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Here by Glimpses Known

A twofold glimpse today. First the more personal one: The house is packed, except the shower stuff, the contents of the fridge and freezer, and the cleaning products. The cleaning is underway but far from being finished. I just want to get the worst of it now, and I'll worry about the real clean-up after the house is empty. Claire called; the keys are with the landlord. As of 8am tomorrow, mana_trini  and I will no longer live here. No idea as to when we'll get the phone/net up running in the new place, so that means I probably won't be able to keep up with my flist. If you have something I need to know, you can comment here or email me.

And now for the glimpse of Mayotte, in keeping with the unofficial theme of J's work. This is one of the saddest glimpses there is I'm afraid, and the posting of these pictures is timely because we just heard on the news that a boat carrying illegal immigrants has sunk off the coast of Mayotte. So far there are six survivors who have been found out of the +/- 26 on board.

ETA: At least 6 people have been found dead. The count on the people in the boat was last given as being at least 30, and the gendarmes and legionnaires are still out looking for survivors. J doesn't know why he wasn't called in to help look or why the PAF (his branch of the police) hasn't been cited in the news reports on the tragedy.

(Taken by one of J's colleagues from the police helicopter). That's a Gendarmerie boat (military police) stopping the kwasa-kwasa.

(Taken by one of J's colleagues) The horrifying thing about this photo is that there are *never* kwasa-kwasas that come over with only men , and it's extremely, extremely rare to hear of one with less than 20 people aboard.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 23rd, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
This is one of the saddest glimpses there is I'm afraid

True. Every time you post about this kind of thing, it scares me that they feel that it's worth the risk. How bad must things be?

On a lighter note, I'm glad that the packing is all going well and wish you lots of success in the move!

Don't bother about my interminable commenting; if there's anything special going on, I'll send an email.
Jul. 23rd, 2008 03:43 pm (UTC)
Proof, yet again, that the world is so much bigger than I'm aware of, and that I am ignorant. These are illegal immigrants from where, trying to immigrate to where?

(And yay new house! May you enjoy your time in it.)
Jul. 31st, 2008 11:25 am (UTC)
Well, because the world *is* so big, I wouldn't classify it as ignorance. ;) These immigrants come over from Anjouan, Mayotte's nearest neighbor. Mayotte, while a French territory, is part of the Comoros archipelago and is the "best off" of the four islands since it receives millions of euros in aid each year from France (which translates to public health, education, jobs...)

And thanks! The new house is TERRIFIC!
Jul. 31st, 2008 12:05 pm (UTC)
Do they get shipped back home again if they get caught trying to immigrate? If they don't get caught, do they get to become citizens? This movement of people to where the opportunities are perceived to be better, and the various countries' attempts to control that movement, is fascinating.

Jul. 31st, 2008 12:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, they do get shipped back. And the return home is paid, naturally, by the French govt. Because of the "free" ticket, even those who are ready to go "home," for good or for a visit, "turn themselves in" so that they can get fly or boat back for no cost. It is rare that a kwasa (the name of the boats that carry the immigrants) leaves Mayotte with any passengers, but some young men have been known to do it to prove their bravery.

The immigrants can apply for citizenship, but they have to find a "sponsor' first who will give them a job and basically be their supporter through the application process. A lot of metropolitan French (I don't know if the word translates the same in English, but by that I mean "Frenchman born in mainland France," as opposed to the Mahorais, who also have the French nationality) help out the Anjouanais in this way. Another way to get citizenship is through marriage or for a woman to have a baby by a "French" man.
Jul. 31st, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC)
So, a lot like we do here. Interesting.

I think the usual English understanding of "metropolitan" is one who lives in a city. I don't know what I'd use if trying to denote someone from a country that has both mainland and territories. In this country, it seems those born in territories cling to their national identities - so we have Puerto Ricans, though PR is a territory of the US, and Samoans, though American Samoa is, I think, still a territory of the US. Hmm.
Jul. 31st, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
*nods* That's how I thought we used metropolitan. :P But to avoid any hurt feelings (ie, "I'm true French, and you're not), the metros refer to themselves that way, and the Mahorais tend to say "mouzoungous."

Oh, and I don't think a woman can necessarily get the nationality even if she has "French" babies, but she can get a visa and can't be kicked out of the country since her children are French.


I looked up "metropolitan" on the Online Etymology Dictionary and one of the roots it gave is: In Gk., "parent state of a colony;" so I guess that's the usage the French are evoking.
Jul. 23rd, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
It's stories like that that make me realize I'm pretty damn lucky to live in a country people are willing to risk their lives to get to.
Jul. 31st, 2008 11:11 am (UTC)
I'm the same. It isn't pride over something I had no control over, just simple gratitude.
Nov. 15th, 2013 03:41 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, Miq, how terrible. Thanks for sharing the picture :-(
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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