Monthly Archives: July 2016

106 - Mosquito Attack - Vocabulary

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We recently decided to get away for a few days.  After checking out various accommodation options, we booked ourselves into a cosy little bungalow with a picturesque tropical garden in Les Avirons.

We had heard just before making the reservation that there had been a couple of reports of dengue fever around Vincendo and so we decided not to head south on holiday, as we often do.  You see, my partner caught dengue fever when he was a teenager, travelling in Thailand with his folks.  And that is certainly not an experience he would like to repeat!

So off we finally went on holiday.  I was really looking forward to a break from the city and to being surrounded by greenery and some lush vegetation.  Being enveloped in nature has such a calming effect on the soul, don’t you find? 

Well yes, normally! But I can tell you that it certainly isn’t very calming, not when you’re experiencing it in a cloud of mosquitoes!  Now, we spend a fair amount of time outdoors and have often been on little city breaks here in Reunion but we have never seen so many mosquitoes, ever! I’m talking about thousands of them, everywhere.... 

We were in such a state of shock when we first arrived that afternoon that we closed ourselves into the bungalow with all the doors and windows firmly shut.  There, we peacefully enjoyed the complementary welcome punch that was waiting for us on arrival.

With some careful manoeuvring we managed to keep most of our bloodthirsty little friends outside. After strategically laying out and lighting some mosquito coils, we eventually dared to venture outside.  Equipped with long pants and smeared full of mosquito repellent, we made it through our first evening there.

The endless smoke from the coils during our holiday seemed to have more of an effect on us though.  Those mosquitoes just dive-bombed through it to get to our juicy legs. And the whole saga started first thing in the morning at breakfast time already!  We certainly weren’t the only hungry ones around.

Heading down to the beach gave us a much needed break from those pesky mozzies.  With my hat on my head, my camera around my neck, and my legs full of mosquito bites, I really did look like a tourist fresh off the plane! Luckily there is no malaria on this beautiful island and hopefully the reports of dengue fever and Chikungunia will remain few so that we can venture off and enjoy some more crazy holidays like this one in Les Avirons.

Vocabulary

 

to get away  -  faire un break
cosy – (endroit) douillet, douillette
to head – diriger
folks – parents
to look forward to – avoir hâte de

 

 

surrounded - entouré

 

lush -  luxuriant
calming – apaisant
soul – âme
outdoors – dehors, à l’extérieur

 

 

bloodthirsty – sanguinaire
mosquito coil – spirale anti moustique
to dare – oser

 

pants - pantalon

 

to smear – étaler quelque chose

 


juicy – juteux, juteuse

 

pesky – embêtant

 

neck - cou
luckily – heureusement
few - peu 

 

00:0000:00

106 - Mosquito Attack - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

We recently decided to get away for a few days.  After checking out various accommodation options, we booked ourselves into a cosy little bungalow with a picturesque tropical garden in Les Avirons.

We had heard just before making the reservation that there had been a couple of reports of dengue fever around Vincendo and so we decided not to head south on holiday, as we often do.  You see, my partner caught dengue fever when he was a teenager, travelling in Thailand with his folks.  And that is certainly not an experience he would like to repeat!

So off we finally went on holiday.  I was really looking forward to a break from the city and to being surrounded by greenery and some lush vegetation.  Being enveloped in nature has such a calming effect on the soul, don’t you find? 

Well yes, normally! But I can tell you that it certainly isn’t very calming, not when you’re experiencing it in a cloud of mosquitoes!  Now, we spend a fair amount of time outdoors and have often been on little city breaks here in Reunion but we have never seen so many mosquitoes, ever! I’m talking about thousands of them, everywhere.... 

We were in such a state of shock when we first arrived that afternoon that we closed ourselves into the bungalow with all the doors and windows firmly shut.  There, we peacefully enjoyed the complementary welcome punch that was waiting for us on arrival.

With some careful manoeuvring we managed to keep most of our bloodthirsty little friends outside. After strategically laying out and lighting some mosquito coils, we eventually dared to venture outside.  Equipped with long pants and smeared full of mosquito repellent, we made it through our first evening there.

