Daily Archives: September 29, 2016

115 - Eclipse! - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

On the first of September 2016, La Reunion became one of the few places on Earth where you could witness the annular solar eclipse! An annular eclipse is when the moon is far enough away from the Earth during a solar eclipse, that the outer edge of the sun can still be seen.

The first of September was a Thursday so I was at work at the upper school in St Joseph, I had a group of second-year studentsto look after during the event. I briefed them on the dangers of looking at the sun, and handed out their glasses. They were really excited all afternoon; jumping around, asking questions. Some were even worried about becoming blind if their glasses became damaged!

The annular eclipse was to pass over central Africa, out over the Indian Ocean and pass over La Reunion early in the afternoon. I reminded the students how lucky they were to be provided with glasses, as it was doubtful that every child in the African continent would be protected against the harmful effects of looking directly at the eclipse.

Back in Saint Joseph, the weather was not great, the sky became overcast late in the morning and it looked like it would not change. All the students gathered outside and looked up at the grey sky. There were groans of disappointment, but we were all still hopeful that the sky clear, even for a second. Twenty minutes passed and the clouds started to disperse just a little. Everyone looked up, hoping that the hole in the clouds would pass between the eclipse and us. And it did! Cheers of joy erupted on the playground! It was like the home team scored the winning goal in the 90th minute!

Every thirty minutes or so another hole would appear in the clouds and the same shouts would sweep over the school! Now this was an interesting way to experience the eclipse!

In total we must have seen it for about a minute all afternoon. I called my wife and James later who were in Saint Paul and Saint Denis respectively, and they told me that there wasn't a cloud in the sky for them! Ah, well. Maybe next time I'll have better weather. I think I'll be about two-hundred... 

Vocabulary

few - peu

to witness - témoigner

far away - loin

outer edge - bord extérieur

upper school - lycée

 

to look after - prendre soin

to hand out - distribuer

to jump - sauter

blind - aveugle

to be provided - bénéficier

 

harmful - nocif

overcast - couvert

to gather - rassembler

to groan - gémir

hopeful - optimiste

 

hole - trou

to sweep over - engloutir

00:0000:00

115 - Eclipse! - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

On the first of September 2016, La Reunion became one of the few places on Earth where you could witness the annular solar eclipse! An annular eclipse is when the moon is far enough away from the Earth during a solar eclipse, that the outer edge of the sun can still be seen.

The first of September was a Thursday so I was at work at the upper school in St Joseph, I had a group of second-year studentsto look after during the event. I briefed them on the dangers of looking at the sun, and handed out their glasses. They were really excited all afternoon; jumping around, asking questions. Some were even worried about becoming blind if their glasses became damaged!

The annular eclipse was to pass over central Africa, out over the Indian Ocean and pass over La Reunion early in the afternoon. I reminded the students how lucky they were to be provided with glasses, as it was doubtful that every child in the African continent would be protected against the harmful effects of looking directly at the eclipse.

Back in Saint Joseph, the weather was not great, the sky became overcast late in the morning and it looked like it would not change. All the students gathered outside and looked up at the grey sky. There were groans of disappointment, but we were all still hopeful that the sky clear, even for a second. Twenty minutes passed and the clouds started to disperse just a little. Everyone looked up, hoping that the hole in the clouds would pass between the eclipse and us. And it did! Cheers of joy erupted on the playground! It was like the home team scored the winning goal in the 90th minute!

Every thirty minutes or so another hole would appear in the clouds and the same shouts would sweep over the school! Now this was an interesting way to experience the eclipse!

In total we must have seen it for about a minute all afternoon. I called my wife and James later who were in Saint Paul and Saint Denis respectively, and they told me that there wasn't a cloud in the sky for them! Ah, well. Maybe next time I'll have better weather. I think I'll be about two-hundred... 

Vocabulary

few - peu

to witness - témoigner

far away - loin

outer edge - bord extérieur

upper school - lycée

 

to look after - prendre soin

to hand out - distribuer

to jump - sauter

blind - aveugle

to be provided - bénéficier

 

harmful - nocif

overcast - couvert

to gather - rassembler

to groan - gémir

hopeful - optimiste

 

hole - trou

to sweep over - engloutir

00:0000:00

115 - Eclipse!

