Monthly Archives: December 2016

127 - Peter Piper - Vocabulary

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There's an old English tongue twister that goes as follows:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.

If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,

Where's the peck of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked?

This poem has been around since the 18th century, and it's probably the most famous tongue twister in the English language. It also lent its title to the American poem book “Peter Piper's Practical Principles of Plain and Perfect Pronunciation.” Why don't you try reading the poem yourself? If you can get through it all without messing it up, I'll buy you a beer. But, back to the point. Who is this mysterious Peter Piper that is destined to pick peppers for the rest of time? Well, strangely enough, the man has a strong connection to Reunion Island.

Just up the hill from the town centre of Saint Joseph, you will find the local High School. As you enter, straight in front of you, is a bust of the man himself: Peter Pepper, or Pierre Poivre. Such a local folk-hero is he, that the town of Saint Joseph decided to name said High school after him: Lycée Pierre Poivre.

So, who was Peter Pepper? Well, he was a French author and horticulturist. Not at the same time though, as he only had one arm. In his heyday he was administrator of both Reunion and Mauritius, this was in the 1760s. During this time he was responsible for the construction of botanical gardens on bothislands. In fact, his botanical garden of grapefruits is still thriving in Mauritius to this day. 

When the trade in the Indian Ocean was controlled by the Dutch, he had to come up with clandestine methods of smuggling herbs and plants around the area. In fact, he introduced clove and nutmeg to Reunion during this time. Cheeky fella. 

He lost his arm in the way that most people lost their arms in the 18th century, it was smashed by an English cannonball and his arm had to be amputated. Perhaps that's why the poor Peter Piper can only manage one peck of pickled peppers in his poem. The man authored two books, his first “Voyages of a Philosopher” was a favourite of Thomas Jefferson. 

His story is an interesting one, and I'll be on the lookout for any other tongue twister stars in our midst. So I'll keep an eye on the sea shore for the lady selling sea shells, and that famous French hunter who knows how to hunt without his dog, you know the one!

Vocabulary

 

tongue twister – un vire-langue

a peck – une unité de mesure obsolète

to lend – prêter

to mess something up – faire une erreur

hill – colline

 

high school - lycée

bust – sculpture

folk-hero – héros populaire

heyday – apogée

both – les deux

 

grapefruit – pamplemousse

to thrive – prospérer

trade – commerce

to smuggle – passer en contrebande

clove – clou de girofle

 

nutmeg – noix de muscade

cheeky – culotté

fella – type

on the lookout – à l'affût

midst - milieu

00:0000:00

127 - Peter Piper - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

There's an old English tongue twister that goes as follows:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.

If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,

Where's the peck of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked?

This poem has been around since the 18th century, and it's probably the most famous tongue twister in the English language. It also lent its title to the American poem book “Peter Piper's Practical Principles of Plain and Perfect Pronunciation.” Why don't you try reading the poem yourself? If you can get through it all without messing it up, I'll buy you a beer. But, back to the point. Who is this mysterious Peter Piper that is destined to pick peppers for the rest of time? Well, strangely enough, the man has a strong connection to Reunion Island.

Just up the hill from the town centre of Saint Joseph, you will find the local High School. As you enter, straight in front of you, is a bust of the man himself: Peter Pepper, or Pierre Poivre. Such a local folk-hero is he, that the town of Saint Joseph decided to name said High school after him: Lycée Pierre Poivre.

So, who was Peter Pepper? Well, he was a French author and horticulturist. Not at the same time though, as he only had one arm. In his heyday he was administrator of both Reunion and Mauritius, this was in the 1760s. During this time he was responsible for the construction of botanical gardens on bothislands. In fact, his botanical garden of grapefruits is still thriving in Mauritius to this day. 

When the trade in the Indian Ocean was controlled by the Dutch, he had to come up with clandestine methods of smuggling herbs and plants around the area. In fact, he introduced clove and nutmeg to Reunion during this time. Cheeky fella. 

