Daily Archives: April 24, 2014

8S - Big Bernard’s Coolbox

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Big Bernard's Coolbox
On a tropical island like Reunion, we all like a cold drink.  Fridges all over the island are full of Dodos, Phoenixes and Fischers. Could we live without our fridges and freezers? Certainly not.
Before the 20th century, the people of Reunion had to survive without such a luxury. But did they accept to drink lukewarm aperitifs and tepid ice tea? Certainly not. Up in the hills of the west coast they found an open-air natural fridge, a massive store of ice cubes called La Glacière. Did the rich slave-owners climb up there to get the ice themselves? Certainly not. They sent their slaves up there, on a hike which lasted several hours, close to the summit of Grand Benare (which I have always called Big Bernard) and then they would have to carry blocks of ice weighing over 20 kilos back down to the coast. Remember that the next time you put ice in your drink!
Today, you can still visit Big Bernard's Coolbox. But unfortunately you won't find any ice. What seemed like an unlimited supply, soon dried up. But it's a fantastic trek. Park up at Le Maido, then follow the footpath up along the ridge overlooking Mafate. The walk up to La Glacière will take you at least 2 hours, but be sure to continue up to the summit. At 2896m, it's the island's second highest peak, and just as spectacular as Le Piton des Neiges.
For your own safety, don't forget the three essential objects: one, a sunhat; two, sun cream; and three, a bottle opener for your cold beers so you can drink a toast to Big Bernard!
Vocabulary:
coolbox = glacière
fridge = frigo
lukewarm = tiède
tepid = tiède
themselves = eux-mêmes
hike = randonnée
to last = durer
to carry = porter
unfortunately = malheureusement
supply = fourniture
to dry up = se tarir
ridge = crète
to overlook = surplomber
be sure to = n’oubliez pas à
bottle opener = décapsuleur
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8N - Big Bernard’s Coolbox

Visit www.anglais.re for more! 

Big Bernard's Coolbox

On a tropical island like Reunion, we all like a cold drink.  Fridges all over the island are full of Dodos, Phoenixes and Fischers. Could we live without our fridges and freezers? Certainly not.

 

Before the 20th century, the people of Reunion had to survive without such a luxury. But did they accept to drink lukewarm aperitifs and tepid ice tea? Certainly not. Up in the hills of the west coast they found an open-air natural fridge, a massive store of ice cubes called La Glacière. Did the rich slave-owners climb up there to get the ice themselves? Certainly not. They sent their slaves up there, on a hike which lasted several hours, close to the summit of Grand Benare (which I have always called Big Bernard) and then they would have to carry blocks of ice weighing over 20 kilos back down to the coast. Remember that the next time you put ice in your drink!

 

Today, you can still visit Big Bernard's Coolbox. But unfortunately you won't find any ice. What seemed like an unlimited supply, soon dried up. But it's a fantastic trek. Park up at Le Maido, then follow the footpath up along the ridge overlooking Mafate. The walk up to La Glacière will take you at least 2 hours, but be sure to continue up to the summit. At 2896m, it's the island's second highest peak, and just as spectacular as Le Piton des Neiges.

 

For your own safety, don't forget the three essential objects: one, a sunhat; two, sun cream; and three, a bottle opener for your cold beers so you can drink a toast to Big Bernard!

 

Vocabulary:

 

coolbox = glacière

fridge = frigo

lukewarm = tiède

tepid = tiède

themselves = eux-mêmes

hike = randonnée

to last = durer

to carry = porter

unfortunately = malheureusement

supply = fourniture

to dry up = se tarir

ridge = crète

to overlook = surplomber

be sure to = n’oubliez pas à

bottle opener = décapsuleur

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7S - Dimitile

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Dimitile

As our time comes to a close for the language assistants on Réunion Island, it is a time for joy, a time for tears, a time for hugs and, of course, a time for harrowing moonlit hiking excursions capped by jovial feasts and accordion-filled serenades atop a mountain summit. Ok, perhaps this isn't the most ordinary way to bid farewell, but for the language assistants of Réunion Island, our style is anything but ordinary. It is for this same reason that this unconventional last hurrah for our German companions hit right on the mark.