The endless smoke from the coils during our holiday seemed to have more of an effect on us though.  Those mosquitoes just dive-bombed through it to get to our juicy legs. And the whole saga started first thing in the morning at breakfast time already!  We certainly weren’t the only hungry ones around.

Heading down to the beach gave us a much needed break from those pesky mozzies.  With my hat on my head, my camera around my neck, and my legs full of mosquito bites, I really did look like a tourist fresh off the plane! Luckily there is no malaria on this beautiful island and hopefully the reports of dengue fever and Chikungunia will remain few so that we can venture off and enjoy some more crazy holidays like this one in Les Avirons.

Vocabulary

 

to get away  -  faire un break
cosy – (endroit) douillet, douillette
to head – diriger
folks – parents
to look forward to – avoir hâte de

 

 

surrounded - entouré

 

lush -  luxuriant
calming – apaisant
soul – âme
outdoors – dehors, à l’extérieur

 

 

bloodthirsty – sanguinaire
mosquito coil – spirale anti moustique
to dare – oser

 

pants - pantalon

 

to smear – étaler quelque chose

 


juicy – juteux, juteuse

 

pesky – embêtant

 

neck - cou
luckily – heureusement
few - peu 

 

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106 - Mosquito Attack!

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

We recently decided to get away for a few days.  After checking out various accommodation options, we booked ourselves into a cosy little bungalow with a picturesque tropical garden in Les Avirons.

We had heard just before making the reservation that there had been a couple of reports of dengue fever around Vincendo and so we decided not to head south on holiday, as we often do.  You see, my partner caught dengue fever when he was a teenager, travelling in Thailand with his folks.  And that is certainly not an experience he would like to repeat!

So off we finally went on holiday.  I was really looking forward to a break from the city and to being surrounded by greenery and some lush vegetation.  Being enveloped in nature has such a calming effect on the soul, don’t you find? 

Well yes, normally! But I can tell you that it certainly isn’t very calming, not when you’re experiencing it in a cloud of mosquitoes!  Now, we spend a fair amount of time outdoors and have often been on little city breaks here in Reunion but we have never seen so many mosquitoes, ever! I’m talking about thousands of them, everywhere.... 

We were in such a state of shock when we first arrived that afternoon that we closed ourselves into the bungalow with all the doors and windows firmly shut.  There, we peacefully enjoyed the complementary welcome punch that was waiting for us on arrival.

With some careful manoeuvring we managed to keep most of our bloodthirsty little friends outside. After strategically laying out and lighting some mosquito coils, we eventually dared to venture outside.  Equipped with long pants and smeared full of mosquito repellent, we made it through our first evening there.

The endless smoke from the coils during our holiday seemed to have more of an effect on us though.  Those mosquitoes just dive-bombed through it to get to our juicy legs. And the whole saga started first thing in the morning at breakfast time already!  We certainly weren’t the only hungry ones around.

Heading down to the beach gave us a much needed break from those pesky mozzies.  With my hat on my head, my camera around my neck, and my legs full of mosquito bites, I really did look like a tourist fresh off the plane! Luckily there is no malaria on this beautiful island and hopefully the reports of dengue fever and Chikungunia will remain few so that we can venture off and enjoy some more crazy holidays like this one in Les Avirons.

Vocabulary

to get away  -  faire un break
cosy – (endroit) douillet, douillette
to head – diriger
folks – parents
to look forward to – avoir hâte de

 

surrounded - entouré

lush -  luxuriant
calming – apaisant
soul – âme
outdoors – dehors, à l’extérieur

 

bloodthirsty – sanguinaire
mosquito coil – spirale anti moustique
to dare – oser

pants - pantalon

to smear – étaler quelque chose


juicy – juteux, juteuse

pesky – embêtant

neck - cou
luckily – heureusement
few - peu 

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105 - Mad May - Vocabulary

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In my hometown of Adelaide, there’s one month of the year that I prefer a little more than the eleven others. On top of temperatures being ideal, it’s also my birthday month which makes March my favourite time of the year!

