& Career


Classic pieces that will

never go out of style







A survivor’s story + telltale

signs that it’s time to get out


A historical

gem in Baie







Pop Culture

Influential Ms. Kardashian

Special Feature

Down Syndrome




A Treasure Trove in Baie Lazare



Juggling Motherhood & Career

The Team

Seychellois Overseas

Ex-Miss Seychelles, Jane Stravens

Chief Editor: (1) Marie-France Watson | M: + (248) 2512477 | E:

Marketing: (2) Ineke Camille | M: + (248) 2520937 | E:

Editor: (3) Lynette Botha | E:

Freelance Writing: (4) Mawess Wirtz, (5) Kurt Gilbert, (6) Hanifa Francoise

Photography: (7) Suzanne Verlaque | POTPOURRI Photography Studio

Graphics & Layout: (8) Olivia Michaud | W:

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From the


Dear Folks,

Photo credit: Suzanne Verlaque

This month, we are all once again reminded of the important role women

play in the world we live in. Commemorative days to me are like refresher

courses; there’s nothing new we learn but given that we are constantly

growing as individuals, our take on the situation changes and there’s

always a new angle we are able to explore. Personally, I have been

thinking about this day since we celebrated it last year. I couldn’t help

but feel that many of us took the opportunity to have a little dig at the

opposite sex, which is perhaps justified since the day is there to remind

men of how special we are, but is it really the opposite sex who needs to

be reminded? I beg to differ. More and more, I get the sense that women

in general do not appreciate other women. We are in some relentless

search of what it is that ‘she’ is lacking and once we find it, well, we can feel

like we’re on top of the world again. So, when exactly did women become

women’s worst enemy?

The world we live in at the moment is complicated, fast and tiring. Our

lives are exposed on facebook, instagram, twitter and magazines. Gone

are the days when what kind of mother, partner, friend or colleague we

are remained the business of only those they concerned. The world is now

able to formulate an opinion on who we are and naturally that places us

in a competitive place to be the best of everything. Since that is close to

impossible, being best is now also based on who we perceive to be ‘less’

than us; a mother who has a social life, a partner who has let herself ‘go’ a

little, a colleague who gets called into the boss’ office more frequently –

the list goes on. The sad thing about this is that we fail to see that there’s

no ‘just me’ bubble we can escape to and live in. We are all in whatever

we are in together. When I walk into the office in the morning and all my

colleagues are happy, we end up having a productive day which is good

for the general morale and also good for business – a win-win situation

as far as I see it. A colleagues’ unhappiness or anger does nothing good

for anyone in the office. Why don’t we choose to see things in a collective

manner? Allow me to use this metaphor as an example; we are all candles

burning our own light in a room. When the candle next to you fades or is

blown out, yes, your own light might shine brighter for a minute but what

happens to the light in the entire room? It dims. So the next time you get

the chance to share in someone’s happiness, go for it, don’t try to lessen

it. The same applies for someone’s grim moment; don’t rejoice in it but

rather extend your help or better still, your love. Your life and world would

be better because of it.

Women’s Day aside, March is also the month when awareness on Down

Syndrome is given some attention. We take a look at this condition

and meet a couple of families who live it everyday. Down Syndrome to

those of us who do not know is simply seen at face value. We recognise

the condition based on someone’s physical appearance but we remain

comfortably clueless as to what it entails to live with it or with someone

inflicted by it. We hope the feature enlightens you a bit more as it did us.

Another important issue which we address in this issue is domestic

violence, the silent ailment too many people, especially women and

children live with. A survivor shares her story with us and along with it,

gives us hope that there is no situation which can’t be improved or walked

away from if necessary. Our aim was to identify signs in relationships

which scream abuse but we are perhaps at the time too blind to see.

Again, we hope it helps those of you who find yourselves in this incredibly

sad situation or those of you who know someone who is.

The end of March would mark the end of the first quarter of the year. It’s

a good time to re-visit your 2015 resolutions; renew them, change them,

discard them or be proud that you remain on the track you set out to

follow for this year. It takes courage to grow and learn and to try to be

better. We wish you plenty of it.

For those of you visiting our beautiful islands this month, may you have a

memorable holiday and be blown away by the Seychellois hospitality.

Chief Editor



Cover Model

Stephenie Dookley

1 2

1. Photographer: Marsha Dine

2. Concept & Make-Up: Joel Rose

Clothes, bag & shoes: Model’s own

Choker: Trendy Boutique

Bracelet: KANKAN

Location: Lazare Souvenir,

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Stephenie Dookley


By Lynette Botha / Photographs Marsha Dine


Proof that no matter what life throws at you,

you’re stronger than you think….

At 24, Stephenie is a single, working mom whose life has

thrown her more than a few curveballs, but she’s not taking

it lying down. Literally. Stephenie, who used to weigh 108kg

and wear a size 18, now weighs 61kg and alters between a

size six and eight, thanks to willpower, sensible eating and

lots of training. As we all know, it’s not easy to “just lose

weight” – especially not with a full-time job and a young

child, but Stephenie was adamant about changing her life.

“I was so overweight for a very long time and I didn’t know

how to change. It made me feel depressed and unhappy

and I knew I had to do something to get my weight under

control, not only for me, but for my son too.”

“The struggle is real, it never

gets easier, but you get

stronger.” This was one of

the lines that Stephenie

repeated many times during

our interview. She meant it in

relation to fitness and getting

healthy, but it seems to allude

to the rest of her life too.”

Once Stephenie had her mind set on getting into shape to

lose all her excess weight, she did what most people do –

look for a quick fix. She started taking diet pills to curb her

appetite, but that solution was short-lived; the pills made

her really sick and caused gastric problems so she had

to stop. She then tried starving herself, and going hours

without eating anything, but again this was not sustainable

and left her weak, tired and even more depressed every

time she failed. “I would get on the scale, see that my weight

was the same, and cry and cry. It was depressing. It’s so

difficult when you’re in that place and you don’t see a way

out.” Eventually she realised the only way she was going

to be able to get in shape was with a realistic goal, lots of

exercise and a healthy eating plan. “Everyone is after instant

results, I was too, but there is no secret, it’s all about hard

work and discipline.” She says.

So, where did she start? “I signed up at the gym, got advice

from the trainers there and committed to going every

day. I did a bit of everything; aerobics, swimming, weight

lifting and jogging. With my eating, I started to cut out

carbs – bread, rice, pasta, as well as sugar and junk food. I

started preparing healthier meals like salads and fish with

vegetables. I also added a lot of protein to my diet.”

Changing your lifestyle so drastically is tough and often not

sustainable, but no matter how hard it was, Stephenie was

determined to keep going. “The difficult thing is that you

don’t see results straight away; it’s not like if you eat clean

Golden Flavours:

Cooking up success

with Barclays

Steve Albert, 32, is an entrepreneur and a

pragmatic dreamer. When he started his company,

Golden Flavours, he was barely 22. Ten years on,

Golden Flavours is known for the quality of its

products on the local market, distributing his

brand of vinegar, tomato sauce and chill sauce

in supermarkets around Mahé, but also in hotels,

restaurants and fast foods.

“I remember being at the Polytechnic School, whenever

I wanted my parents to buy chili sauce or tomato sauce at

the supermarket, there was barely any choice, and it was

always expensive. That’s when I realised the market for these

condiments were very much open in Seychelles,” explains the

young man. After leaving the polytechnic school, he decides

to follow a course on entrepreneurship for small businesses

at the Guy Morel Institute, giving him access to small grant

to launch his business.

“Once I had registered my business and opened the account

with Barclays, the next step was to find suppliers for the raw

materials and spices. I went to Malaysia and South Africa,

looking for the right blend of spices at the right price because

I wanted my product to be affordable here. Today, I still get

most of the spices from these countries, but I also use local

vegetables for my production,” says Steve Albert. Once he

bought his first batch of spices, he started experimenting

with the mixture, trying to find the right balance of tastes

that would appeal to the public, and soon enough, the first

bottles of condiments were produced in his small factory at

Anse-aux-Pins. He also followed a course on food preparation

and spice mixtures in 2007 in South Africa. Never one to

rest on his laurels, as soon as the business started to move

forward, Steve tried to come up with new ideas and revenue

streams, always going to Barclays for help when he needed it.

I feel like more than just a customer

“The relationship with Barclays is a very good one. I have

always made sure that my payments were made in time and

they have helped me along the way. Now, I feel like more than

just a customer, they know me and I know them. I know I can

tell the Barclays team about the issues I am having with my

business, and they will give me advices and encouragements.

I have told them about my next project, and should soon be

presenting them my project document,” he states. For 2015,

Steve Albert has a slew of projects coming, with the biggest

one being the construction of a new factory at Anse-aux-

Pins. The new state of the art factory will not only enable

him to increase his production of bottled vinegar, chili and

tomato sauces, but also to start producing other products

and flavours. “At one point, we were doing 10 different

products, but when I noticed some worked better, I chose

to focus on them. Now, I want to diversify because this will

enable me to increase my profitability. By the end of 2015,

my goal is that Golden Flavours be manufacturing 15 to 20

different products, from condiments to sauces,” declares the

ambitious young man.

