Where’s the fence keeping those zebus off the runway? Which was followed quickly by “it’s hot but not as hot as Qatar.”
2) Mayotte c’est pour toi, peu de terre ou beaucoup de mer? (Mayotte is, for you, little land or lots of sea?)
Lots of sea. Does that make me an optimist? *bats eyelashes* Seriously though the small surface covered by the islands doesn’t bother me at all, something that may be strange considering I love wide open spaces. Even though we’ve been here a year, there are still many, many places to explore and discover. I’ve never once felt hemmed in.
3) Ton meilleur moment à Mayotte ? (Your best moment in Mayotte?)
I was actually afraid this question was coming. What’s the best? I’m not really sure I can name just one. For me, the best moments are those when I look around and have that “I’m so lucky” feeling--a feeling I had the first time I watched dozens of baby turtles flapping their way over sandy obstacles to the sea; a feeling I’ve had several times while swimming with Núria for exercise when we stop and look at the coconut trees swaying on the cliffs above and mutually remind each other that this is an extraordinary place we are living in; a feeling I get when we fly over the waves in the boat to a wild, unclaimed islet, knowing that dolphins or whales could surge up around us at any time--so lots of moments, but always the moments when the awareness of the beauty around me is present.
4) Que penses tu pouvoir faire pendant ta deuxième année ? (What do you think you will be able to do during your second year here?)
I hope that we will get to take at least one trip to the neighboring islands, either the Comoros or Madagascar (I know we can--si Dieu le veut--do more traveling during our third year). However, I don’t really have a checklist of things I want to do or see. I’m happy to just go along experiencing whatever comes my way. That laidback attitude can be a bit of a trap, though, in that time slips away and before you know it, you have to leave and suddenly realize there were one or two things you would have liked to do…
5) Pourrais tu y passer deux ou trois ans de plus ? (Could you stay two or three years more?)
Yes. At the beginning, I would have said that three years total would be enough for me, but as I’ve grown used to the life and the culture (and to be honest, since we got the boat), I think I could stay four. You never know when such an opportunity will come along again. Have to take advantage of it while we can. That said, I’m not sure I’d want to spend the rest of my life here. I like change too much.
6) Vas-tu concrétiser tes projets artistiques à Mayotte ? (Are you going to concretize your artistic projects here in Mayotte?)
Wellllll, I’ve made a start at them. *grin* I guess it depends on what “concretize” means. I’ve accomplished the realization of a few, and I will (by gum!) continue to make things. Whether or not I find a market for them is another matter. Where the jewelry is concerned, I think I could take a stab at it around Christmas time, but as for paintings, I’ll have to see what I can turn out before I try to sell anything.
7) Tes plus belles rencontres ? (Your best encounters/meetings ?)
In terms of the first, I guess I would say the people in general, how friendly and willing to respond to a smile they were. Next, I guess I would have to say the neighbor kids, specifically Florine and Zelda. It took a little while for them to warm up to us, and despite how annoying it is to always hear “Miquela! Miquela!” shouted in the streets, I appreciate having contact with them. The universal way children have of confiding in you is endearing. I appreciate our other neighbors, but with adults one tends to want to go a bit deeper in conversation and because of the language barrier, it isn’t always easy. For that reason, too many times, our exchanges involve a bit of frustration in not being understood or being incapable of understanding.
Probably the meeting that I will treasure the most is finding Núria. I would have never thought I would get along so well with her. In real life, ie, not on the net, I tend to be standoffish to selfishly keep my alone time, but there are people that overcome my urge to fling out the arm’s-length barriers and she is one of them. Despite the fact that we don’t share a native language and we both make horrid mistakes in French, we always understand each other. I’m happy I met her.