is much more nature-friendly.

wayfaringwordhack: (I heart you)
Today, my friend Nuria is leaving Mayotte for good. I met her almost two years ago, and we quickly became fast friends. I'm going to miss her.

Her luggage is packed and weighed, and she has no room for a tangible gift from me, so yesterday, for our last walk, I surprised her with "teatime on the beach." We didn't end up walking much at all, but that didn't matter. The important thing was to have a good chat before she goes. So there was much licking of fingers (she loves my cinnamon rolls, so I made those for her), much sipping of blackberry tea, much gazing at the sea and mangrove and the cliff ringing us to the left. And naturally, much talking. 

I wish her many beautiful things in the years to come and am thankful for the time I had to get to know her.
wayfaringwordhack: (N'gouja)

Yesterday, 

[profile] mana_trini and I took five of the neighbor kids to a beach named Moya II (I've posted pictures of it before at the bottom of this entry). We were quite a sight--all seven of us piled into our Renault Clio with J's longboard passing from dashboard to trunk. J let me drive so he'd be the one hunched over in the passenger seat under the board. Too bad we forgot to take the camera.    Moya and Moya II are the prettiest beaches on Petite Terre, and they are rather secluded from the inhabited areas of the tiny isle. One has to go down a good stretch of potted, rutted dirt road to reach them and the taxis take a special commission for going out so "far," which is why the kiddos that we took have never been there, even though they are only a few kilometers away.

As I mentioned in my last glimpse post, the surf's up in Mayotte, and there were half a dozen surfers catching the waves  breaking at the entrance of the horseshoe bay of Moya II. J watched them longingly, but he stayed by the shore with me to lifeguard our five charges, none of whom is a stellar swimmer. I played in the surf with four of the kids while J paddled the fifth around on his longboard. When the kids were all shivering and their teeth chattering (the water's getting "fresh" now), we herded them out of the water to eat tuna sandwiches, chips, and oranges. A good time was had by all, and it was a nice "going away" party. Maeva is moving back to Madagascar and J and I are moving house/neighborhood next month.

Today, I'm going to do some more sewing. I'm going to make a top for moi and at least start on a carry sack for J's spearguns. The sack might be tricky because of it's size (almost 2m long) but also because of all the padding he wants me to sew in it to protect his material. We shall see; we shall see...

ETA: Got the top made. It's a rather simple affair but it took hours. That's what I get for sewing without patterns. Tomorrow, I'll concentrate on J's sack. That means it'll be Tuesday before I get to make the pants that go with my top. And then on Wednesday...harem pants...I hope!

 

 

wayfaringwordhack: (N'gouja)
Since the days are getting longer, Nuria and I have resumed our walks along a beach called Petite Moya. Today, upon arriving at the end of the beach and just about to start the return trek, I said, "I'm so happy to be back out here. It's so beautiful." At that moment, I looked up and saw a whale breaching the water just past the reef. I squealed and Nuria glanced up in time to see the resulting splash. Not wanting to disappoint her, the whale jumped four or so more times before her calf joined in the fun and breached at least half a dozen.  We kept watching and squealing and laughing and pointing and jumping for joy (thank goodness we were alone) as they moved farther south. The cow rewarded us with three spins, showing us her lovely white belly and flippers spread wide to embrace the world.

Next beach walk, I'm taking the camera.

I love Mayotte!

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