For more information, please visit our branches,

Call our Contact Centre on 438 3939

or email

and train for a whole week that you’ll step on the scale and see a massive

difference in your weight. It takes at least a month or two to see proper

results, and even then it’s not much. If you commit to getting in shape,

you have to work hard at it and be in it for the long haul, the results you

see eventually make it all worth it.” It took her nine months to lose 47kgs

and she couldn’t be happier with her results. “You have to work for it; it’s

the only way.”

Stephenie is so grateful to her old friends who have supported and

encouraged her, her new friends from the gym, who have motivated

and pushed her, but she is especially thankful for her parents. “My mom

and dad are my everything, they are so supportive. My mom looks after

my son, Khelan, when I’m working and going to gym. My dad is always

Googling new workouts and healthy eating plans for me. They are so

encouraging and they help me so much – I would never have been able

to commit to getting in shape without them.” Stephenie, who still lives at

home, says that her father even went so far as to create a home gym at the

“Me getting healthy has been a good

thing for the whole family; even my son

eats more healthily now – he likes to

eat what I’m eating; he even steals my

plain yoghurt sometimes.”

house for her and he himself is into fitness too now. “Me getting healthy

has been a good thing for the whole family; even my son eats more

healthily now – he likes to eat what I’m eating; he even steals my plain

yoghurt sometimes.” She smiles.

“I would get on the scale, see that my

weight was the same, and cry and cry.

It was depressing. It’s so difficult when

you’re in that place and you don’t see

a way out.”

After a less than pleasant split from her ex, Stephenie is weary of rushing

into relationships, but that hasn’t stopped the attention she’s been getting

since she got her shape back. “I do get a lot more attention from men

nowadays; when I go out, I don’t even have to take my purse out of my

bag, people just want to buy me drinks!” On the other side of the scale,

there are those who are not so fond of her new look, “people are strange;

when I was overweight people would say ‘you’re obese’, now that I’m in

shape, people tell me I’m too skinny.” She’s slowly starting to realise that

she needs to ignore what others have to say and focus on herself, and how

she feels. She also doesn’t plan on losing any more weight – her goal is to

stay at 61kgs, but keep toning up and maintaining her healthy lifestyle.

Besides the gym, she loves to dance, attend zumba classes, workout with

her yoga DVDs and walk along the beach.

When I ask her for her advice to people in a similar situation as her, she

says “it is not easy at all. But never give up. Keep at it; get advice, get

people to support and encourage you. Remember to earn it and own it.

You have to go and sweat it out – even when you don’t feel like it, just get

up and get active. Soon it becomes a part of your lifestyle and you can’t

wait to get to the gym and you can’t wait to eat a healthy salad. It gets

easier the longer you do it, just believe in yourself.”

Young in age, but wise beyond her years – Stephenie is proof that the

harder you fall, the higher you bounce!


Musings of an Island Girl

They do not see you stand in the bathroom and gather your resolve every

morning. Splashing your face with water, staring in the mirror, sighing,

brushing your teeth (maybe), picking up that toddler, drifting into the

kitchen, pouring cereal in bowls, cleaning dishes, and making your cup of

tea or coffee with a yawn.

They do not see those of you who mother alone without much support.

They do not see the way you look at the bank account and try to figure

out how to make three meals with what is left in your pantry. They do not

see you walking into the principal’s office, doctor’s office, friend’s house

and defending your child. Alone.



Photographs: Joe Clothilde

You are enough

You give of yourself.

They do not see bandages placed on knees. Quiet kisses on foreheads at

night. Pillows pushed just the right way and blankets tucked to the perfect

demands. Laundry folded and folded and folded. Tears that sting your

eyes as you keep going. Dinners prepared with love. Times of laughter

over silly things. Hair brushed and pulled back into pony tails. Prayers over

little babes. Prayers over wandering teens. Nights spent asleep in a chair

holding a sick child. Days where the house is a wreck but you are reading

books. The courageous smile on your face when you are fatigued.

Those things matter.

Those things are the little things that add up and up and up. Second by

second, minute by minute until they add up to hours which add up to

create days which add up to create weeks which add up to create months

which add up to create years which add up to create a life. A beautiful life

filled with regular mommy moments.

I say those things are enough. I say you are enough.

Tina Houareau is a Seychellois living in the USA with her young son. She is an Instructional Designer for Capella University, where she recently completed her PhD in the same field.



My relationship with… my best friend

For Jeannine Gilbert-Finnigan and Marie-Michelle Joseph it’s always about picking up right where they left off.

By Jeannine Gilbert-Finnigan

No one wants to be at the mercy of life, standing alone, so every day

I give thanks to all my beautiful friends across the globe. I am truly

grateful for the people (old and new) who are bringing joy into my life,

but one special person is my best friend of 27 years Marie-Michelle. We

have known each other for 35 years but our special bond started in our

late teens, the moment in our lives when we became young adults and

understood the true value of friendship.





I called when I lost my father. When my first long-term relationship

went pear-shaped I cried buckets on her shoulder and she helped me

pick up the pieces and I stood by her during her break-ups too. She was

maid-of-honour at my wedding and helped me plan my big day. She is

the godmother of my daughter and best of all we both feel like we are

part of each other’s families, which is an amazing feeling. We’ve had 27

years of great friendship and I am thankful for that. We live thousands

of miles apart but we speak almost every day by phone or via social

media and we see each other once or twice a year.

27 years on; our bond is still as strong as ever

Almost 12 years ago when I left Seychelles, one of my greatest fears was

losing my friends who have been in my life for so long. Some of them

had been in my life for as long as I can remember; as far back as primary

school and many came into my life by coincidence; Michelle was one

of them. Michelle and I have been friends since we were teenagers. We

met when we started our post-secondary studies; we just so happened

to be taking the same A-level subjects and we were both obsessed with

reading. Exchanging novels became a ritual and that was the start of a

beautiful friendship. Some people are quite surprised when they realise

how close we are because we have completely different personalities. I

am the quiet, reserved one with a discreet confidence where as my best

friend is perhaps the vocal one who doesn’t mince her words. I love her

because with her it’s always: what you see is what you get. We have

been there for each other during all the lows and the highs of our lives.

I was there for her when she lost her sister and she was the first person








Michelle and I on my wedding day

What puzzles people most is that I have never been in Michelle’s

friendship circle and she has never been in mine. When it comes to

other friends we both socialise in different circles. Our friendship is

about the two of us, and our family. We value the time spent together

but giving each other space to get on with other aspects of our lives is

important. We never judge each other and we rarely talk about friends

in our individual friendship circle. We simple accept each other for

who we are and we never try to change one another so that we can fit

in with our other friends. We are never jealous of each other because

we know that we will both drop everything to be at each other’s side

if need be. With Michelle and I, it is about picking up where we left

off, regardless of the time and distance that separates us. We are just

happy to be in each other’s company. We even have date nights, when

the two of us will go out for a meal and talk without interruptions.

It is a special kind of bond that perhaps some of our other friends


Michelle and her god-daughter (my daughter)

find intriguing. Some people even think we are related

because we are rarely in the same social circle but always


My best friend has been a blessing, she challenged me

when I doubted my ability, motivated me when I was

ready to give up and she was there for me when life was

not so good to me. She continues to do so even if we are

miles apart.

I hope that others have been blessed with amazing

friendships too and that they are grateful for those who

are still in their lives. Friendship is an important part of

life, so value your friends, treat them as you would like to

be treated and you will be rewarded with trust, openness,

support and never-ending friendship. I feel so blessed to

have a friend like Michelle.


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Successful with

Down Syndrome

Being born with Down Syndrome may give you a challenging start in life, but with the right help and the right

attitude anything is possible, as Mawess Mea Wirtz finds out

The definition of a person with Down Syndrome is simple – it is a person

who has either an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21 resulting

in 47 instead of the normal 46 chromosomes. The English doctor, John

Langdon Down who first categorised it, did the usual and named the

syndrome after himself, but it was Dr. Jerome Lejeune who actually

discovered that it was a genetic disorder. Currently, the exact cause is

unknown but statistics show that the older the mother is when she falls

pregnant, the higher the chances that she would have a child born with

DS. Women aged 30 or less have less than 1 in 1,000 chance of have a DS

child, compared to 1 in 400 at age 35. Usually, women over the age of

35 are tested pre-birth for the condition through amniocentesis (testing

the amniotic fluid). Statistics also show that parents who already have a

Down Syndrome baby or have abnormalities in their own chromosome

21 are also high risk. But what is it like to have a Down Syndrome baby in

Seychelles? What is it like to raise the child? How does it affect the family?

What help is there for parents and children alike?

Amazing Grace… how sweet the child.

Grace Mondon is 8 years old; she is an affectionate child who loves music

and going to school. She is a very good student who perseveres in class

and does sports well. She likes playing with her best friend, her twelve

year old cousin Nashil and they share a passion for music. She loves to

sing and dance. She is picky about food. She has Down Syndrome.

Finding out the hard way.

Her mother, Georgette, was 30 when she was born and her father, Clifford

was 33 years old. They had both been in good health and awaiting the

birth of their daughter impatiently. The day that Grace was born was the

HAPPIEST moment in their lives. Georgette had had multiple scans during

her pregnancy but no one noticed anything wrong with her child, the

first indication that something was amiss came AFTER Grace was born.