He lost his arm in the way that most people lost their arms in the 18th century, it was smashed by an English cannonball and his arm had to be amputated. Perhaps that's why the poor Peter Piper can only manage one peck of pickled peppers in his poem. The man authored two books, his first “Voyages of a Philosopher” was a favourite of Thomas Jefferson. 

His story is an interesting one, and I'll be on the lookout for any other tongue twister stars in our midst. So I'll keep an eye on the sea shore for the lady selling sea shells, and that famous French hunter who knows how to hunt without his dog, you know the one!

Vocabulary

 

tongue twister – un vire-langue

a peck – une unité de mesure obsolète

to lend – prêter

to mess something up – faire une erreur

hill – colline

 

high school - lycée

bust – sculpture

folk-hero – héros populaire

heyday – apogée

both – les deux

 

grapefruit – pamplemousse

to thrive – prospérer

trade – commerce

to smuggle – passer en contrebande

clove – clou de girofle

 

nutmeg – noix de muscade

cheeky – culotté

fella – type

on the lookout – à l'affût

midst - milieu

00:0000:00

127 - Peter Piper

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

There's an old English tongue twister that goes as follows:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.

If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,

Where's the peck of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked?

This poem has been around since the 18th century, and it's probably the most famous tongue twister in the English language. It also lent its title to the American poem book “Peter Piper's Practical Principles of Plain and Perfect Pronunciation.” Why don't you try reading the poem yourself? If you can get through it all without messing it up, I'll buy you a beer. But, back to the point. Who is this mysterious Peter Piper that is destined to pick peppers for the rest of time? Well, strangely enough, the man has a strong connection to Reunion Island.

Just up the hill from the town centre of Saint Joseph, you will find the local High School. As you enter, straight in front of you, is a bust of the man himself: Peter Pepper, or Pierre Poivre. Such a local folk-hero is he, that the town of Saint Joseph decided to name said High school after him: Lycée Pierre Poivre.

So, who was Peter Pepper? Well, he was a French author and horticulturist. Not at the same time though, as he only had one arm. In his heyday he was administrator of both Reunion and Mauritius, this was in the 1760s. During this time he was responsible for the construction of botanical gardens on both islands. In fact, his botanical garden of grapefruits is still thriving in Mauritius to this day. 

When the trade in the Indian Ocean was controlled by the Dutch, he had to come up with clandestine methods of smuggling herbs and plants around the area. In fact, he introduced clove and nutmeg to Reunion during this time. Cheeky fella. 

He lost his arm in the way that most people lost their arms in the 18th century, it was smashed by an English cannonball and his arm had to be amputated. Perhaps that's why the poor Peter Piper can only manage one peck of pickled peppers in his poem. The man authored two books, his first “Voyages of a Philosopher” was a favourite of Thomas Jefferson. 

His story is an interesting one, and I'll be on the lookout for any other tongue twister stars in our midst. So I'll keep an eye on the sea shore for the lady selling sea shells, and that famous French hunter who knows how to hunt without his dog, you know the one!

Vocabulary

 

tongue twister – un vire-langue

a peck – une unité de mesure obsolète

to lend – prêter

to mess something up – faire une erreur

hill – colline

 

high school - lycée

bust – sculpture

folk-hero – héros populaire

heyday – apogée

both – les deux

 

grapefruit – pamplemousse

to thrive – prospérer

trade – commerce

to smuggle – passer en contrebande

clove – clou de girofle

 

nutmeg – noix de muscade

cheeky – culotté

fella – type

on the lookout – à l'affût

midst - milieu

00:0000:00

126 - Six Degrees - Vocabulary

Most people know about the famous ‘six degrees of separation’ theory. It suggests that each individual is connected to any other person in the world through six acquaintances. I have one degree of separation between myself and my friends, two degrees between myself and my friends’ friends, and so on. Mathematicians have actually proven the theory using a fancy thing called the Flajolet-Martin algorithm. It’s official: you could make a phone call to the Queen of England or the Dalai Lama in less than six steps (if they actually pick up their own phones).

