Monthly Archives: June 2014

16S - Survival Skill Workshop

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

In my opinion, one of the best things about Reunion is how close we are to nature here. I wanted to learn more about living in nature, and stumbled upon something they called a “Survival Skills Workshop.” It was a weekend of living in nature with practically nothing—a knife, some military rations, a sleeping bag, and that's it. We met Olivier, the ex military man who taught the workshop, at Langevin, and from there we marched up and up into the forest, near a river.

 

The first thing we had to do was prepare wood for a fire, so five of us started chopping dry wood with our knives, and the other five went to go find bamboo which we cut up and used for drinking cups and plates. I didn't know that every segment of bamboo had a divider inside, so once cut, the segments make perfect cups that you can even heat over the fire! It was great for some coffee in the morning ;-)

 

After the wood and bamboo were cut, we cleared all the rocks out of a flat area, andspread leaves over it. That was were we slept, in our emergency blankets and sleeping bags to keep us warm.

 

Next we learned how to hunt zandettes—the big fat worms that live in wood. We had ten mintues to find a zandette, bring it to Olivier, and eat it in front of him---raw!!! I couldn't believe it. But I will always try anything at least once...so I started frantically cutting up wood in search of my zandette. Unfortunately, I found the biggest zandette possible and everyone “ewwwed” when I brought it to Olivier. He let me at least rip off the head first. It was slimy and disgusting and I will never eat zandette again!!

 

But the zandette wasn't the worst part!! Next, they brought out the mysterious moving bag we carried up. I figured it was a chicken...but then Olivier pulled the cutest little rabbit out of the bag!! I am a vegetarian, but I thought I was prepared to really participate in the workshop and maybe watch how a chicken is killed. As soon as I saw the rabbit, I started to cry---I couldn't imagine killing it. They all got this crazy idea that they would make one of the girls kill the rabbit! There were only three of us and all three of us were crying by now. Actually, no one wanted to kill the rabbit, and some of the men were vegetarians too. They took the rabbit to the back, and when it started to squeal, we all walked sadly to the river together so we didn't have to hear the sounds.

 

So the vegetarians ate some grilled zandettes, grilled chouchou we found near the river, and some military rations! We were happy with that.

Vocabulary

 

to stumble upon - trouver par hasard

knife - couteau

sleeping bag - sac de couchage

workshop - atelier

marched up - défiler

worm - un ver

to spread - étaler

ewww - beurk

brought out - sortir

figured - calculer

cutest - le plus mignon

squeal - cri perçant

 

00:0000:00

16N - Survival Skill Workshop

Visit www.anglais.re for more!
In my opinion, one of the best things about Reunion is how close we are to nature here. I wanted to learn more about living in nature, and stumbled upon something they called a “Survival Skills Workshop.” It was a weekend of living in nature with practically nothing—a knife, some military rations, a sleeping bag, and that's it. We met Olivier, the ex military man who taught the workshop, at Langevin, and from there we marched up and up into the forest, near a river.
 
The first thing we had to do was prepare wood for a fire, so five of us started chopping dry wood with our knives, and the other five went to go find bamboo which we cut up and used for drinking cups and plates. I didn't know that every segment of bamboo had a divider inside, so once cut, the segments make perfect cups that you can even heat over the fire! It was great for some coffee in the morning ;-)
 
After the wood and bamboo were cut, we cleared all the rocks out of a flat area, and spread leaves over it. That was were we slept, in our emergency blankets and sleeping bags to keep us warm.
 
Next we learned how to hunt zandettes—the big fat worms that live in wood. We had ten mintues to find a zandette, bring it to Olivier, and eat it in front of him---raw!!! I couldn't believe it. But I will always try anything at least once...so I started frantically cutting up wood in search of my zandette. Unfortunately, I found the biggest zandette possible and everyone “ewwwed” when I brought it to Olivier. He let me at least rip off the head first. It was slimy and disgusting and I will never eat zandette again!!
 
But the zandette wasn't the worst part!! Next, they brought out the mysterious moving bag we carried up. I figured it was a chicken...but then Olivier pulled the cutest little rabbit out of the bag!! I am a vegetarian, but I thought I was prepared to really participate in the workshop and maybe watch how a chicken is killed. As soon as I saw the rabbit, I started to cry---I couldn't imagine killing it. They all got this crazy idea that they would make one of the girls kill the rabbit! There were only three of us and all three of us were crying by now. Actually, no one wanted to kill the rabbit, and some of the men were vegetarians too. They took the rabbit to the back, and when it started to squeal, we all walked sadly to the river together so we didn't have to hear the sounds.
 