Mr Mondon remembers a nurse telling him that she thought that there

was something wrong with his baby, but to wait for the doctor. As new

parents, they were immediately filled with fear. The doctor came soon

after, accompanied by a class he was teaching and while the parents

waited fearfully, their child was passed around and examined, her

characteristics were discussed and it was only after class was dismissed

that the doctor informed them that Grace had Down Syndrome. Their

world was rocked. Could you imagine what such a moment feels like?

Where there is a will, there is a way

Mr Mondon remembers telling himself that everything happens for a

reason so he picked himself up, immediately started researching the

syndrome and how he could make a good life for his child. Luckily, among

the first sites, was a very uplifting one, it gave concrete advice and showed

grown up Down Syndrome people who were successful professionally.


He vowed that HIS daughter was going to get the most normal life he

could provide and that nothing was going to prevent her from being

everything she wanted to be.

A normal upbringing

And a normal upbringing is exactly what Grace has had. She is

reprimanded for doing wrong and she is praised for doing right. She

attended the Count and Read pre-school and despite some issues

she successfully completed her duration there. She then moved to

the Exceptional School and her parents have nothing but the greatest

admiration for the teachers and staff. They credit a lot of Grace’s

development to these amazing people’s commitment to her growth.








Surmounting the odds

From birth, Grace would constantly get sick but her parents would always

research the best way to care for her and would liaise with her doctors

to make sure that they were aware of exactly what was happening.

Her father has done this so much that friends have started seeing him

as an endless source of medical advice. Parents must be aware that

Down Syndrome predisposes one to certain medical conditions such

as congenital heart defects, sleep apnea, and Alzheimer’s disease.

There is also evidence of an increased risk of celiac disease, autism,

childhood leukemia and seizures. Endless, heartfelt gratitude goes to Dr

Athanasius who has followed Grace from birth to now. Early intervention

for babies with Down Syndrome is very important as appropriate physical

and speech therapies for the first five years can make a major difference

for that child’s physical and intellectual development.

At around six years old, her parents noticed that there was something

wrong with one of her eyes and sought medical assistance. Despite being

advised to leave it, her parents researched a hospital and raised funds

to send her to have the eye checked and treated, luckily it was a case

of, “good thing you trusted your gut feeling” because it turned out that

Grace was about to lose her eye. Her parents will be eternally grateful to

all the people they didn’t expect to help out, but who did. Thanks to them

Grace’s eye was saved.

Truly exceptional

Grace attends the Exceptional School and never has a school been so

aptly named. The staff that I have met are truly exceptional and the feats

that they have achieved even more so. The achievements of the children

despite their disabilities is the cherry on the cake. The school accepts

students of all disabilities in Seychelles. The students range from being

incapable of doing anything for themselves to those that have learnt to

do so. Along with Grace, the school has around nine Down Syndrome

children and I was surprised to find that they are not grouped together,

rather students at the school are classed according to how much they

have achieved.

With her favourite toys

With her mom

The curriculum changes according to the abilities of the child but the

minute that they show that they are capable the teachers will attempt to

get them to complete the National Curriculum used in all state schools.

Aside from academics, the school also has programs to help the students

socialise successfully, work on their motor skills, give them life skills and

other abilities that we take for granted. Students learn things like how to

dress themselves, table manners, and basic household chores. These get

continually challenging the more they master. The school was proud to

tell me that some of their students could now cook, sew and maintain

themselves effectively. Mr Mondon can vouch for the fact that Grace

dresses herself and is quite independent.

The communication skills for Down Syndrome children are provided at the

school by a speech therapist. This amazing woman works with improving

the speech from mild to severe cases of various disabilities. There are

students that start the school incapable of communicating effectively.

Where before her parents might have had trouble figuring out what Grace

wanted, she has learned gestures that allow her to communicate her


Down Syndrome children require physical therapy to strengthen their

muscles before they can fine tune their motor skills. The PE teacher

explained to me how the National Sports Council (NSC) provides this

service before the students are ready to learn sports just like Grace

does. Even then however, there needs to be continuous support and

reinforcement to get them to follow the rules of the sport. Grace recently

Having fun at the playground

Water play at school



competed in the Special Olympics National competition in the 50m walk and made

her parents proud to see her receive her medal from Minister Meriton.

The Seychelles Special Olympics

The other organisation that helps out with the development of the young Down

Syndrome children focuses on sports. A short interview with the National Director

of the Seychelles Special Olympics, Ms Erica Celeste, cleared up what services they

provided. The organisation conducts training of the disabled at various sports every

Sunday but they do not have a bus, therefore the younger and more severe cases can

only train at the Exceptional School. The ages range from 8 to “as old as you are when

you stop” but the others are also registered to the association. Ms Celeste says that

the training of the Down Syndrome athletes requires repetition of the same concepts

every Sunday and endless patience. The performance of our athletes in the World

Olympics however, is worth it. She notes that with Down Syndrome, a high level of

positive reinforcement needs to be maintained. Usually she uses a plethora of high

fives and hugs to steer her charges to success. The organisation is also going to start

their young athletes programme and have a competition later in the year.





How is she now?

Grace doesn’t really talk, but make no mistake, she communicates effectively, she

may not be able tell her parents something in sentences but through a combination

of words and gestures, she makes her point. In her studies, she has been working

diligently and is capable of doing a lot of small activities. Her teachers are proud of her

progress and admire her for always keeping everything tidy, cleaning up after each

activity all on her own. Cleanliness is definitely the next step to Godliness for Grace.

She is no longer sickly and she lives like any 8-year old, loving to have fun with no idea

that she is different.

Down Syndrome takes

centre-stage in 2015

A recent article by David M Perry, highlighted

how the spotlight is on Down Syndrome this year; in the

article he wrote: “Down syndrome, with all its promise and

challenges, has never been more visible: Jamie Brewer, an

actress with Down Syndrome, just walked the catwalk at

New York Fashion Week. A video of a girl with Down Syndrome

singing a John Legend song went viral, receiving 6

million page views and counting. People were so moved

by the story of a father choosing his son with Down Syndrome

over his marriage that they donated over $500,000

to his care (although the father’s story has now been

called into question).” The writer himself is the father of a

Down Syndrome son, so he’s experienced to comment on

the condition and went on to say: “Thanks to the power of

the Internet and the commitment of activists, politicians

and experts of all sorts, access to these antidotes [information,

experts and community] has never been easier.”

And it’s true – you’re not alone.

Useful contact numbers and details:

Exceptional School Seychelles: Call (+248) 4283057 /


Further reading and advice:

International World Down Syndrome day is on 21 March

In the future….

The future looks bright because some research shows that people with Down

Syndrome who have certain heart defects or childhood leukemia are more likely

than their typical counterparts to recover or recover more quickly. It is also rare

for a person with Down Syndrome to have a solid tumor cancer or cardiovascular

disease, (including heart attack and stroke). Her father says that ideally he would like

to set her up with her own business because he is unsure about how she would be

treated in someone’s employment. And when I asked him about dating, he says he

thinks he is ok with it and he wants her to find someone, but I get the impression

that it will take one amazing man to marry the Mondon princess. Over-protective is

an understatement (and I mean this in the nicest way possible)! Research tells me

that today the lifespan of a person with Down Syndrome is around 60 years, unlike

as recently as 1983, when the average lifespan was 25 years. The average IQ has also

increased so Grace might well soon be the successful businesswoman her father

wants her to be.

One year old

At Farquhar

Building for the future

Mr Mondon has invested in so many projects that help out the

disabled children. He set up the breakfast programme for the

Exceptional School and he wants to set up a Down Syndrome

club, where other parents can come together and work on

improving the facilities available for Down Syndrome children.

Down syndrome in the world

Although children and adults with Down Syndrome may

share some common features, they look more like their

immediate family members than like each other. Actors such

as Chris Burke, who played Corky in Life Goes On, and Lauren

Potter, who plays Becky Jackson on Glee, show us that there is

no barrier in being Down Syndrome, afterall, those two made it

in HOLLYWOOD! Something most of us can only dream about.



Before surgery

After surgery

Exceptional School

Exceptional School


A treasure

trove in

Baie Lazare

In the heart of Baie Lazare, Lynette Botha

discovers an unsuspecting place that houses

a lot of history and a lot of heart

Joseph Larue is an anomaly. He doesn’t have an email address, he’s

not really interested in TV and he thinks social media is ruining

relationships. He longs for the old days, when life was simpler. He

recalls days gone by, when he was a young boy and his family would

take turns to tell stories in the evening because they had no television –

his grandfather, his mother and his father, all taking turns to share a tale

– and before he knew it, it was bedtime. He misses those days, when life

moved at a slower pace and people weren’t consumed by technology

and entertainment.

It’s no surprise then to learn about his great and deep-seated love for

history. Joseph owns Lazare Souvenir, Museum and Gallery in Baie

Lazare – a treasure trove of trinkets from the past. And while it’s only

been open for around six months, the store was previously located in

Victoria, called Yves Souvenir Cachée, where it had been for 15 years.

There are fascinating things he has collected over the years – from old

spectacles, gramophones and typewriters to records, coins and even an

old electricity receipt dating decades back with a monthly total so little,

you’d choke comparing it to the bills of today.