 

This got me thinking: Reunion being so small, and families being so close, it would logically be less than six degrees of separation here. To test my theory, I used the most reliable and accessible social research tool available to me: that big blue social media site! I went onto a fan page for a soccer team in the south of the island, a sport and region I have no real connection to. Randomly, I clicked on the profile of the first person I saw on the page. Unsurprisingly, we had no friends in common. But as I scanned their friends list, one of the names rang a bell. Sure enough, it was the brother of a good friend of mine. As I had predicted, there were only three degrees of separation between myself and a complete stranger. I had already done something kind of creepy, so I investigated several more times with other profiles. I soon realized two important things. First, many people have no idea how much information is publicly visible on social networks. I could find people’s phone numbers, addresses, where they worked and their children’s names. Secondly, this island really is tiny in a social sense. Even though, as a foreigner, I’m a newcomer to the island, I could quite easily connect to nearly any person I found through two or three friends of friends.

 

Often when I’ve mentioned an administrative problem I’m having at the prefecture or the secu, my in-laws will ask the name of the public servant who was in charge of my file. I never understood what the objective of that question was. Now I do. In the back of the Reunionese mind, there’s always the idea that potentially you know someone who works somewhere important, and if you don’t know them personally you’ll have a friend who does. This is sometimes used to get a favour for a friend or family member, such as a job or a discount. I’ve always found this a bit unfair. At the same time, it shows how interconnected everyone really is. And that’s a strangely comforting thought.

 


 

Vocabulary

 

acquaintances - connaissances

fancy - classe

to pick up - décrocher

close - proche

less than – moins de

 

reliable - fiable

soccer team – équipe de foot

randomly – au hasard

to ring a bell – rappeler de quelque chose

creepy - sinistre

 

newcomer – nouveau arrivé

to mention – parler de

the in-laws - la belle-famille

public servant - fonctionnaire

 

file - dossier

favour – un service

unfair - injuste

comforting - rassurant

00:0000:00

126 - Six Degrees - Slow

Most people know about the famous ‘six degrees of separation’ theory. It suggests that each individual is connected to any other person in the world through six acquaintances. I have one degree of separation between myself and my friends, two degrees between myself and my friends’ friends, and so on. Mathematicians have actually proven the theory using a fancy thing called the Flajolet-Martin algorithm. It’s official: you could make a phone call to the Queen of England or the Dalai Lama in less than six steps (if they actually pick up their own phones).

 

This got me thinking: Reunion being so small, and families being so close, it would logically be less than six degrees of separation here. To test my theory, I used the most reliable and accessible social research tool available to me: that big blue social media site! I went onto a fan page for a soccer team in the south of the island, a sport and region I have no real connection to. Randomly, I clicked on the profile of the first person I saw on the page. Unsurprisingly, we had no friends in common. But as I scanned their friends list, one of the names rang a bell. Sure enough, it was the brother of a good friend of mine. As I had predicted, there were only three degrees of separation between myself and a complete stranger. I had already done something kind of creepy, so I investigated several more times with other profiles. I soon realized two important things. First, many people have no idea how much information is publicly visible on social networks. I could find people’s phone numbers, addresses, where they worked and their children’s names. Secondly, this island really is tiny in a social sense. Even though, as a foreigner, I’m a newcomer to the island, I could quite easily connect to nearly any person I found through two or three friends of friends.

 

Often when I’ve mentioned an administrative problem I’m having at the prefecture or the secu, my in-laws will ask the name of the public servant who was in charge of my file. I never understood what the objective of that question was. Now I do. In the back of the Reunionese mind, there’s always the idea that potentially you know someone who works somewhere important, and if you don’t know them personally you’ll have a friend who does. This is sometimes used to get a favour for a friend or family member, such as a job or a discount. I’ve always found this a bit unfair. At the same time, it shows how interconnected everyone really is. And that’s a strangely comforting thought.