So the vegetarians ate some grilled zandettes, grilled chouchou we found near the river, and some military rations! We were happy with that.
Vocabulary
 
to stumble upon - trouver par hasard
knife - couteau
sleeping bag - sac de couchage
workshop - atelier
marched up - défiler
worm - un ver
to spread - étaler
ewww - beurk
brought out - sortir
figured - calculer
cutest - le plus mignon
squeal - cri perçant
 
00:0000:00

15S - Crossing the Island

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Do you like hiking? Are you a mountain-lover? A nature enthusiast? A thrill-seeker? A fitness freak? If so, then you would have been welcome to join me on my long trek across Reunion Island! 5 days, 4 nights, and 90 kilometres!

Day 1 started in the beautiful village of Saint-Joseph down in the south, where a nice couple gave me a lift to the stunning waterfall in Grand Galet, known as Cascade Langevin. From here the valley leads all the way up to the Plaine des Sables, and when I arrived there four hours later, I really felt like I had landed on Mars! At 2300m, that night was freezing, despite my eight blankets!

However, it was Day 2 which really blew my mind. I discovered one of the most beautiful spots on the island. Even after 14 years here I didn’t think that the island would still reveal such a sight. It is called l’Oratoire Saint-Therese - from here you can see the volcano, the Plaine des Sables, the Piton des Neiges, and even the west and east coasts. Simply breath-taking. That night was spent with my wonderful friends and family at the Gîte de Belouve.

So far, so good! No blisters, no muscle problems and no mishaps, despite the tangled roots through the forest from Piton Textor down to La Plaine des Palmistes… Day 3 wasn’t easy either: up to the Piton des Neiges and down into Cilaos, where I stayed in a cosy wooden chalet called Gîte de la Roche Merveilleuse.

I always knew that Day 4 would be the biggest challenge: the daunting ascent of the Col du Taibit, the mountain pass at 2100m between Cilaos and Mafate. After that I ran through Marla, and had time for a quick swim at Trois Roches. My final night was spent with friends in Roche Plate, before the final hurdle on Day 5: climbing up Le Maido. Even after 90km, I still had the energy to reach the top in 1h15 - my record!

The long hours of solitude were refreshing and each step was a real reward. This island is a real treasure - yes, we are lucky to live in such a place, but I’ll always say: you make your own luck. I don’t believe that each person has a destiny, but maybe we all have a destination. I’ve found mine - what about you?

Vocab:

hiking = randonner

thrill-seeker = amateur de sensations fortes

stunning = éblouissant

landed = atterri

freezing = glacial

blanket = couverture

it blew my mind = ça m’a époustouflé

breath-taking = à couper le soufflé

blister = ampoule

mishap = mésaventure

tangled roots = racines emmêlées

daunting = intimidant

hurdle = obstacle

reward = récompense

00:0000:00

15N - Crossing the Island

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Do you like hiking? Are you a mountain-lover? A nature enthusiast? A thrill-seeker? A fitness freak? If so, then you would have been welcome to join me on my long trek across Reunion Island! 5 days, 4 nights, and 90 kilometres!

Day 1 started in the beautiful village of Saint-Joseph down in the south, where a nice couple gave me a lift to the stunning waterfall in Grand Galet, known as Cascade Langevin. From here the valley leads all the way up to the Plaine des Sables, and when I arrived there four hours later, I really felt like I had landed on Mars! At 2300m, that night was freezing, despite my eight blankets!

However, it was Day 2 which really blew my mind. I discovered one of the most beautiful spots on the island. Even after 14 years here I didn’t think that the island would still reveal such a sight. It is called l’Oratoire Saint-Therese - from here you can see the volcano, the Plaine des Sables, the Piton des Neiges, and even the west and east coasts. Simply breath-taking. That night was spent with my wonderful friends and family at the Gîte de Belouve.

So far, so good! No blisters, no muscle problems and no mishaps, despite the tangled roots through the forest from Piton Textor down to La Plaine des Palmistes… Day 3 wasn’t easy either: up to the Piton des Neiges and down into Cilaos, where I stayed in a cosy wooden chalet called Gîte de la Roche Merveilleuse.

I always knew that Day 4 would be the biggest challenge: the daunting ascent of the Col du Taibit, the mountain pass at 2100m between Cilaos and Mafate. After that I ran through Marla, and had time for a quick swim at Trois Roches. My final night was spent with friends in Roche Plate, before the final hurdle on Day 5: climbing up Le Maido. Even after 90km, I still had the energy to reach the top in 1h15 - my record!

The long hours of solitude were refreshing and each step was a real reward. This island is a real treasure - yes, we are lucky to live in such a place, but I’ll always say: you make your own luck. I don’t believe that each person has a destiny, but maybe we all have a destination. I’ve found mine - what about you?