When I ask him where the majority of his things come from, he says

“You won’t believe it, but most of these things I have picked up in

the junk yard; people just throw this stuff out. There is not much of a

culture of history and remembrance in Seychelles – people don’t seem

to treasure family heirlooms. If older members of their family pass on,

they tend to just throw their stuff out; they don’t hold on to it or restore

it.” But he’s not complaining – he’s picked up many amazing pieces from

the junkyard, including the prized bicycle with the “open” sign affixed

to it that stands proudly outside the store’s front door. “It’s like the old

adage goes, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure,” he says. Apart

from housing historical items of Seychelles’ past, the walls are adorned

with art for sale from local artists, many of whom Joseph is friends with.

Most of the work showcased is done by artists from the Baie Lazare area

and gets them a lot of exposure. “Yeh, the art sells well here – and as

soon as something is sold, I call them up and say ‘there’s a gap on the

wall, I need a replacement’.” He smiles as he tells me this. Joseph has an

extremely calm and warm nature, and shares his knowledge and stories

openly. Which is why I’m not surprised when he tells me that he often

has groups from schools who come by to visit, and he gives them a

guided tour of the place and answers their questions.





Every year since 2003, Joseph has visited the UK at least once; unlike

many locals who mainly travel abroad to shop and enjoy the finer

things in life, he loves to visit other places and experience their culture

and history. Of all the places he’s travelled to he says that the museums

and antique stores that he visited in the UK and South Africa have

had the biggest influence on how he curates things and have further

inspired him to keep hunting for souvenirs and artifacts to display.

There is no cover fee to visit the museum, and when I ask him if he’ll

ever charge one in the future, he responds, “never; I will never have a

fee to come in. I am grateful for any donations, of course, so that I can

carry on collecting and preserving history, but I will never charge for

viewing.” Do people often leave donations I ask? “Not all the time, but I

get a few, normally SR25 or SR50; the most I have received was SR100

from a local lady who was so impressed by the place.” Joseph has many

foreigners visit and says they are always impressed with what he has

done with the place and they ask a lot of questions; “they really love it;

you just need to read my guest book to see for yourself”.








Exclusive Distributor:

Mamma Mia (Pty) Ltd

t: 4 374 545 | e:

When choosing the colourful outside of Joseph’s museum as the

backdrop for our cover shoot this month, we had no idea of the

amazing history that lay beneath nor the friendly, genuine man

responsible for it. As they say, everything happens for a reason. Do

yourself a favour and pay the place a visit – you won’t be sorry.



Joseph Larue in his favourite space, his museum



Seychelles & Wellbeing

holistic treatment by therapists who come to you

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Of broken




Domestic violence is something very prevalent in our

country, but a subject that remains greatly taboo. This

month we look at a survivor’s tale as well as telltale

signs that it’s time to get out and how to ask for help….

By Marie-France Watson and Lynette Botha

A survivor’s tale

One woman shares her story of living with and loving

an abusive partner – and how she finally got out

Cecile’s love story with Mark started when she was just 16 years old. He

was her first love. Coming from a home that was struggling with certain

social issues including mental illness, Mark’s presence in her life was

comforting. His possessiveness, which she now she realises was an early

sign of things to come, was at the time reassuring for her. He loved her

and wanted to protect her. Despite advice that the relationship would not

work from family and close friends, Cecile could not wait to marry Mark

at 22. Her excitement at the prospect of building a life with the man she

loved caused her to turn a blind eye to the occasional slaps, which had

started to surface. She dismissed them as irrelevant and was certain they

would stop when she became his wife.

She was wrong. While the physical abuse was not a daily occurrence, in

fact she recalls only two or three serious incidents in each year of their

marriage, the psychological ones were more frequent. In fits of rage he

would break things in the house, throw her out of the car they owned

(and often in places where she would be left stranded and far away from

home) and also threaten to kick her out of the house they owned. Looking

back, Cecile realises that it was all part of his need to control her. Instilling

fear in her was his way of reminding her who was the boss. While she

refuses to be labeled a victim, Cecile admits that psychologically he broke

her. After each incident he would cry and ask for forgiveness, but in the

same breath he would blame her for it; if only she had listened to him

or not answered back, he would have never raised his hand to her. She

would believe him for many reasons, one of which was she always wanted

her marriage to work out.


“If you feel like you have to

walk on eggshells around your

partner—constantly watching

what you say and do in order

to avoid a blow-up—chances

are your relationship is

unhealthy and abusive. Other

signs that you may be in an

abusive relationship include

a partner who belittles you or

tries to control you, and feelings

of self-loathing, helplessness,

and desperation.”


The most recent statistics for domestic violence cases in Seychelles are

from 2013. Where figures show that domestic violence in the home grew

considerably from 472 cases in 2010, 589 in 2011, 670 in 2012 to 617 cases

in 2013. Bearing in mind these are cases that are reported – more often

than not, domestic violence is tolerated in the home for years and years,

before it is (if ever) reported. Also to note, is that these cases all included

physical harm – domestic abuse may include emotional or psychological

damage, but domestic violence indicates that the victim was physically



How to recognise abuse

Domestic abuse often starts out as verbal and emotional abuse;

arguments start, name-calling and blaming is thrown in, foul language

and threats may arise. This tends to escalate over weeks, months and

years. While physically, bodily violence seems the most dangerous, it’s

generally the emotional and psychological element that causes the most

damage over time. Emotionally abusive relationships lower your selfworth,

lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and

alone. Domestic abuse knows no bounds – it affects women, men and

children, whether in a partnership or married, no matter race or religion –

and it is extremely damaging to all involved.

Signs of an abusive relationship

Knowing how to identify the signs of an abusive relationship is the first

step in getting help, and removing yourself from this toxic situation.


The arrival of their son, Myles, did not change Mark’s anger with the

world. While she can’t confirm whether Myles ever witnessed a physical

incident she knows he heard them. In fact, his reaction to a particular fight

was the moment she decided she had to leave Mark. Myles stood in the

corridor outside their bedroom in the middle of an intense verbal fight

and shouted, ’stop making me pee in my pants’. Cecile there and then

realised that she had not managed to keep her marital problems separate

from her child. At four, he was already consumed with fear. This was day

one in the countdown to her divorce.

The process would take two years. Cecile explained that she has never

been a person who made rushed decisions. To leave Mark she had to

be independent. They shared a home, a car and he was privy to all her

financials. She had to change all that. During those two years, life went

on and the abuse went on. At times she felt hopeful that things could

change. Afterall, she had a home, an extended family and a status. Was

it worth giving all this up? And there was another important factor

to consider as well; shame. How would her family react? What would

everyone think? Aside from a bloody nose once, her bruises had always

been hidden from the world. No one knew of her torment.

Turning 30 was a turning point in her life. In January that year she laid

the cards on the table to Mark – no more cheating and no more hitting.

He agreed and kept his promise for just over a month. An incident where

she stayed at an event for one hour longer than she had promised

resulted in an assault while she slept and a broken arm when she reacted.

The morning after that incident, Cecile walked out.

It’s been over a decade now since that day. For the most part Cecile feels

that she has moved on. She can talk about it without crying and is able

to analyse the entire 14 years with Mark from both perspectives. Mark’s

mother had been openly unfaithful to his father causing him to have a

low opinion of women in general. According to her, a man who ‘hates’ his

mother or sister has issues which need to be addressed. Also, she reckons

that Mark could never truly accept the woman she grew into over the

years. At 16, she was a child and as she matured she changed and he lost

his control over her. Academically, she was also a step ahead of him. She

never thought that would have anything to do with anything, but she

does recall conversations with polytechnic friends many years ago where

they expressed concerns over their compatibility. The fact that she was

accepted into the school she wanted and he didn’t most likely did not sit

well with him.

On the other hand, parts of the abuse puzzle have stayed with her. It’s

taken her years to trust her current partner. Years into their relationship

she still has trouble believing he would never hit her or threaten to leave

her. It is a work in progress and it always will be.

According to, an international site for information and

help with mental and emotional health, the most telling sign is fear of

your partner. “If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your

partner—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid

a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive.

Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner

who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing,

helplessness, and desperation.”


Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings

Do you:

Feel afraid of your partner much

of the time?

Avoid certain topics out of fear of

angering your partner?

Feel that you can’t do anything

right for your partner?

Believe that you deserve to be

hurt or mistreated?

Wonder if you’re the one who is


Feel emotionally numb or


Your Partner’s Violent Behaviour

or Threats

Does your partner:

Have a bad and unpredictable


Hurt you, or threaten to hurt or

kill you?

Threaten to take your children

away or harm them?

Threaten to commit suicide if you


Force you to have sex?

Destroy your belongings?

Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior

Does your partner:

Humiliate or yell at you?

Criticize you and put you down?

Treat you so badly that you’re

embarrassed for your friends or

family to see?

Ignore or put down your opinions

or accomplishments?

Blame you for their own abusive


See you as property or a sex

object, rather than as a person?

Your Partner’s Controlling


Does your partner:

Act excessively jealous and


Control where you go or what

you do?

Keep you from seeing your friends

or family?

Limit your access to money, the

phone, or the car?

Limit who you see and where you


Constantly check up on you?



The site offers the following table to determine whether your relationship

is abusive. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you’re in an

abusive relationship.