 

The month of March is chock-a-block full of world-class festivals including WOMAD; a world music festival, The Adelaide Festival; a mix of theatre and dance pieces, visual arts and outstanding music performances, Writers Week; a chance to listen to acclaimed writers talk about their work and The Fringe Festival; a whacky and vibrant few weeks showcasing national and international artists performing burlesque, comedy, magic, circus, dance and music acts.

 

Adelaide, often considered by our neighbours from Sydney & Melbourne to be a sleepy town, truly comes alive at this time of year; a period that is affectionately known as Mad March.

 

It’s definitely one of the things I miss the most about home, but thankfully in Reunion we have our very own equivalent in May!

 

Beginning with Komidi; a drama festival that takes place in the South of the island, Reunion in May is the place to be. I highly recommend the Komidi festival, it has something for everyone and entry only costs 1 euro!

 

Then comes Leu Tempo Festival, in St Leu, as the name would suggest. The town is a buzz thanks to numerous street art, dance, circus and comedy shows. There’s lots of free stuff on offer allowing for everyone to make the most of the festive atmosphere.

 

This is shortly followed by the Festival du Film d’Adventure; an adventure film festival that begins with a free opening night on the beach in St Gilles where three films are projected onto a big screen. This evening is then followed by three others, both in the South and in the North. Two heartfelt and inspiring amateur films are shown each night taking us on the wildest of journeys.

 

Needless to say I’ve renamed this time of the year Mad May. And to top it off, I wouldn’t rather be in any other country than France in May given all the public holidays, four in total!

Vocabulary

on top of - de plus
chock-a-block - plein à craquer
word-class - de classe internationale
outstanding - exceptionnel
acclaimed - réputé 

whacky - farfelu
to showcase - mettre en valeur
neighbours - voisins
sleepy town - ville endormie
to come alive - prendre vie 

own - propre
to be a buzz - être vibrant
to make the most of - profiter
atmosphere - ambiance
screen - écran 

heartfelt - qui vient du fond du cœur
wildest - le plus fou
needless to say - cela va sans dire
to top it off - couronner
public holiday - jour férié

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105 - Mad May - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

In my hometown of Adelaide, there’s one month of the year that I prefer a little more than the eleven others. On top of temperatures being ideal, it’s also my birthday month which makes March my favourite time of the year!

 

The month of March is chock-a-block full of world-class festivals including WOMAD; a world music festival, The Adelaide Festival; a mix of theatre and dance pieces, visual arts and outstanding music performances, Writers Week; a chance to listen to acclaimed writers talk about their work and The Fringe Festival; a whacky and vibrant few weeks showcasing national and international artists performing burlesque, comedy, magic, circus, dance and music acts.

 

Adelaide, often considered by our neighbours from Sydney & Melbourne to be a sleepy town, truly comes alive at this time of year; a period that is affectionately known as Mad March.

 

It’s definitely one of the things I miss the most about home, but thankfully in Reunion we have our very own equivalent in May!

 

Beginning with Komidi; a drama festival that takes place in the South of the island, Reunion in May is the place to be. I highly recommend the Komidi festival, it has something for everyone and entry only costs 1 euro!

 

Then comes Leu Tempo Festival, in St Leu, as the name would suggest. The town is a buzz thanks to numerous street art, dance, circus and comedy shows. There’s lots of free stuff on offer allowing for everyone to make the most of the festive atmosphere.

 

This is shortly followed by the Festival du Film d’Adventure; an adventure film festival that begins with a free opening night on the beach in St Gilles where three films are projected onto a big screen. This evening is then followed by three others, both in the South and in the North. Two heartfelt and inspiring amateur films are shown each night taking us on the wildest of journeys.

 

Needless to say I’ve renamed this time of the year Mad May. And to top it off, I wouldn’t rather be in any other country than France in May given all the public holidays, four in total!

Vocabulary

on top of - de plus
chock-a-block - plein à craquer
word-class - de classe internationale
outstanding - exceptionnel
acclaimed - réputé 

whacky - farfelu
to showcase - mettre en valeur
neighbours - voisins
sleepy town - ville endormie
to come alive - prendre vie 

own - propre
to be a buzz - être vibrant
to make the most of - profiter
atmosphere - ambiance
screen - écran 

heartfelt - qui vient du fond du cœur
wildest - le plus fou
needless to say - cela va sans dire
to top it off - couronner
public holiday - jour férié

00:0000:00

105 - Mad May

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

In my hometown of Adelaide, there’s one month of the year that I prefer a little more than the eleven others. On top of temperatures being ideal, it’s also my birthday month which makes March my favourite time of the year!