 


 

Vocabulary

 

acquaintances - connaissances

fancy - classe

to pick up - décrocher

close - proche

less than – moins de

 

reliable - fiable

soccer team – équipe de foot

randomly – au hasard

to ring a bell – rappeler de quelque chose

creepy - sinistre

 

newcomer – nouveau arrivé

to mention – parler de

the in-laws - la belle-famille

public servant - fonctionnaire

 

file - dossier

favour – un service

unfair - injuste

comforting - rassurant

00:0000:00

126 - Six Degrees

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Most people know about the famous ‘six degrees of separation’ theory. It suggests that each individual is connected to any other person in the world through six acquaintances. I have one degree of separation between myself and my friends, two degrees between myself and my friends’ friends, and so on. Mathematicians have actually proven the theory using a fancy thing called the Flajolet-Martin algorithm. It’s official: you could make a phone call to the Queen of England or the Dalai Lama in less than six steps (if they actually pick up their own phones). 

This got me thinking: Reunion being so small, and families being so close, it would logically be less than six degrees of separation here. To test my theory, I used the most reliable and accessible social research tool available to me: that big blue social media site! I went onto a fan page for a soccer team in the south of the island, a sport and region I have no real connection to. Randomly, I clicked on the profile of the first person I saw on the page. Unsurprisingly, we had no friends in common. But as I scanned their friends list, one of the names rang a bell. Sure enough, it was the brother of a good friend of mine. As I had predicted, there were only three degrees of separation between myself and a complete stranger. I had already done something kind of creepy, so I investigated several more times with other profiles. I soon realized two important things. First, many people have no idea how much information is publicly visible on social networks. I could find people’s phone numbers, addresses, where they worked and their children’s names. Secondly, this island really is tiny in a social sense. Even though, as a foreigner, I’m a newcomer to the island, I could quite easily connect to nearly any person I found through two or three friends of friends. 

Often when I’ve mentioned an administrative problem I’m having at the prefecture or the secu, my in-laws will ask the name of the public servant who was in charge of my file. I never understood what the objective of that question was. Now I do. In the back of the Reunionese mind, there’s always the idea that potentially you know someone who works somewhere important, and if you don’t know them personally you’ll have a friend who does. This is sometimes used to get a favour for a friend or family member, such as a job or a discount. I’ve always found this a bit unfair. At the same time, it shows how interconnected everyone really is. And that’s a strangely comforting thought.

Vocabulary

 

acquaintances - connaissances

fancy - classe

to pick up - décrocher

close - proche

less than – moins de

 

reliable - fiable

soccer team – équipe de foot

randomly – au hasard

to ring a bell – rappeler de quelque chose

creepy - sinistre

 

newcomer – nouveau arrivé

to mention – parler de

the in-laws - la belle-famille

public servant - fonctionnaire

 

file - dossier

favour – un service

unfair - injuste

comforting - rassurant

00:0000:00

125 - Should I Stay or Should I Go? - Vocabulary

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When I got to the end of my teaching contract in April, I had a big decision to make: do I go home to my family, my friends, my home, everything I know and love? Or do I stay in this place I have been discovering over the last seven months, where I have found friendship, love and, most importantly, a tan.

 

Both options were exciting and I knew I was going to learn a lot no matter the outcome.

 

I have to say it was a very difficult choice. I’m very close to my family, and the thought of being far away from them pinches my heart when I let myself think about it. I have to stop myself when I imagine all the Sunday roasts I miss, my father's crazycackle when he watches his favourite comedy show on TV and my mother's sweet voice when she sings in the car.

 

You might wonder why, then, did I choose to stay?

 

Well, I simply asked myself these questions:

 

Firstly, where in England could I wake up to the heat of the sun beating down on me, motivating me to start my morning almost every day? Back home, the only way to get me up on a cold British morning is as follows: plug hair dryer in next to bed, turnhairdryer on, blow hot air under my duvet to defrost and prepare myself for the cold day ahead. It's not the best kind of motivation!