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

On the first of September 2016, La Reunion became one of the few places on Earth where you could witness the annular solar eclipse! An annular eclipse is when the moon is far enough away from the Earth during a solar eclipse, that the outer edge of the sun can still be seen.

The first of September was a Thursday so I was at work at the upper school in St Joseph, I had a group of second-year students to look after during the event. I briefed them on the dangers of looking at the sun, and handed out their glasses. They were really excited all afternoon; jumping around, asking questions. Some were even worried about becoming blind if their glasses became damaged!

The annular eclipse was to pass over central Africa, out over the Indian Ocean and pass over La Reunion early in the afternoon. I reminded the students how lucky they were to be provided with glasses, as it was doubtful that every child in the African continent would be protected against the harmful effects of looking directly at the eclipse.

Back in Saint Joseph, the weather was not great, the sky became overcast late in the morning and it looked like it would not change. All the students gathered outside and looked up at the grey sky. There were groans of disappointment, but we were all still hopeful that the sky clear, even for a second. Twenty minutes passed and the clouds started to disperse just a little. Everyone looked up, hoping that the hole in the clouds would pass between the eclipse and us. And it did! Cheers of joy erupted on the playground! It was like the home team scored the winning goal in the 90th minute!

Every thirty minutes or so another hole would appear in the clouds and the same shouts would sweep over the school! Now this was an interesting way to experience the eclipse!

In total we must have seen it for about a minute all afternoon. I called my wife and James later who were in Saint Paul and Saint Denis respectively, and they told me that there wasn't a cloud in the sky for them! Ah, well. Maybe next time I'll have better weather. I think I'll be about two-hundred... 

Vocabulary

few - peu

to witness - témoigner

far away - loin

outer edge - bord extérieur

upper school - lycée

 

to look after - prendre soin

to hand out - distribuer

to jump - sauter

blind - aveugle

to be provided - bénéficier

 

harmful - nocif

overcast - couvert

to gather - rassembler

to groan - gémir

hopeful - optimiste

 

hole - trou

to sweep over - engloutir

00:0000:00

114 - Beginner’s Luck - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Often when asked the question “what’s your favourite sport”, I really want to answer “snorkelling”. But I have been corrected many times, snorkelling apparently does not constitute as a sport. I would be lying if I said that I liked swimming, I’m not really in love with swimming, and public pools gross me out. I just like seeing fish, and sometimes when I swim really fast it feels like exercise. After all, part of the definition of sport is: an activity involving physical exertion and skill. So, breathing through a snorkel without fogging up the mask demonstrates skill, and following fish around the lagoon completes the physical exertion part, so there we have it; my favourite sport! 

With that being said, since coming to Reunion I practice my favourite sport as much as possible (since I didn’t have many chances to practice in my hometownToronto) and I would like to think that I know the lagoon, especially in St Leu, like the back of my hand. I have seen octopusmoray eelsboxfishlionfish, evensquid!! I thought I had seen everything there was to see without venturing beyond the coral barrier.

However, my in-laws came on vacation last November and within a week of being here my father-in-law came back from snorkelling in Trou D’Eau and announced that he had just been swimming with a huge ray! I was green with envy, why haven’t I gone swimming in the lagoon with a ray? I jumped in the water right away and went searching for the ray.  But as luck may have it, I came back disappointed; the ray was nowhere to be seen.

A few days later my sister-in-law went snorkelling in St. Leu, while I stayed on the beach.  What a mistake, she came back excited telling us how she had just spent fifteen minutes or more swimming with a turtle! I have swum with turtles before, but not in the lagoon in St. Leu. I was jealous for the second time that week. 

So, I started wondering why I had never seen these big magnificent creatures in the lagoon and visitors who have only been snorkelling a few times were finding them with ease? I came to the conclusion that either it can all be chalked up to beginners luck, or my in-laws were pulling my leg. They did happen to forget their underwater camera both times.  Ever since then, I have kept my eyes peeled, looking for turtles or rays, or maybe I’ll just have to settle for a visit to Kélonia or the Aquarium in St Gilles.