The month of March is chock-a-block full of world-class festivals including WOMAD; a world music festival, The Adelaide Festival; a mix of theatre and dance pieces, visual arts and outstanding music performances, Writers Week; a chance to listen to acclaimed writers talk about their work and The Fringe Festival; a whacky and vibrant few weeks showcasing national and international artists performing burlesque, comedy, magic, circus, dance and music acts.

Adelaide, often considered by our neighbours from Sydney & Melbourne to be a sleepy town, truly comes alive at this time of year; a period that is affectionately known as Mad March.

It’s definitely one of the things I miss the most about home, but thankfully in Reunion we have our very own equivalent in May!

Beginning with Komidi; a drama festival that takes place in the South of the island, Reunion in May is the place to be. I highly recommend the Komidi festival, it has something for everyone and entry only costs 1 euro!

Then comes Leu Tempo Festival, in St Leu, as the name would suggest. The town is a buzz thanks to numerous street art, dance, circus and comedy shows. There’s lots of free stuff on offer allowing for everyone to make the most of the festive atmosphere.

This is shortly followed by the Festival du Film d’Adventure; an adventure film festival that begins with a free opening night on the beach in St Gilles where three films are projected onto a big screen. This evening is then followed by three others, both in the South and in the North. Two heartfelt and inspiring amateur films are shown each night taking us on the wildest of journeys.

Needless to say I’ve renamed this time of the year Mad May. And to top it off, I wouldn’t rather be in any other country than France in May given all the public holidays, four in total!

Vocabulary

on top of - de plus
chock-a-block - plein à craquer
word-class - de classe internationale
outstanding - exceptionnel
acclaimed - réputé 

whacky - farfelu
to showcase - mettre en valeur
neighbours - voisins
sleepy town - ville endormie
to come alive - prendre vie 

own - propre
to be a buzz - être vibrant
to make the most of - profiter
atmosphere - ambiance
screen - écran 

heartfelt - qui vient du fond du cœur
wildest - le plus fou
needless to say - cela va sans dire
to top it off - couronner
public holiday - jour férié

00:0000:00

104 - A Lunch to Remember - Vocabulary

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During my first year on the island, I had an experience so unbelievable and strange that I get goose bumps just thinking about it. A new friend invited us to a meal at his house to celebrate an Indian festival. When he said there’d be cabri massalé, one of my favourite Creole dishes, I said ‘yes’ without hesitation.

Driving to our friend’s house, I could tell that this wouldn’t be the simple lunch meal I’d expected. As we turned into his street, we saw over a hundred people at the house, dressed in all the colours of the rainbow. After kissing and being introduced to dozens of people, I walked around the garden and watched the feast being prepared. The meat was extra fresh. In fact, I got to witness my very first slaughter of live goats, using knives taller than the people who carried them. The knives were so sharp, it took less than a second. 

The men cut up the meat, cooking it in giant pots over a wooden fire pit. The smell of curry leaves, cumin and cloves filled the air. Meanwhile, the women got to work lighting candles in a shrine decorated with flowers, coconut shells and fruit peels. I was so concentrated on discovering all the new smells and sights around me that time passed quickly. Soon, I looked up to see two men wearing robes. While the crowd around them sung and chanted in Tamil, the men took turns walking, and even jumping on the blades of the giant knives that I’d seen earlier. Even though the knives were incredibly sharp, the men came off the knives without a scratch. But the craziest part of the day was yet to come.

After lunch, our friend laid out an offering for his ancestors. There was of course plenty of rice, beans and goat meat. But also a can of coke and a bottle of whisky, his ancestors’ favourites. Then, our friend started chanting and entered a trance state. I was invited to sit in front of him. At first I couldn’t understand what he was saying, because I was expecting him to speak Creole. Soon, I realised that he was actually speaking Hebrew to me, the language of my grandparents. In fact, his voice sounded exactly like my grandfather! Over the next 10 minutes, he told me things that only my family would know about me, and gave me advice about a problem I’d been having. When the conversation ended, my friend snapped out of the trance and went back to speaking Creole. He had no memory of what had just happened. 