The activities began on an early Saturday afternoon as assistants assembled and left in small groups from the various trail departure points accessible from the village Entre-Deux. After a slightly delayed start, we were on our way, ascending towards the peak. Although there are four main hiking trails leading to the peak, all of the assistants chose either Zèbre, the second most difficult, or Chapelle, widely considered the easiest of the four.

Despite leaving at different times and hiking at various speeds, most of us arrived at our final destination, Chez Valmir, by 6pm. By 7pm the high-spirited hikers collected together for an aperitif at the central refuge. The celebration livened as we mixed and mingled, punch in hand, and Valmir began to regale us with songs on his accordion.

Near 8pm the tables were set and we seated ourselves at the benches in the dining hall, which resembled something of a medieval German alehouse. The food was sizzling in massive pots in the fireplace, ready to be served. The plates were passed around and we dined like royalty on yellow rice with saffron, marinated chicken and shrimp in a red sauce with herbs and spices. As dinner came to a close and we received our desert fruit cocktails, Valmir came out once again and serenaded us, this time with a guitar and accordion.

At nearly 9:30pm, our final two hiking groups arrived to a joyous applause and standing ovation. The fun was now officially ready to begin as we stood on tables and benches, arm in arm, swaying to the beat. Tables disappeared as the dining hall gave way to a large open dance floor where we danced the night away.

Another typical adventure for the language assistants of Réunion Island. I bet you always wondered what your teachers did in their free time...

Harrowing: périlleux

Capped: fini avec


Trail: sentier


Mingle: se mêler à

Alehouse: taverne

Sizzling: grésillant

Fireplace: cheminée

Swaying: ondulant

Wondered: se demander

 

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7N - Dimitile

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Dimitile

As our time comes to a close for the language assistants on Réunion Island, it is a time for joy, a time for tears, a time for hugs and, of course, a time for harrowing moonlit hiking excursions capped by jovial feasts and accordion-filled serenades atop a mountain summit. Ok, perhaps this isn't the most ordinary way to bid farewell, but for the language assistants of Réunion Island, our style is anything but ordinary. It is for this same reason that this unconventional last hurrah for our German companions hit right on the mark.

The activities began on an early Saturday afternoon as assistants assembled and left in small groups from the various trail departure points accessible from the village Entre-Deux. After a slightly delayed start, we were on our way, ascending towards the peak. Although there are four main hiking trails leading to the peak, all of the assistants chose either Zèbre, the second most difficult, or Chapelle, widely considered the easiest of the four.

Despite leaving at different times and hiking at various speeds, most of us arrived at our final destination, Chez Valmir, by 6pm. By 7pm the high-spirited hikers collected together for an aperitif at the central refuge. The celebration livened as we mixed and mingled, punch in hand, and Valmir began to regale us with songs on his accordion.

Near 8pm the tables were set and we seated ourselves at the benches in the dining hall, which resembled something of a medieval German alehouse. The food was sizzling in massive pots in the fireplace, ready to be served. The plates were passed around and we dined like royalty on yellow rice with saffron, marinated chicken and shrimp in a red sauce with herbs and spices. As dinner came to a close and we received our desert fruit cocktails, Valmir came out once again and serenaded us, this time with a guitar and accordion.

At nearly 9:30pm, our final two hiking groups arrived to a joyous applause and standing ovation. The fun was now officially ready to begin as we stood on tables and benches, arm in arm, swaying to the beat. Tables disappeared as the dining hall gave way to a large open dance floor where we danced the night away.

Another typical adventure for the language assistants of Réunion Island. I bet you always wondered what your teachers did in their free time...

Harrowing: périlleux

Capped: fini avec


Trail: sentier


Mingle: se mêler à

Alehouse: taverne

Sizzling: grésillant

Fireplace: cheminée

Swaying: ondulant

Wondered: se demander

 

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6S - Reunions First Ever Novel

Visit www.anglais.re for more!


Reunion’s first ever novel

 

Last week, the winner of the Oscar for Best Film was ‘12 Years a Slave’, the terrible true story of Solomon Northup, a free man who was captured and sold as a slave in the USA.