 

Vocabulary

snorkelling - palmes, masque, tuba

to gross out - dégouter

exertion - effort

fogging up - buée dans le masque

to demonstrate - démontrer

 

that being said - ceci dit

hometown - ville natale

like the back of my hand - comme le fond de ma poche

octopus - pieuvre

moray eels - murène

 

boxfish - poisson coffre

lionfish - poisson-lion

squid - calamar

father-in-law – beau père

green with envy - vert de jalousie

 

ease - aisance

to chalk up - engranger

pulling my leg - faire marcher qqn

to keep your eyes peeled – garder les yeux grand ouvert

to settle for - se contenter de

00:0000:00

114 - Beginner’s Luck - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Often when asked the question “what’s your favourite sport”, I really want to answer “snorkelling”. But I have been corrected many times, snorkelling apparently does not constitute as a sport. I would be lying if I said that I liked swimming, I’m not really in love with swimming, and public pools gross me out. I just like seeing fish, and sometimes when I swim really fast it feels like exercise. After all, part of the definition of sport is: an activity involving physical exertion and skill. So, breathing through a snorkel without fogging up the mask demonstrates skill, and following fish around the lagoon completes the physical exertion part, so there we have it; my favourite sport! 

With that being said, since coming to Reunion I practice my favourite sport as much as possible (since I didn’t have many chances to practice in my hometownToronto) and I would like to think that I know the lagoon, especially in St Leu, like the back of my hand. I have seen octopusmoray eelsboxfishlionfish, evensquid!! I thought I had seen everything there was to see without venturing beyond the coral barrier.

However, my in-laws came on vacation last November and within a week of being here my father-in-law came back from snorkelling in Trou D’Eau and announced that he had just been swimming with a huge ray! I was green with envy, why haven’t I gone swimming in the lagoon with a ray? I jumped in the water right away and went searching for the ray.  But as luck may have it, I came back disappointed; the ray was nowhere to be seen.

A few days later my sister-in-law went snorkelling in St. Leu, while I stayed on the beach.  What a mistake, she came back excited telling us how she had just spent fifteen minutes or more swimming with a turtle! I have swum with turtles before, but not in the lagoon in St. Leu. I was jealous for the second time that week. 

So, I started wondering why I had never seen these big magnificent creatures in the lagoon and visitors who have only been snorkelling a few times were finding them with ease? I came to the conclusion that either it can all be chalked up to beginners luck, or my in-laws were pulling my leg. They did happen to forget their underwater camera both times.  Ever since then, I have kept my eyes peeled, looking for turtles or rays, or maybe I’ll just have to settle for a visit to Kélonia or the Aquarium in St Gilles.

 

Vocabulary

snorkelling - palmes, masque, tuba

to gross out - dégouter

exertion - effort

fogging up - buée dans le masque

to demonstrate - démontrer

 

that being said - ceci dit

hometown - ville natale

like the back of my hand - comme le fond de ma poche

octopus - pieuvre

moray eels - murène

 

boxfish - poisson coffre

lionfish - poisson-lion

squid - calamar

father-in-law – beau père

green with envy - vert de jalousie

 

ease - aisance

to chalk up - engranger

pulling my leg - faire marcher qqn

to keep your eyes peeled – garder les yeux grand ouvert

to settle for - se contenter de

00:0000:00

114 - Beginner’s Luck

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Often when asked the question “what’s your favourite sport”, I really want to answer “snorkelling”. But I have been corrected many times, snorkelling apparently does not constitute as a sport. I would be lying if I said that I liked swimming, I’m not really in love with swimming, and public pools gross me out. I just like seeing fish, and sometimes when I swim really fast it feels like exercise. After all, part of the definition of sport is: an activity involving physical exertion and skill. So, breathing through a snorkel without fogging up the mask demonstrates skill, and following fish around the lagoon completes the physical exertion part, so there we have it; my favourite sport! 

With that being said, since coming to Reunion I practice my favourite sport as much as possible (since I didn’t have many chances to practice in my hometown Toronto) and I would like to think that I know the lagoon, especially in St Leu, like the back of my hand. I have seen octopus, moray eels, boxfish, lionfish, even squid!! I thought I had seen everything there was to see without venturing beyond the coral barrier.