Vocabulary

 

 

goose bumps - chair de poule
I could tell - j’ai compris que
to expect - s’attendre
colours of the rainbow - tous les couleurs
feast - festin 

slaughter - abattage
sharp - aiguisé
curry leaves - kalou pilé
cloves - clous de girofle
candles - bougies 

shrine - autel
smells - les odeurs
blades - les lames
without a scratch - sans blessure
was yet to come - était à venir 

offering - offrande
beans - grains
to realise - se rendre compte
advice - conseil
to snap out of - sortir de

00:0000:00

104 - A Lunch to Remember - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

During my first year on the island, I had an experience so unbelievable and strange that I get goose bumps just thinking about it. A new friend invited us to a meal at his house to celebrate an Indian festival. When he said there’d be cabri massalé, one of my favourite Creole dishes, I said ‘yes’ without hesitation.

Driving to our friend’s house, I could tell that this wouldn’t be the simple lunch meal I’d expected. As we turned into his street, we saw over a hundred people at the house, dressed in all the colours of the rainbow. After kissing and being introduced to dozens of people, I walked around the garden and watched the feast being prepared. The meat was extra fresh. In fact, I got to witness my very first slaughter of live goats, using knives taller than the people who carried them. The knives were so sharp, it took less than a second. 

The men cut up the meat, cooking it in giant pots over a wooden fire pit. The smell of curry leaves, cumin and cloves filled the air. Meanwhile, the women got to work lighting candles in a shrine decorated with flowers, coconut shells and fruit peels. I was so concentrated on discovering all the new smells and sights around me that time passed quickly. Soon, I looked up to see two men wearing robes. While the crowd around them sung and chanted in Tamil, the men took turns walking, and even jumping on the blades of the giant knives that I’d seen earlier. Even though the knives were incredibly sharp, the men came off the knives without a scratch. But the craziest part of the day was yet to come.

After lunch, our friend laid out an offering for his ancestors. There was of course plenty of rice, beans and goat meat. But also a can of coke and a bottle of whisky, his ancestors’ favourites. Then, our friend started chanting and entered a trance state. I was invited to sit in front of him. At first I couldn’t understand what he was saying, because I was expecting him to speak Creole. Soon, I realised that he was actually speaking Hebrew to me, the language of my grandparents. In fact, his voice sounded exactly like my grandfather! Over the next 10 minutes, he told me things that only my family would know about me, and gave me advice about a problem I’d been having. When the conversation ended, my friend snapped out of the trance and went back to speaking Creole. He had no memory of what had just happened. 

Vocabulary

 

 

goose bumps - chair de poule
I could tell - j’ai compris que
to expect - s’attendre
colours of the rainbow - tous les couleurs
feast - festin 

slaughter - abattage
sharp - aiguisé
curry leaves - kalou pilé
cloves - clous de girofle
candles - bougies 

shrine - autel
smells - les odeurs
blades - les lames
without a scratch - sans blessure
was yet to come - était à venir 

offering - offrande
beans - grains
to realise - se rendre compte
advice - conseil
to snap out of - sortir de

00:0000:00

104 - A Lunch to Remember

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

During my first year on the island, I had an experience so unbelievable and strange that I get goose bumps just thinking about it. A new friend invited us to a meal at his house to celebrate an Indian festival. When he said there’d be cabri massalé, one of my favourite Creole dishes, I said ‘yes’ without hesitation.

Driving to our friend’s house, I could tell that this wouldn’t be the simple lunch meal I’d expected. As we turned into his street, we saw over a hundred people at the house, dressed in all the colours of the rainbow. After kissing and being introduced to dozens of people, I walked around the garden and watched the feast being prepared. The meat was extra fresh. In fact, I got to witness my very first slaughter of live goats, using knives taller than the people who carried them. The knives were so sharp, it took less than a second. 