Recognising the warning signs of domestic violence and abuse

It’s impossible to know with certainty what goes on behind closed doors,

but there are some telltale signs and symptoms of emotional abuse and

domestic violence. If you witness any warning signs of abuse in a friend,

family member, or co-worker, take them very seriously.

General warning signs of domestic abuse

People who are being abused may:

• Seem afraid or anxious to please their partner

• Go along with everything their partner says and does

• Check in often with their partner to report where they are and what

they’re doing

• Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner

• Talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or possessiveness

Warning signs of physical violence

People who are being physically abused may:

• Have frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents”

• Frequently miss work, school, or social occasions, without


• Dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (e.g. wearing long

sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors)

Warning signs of isolation

People who are being isolated by their abuser may:

• Be restricted from seeing family and friends

• Rarely go out in public without their partner

• Have limited access to money, credit cards, or the car

The psychological warning signs of abuse

People who are being abused may:

• Have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident

• Show major personality changes (e.g. an outgoing person becomes


• Be depressed, anxious, or suicidal


Whether or not you’re ready to leave your abuser, there are things you can

do to protect yourself. These safety tips can make the difference between

being severely injured or killed and escaping with your life.


Know your abuser’s red flags.

Be on alert for signs and clues that your abuser is getting upset and may


• The incidents of physical abuse seem minor when compared to

those you have read about, seen on television or heard other

women talk about. There isn’t a “better” or “worse” form of

physical abuse; you can be severely injured as a result of being

pushed, for example.

• The incidents of physical abuse have only occurred one or two

times in the relationship. Studies indicate that if your spouse

or partner has injured you once, it is likely he will continue to

physically assault you.

• The physical assaults stopped when you became passive and

gave up your right to express yourself as you desire, to move

about freely and see others, and to make decisions. It is not a

victory if you have to give up your rights as a person and a

partner in exchange for not being assaulted!

• There has not been any physical violence. Many women are

emotionally and verbally assaulted. This can be as equally

frightening and is often more confusing to try to understand.

Source: Breaking the Silence Handbook

explode in anger or violence. Come up with several believable reasons

you can use to leave the house (both during the day and at night) if you

sense trouble brewing.

Identify safe areas of the house.

Know where to go if your abuser attacks or an argument starts. Avoid

small, enclosed spaces without exits (such as closets or bathrooms) or

rooms with weapons (such as the kitchen). If possible, head for a room

with a phone and an outside door or window.

Come up with a code word.

Establish a word, phrase, or signal you can use to let your children, friends,

neighbours, or co-workers know that you’re in danger and the police

should be called.

Make an escape plan

Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Keep the car fueled up and

facing the driveway exit, with the driver’s door unlocked. Hide a spare

car key where you can get it quickly. Have emergency cash, clothing, and

important phone numbers and documents stashed in a safe place (at a

friend’s house, for example).

Practice escaping quickly and safely.

Rehearse your escape plan so you know exactly what to do if under attack

from your abuser. If you have children, have them practice the escape plan


Make and memorise a list of emergency contacts.

Ask several trusted individuals if you can contact them if you need a ride, a

place to stay, or help contacting the police. Memorise the numbers of your

family, emergency contacts and a domestic violence hotline.


Emergency: 999

Hotline: 133

Central Police Station: 428 80 00


Emergency: 151

Seychelles Hospital: 438 80 00

Praslin Hospital: 423 23 33

La Digue Logan Hospital: 423 42 55

Alliance of Solidarity for the Family (ASFF)

Call: +248 432 3211; 252 5711; 250 1247


Seychelles National Council for Children (NCC)



The names have been changed to protect the family’s privacy.




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Former Beauty Queen on a Divine Mission

The moment the Jane Stravens changed her birth year on an application form so that she

would be old enough to participate in the Miss Seychelles 1972 contest, she had no idea

of By what Jane was to Edna come. Stravens

Not only she would win that crown but also make it to the top 10

finalists in the Miss World contest in London later on that same year. The decision was not

even one that had been thought through adequately. She had simply wanted to try her

luck in the national pageant and when being 16 was the only deterrent standing in her

way, she changed a number. Looking back, she realises that it also changed her life.

Jane was born in Seychelles to Joachim and Marie Stravens in 1956. As is common with

many families where the head was part of the police force, they move around the island

quite a bit. As a child, this provided a wonderful real-life ‘Alice in Wonderland’ scenario for

Jane who in turn got to learn about different places and beaches. They must have made

quite an impression on her since many of these locations are featured in the books she

wrote as an adult such as “Shirley and Her Friends the Dolphins - Listen To The Silence”

where the main character, Shirley, is from a small village called Quatre Borne in the district

of Takamaka.

Following her crowning as Miss Seychelles in 1972, which made her a household name on

the islands, Jane went on to spend six extraordinary weeks in London as part of the Miss

World contest. This of course happened after Eric Morley had been informed that a 16

year old had won the crown and still gave the approval for her to participate. Jane would

end up making history for Seychelles as far as Miss World goes; to date she is the only

Seychellois who has made it to the top 10 finalists. Turning down a modeling contract

after the pageant, Jane returned to Seychelles and started a career in the travelling

business. She’d had already had a taste of it and she wasn’t about to lose it. Working with

the Travel Services Seychelles gave way to travelling opportunities which Jane longed for.

It was in the 1980’s that she finally succumbed to the inner voice that kept telling her that

beyond Seychelles’ shores something new and exciting

was waiting for her.

The place was Italy. For the longest time Jane had felt a

fascination with this country which has been the starting

point of phenomena of international impact such as

the Roman Empire, the Roman Catholic Church, the

Renaissance and the Risorgimento. Indeed, the cultural

element of a life in Italy is one of the boxes that had to be

ticked for the move to take place.

“There’s one recurring

element in most of

Jane’s endeavors

and pursuits and that

is her interest in the

divine powers.”

Italy did not disappoint Jane; in fact it provided ample

playground for her to explore multiple interests and

talents. Forward the clock and we have a Degree in

Theology, three years spent at the Brera Fine Arts

Academy; one of the most important art education

institutions in Italy, six published books and four more

waiting to be published. There’s one recurring element

in most of Jane’s endeavors and pursuits and that is

her interest in the divine powers, or simply put, God.

“God is everything to me,” Jane confides. She recalls

how when she was growing up, practicing religion was

never a discussion in her home, it simply was. Church

was attended every Sunday and every night her mother

would gather the family together to pray. Following a

particular difficult time in Italy she decided to deepen

her knowledge in religion as part of building a stronger

relationship with God. As she puts it, “before there was a

flame and now it’s a full blown fire”. Not one to keep any

acquired knowledge to herself, Jane also makes time to

teach children catechism and also the arts.

A desire to share her love for God coupled with childhood

memories that continued to infiltrate her thoughts, her

first book came to life; How to Be Useful to Humanity -

The Birth of Silk. “I have always had something to say,”

Jane says. Jane also states that it is a wonderful thing

to encourage children to cultivate their passions from

an early age. Jane also takes credit for the colourful

illustrations in her books. Her interest in developing her

artistic side has not seen its final light since she expresses

further interest in learning more.


On her mind right now is the EXPO (research on food and energy)

which will be in Milan this year, from the 1st of May to the 31st of

October. Jane is organising the 2nd edition of the “Children’s Painting

World Competition and Exhibition, entitled “Praising the Lord

Together”, in order to give praise and

thanks to God for all that he has given

us to enjoy for our health and beauty.

This initiative has been blessed by

Pope Benedict 16° more than two

years ago. Jane extends the invitation

to participate to the children of

Seychelles; find out more by going to

Jane’s website:

Jane’s to-do list seems to be a neverending

shrinking one. Her thirst for

knowledge, her love of life along with

her devotion to God keeps her going

on to the next thing and the next…

Jane’s books are available on

Amazon, Barnes & Nobles (US)

and also from her website www.

Jane as Miss Seychelles











Good, honest fun, along

with lethal cocktails, guitars

and crayfish have Brigitte

Monchouguy in high spirits

Alas many were under size and some were breeders so we did

the responsible thing and released them back into the ocean. We

gathered the remaining three lobsters and put on our snorkelling

gear to dive for Roe’s abalone, prying them off the surrounding

rocks and straight into our mesh bags.

Word around town was

that our friend, Crispin,

was holding a bona

fide Aussie bush party

to celebrate his 40th birthday. My

boyfriend, J and I decided to head

down south to check it out. We made

the three-hour journey from Perth

straight after work, stopping only for a petrol refill and chiko roll to snack on. Let it be said

that rural West Australian service stations are far from a culinary mecca.

renée martin designs

We arrived in Margaret River in total darkness and had to pitch our tent in the dead of

night, thankfully aided by head torches and my partner’s impressive camping skills. We

woke up the next morning under the blazing sun and drove straight to Redgate Beach

for a reviving dip, then took advantage of the low tide to bait our licensed crayfish pots

before cooking a breakfast of bacon and eggs on the barbie.

While the crayfish pots worked their magic we decided to visit Gunyulgup Galleries,

discovering some beautiful locally made glass sculptures and landscape paintings.

Then we headed to Crispin’s own little piece of heaven along the river, where he and

his wife have just completed building their three bedroom log cabin, set in untouched

bushland. A suckling pig was already roasting on a spit and we set about making Crispin’s

grandmother’s famous tea punch, a recipe which has been passed down from generation

to generation and is surprisingly lethal once laced with the requisite gin, rum or brandy!