However, my in-laws came on vacation last November and within a week of being here my father-in-law came back from snorkelling in Trou D’Eau and announced that he had just been swimming with a huge ray! I was green with envy, why haven’t I gone swimming in the lagoon with a ray? I jumped in the water right away and went searching for the ray.  But as luck may have it, I came back disappointed; the ray was nowhere to be seen.

A few days later my sister-in-law went snorkelling in St. Leu, while I stayed on the beach.  What a mistake, she came back excited telling us how she had just spent fifteen minutes or more swimming with a turtle! I have swum with turtles before, but not in the lagoon in St. Leu. I was jealous for the second time that week. 

So, I started wondering why I had never seen these big magnificent creatures in the lagoon and visitors who have only been snorkelling a few times were finding them with ease? I came to the conclusion that either it can all be chalked up to beginners luck, or my in-laws were pulling my leg. They did happen to forget their underwater camera both times.  Ever since then, I have kept my eyes peeled, looking for turtles or rays, or maybe I’ll just have to settle for a visit to Kélonia or the Aquarium in St Gilles.

 

Vocabulary

snorkelling - palmes, masque, tuba

to gross out - dégouter

exertion - effort

fogging up - buée dans le masque

to demonstrate - démontrer

 

that being said - ceci dit

hometown - ville natale

like the back of my hand - comme le fond de ma poche

octopus - pieuvre

moray eels - murène

 

boxfish - poisson coffre

lionfish - poisson-lion

squid - calamar

father-in-law – beau père

green with envy - vert de jalousie

 

ease - aisance

to chalk up - engranger

pulling my leg - faire marcher qqn

to keep your eyes peeled – garder les yeux grand ouvert

to settle for - se contenter de

00:0000:00

108 - Why (did I stay in) Reunion? - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

In aprevious podcast I answered thequestion that so many people ask us nativeEnglish speakers: ‘Why did you cometo Reunion?’ For this week’s episode I’m going to answer a question whichfor me is much more important: ‘Why didyou stay?’

Answeringthis is quite emotional, for I realizethat, after sixteen years on the island, the reasons for staying have shaped my entire life. I would saythere are two groups, the first being a list of quite specific points in noparticular order:

The food,the beaches, snorkelling at Boucan,the outdoor lifestyle, theimpossible blue of a cloudless Reunionese sky and the fact one can spend 10months of the year wearing just a pair of shorts. Not at work, of course. Whatelse? The amazing people who have become my friends and the hardworking colleagues and clients withwhom I’ve had the pleasure to work, and the warm and open population.

The secondgroup of reasons is more general – here’s my top three in ascending order:

Number 3)People born in Reunion grow up with this stunningsurrounding scenery, but I often feel it’s important to point out just howphenomenal, outstanding and singularthe geographical relief of the island really is. Looking out across Mafate fromLe Maido, the volcano from Oratoire St Therese or Cilaos from Le Piton desNeiges are privileged moments which make me feel at one with nature and truly alive. These are feelings that I haverarely had in England or Mainland France.

Number 2)Much like the landscape, some failto realize just how unique it is that a place in the world exists where peopleof all races and religions live together, not onlypeacefully but also with mutual respect. This makes Reunion afantastic place for children to grow up,and the fact that my children, two little ‘Portoises’,have had this opportunity will help to make them tolerant and accepting human beings.

And number1) I guess that big cities where I have lived such as London, Paris andValparaiso (in Chile) seem so impressiveand awesome at first, but thisdoesn’t mean that choosing to live in Reunion is an easy alternative. As theysay, size is not important – big cities soon lose their attraction and the awe turns to boredom. People have asked me if I feel claustrophobic on a smallisland. In reply, I ask ‘how far away isyourhorizon? Can you see past the next building?’ I’ve been either hiking or mountain-running at least oncea month for all these years, and there are still loads of footpathsleft for me to discover…

Which Iguess brings me to my conclusion: living on Reunion is a constant adventure,and isn’t that exactly what we all wishfrom life?