 

Secondly, where else can you pick up a week's worth of delicious free mangos and lychees off the road on your walk to work? In England you'd pay a fortune for those types of exotic fruits, but here mother nature just gives them to you for free!

 

Finally, where else can you get on a bus and feel like you have walked into a disco? Every time I get on a bus here I feel like dancing along to the sega or maloya music they have blasting out of the radio. I really don't know how everyone manages to stay still, my feet always tap along to the beat. You just don’t get that loud appreciation for music and life on public transport in Britain.

 

Of course, I love my home country and everything that comes with it, even the frosty mornings and silent bus rides, because they are all part of my story. And in an ideal world, my family and friends would move to Reunion and we would all live happily ever after in the sunshine on the beach. But for now, I am going to stick with this Island, see where it takes me and who knows maybe one day I will call it home.

 

Vocabulary

tan - bronzage

outcome - résultat

close - proche

thought - idée

roast - rôti

 

cackle - gloussement

to wonder - se demander

plug - prise électrique

hairdryer - sèche-cheveux

duvet - couette

 

to defrost - décongeler

blasting - à fond

to manage - arriver à

beat - rythme

frosty - glacial

to stick - rester

00:0000:00

125 - Should I Stay or Should I Go? - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!


When I got to the end of my teaching contract in April, I had a big decision to make: do I go home to my family, my friends, my home, everything I know and love? Or do I stay in this place I have been discovering over the last seven months, where I have found friendship, love and, most importantly, a tan.

 

Both options were exciting and I knew I was going to learn a lot no matter the outcome.

 

I have to say it was a very difficult choice. I’m very close to my family, and the thought of being far away from them pinches my heart when I let myself think about it. I have to stop myself when I imagine all the Sunday roasts I miss, my father's crazycackle when he watches his favourite comedy show on TV and my mother's sweet voice when she sings in the car.

 

You might wonder why, then, did I choose to stay?

 

Well, I simply asked myself these questions:

 

Firstly, where in England could I wake up to the heat of the sun beating down on me, motivating me to start my morning almost every day? Back home, the only way to get me up on a cold British morning is as follows: plug hair dryer in next to bed, turnhairdryer on, blow hot air under my duvet to defrost and prepare myself for the cold day ahead. It's not the best kind of motivation!

 

Secondly, where else can you pick up a week's worth of delicious free mangos and lychees off the road on your walk to work? In England you'd pay a fortune for those types of exotic fruits, but here mother nature just gives them to you for free!

 

Finally, where else can you get on a bus and feel like you have walked into a disco? Every time I get on a bus here I feel like dancing along to the sega or maloya music they have blasting out of the radio. I really don't know how everyone manages to stay still, my feet always tap along to the beat. You just don’t get that loud appreciation for music and life on public transport in Britain.

 

Of course, I love my home country and everything that comes with it, even the frosty mornings and silent bus rides, because they are all part of my story. And in an ideal world, my family and friends would move to Reunion and we would all live happily ever after in the sunshine on the beach. But for now, I am going to stick with this Island, see where it takes me and who knows maybe one day I will call it home.

 

Vocabulary

tan - bronzage

outcome - résultat

close - proche

thought - idée

roast - rôti

 

cackle - gloussement

to wonder - se demander

plug - prise électrique

hairdryer - sèche-cheveux

duvet - couette

 

to defrost - décongeler

blasting - à fond

to manage - arriver à

beat - rythme

frosty - glacial

to stick - rester

00:0000:00

125 - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Visit www.anglais.re for more!


When I got to the end of my teaching contract in April, I had a big decision to make: do I go home to my family, my friends, my home, everything I know and love? Or do I stay in this place I have been discovering over the last seven months, where I have found friendship, love and, most importantly, a tan.

 

Both options were exciting and I knew I was going to learn a lot no matter the outcome.