Guitars and drums were brought out and we had a group sing-a-long underneath the

stars late into the night. It was good, honest fun.

The next day J and I went for our morning swim and checked on the crayfish pots. We

were elated to discover a total of 22 crayfish (Western Rock Lobsters) in our two pots.

Back at J’s brother’s house we prepared a feast of lobster and

abalone cooked two ways – one in a parsley, butter and white

wine sauce and the other with garlic and chili. Serving it with

a fresh grapefruit and almond salad, crusty Yallingup Bakery

woodfired sourdough bread and homemade lemonade, we

enjoyed a veritable feast from sea to table in less than two hours.

Delicious! Until next time, if you can’t be good, be good at it.

Mrs Underwood’s Tea Punch

A. Brew 2 tbsp black tea in 3 cups of boiling water. Let stand for 5

minutes then strain.

B. Dissolve ½ cup sugar in 2 cups of boiling water. Add a handful

of fresh mint and infuse for 5 minutes. Strain and while still

hot, stir in ¼ cup of red currant jelly. Combine A and B. Let

stand until cool.

C. Mix 2 cups of orange juice, 2 cups of pineapple juice and the

juice of 6 lemons. Combine C with A and B. Store in jugs or

bottles in the fridge until needed.

When ready to serve the punch combine 1/3 of the ABC

mixture with 2/3 cold ginger beer, lemonade or soda.

Spike with gin, rum or brandy and serve over ice in tea cups

with a fresh mint leaf as garnish.

Brigitte Monchouguy is a Seychellois legal

practitioner with a passion for social journalism. She

is happiest when travelling, with interests in music,

art, theatre and architecture. She also dabbles in

mixology and will be sharing cocktail recipes along

with her monthly escapades.


| From London to Mahé |

The difference between men and women

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? Despite not liking gender labels, Daniel Balkwill tends to agree

Gender stereotypes are hateful things.

Casually labelling 50% of the world’s

population with exactly the same

attributes is just plain ignorant.

Personally, I can’t bear it when a lady rolls

her eyes and says “Huh, typical man”. I’m

sure ladies find their hackles rising when a

so-called gentleman suggests that all women

talk too much, spend an excessive amount

of time in the bathroom and can’t throw










things properly just as we take umbrage

at being accused of being emotionally

stunted, thinking exclusively with our nether

regions and possessing an innate inability

to multitask. It is perhaps the last of these

alleged typical male traits that annoys me the

most but I shall revisit that point later.

Clichés and stereotypes only exist because

they are essentially mired in truth but that

doesn’t mean that they apply across the

board. Come to think of it, I don’t actually

know of any particular woman who talks

sparingly, spends an acceptable amount of

time whilst getting ready in the morning

and has a devilish throwing arm but I am

convinced such individuals are to be found.

Similarly, I’ve not met any men who can

emote freely, rarely obsess over the fairer sex

and have the ability to rustle up a Cordon

Bleu meal whilst juggling a set of flaming

skittles but there must surely be such folk in

existence too.

Not long ago I reached the end of my

working day. Nothing of much note had

happened. Such is the fickle world of retail.

Undeterred by the paucity of the day’s

successes, I set off for home, striding along

the Providence highway with my usual

combination of pace and purpose. As a wise

man once said, the sooner you get home, the

sooner you get to chill out and play with the


Upon my return, there was clearly a situation

of domestic upheaval. The car’s battery

was flat and there was an imminent storm

threatening. We all had to help push the

stricken vehicle into the garage before the

full might of the tropical elements was

unleashed. Despite the rigours of a day at

work followed by a three mile hike I threw

myself into the task with gusto. Although

there was some initial resistance, the car

began to inch slowly towards its intended


It was at this point that things began to go

awry. Ossie the dog had been observing

this curious activity and decided to get

involved. Normally he views me as his

faithful companion and playmate but on

this occasion something had clearly shortcircuited

in his mind. As I was pushing the car

with both arms fully extended and unable to

protect myself I suddenly felt him jump on

my back.

Dan works for Kreol Wines - a wine shop located

at Eden Plaza on Eden Island, specialising in

Argentinian, Australian, French and South

African products.

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 9am - 6.30pm;

Saturday, 10am - 6pm; Sunday, 10am - 4pm

It was then, in the midst of my canine

torment, that I experienced an unexpected

moment of clarity. I was shoving a heavy

car with all my might, desperately fending

off the unwanted advances of an amorous,

temporarily sexually confused 45 kilogram

dog with my left leg and breathing all at the

same time. Perhaps men can multitask after




Life, love and everything in between

In an interview with George Negus in 1979, Bob Marley clearly stated what richness

meant to him.


Bob Marley:


Bob Marley:


Bob Marley:

Have you made a lot of money out of your music?

Money? How much is a lot of money to you?

Yes, that’s a good question. Have you made, say, millions of dollars? Are

you a rich man?

When you say rich, what do you mean?

Do you have lots of possessions? Lots of money in the bank?

Possessions make you rich? I don’t have that kind of richness, my

richness is life... forever.

His answer was so simple, yet so profound and thought provoking. It made me

reevaluate things too, and ask myself: what is richness? What makes someone rich? Is it

their flashy car and their nice house? Or is it that their family is happy and healthy and

loved, with a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs?

Discovering the

richness of Life

The true meaning of wealth has nothing

to do with money, says Alexandria Faure

In this one interview Bob Marley encapsulates something meaningful and true; that

richness is life.

We spend so much time in our lives chasing after materialistic things and accumulating

wealth; we think possessions and status make us successful, ignorantly unaware that

the richness of life exists in nature, in our loved ones and in ourselves. We may all have

different perspectives on life and varying opinions but this is definitely something worth

pondering (and something we can all agree on…?).

Alexandria Faure is a freelance writer with a degree in Drama & Theatre Arts and hopes to pursue a masters in the near future. She is passionate about preserving the unique

Kreol culture and heritage of Seychelles, and her hobby is researching different cultural aspects of Seychelles and the historical stories behind them. She hopes to share ideas and

thoughts drawn from her life experiences in her articles.


Tips and tricks to make your food go further with Celia Ponzo


As soon as we hear the term ‘healthy eating’, we immediately feel our

wallets draining. We tend to think that eating healthier foods is going to

be a burden on our grocery bill and that only wealthy people can afford to

eat well. Moreover, there is a common belief that eating healthily costs too

much money to be sustainable.

But that’s where we’re wrong. It is possible to eat healthily, without

blowing our budgets. The cost of food, and especially fruits and

vegetables, in the Seychelles is high, but here are some tips that can help

you stick to eating well without breaking the bank…


Set aside a specific amount of money you’re willing to spend on food

for the week. Withdraw that amount and store it in an envelope. Once

the money is gone from that envelope your spending for the week on

groceries is done and now all there is left for you to do is be creative with

what you already have in your kitchen. You will be surprised; there are so

many delicious things that can be made from your kitchen pantry. Make

sure you include a big selection of fruit and vegetables in your weekly

purchases. Create a budget for your food per week and write down every

cent you are spending on food initially, to help you understand where you

are spending the most. Ensure that your budget is reasonable in terms of

your income and basic needs.


Use up what is left in your kitchen cupboard. Many times we still have

food in our cupboards or fridge that we have not eaten or not even

opened, yet we go shopping. Come up with something inventive to make

with what you have; it may take a little more creativity but at least it will

save having to go shopping. And at the same time ensures everything you

buy is not wasted.


Explore the market and the local stands along the road or even ask your

neighbour what she has in her back garden. We all know that the cost

of vegetables and fruits at the market can be expensive but why not go

back in time, to when people used to share and swap the produce from

their gardens? Nowadays we pass by homes where fruits are rotting on

the floor never to be eaten. Things like breadfruit, which is full of nutrients

and fibre-rich carbohydrates, yet this miracle food is seen as a ‘poor food’,

which our grandparents used to eat. Yet our grandparents were healthier

and less likely to die of any cardiovascular diseases, as they were not

exposed to so much imported junk food full of salt, sugar and fat. So

follow their example!


Never throw food away, rather store it properly in clean, airtight

containers in the fridge, or sealed in the cupboard. Then quickly and

easily transform the previous night’s dinner into a healthy lunch. This will

save you a trip to the take-away van at lunchtime – it will save you money

as well as ensure you’re not eating excess salt, sugar and fats.


Planning your weekly menu is vital to keeping healthy. By thinking

ahead about what you are going to cook for each meal you are more

likely to stick to only the ingredients you need, and not spend money on

unnecessary items and impulse buys. It is important to take stock of what

you already have on hand so you’re only buying exactly what you need.


This is my last point and probably the most powerful one. Make a list of

all the junk food you are buying. Whether it is the two samoosas at your

tea break or the packets of biscuits, crisps and chocolate in your trolley.

You will be surprised how much you spend on these types of foods and

because these are seen as ‘necessities’ you have never questioned their

cost. Now cut those out at your next grocery shop and see how much

money you have saved. Then use that saved money to buy extra fruit and

vegetables. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Célia is passionate to inspire happier and healthier lives

by sharing holistic tips to her public. Her background is in

medical anthropology and public health. She is currently

working in the nutrition unit at the ministry of health.