Vocabulary

to answer - répondre
native English speakers - Anglophones
to realize - se rendre compte
to shape - façonner
snorkelling - palmes-masque-tuba 

outdoor - extérieur
hardworking - bosseur
ascending - croissant
stunning - époustouflant
outstanding - remarquable             

at one - en symbiose
landscape - paysage
peacefully - paisiblement
to grow up - grandir
human beings - êtres humains 

impressive - impressionnant
awesome - formidable
awe - admiration
boredom - ennui
hikling - randonner 

footpaths - sentiers
to wish - souhaiter

00:0000:00

108 - Why (did I stay in) Reunion? - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

In aprevious podcast I answered thequestion that so many people ask us nativeEnglish speakers: ‘Why did you cometo Reunion?’ For this week’s episode I’m going to answer a question whichfor me is much more important: ‘Why didyou stay?’

Answeringthis is quite emotional, for I realizethat, after sixteen years on the island, the reasons for staying have shaped my entire life. I would saythere are two groups, the first being a list of quite specific points in noparticular order:

The food,the beaches, snorkelling at Boucan,the outdoor lifestyle, theimpossible blue of a cloudless Reunionese sky and the fact one can spend 10months of the year wearing just a pair of shorts. Not at work, of course. Whatelse? The amazing people who have become my friends and the hardworking colleagues and clients withwhom I’ve had the pleasure to work, and the warm and open population.

The secondgroup of reasons is more general – here’s my top three in ascending order:

Number 3)People born in Reunion grow up with this stunningsurrounding scenery, but I often feel it’s important to point out just howphenomenal, outstanding and singularthe geographical relief of the island really is. Looking out across Mafate fromLe Maido, the volcano from Oratoire St Therese or Cilaos from Le Piton desNeiges are privileged moments which make me feel at one with nature and truly alive. These are feelings that I haverarely had in England or Mainland France.

Number 2)Much like the landscape, some failto realize just how unique it is that a place in the world exists where peopleof all races and religions live together, not onlypeacefully but also with mutual respect. This makes Reunion afantastic place for children to grow up,and the fact that my children, two little ‘Portoises’,have had this opportunity will help to make them tolerant and accepting human beings.

And number1) I guess that big cities where I have lived such as London, Paris andValparaiso (in Chile) seem so impressiveand awesome at first, but thisdoesn’t mean that choosing to live in Reunion is an easy alternative. As theysay, size is not important – big cities soon lose their attraction and the awe turns to boredom. People have asked me if I feel claustrophobic on a smallisland. In reply, I ask ‘how far away isyourhorizon? Can you see past the next building?’ I’ve been either hiking or mountain-running at least oncea month for all these years, and there are still loads of footpathsleft for me to discover…

Which Iguess brings me to my conclusion: living on Reunion is a constant adventure,and isn’t that exactly what we all wishfrom life?

Vocabulary

to answer - répondre
native English speakers - Anglophones
to realize - se rendre compte
to shape - façonner
snorkelling - palmes-masque-tuba 

outdoor - extérieur
hardworking - bosseur
ascending - croissant
stunning - époustouflant
outstanding - remarquable             

at one - en symbiose
landscape - paysage
peacefully - paisiblement
to grow up - grandir
human beings - êtres humains 

impressive - impressionnant
awesome - formidable
awe - admiration
boredom - ennui
hikling - randonner 

footpaths - sentiers
to wish - souhaiter

00:0000:00

109 - Welcome to Reunion! I Think… - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

This story goes back a fewyears, January 2014 to be exact. A huge ice storm had just hit myhometownin Toronto. I’m talking fallen trees, power failures in -20 degreeweather, and sadly, people freezing to death.  Meanwhile, here in Reunion island wewere facing some troubles of our own as cyclone Bejisa stormed through, knockingdown trees and sending huge wavesthrough the walls of houses along thecoast.

My little sister, eighteen atthe time, had planned her first vacation. First long plane ride, first timeseeing the ocean, and second real trip away from Canada.  She had two planes to catch, one airporttransfer by bus, thirty-six hours of travelling and she didn’t speak a word ofFrench.  She was leaving from a cold,icy, Toronto without electricity and the plane was set to land in Reunion onthe third of January 2014.  As some ofyou may remember this was just after Bejisa, so I was desperately tryingto find a signal on my phone to find out if her flight had beendelayedand for how long, trying to bail the ankle deep lake out of mycar due to a broken window, and waiting for the roads to open.