 

I have to say it was a very difficult choice. I’m very close to my family, and the thought of being far away from them pinches my heart when I let myself think about it. I have to stop myself when I imagine all the Sunday roasts I miss, my father's crazy cackle when he watches his favourite comedy show on TV and my mother's sweet voice when she sings in the car.

 

You might wonder why, then, did I choose to stay?

 

Well, I simply asked myself these questions:

 

Firstly, where in England could I wake up to the heat of the sun beating down on me, motivating me to start my morning almost every day? Back home, the only way to get me up on a cold British morning is as follows: plug hair dryer in next to bed, turn hairdryer on, blow hot air under my duvet to defrost and prepare myself for the cold day ahead. It's not the best kind of motivation!

 

Secondly, where else can you pick up a week's worth of delicious free mangos and lychees off the road on your walk to work? In England you'd pay a fortune for those types of exotic fruits, but here mother nature just gives them to you for free!

 

Finally, where else can you get on a bus and feel like you have walked into a disco? Every time I get on a bus here I feel like dancing along to the sega or maloya music they have blasting out of the radio. I really don't know how everyone manages to stay still, my feet always tap along to the beat. You just don’t get that loud appreciation for music and life on public transport in Britain.

 

Of course, I love my home country and everything that comes with it, even the frosty mornings and silent bus rides, because they are all part of my story. And in an ideal world, my family and friends would move to Reunion and we would all live happily ever after in the sunshine on the beach. But for now, I am going to stick with this Island, see where it takes me and who knows maybe one day I will call it home.

 

Vocabulary

tan - bronzage

outcome - résultat

close - proche

thought - idée

roast - rôti

 

cackle - gloussement

to wonder - se demander

plug - prise électrique

hairdryer - sèche-cheveux

duvet - couette

 

to defrost - décongeler

blasting - à fond

to manage - arriver à

beat - rythme

frosty - glacial

to stick - rester

00:0000:00

124 - Mafate! Let’s Go! - Vocabulary

We had been living in Reunion for about six months when a couple of my very special friends came to visit.

 

I was super excited to have the girls over and excited to have two weeks to do some island exploring with them.

 

In more than a week, we did heaps of stuff until Mafate was the only box left for us to tick. So us three girls sat down one morning with our guidebooks and maps and started to work out our mission into Reunion’s famous caldera. Step one, find accommodation.  Step two, figure out how to get there. In the end, we booked ourselves into a guest house in Roche Plate, where we could pitch our tents for the night.

 

And getting to Roche Plate? Well, that looked quite easy: straight across from Le Col des Boeufs. Not so far, by the looks of things. But what were all those tiny, red, squiggly lines on the map?

 

We found out soon enough! Those tiny, red, squiggly lines were a very impressive change in height! We literally hiked from the top of Mafate, all the way down into La Rivière des Galets, up and over Le Bronchard and on to Roche Plate! We did a hike with a height change of almost 2000m that day. Now if that figure doesn’t mean anything to you, let’s just say that it’s a hell of lot! A hell of a lot of going down and a hell of a lot of going up! It took us eight hours of hiking to get to our destination! And the worst part about it? We had to do it all over again in the morning! But second time round we all passed out from exhaustion and had little a nap on the grass in La Nouvelle!

 

The rampart from La Nouvelle down into the river is impressive. It’s steep, narrow and quite slippery at times. Not so good for the faint hearted or my old knees! Luckily some cords have been added to the path for you to hold onto. 

 

So that was my first hike into Mafate and I have yet to meet someone who has taken that very same path. Quite traumatising! But the madness was soon forgotten and I was back in Mafate to explore some more.

 


 

Vocabulary

 

heap - tas

stuff - choses

to tick - cocher

map - carte d’un pays

step one - première étape

 

to figure out - résoudre

to pitch - monter

tiny - minuscule

squiggly - ondulé

impressive - impressionnant

 

change in height - dénivelé

figure - chiffre

a hell of a lot - énormément

down - vers le bas

up - vers le haut

 

worst - le pire

nap - sieste

steep - raide

slippery - glissant

madness - folie

00:0000:00