Le combat pour le droit des femmes

Il y a tout juste 40 ans en France, le 17 janvier 1975, la loi Veil

légalisant l’interruption volontaire de grossesse était promulguée.

Jusque-là, avorter pour une raison non médicale était un délit

passible de prison. Ce combat pour le droit à l’avortement a

été celui d’une femme, Simone Veil, ministre de la santé sous le

gouvernement de Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. Elle était soutenue à

l’époque par les personnalités françaises telles que la philosophe

Simone de Beauvoir, l’écrivain Françoise Sagan, l’avocate Gisèle

Halimi, les actrices Jeanne Moreau et Catherine Deneuve et d’autres

signataires du manifeste « des 343 salopes », ainsi que l’avait

surnommé le journal Charlie Hebdo.

Le droit à l’avortement, et par là-même, le droit de disposer de son

corps est un acquis de la révolution féministe qui a considérablement

contribué à libérer les femmes dans les sociétés démocratiques.

Cette révolution féministe est un long combat qui a traversé les

siècles : elle prend ses racines dans le Siècle des Lumières et émerge

lors de la Révolution française : de nombreuses femmes marchent

sur Versailles pour ramener Louis XVI à Paris, participent à la prise

de la Bastille et Olympes de Gouges rédige La Déclaration des droits

de la femme et de la citoyenne en 1791. La première vague de cette

révolution, de la fin du XIXème siècle à 1945 s’attache aux réformes

institutionnelles (droit à l’éducation, au travail, au divorce, droit de

vote, droit à la maîtrise de leurs biens) : la juridiction des femmes

évolue et peu à peu elles ne sont plus des éternelles mineures qui

dépendent de leur époux, de leur père ou encore de leur frère.

A la fin des années 1960, la deuxième vague féministe dénonce la

domination masculine dans la sphère privée et s’attache à libérer

le corps des femmes de cette domination. Cette période charnière,

qui s’accompagne d’une forte féminisation du travail, a contribué à

bousculer les mentalités et a conduit aujourd’hui les femmes à la tête

du pouvoir dans divers secteurs. Pourtant, et en dépit des progrès

indéniables, le combat féministe connaît des écueils : la révolution

féministe dans son expression radicale a exclu la masculinité et force

est de constater que le sexisme, le machisme et les inégalités entre

les hommes et les femmes ont la peau dure, notamment en terme

d’écart de salaires, qui constitue un « plafond de verre ». Dans les

banlieues, le quotidien des femmes n’est guère à envier, entre les

humiliations, les viols (les « tournantes »), les excisions et les mariages

forcés, ainsi que le rappelle le combat de l’association « Ni putes ni

soumises », fondée en 2003 par Fadela Amara, ancienne Secrétaire

d’Etat chargée de la Politique de la Ville sous le gouvernement de

Nicolas Sarkozy.

A l’heure où nous célébrons la Journée Internationale de la Femme,

le combat pour le droit des femmes prend tout son sens dans les

pays du Sud. L’actualité déferle chaque jour de mauvaises nouvelles :

faibles taux de scolarisation des petites filles, violences conjugales et

viols collectifs de nombreuses femmes. L’ONU, mais aussi des ONG

et des associations se mobilisent sur place, comme l’association

« Toutes à l’école », fondée par la rédactrice en chef du journal Marie-

Claire, Tina Kieffer, qui aide à la scolarisation des petites filles au

Cambodge. L’attribution du prix Nobel de la paix à Malala Yousafzai,

rescapée d’un attentat lié à son combat pour le droit à l’éducation,

rappelle que le respect des droits des femmes passe avant tout

par l’éducation. Des voix se font de plus en plus entendre : en Inde,

et précisément à New Delhi, l’affaire du viol collectif d’une jeune

étudiante décédée des suites de ses blessures a eu un retentissement

international mais aussi national. Pour la première fois, les Indiens,

sexes confondus, de la classe moyenne surtout, se sont mobilisés

et ont manifesté contre les violences faites aux femmes dans leur

pays. Ce changement de l’état d’esprit d’une société entière ne peut

se faire que sur un temps long, d’où l’importance du travail des

institutions qui oeuvrent pour la condition des femmes.

Passionnée de littérature et de cinéma, Marie Welsch

est responsable culturelle à l’Alliance française des

Seychelles depuis maintenant un an. Originaire de la

Réunion et ayant mené des études de lettres modernes et

de sciences politiques à Aix-en Provence, elle s’intéresse à

l’indianité et à l’identité créole des îles de l’Océan Indien

et espère plus tard en faire l’objet d’une thèse.



Cours de français Ateliers


AllianceFrançaise de Victoria

Toutes les informations sur les évènements culturels à l’Alliance

sur notre site internet


Je suis toujours Charlie !(par Georges Gravé)

Pour être honnêtes avec vous, comme

beaucoup d’entre nous j’ai été atterré, assommé,

désemparé, triste comme jamais, bouleversé

durant cette fameuse journée et les jours qui ont

suivi ces attentats parisiens. Actes odieux qui

resteront marqués dans la mémoire collective.

Je suis resté toute la journée anéanti devant

mon poste de télévision ne pouvant rien faire

d’autre !!! Pourtant à mon âge, ce n’était quand

même pas la première fois que de tels actes

avaient lieu. J’étais même en Allemagne dans

les années 1975 quand la « bande à badeer »

semait la terreur dans la population. Alors

pourquoi tant d’émotions ?? Bien sur, nous

connaissions ces dessinateurs qui depuis

plusieurs décennies accompagnaient notre

quotidien, mais en fait en les tuant

sauvagement, ces barbares ont touché quelquechose

de fondamental pour le peuple Français :

notre liberté. Et notre liberté de penser, de

parler, en France c’est sacré. C’est notre moyen

d’exister, c’est fondamental a notre vie et a notre

survie. Les manifestations monstres qui ont suivi

en sont une preuve éclatante. Et j’oserais dire

« merci » à ces pauvres gens à la dérive, car au

lieu de museler la parole, c’est le contraire qui

a eu lieu. 7 millions d’exemplaires de Charlie

vendus. Personne au grand jamais n’aurait pu

imaginer cela quelques semaines auparavant.

Et au delà de Charlie Hebdo, ses copains refont

surface : notre canard enchaîné national, fluide

glacial, Hara-kiri, des titres presque inconnus du

grand public.

En France, nous avons la culture de l’Humour

et de la caricature. Cela fait vraiment parti

de notre patrimoine. Déjà sous le règne de

Louis 14, ce dernier embauchait des fous du

roi qui avaient pour mission de se moquer

« gentiment » du monarque et de le faire rire. En

fait c’est peut être Louis 14 qui a inventé Charlie

Hebdo. Que dire de nos chansonniers un peu

passé de mode aujourd’hui mais qui avaient

le don d’appuyer sur les boutons de pue des

nantis et des politiques. Fernand Raynaud qui

déjà dans les années 1960 nous faisait rire avec

ces étrangers qui venaient manger le pain des

français. Alors, ils l’avaient viré ce sal étranger

du village… pas de bol, il était boulanger.

Comment ne pas rendre hommage au grand

Thierry Le Luron, a son ami Coluche, aux

brillants Desproges et Bedos. Et bien sur plus

près de nous toute l’équipe des Guignols. Merci

a vous tous pour oser dire tout haut ce que

tout le monde pense tout bas. C’est aussi ça la

démocratie ! Nous avons besoin de vous. Alors

ce n’est pas trois paumés avec leur kalachnikov,

même s‘ils réussissent à tuer 17 personnes qui

vont faire plier un pays de liberté ou la parole

est reine.

Et je dois avouer que j’étais satisfait lorsque

presque en direct nous avons suivi la fin des

prises d’otages. Satisfaits de les savoir morts ces

soi-disant martyrs. Au moins, ils ne couteront

plus d’argent à la société. Et je souriais en

pensant à ces trois illuminés, sourire aux lèvres

débarquant devant leur Dieu. Bonjour Allah,

c’est nous les martyrs de Paris. Et Dieu leur

répondant la larme a l’œil, comme la couve

de Charlie Hebdo….. Pauvres imbéciles, je

vous pardonne, car vous avez été tellement

manipulés mais jamais au grand jamais, un dieu

a demandé a ces fidèles de tuer en son nom. Je

ne suis qu’amour !!! J’espère pour eux que dans

leur religion, ils croient a la réincarnation, sinon

ils sont bien dans le pétrin !

Et puis ce fut le ras de marrée, un peu comme

a la libération de Paris. Dans chaque ville, dans

chaque village les gens sont sortis dans la

rue. Du jamais vu, des millions de personnes

ensemble, juste pour être ensemble. Des

millions de personnes de toutes races, de toutes

origines, des noirs, des juifs, des arabes, des

blancs, l’arc en ciel de la race humaine. Oublié

nos différences, nos prises de becs, nos partis

politique… d’ailleurs nos politique, eux aussi,

étaient tous présents et même si cela en a

agacer plus d’un (moi le premier) de voir tous

ces marchands d’armes, voir même quelques

dictateurs défiler au premier rang de la manif,

pas de problème, eux aussi avaient le droit de

saisir ce moment de rédemption. Car c’est bien

de cela qu’il s’agissait. Un véritable moment de

grâce, d’union et de fraternité. Cette Manif a

soigné nos âmes, pansé nos plaies, atténuer

notre chagrin. Cette manif par sa puissante

énergie nous a permis de nous retrouver et de

regarder demain avec espoir et confiance. Des

millions de personnes dehors et pas un accroc,

les policiers se faisant même applaudir, comme

si nous étions déjà en train de réapprendre à

vivre ensemble. Et cela n’aurait étonné personne

de voir le fantôme du Grand Charles lancer a

la foule : « Paris brisé, Paris outragé, mais Paris

libéré » Car c’est bien de cela qu’il s’agissait,

nous avions libéré Paris de la sauvagerie et nous

venions de faire a la française un magnifique

bras d’honneur a ses sauvages !