Vocabulary:

hiking = randonner

thrill-seeker = amateur de sensations fortes

stunning = éblouissant

landed = atterri

freezing = glacial

blanket = couverture

it blew my mind = ça m’a époustouflé

breath-taking = à couper le soufflé

blister = ampoule

mishap = mésaventure

tangled roots = racines emmêlées

daunting = intimidant

hurdle = obstacle

reward = récompense

00:0000:00

14S - Infused Rum

Visit www.anglais.re for more!
On the weekends, I like to go out with the family. I sometimes take my daughters to the bouncy castle in St Pierre, and I take my wife to the town centre for some shopping. But it has been very rainy recently, certainly not the weather to be walking around town, or playing near the beach.
So, a rainy weekend activity for me is flavoring rum. It’s a local tradition! And very quick & easy.
First, decide your recipe. Think of what fruits are in season, and which fruits marry well together. Banana and vanilla is great! Or what about strawberries and mango? Whichever fruits you decide to use, make sure to avoid buying them from the supermarkets. Supermarkets tend to use chemicals to speed up the growth of their produce. I always find that the best fruits are found on roadside fruit and veg stands.
Once you have decided your mix, cut the fruits up so that they will be able to fit in the neck of the rum bottle. If your fruit has a peel, don’t forget to cut that off, or it will give your rum a nasty bitter taste. I’ve even tried rum with coffee beans. And, as a joke, one of my Créole friends let me try his chili rum. That was not my favorite to say the least!
Then, get your bottle of rum. (Charette, of course!) You can use a 1l bottle, but I prefer a 1.5l bottle because it looks nicer. (and there’s more of it!) Take out about a third of the rum, then add your fruits.
To finish off, add about 50ml of cane syrup. That part is very important; the sugar helps your ingredients to mix with the rum. It also increases the alcohol content.
 
Last week I tried my hand at making a bottle with passion fruit, melon and pitaya. Pitayas, as you probably know, have very little taste. But it makes the infused rum look great!
 
So now I’ve finished my bottle, it looks very pretty sat on my kitchen counter. I have to be patient though as it needs to infuse for about 6 months before it’s drinkable. My father-in-law is looking forward to tasting it. It’ll be a nice fruity toast at Christmas.
 
 
Vocabulary
 
bouncy castle - chateaux gonflable
to flavour - parfumer
avoid verb+ing - éviter de verbe
tend to - avoir tendance à
speed up - accélérer
growth - croissance
roadside - bord de la route
cut the fruits up - découper les fruits
neck - cou
peel - zeste
bitter - amer
chili - piment
a third of - un tiers de
try my hand - se faire la main
kitchen counter - comptoir de cuisine
drinkable - potable
00:0000:00

14N - Infused Rum

Visit www.anglais.re for more!


On the weekends, I like to go out with the family. I sometimes take my daughters to the bouncy castle in St Pierre, and I take my wife to the town centre for some shopping. But it has been very rainy recently, certainly not the weather to be walking around town, or playing near the beach.

So, a rainy weekend activity for me is flavoring rum. It’s a local tradition! And very quick & easy.

First, decide your recipe. Think of what fruits are in season, and which fruits marry well together. Banana and vanilla is great! Or what about strawberries and mango? Whichever fruits you decide to use, make sure to avoid buying them from the supermarkets. Supermarkets tend to use chemicals to speed up the growth of their produce. I always find that the best fruits are found on roadside fruit and veg stands.

Once you have decided your mix, cut the fruits up so that they will be able to fit in the neck of the rum bottle. If your fruit has a peel, don’t forget to cut that off, or it will give your rum a nasty bitter taste. I’ve even tried rum with coffee beans. And, as a joke, one of my Créole friends let me try his chili rum. That was not my favorite to say the least!

Then, get your bottle of rum. (Charette, of course!) You can use a 1l bottle, but I prefer a 1.5l bottle because it looks nicer. (and there’s more of it!) Take out about a third of the rum, then add your fruits.

To finish off, add about 50ml of cane syrup. That part is very important; the sugar helps your ingredients to mix with the rum. It also increases the alcohol content.

 

Last week I tried my hand at making a bottle with passion fruit, melon and pitaya. Pitayas, as you probably know, have very little taste. But it makes the infused rum look great!

 

So now I’ve finished my bottle, it looks very pretty sat on my kitchen counter. I have to be patient though as it needs to infuse for about 6 months before it’s drinkable. My father-in-law is looking forward to tasting it. It’ll be a nice fruity toast at Christmas.

 

 

Vocabulary

 

bouncy castle - chateaux gonflable

to flavour - parfumer

avoid verb+ing - éviter de verbe

tend to - avoir tendance à

speed up - accélérer

growth - croissance

roadside - bord de la route

cut the fruits up - découper les fruits

neck - cou

peel - zeste

bitter - amer

chili - piment

a third of - un tiers de

try my hand - se faire la main

kitchen counter - comptoir de cuisine

drinkable - potable

00:0000:00