 

Slavery was just as present on our island, then called Bourbon. Published four years after the abolition of slavery in 1848, ‘Les Marrons’ was considered Reunion Island’s first novel. Its two main themes were slavery and mixed marriages, which at the time made the book ‘a danger for the established order.’

 

The story follows a slave called Le Câpre, who escapes his master and flees into the mountains. Starving and hunted down by his pursuers, Le Câpre approaches the edge of a precipice, threatened by dogs. But as he battles with them, he is forced further back, and suddenly disappears into the void..!

 

But he grabs onto a liana and takes refuge in a cave cut into the cliff-face. There he meets Marie, a young white woman accompanied by a black man called Frême and their mulatto child.

 

Accompanied by Frême, Le Câpre continues his journey towards the Salazes. Alas! The bounty-hunters have caught them up. Following a terrible battle, Frême is left for dead. Le Câpre is brought back to his master’s estate.

 

Locked up in a darkened cell, Le Câpre dreams of his wounded friend Frême, Marie and their child. The future of Bourbon Island appears to him in a vision.

 

“It will become a rich and fertile country, a land where there will be no difference in people’s colour or conditions, who will all be free; a place where, far from seeking to make war, to enslave and destroy each other, they will be content to live together, and happy to be equals, to love each other, to form unions and to help one another.”

 

At the end of the story, Le Câpre escapes and is reunited with Frême. Together they call upon a crowd of slaves to rise up and revolt…

 

Thanks for listening!

 

Vocab :

 

slavery = esclavage

novel = roman

to flee = fuir

starving = affamé

hunted down = chassé

threatened = menacé

void = vide

bounty hunter = chasseur de primes

locked up = enfermé

wounded = blessé

to rise up = se revolter  

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6N - Reunions First Ever Novel

Visit www.anglais.re for more!


Reunion’s first ever novel


Last week, the winner of the Oscar for Best Film was ‘12 Years a Slave’, the terrible true story of Solomon Northup, a free man who was captured and sold as a slave in the USA.


Slavery was just as present on our island, then called Bourbon. Published four years after the abolition of slavery in 1848, ‘Les Marrons’ was considered Reunion Island’s first novel. Its two main themes were slavery and mixed marriages, which at the time made the book ‘a danger for the established order.’

 

The story follows a slave called Le Câpre, who escapes his master and flees into the mountains. Starving and hunted down by his pursuers, Le Câpre approaches the edge of a precipice, threatened by dogs. But as he battles with them, he is forced further back, and suddenly disappears into the void..!

 

But he grabs onto a liana and takes refuge in a cave cut into the cliff-face. There he meets Marie, a young white woman accompanied by a black man called Frême and their mulatto child.

 

Accompanied by Frême, Le Câpre continues his journey towards the Salazes. Alas! The bounty-hunters have caught them up. Following a terrible battle, Frême is left for dead. Le Câpre is brought back to his master’s estate.

 

Locked up in a darkened cell, Le Câpre dreams of his wounded friend Frême, Marie and their child. The future of Bourbon Island appears to him in a vision.

 

“It will become a rich and fertile country, a land where there will be no difference in people’s colour or conditions, who will all be free; a place where, far from seeking to make war, to enslave and destroy each other, they will be content to live together, and happy to be equals, to love each other, to form unions and to help one another.”

 

At the end of the story, Le Câpre escapes and is reunited with Frême. Together they call upon a crowd of slaves to rise up and revolt…

 

Thanks for listening!

Vocab :

 

slavery = esclavage

novel = roman

to flee = fuir

starving = affamé

hunted down = chassé

threatened = menacé

void = vide

bounty hunter = chasseur de primes

locked up = enfermé

wounded = blessé

to rise up = se revolter  

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5S - Maloya

Visit www.anglais.re for more

 

Maloya

 

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to sit down and have a chat with Christine Salem, a famous Réunionese musician. After exchanging pleasantries, we chatted about maloya; one of Reunion’s local music styles, and I learned a lot.

 

For example, I learned that maloya was bought here from Africa during the time of slavery. Despite slavery being abolished in 1848, maloya was banned by the government until 1981.

 

Christine explained that it was outlawed because maloya music is trance music, it calls upon the singer’s ancestral spirits. At the time, Reunion was under strict Christian laws, and maloya was considered devil music! Anyone caught playing or singing maloya would face physical abuse, jail-time, and even having their instruments burned.