Finally, Freedom Radioannounced that the mountain road was open, so we put down a tarp on theseats, so my sister didn’t have to sit in a puddle, and hit the road.  Taking La Montagne to get to the airportright after a cyclone was a challenge to say the least, crossing waterfalls,fallen trees, and electrical lines.

Meanwhile my sister had beenwaiting for hours in St. Denis, after a very long flight and a lot ofmisinformation, she had no way of contacting me and no idea what was goingon.  A look ofrelief swept overher when we finally pulled up in our soaking wet car. She kept her eyesopen the whole way home, commenting on how beautiful our island is! All I couldsee was the mess that Bejisa had left.  

My sister can now look backwith fond memories and remember her first day on the island, which shespent helping us collect hundreds of mangoes exploded all over our garden,sweeping leaves off the patio, andgoing to the beach to have a shower since we still didn’t have water.  And to top it all off, ten days after BejisaEDF happily announced on the radio that there were less than five houses stillwaiting for electricity on the island, of course, our house happened to be oneof those five but like my sister said “At least its not -20°C”.

Vocabulary

icestorm - tempête de glace
hometown- ville natale
powerfailure - coupure de courant
tofreeze to death - crever de froid
meanwhile- pendant ce temps 

to knockdown - faire tomber
waves- vagues
desperately- désespérément
signal- réseau
delayed- retardé 

to bailout - écoper
ankledeep - arriver jusqu’aux chevilles
dueto - à cause de
tarp- bâche
puddle- flaque d’eau 

to hitthe road - prendre la route
relief- soulagement
soaking- trempé
fondmemories - bons souvenirs
to sweep - balayer

00:0000:00

109 - Welcome to Reunion! I Think… - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

This story goes back a fewyears, January 2014 to be exact. A huge ice storm had just hit myhometownin Toronto. I’m talking fallen trees, power failures in -20 degreeweather, and sadly, people freezing to death.  Meanwhile, here in Reunion island wewere facing some troubles of our own as cyclone Bejisa stormed through, knockingdown trees and sending huge wavesthrough the walls of houses along thecoast.

My little sister, eighteen atthe time, had planned her first vacation. First long plane ride, first timeseeing the ocean, and second real trip away from Canada.  She had two planes to catch, one airporttransfer by bus, thirty-six hours of travelling and she didn’t speak a word ofFrench.  She was leaving from a cold,icy, Toronto without electricity and the plane was set to land in Reunion onthe third of January 2014.  As some ofyou may remember this was just after Bejisa, so I was desperately tryingto find a signal on my phone to find out if her flight had beendelayedand for how long, trying to bail the ankle deep lake out of mycar due to a broken window, and waiting for the roads to open.

Finally, Freedom Radioannounced that the mountain road was open, so we put down a tarp on theseats, so my sister didn’t have to sit in a puddle, and hit the road.  Taking La Montagne to get to the airportright after a cyclone was a challenge to say the least, crossing waterfalls,fallen trees, and electrical lines.

Meanwhile my sister had beenwaiting for hours in St. Denis, after a very long flight and a lot ofmisinformation, she had no way of contacting me and no idea what was goingon.  A look ofrelief swept overher when we finally pulled up in our soaking wet car. She kept her eyesopen the whole way home, commenting on how beautiful our island is! All I couldsee was the mess that Bejisa had left.  

My sister can now look backwith fond memories and remember her first day on the island, which shespent helping us collect hundreds of mangoes exploded all over our garden,sweeping leaves off the patio, andgoing to the beach to have a shower since we still didn’t have water.  And to top it all off, ten days after BejisaEDF happily announced on the radio that there were less than five houses stillwaiting for electricity on the island, of course, our house happened to be oneof those five but like my sister said “At least its not -20°C”.

Vocabulary

icestorm - tempête de glace
hometown- ville natale
powerfailure - coupure de courant
tofreeze to death - crever de froid
meanwhile- pendant ce temps 

to knockdown - faire tomber
waves- vagues
desperately- désespérément
signal- réseau
delayed- retardé 

to bailout - écoper
ankledeep - arriver jusqu’aux chevilles
dueto - à cause de
tarp- bâche
puddle- flaque d’eau 

to hitthe road - prendre la route
relief- soulagement
soaking- trempé
fondmemories - bons souvenirs
to sweep - balayer

00:0000:00