The men cut up the meat, cooking it in giant pots over a wooden fire pit. The smell of curry leaves, cumin and cloves filled the air. Meanwhile, the women got to work lighting candles in a shrine decorated with flowers, coconut shells and fruit peels. I was so concentrated on discovering all the new smells and sights around me that time passed quickly. Soon, I looked up to see two men wearing robes. While the crowd around them sung and chanted in Tamil, the men took turns walking, and even jumping on the blades of the giant knives that I’d seen earlier. Even though the knives were incredibly sharp, the men came off the knives without a scratch. But the craziest part of the day was yet to come.

After lunch, our friend laid out an offering for his ancestors. There was of course plenty of rice, beans and goat meat. But also a can of coke and a bottle of whisky, his ancestors’ favourites. Then, our friend started chanting and entered a trance state. I was invited to sit in front of him. At first I couldn’t understand what he was saying, because I was expecting him to speak Creole. Soon, I realised that he was actually speaking Hebrew to me, the language of my grandparents. In fact, his voice sounded exactly like my grandfather! Over the next 10 minutes, he told me things that only my family would know about me, and gave me advice about a problem I’d been having. When the conversation ended, my friend snapped out of the trance and went back to speaking Creole. He had no memory of what had just happened. 

Vocabulary

goose bumps - chair de poule
I could tell - j’ai compris que
to expect - s’attendre
colours of the rainbow - tous les couleurs
feast - festin 

slaughter - abattage
sharp - aiguisé
curry leaves - kalou pilé
cloves - clous de girofle
candles - bougies 

shrine - autel
smells - les odeurs
blades - les lames
without a scratch - sans blessure
was yet to come - était à venir 

offering - offrande
beans - grains
to realise - se rendre compte
advice - conseil
to snap out of - sortir de

00:0000:00

103 - Nicknames in Cilaos - Vocabulary

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I’ve always lived in small towns, and some things don’t change regardless of culture, like the tendency to gossip that seems to be so much more prevalent in small towns. There is a psychologist who suggests that gossip is actually one of the reasons human language developed. If that is the case, thank small towns for preserving language in its purest form. I’m not a huge fan of gossip in general, I like to meet a person before knowing all about them.

However, I enjoy listening to my Cilaos family gossip for one reason, and one reason only: the nicknames. I don’t know if this is something that happens all over Reunion or just in Cilaos, but people have the craziest nicknames for each other. When the whole extended family gets together someone will be prattling on in loud high speed creole about the brother of the cousin of the wife of someone called “Small Bread”, and I am mostly zoning out until I realize, wait, there is a person called “Small Bread”? Why “Bread”? And this isn’t the only food related nickname. There are many more, and they all seem to be bakery related. And no one can explain where these type of nicknames come from.

There are also nicknames based on physical characteristics. There is of course lil’, before the actual name. This exists in the US as well; we’ve got ‘Lil Wayne, and ‘Lil Kim and even ‘Lil Bow Wow (although I don’t think his name is actually Bow Wow). But the American “lil” is mostly used for rappers as a stage name. In Cilaos, it means the person is actually small. I’ve also heard of such characters as “Thin iron,” “Long distance” and “Mr. Quirky.” Some nicknames are so specific to someone’s physical appearance that you can figure out whose nickname it is just from walking around town. I’ve asked what the real names of these people are, and in many cases, no one knows.

To my knowledge, I haven’t got a Cilaosian nickname yet. For the moment, I am mostly referred to as “the American that married the little brother of a certain fireman.” But, if I’m going to get a food nickname, I will accept Pizza, because it is the best. If I am going to get a physical characteristic nickname, I will accept something along the lines of “Super Attractive Person”.

Vocabulary

regardless - malgré
tendency - tendance
to gossip - faire des commérage
prevalent - très répandu
nickname - surnom 

to happen - se passer
extended family - la famille élargie
to prattle on - bavarder
to zone out - planer
to realise - se rendre compte 

bakery - boulangerie
‘Lil - contraction du mot “little,” comme le créole “ti”
bow wow - woah woah
stage name - nom de scène
iron - fer 

quirky - excentrique
to figure out - comprendre
town - ville
referred to - appelé
fireman - pompier

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