 

I found this shocking at first, then Christine reminded me that the European and African cultures at the time were very different. Namely, the African religions were heavily animistic, whereas the European religions were more monotheistic.

 

So, maloya was banned for more than one-hundred and thirty years. I asked Christine how a genre under so much pressure, could stay alive for so long. She told me that maloya was played during secret ceremonies during this time. Songs and instruments would be passed from parent to child. Thankfully, all of this is behind us, as maloya was classed by UNESCO as Réunionese intangible heritage on October the first, 2009.

 

As for musical instruments, Christine’s band play the usual maloya instruments like the kayamb, the rouler and the sati, as well as some African ones: The djembe the kinkeni and the sambang.

 

Christine plays the kayamb in her band, she told me that the kayamb is made of sugar cane flower stalk. Before being sealed, jequirity seeds are added inside. This gives the kayamb a very distinctive sound. The rouler is a drum made from a wine barrel with cowhide stretched over the top. The sati, is simply a small sheet of steel that is hit with sticks.

 

Christine started to become interested in Réunionese history at a young age. At school, she was told that her ancestors were Celtic, not African! Since then she has been researching her family tree, and discovering her roots through her real ancestors.

 

Vocabulary

 

The chance - L’occasion

 

Slavery - L’esclavage

 

Banned / Outlawed - Interdit

 

Caught - Attrapé

 

Thankfully - Heureusement

 

Heritage - Patrionage

 

Stalk - Tige

 

Sealed - Rebouchée

 

Jequirity seeds - Grain du pois rouge

 

Wine barrel - Fût de vin.

 

Cowhide - Cuir

 

Sheet of steel - Du tôle

 

Family tree - Arbe généalogique

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5N - Maloya

Visit www.anglais.re for more

 

Maloya

 

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to sit down and have a chat with Christine Salem, a famous Réunionese musician. After exchanging pleasantries, we chatted about maloya; one of Reunion’s local music styles, and I learned a lot.

 

For example, I learned that maloya was bought here from Africa during the time of slavery. Despite slavery being abolished in 1848, maloya was banned by the government until 1981.

 

Christine explained that it was outlawed because maloya music is trance music, it calls upon the singer’s ancestral spirits. At the time, Reunion was under strict Christian laws, and maloya was considered devil music! Anyone caught playing or singing maloya would face physical abuse, jail-time, and even having their instruments burned.

 

I found this shocking at first, then Christine reminded me that the European and African cultures at the time were very different. Namely, the African religions were heavily animistic, whereas the European religions were more monotheistic.

 

So, maloya was banned for more than one-hundred and thirty years. I asked Christine how a genre under so much pressure, could stay alive for so long. She told me that maloya was played during secret ceremonies during this time. Songs and instruments would be passed from parent to child. Thankfully, all of this is behind us, as maloya was classed by UNESCO as Réunionese intangible heritage on October the first, 2009.

 

As for musical instruments, Christine’s band play the usual maloya instruments like the kayamb, the rouler and the sati, as well as some African ones: The djembe the kinkeni and the sambang.

 

Christine plays the kayamb in her band, she told me that the kayamb is made of sugar cane flower stalk. Before being sealed, jequirity seeds are added inside. This gives the kayamb a very distinctive sound. The rouler is a drum made from a wine barrel with cowhide stretched over the top. The sati, is simply a small sheet of steel that is hit with sticks.

 

Christine started to become interested in Réunionese history at a young age. At school, she was told that her ancestors were Celtic, not African! Since then she has been researching her family tree, and discovering her roots through her real ancestors.

 

Vocabulary

 

The chance - L’occasion

 

Slavery - L’esclavage

 

Banned / Outlawed - Interdit

 

Caught - Attrapé

 

Thankfully - Heureusement

 

Heritage - Patrimoine

 

Stalk - Tige

 

Sealed - Rebouché

 

Jequirity seeds - Grains du pois rouge

 

Wine barrel - Fût de vin.

 

Cowhide - Cuir

 

Sheet of steel - De la tôle

 

Family tree - Arbe généalogique

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