Et maintenant, trois mois plus tard, que sont

devenus ces merveilleux Charlies ! Apres les

émotions, c’est bien sur le temps de la réflexion.

De nombreuses personnalités de tout bord

osent s’exprimer comme si ce 11 janvier avaient

en quelques sortes libéré la parole. Dominique

de Villepin écrivait dans le figaro du 20 janvier

« Un espoir est né le 11 janvier. Nous avons

besoin du soutien de tout le peuple français,

nous avons besoin d’un débat et pas de la seule

réponse sécuritaire…. Mais tout ne viendra

pas de l’Etat. Il faut que ce fantastique sursaut

du 11 janvier se traduise en actes politiques,

individuels, associatif. Bref tous ensemble. La

guerre, n’importe quel état peut la faire. Nos

vraies armes, ce sont nos principes, a condition

de les appliquer et d’inventer un autre chemin

que celui de l’affrontement. » Oui, car le

terrorisme nous tend un piège, il veut nous

pousser a la faute, et la faute, c’est la guerre.

Notre intérêt est vraiment d’éviter par tous les

moyens l’engrenage de la force. »

Merci a nos hommes politiques de l’époque

qui ont voté le 9 décembre 1905 la loi de

séparation des églises et de l’Etat. Ouf ! Cela ne

c’est pas fait en un jour et il en fallait du courage

politique pour lutter contre « dieu » c’est je

crois a mon humble avis le travail que devrait

commencer le monde musulman.

Pas d’amalgame nous dit on, et tout le monde

sait bien que les terroristes n’ont rien à voir

avec la religion musulmane… Quoi que ! Mais

force est de constater que tous se revendiquent

toujours de cette religion. « Où sont tes sages,

et as-tu encore une sagesse à proposer au


monde ? Où sont tes grands hommes ? Qui sont

tes Mandela, qui sont tes Gandhi ? Où sont tes

grands penseurs dont les livres devraient être

lus dans le monde entier comme au temps où

les mathématiciens et les philosophes arabes ou

persans faisaient référence de l’Inde à l’Espagne

? » Se demande le philosophe Abdennour

Bidar dans cette magnifique « lettre ouverte au

monde musulman » que je vous recommande

de lire de toute urgence.

Les musulmans ont besoin de retrouver

l’essence du message originel. Ils ont besoin

d’un nouveau souffle capable de faire en sorte

que la foi ne se refroidisse pas en rites pervertis

par les hommes. Dans la religion catholique le

ménage est commencé depuis bien longtemps

et merci au pape Francois de remettre les choses

à leur place. Il suffit de voir son dernier discours

devant tous les évêques pour ses vœux. Ils en

ont tous pris plein la tronche !!!!! (« La curie est

appelée a s’améliorer, a toujours s’améliorer

et a grandir en communion et sagesse pour

réaliser pleinement sa mission. Pourtant

comme tout corps humain, elle est exposée

aussi aux maladies, aux disfonctionnement,

aux infirmités…… Ce sont des maladies et des

tentations qui affaiblissent notre service du

seigneur. »)

Pas d’amalgames, certes et le Coran comme

la bible sont des textes sacrés. Respect ! Mais

en aucun cas ils ne doivent devenirs des livres

politiques, et nous le savons bien, si tous les

pouvoirs, spirituels et politiques sont entre

les mêmes mains…. Danger ! Et il faut bien

l’admettre que beaucoup de pays musulmans

sont encore des pays a forte tendance


« Tu as choisi de considérer que Mohammed

était prophète et roi. Tu as choisi de définir

l’islam comme religion politique, sociale, morale,

devant régner comme un tyran aussi bien sur















l’Etat que sur la vie civile, aussi bien dans la

rue et dans la maison qu’à l’intérieur même de

chaque conscience. Tu as choisi de croire et

d’imposer que l’islam veut dire soumission alors

que le Coran lui-même proclame qu’« il n’y a

pas de contrainte en religion » (La ikraha fi Dîn).

Tu as fait de son appel à la liberté l’empire de la

contrainte ! Comment une civilisation peutelle

trahir à ce point son propre texte sacré ?

Je dis qu’il est l’heure, dans la civilisation de

l’islam, d’instituer cette liberté spirituelle - la

plus sublime et difficile de toutes - à la place de

toutes les lois inventées par des générations de

théologiens ! » (Abdennour Bidar)

Nous le voyons bien l’après Charlie prendra du

temps, et nous avons un énorme travail à faire.

Changer le monde est impossible, alors il faut

commencer par changer soi-même. Changer

ses habitudes, sortir de sa zone de confort,

regarder l’autre avec plus de tolérance et de

bienveillance. Tendre la main, partager nos

valeurs et accepter les valeurs des autres. Ouvrir

son cœur et avoir vraiment cette ferme intention

de vouloir vivre ensemble !

A ce sujet, c’est peut être les Seychelles qui

nous donne l’exemple à suivre. En effet, pour la

seconde année consécutive le gouvernement

Seychellois en partenariat avec le National

Youth Council ont décidé de promouvoir

chaque mois de l’année 2015 une valeur

humaine. La première semaine de janvier

quelques jours avant les attentats (joli hasard)

le Vice Président Danny Faure nous présentait

ce merveilleux programme : Values for one,

value for all. Demandez le programme : Janvier

/ Responsability, Fevrier / Tolerance, Mars /

Resilience, Avril / Patience, Mai / Discipline, Juin

/ Unity, Juillet / Respect, Aout / Commitment,

Septembre / Peace, Octobre / Determination,

Novembre / Gratitude et Decembre /Paix.

Et si on instaurait cela dans nos écoles

françaises pour les petits Charlies ?

Allez, tous les Charlies du monde, retroussons

nos manches et commençons ensemble à

reconstruire un monde dont nous serons fiers.

Maintenant, nous le savons, c’est possible !

Georges Gravé is the

Personal Development &

Training Manager at the

Maia Luxury Resort and Spa


We asked a few key female media representatives to share their opinions on the incident at

Charlie Hebdo

“The terror attack on Charlie Hebdo is yet

another example of how intolerant the

world is becoming, despite the fact that

more people with different values are

migrating to different parts of the world.

This movement of people can lead to

unnecessary tensions because individuals

do not understand each other’s values.

Instead of integration, you get divided

communities where people are wary of each

other, thus leading to such acts. No one

should die because of their given right to

express themselves”.

Lindy Vital, Le Seychellois Hebdo

“Freedom of speech is essential for any

democracy. Yet with this freedom comes

a responsibility. Some speech should be

controlled when it poses the potential

of endangering other people. We are

accountable for views that we express. As

much as freedom of speech needs to be

respected and upheld it also needs to be

checked on an even playing field. We have

the right to express ourselves, but we also

have an ethical and moral responsibility to

do it wisely”.

Dawn Athanasius, Paradise FM Presenter

“I believe in free speech, including the

freedom of bigots to speak their minds,

because I prefer to know their real feelings,

than to be fooled by the fashion of political

correctness. While I was horrified by the

terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo, I did

not join in the “Je Suis Charlie” social media

campaign because I don’t identify with a

magazine that ridicules religions, even if

they have the freedom to do it. Free speech

is part of your free will, to choose to do

good in the world, to behave with respect

and tolerance, or to do the things that hurt

people and incite hatred. You should have

the freedom to make choices, but when

you make choices that you know will hurt

people, you should expect consequences,

whether a slap in the face, or terrible acts of

revenge. Free speech is not an exception to


Srdjana Janosevic, Chief Press Secretary

“I am not a fan of Charlie Hebdo the satirist

magazine – but I understand the messages

being carried by the publication and the

questions they raise. In my eyes, Charlie

is the journalist, Charlie is the cartoonist,

Charlie is the photographer and cameraman

fighting to tell the truth, therefore I am

Charlie too. Our main weapons of choice are

our pen, pencil microphone and camera.

As Charlie we offend and we get ‘unfriend’

often. On a daily basis, dedicated journalists

dies a little when he/she is in the absence

of press freedom. We fight on Charlies. Lets

fight on... R.I.P to all perished Charlies”.

Tessa Henderson, Journalist




In the real world of this problem, however, this love-in with the law

translates into the following. Nobody will blame you for causing the

marriage to break down because of your infidelity. This is a neutral factor.

You will neither lose the rights you would otherwise have in the house,

nor will you lose custody of the children. Having got custody of the

children, you will get the maintenance they need for their upkeep, subject

to the requirements of your ex-husband. He may have a second family too

for whom he must care. Since the rule of thumb is to keep the two families

in roughly the same position as they were prior to the breakdown, the

level of maintenance will be set to achieve this purpose. But, this is not

really the problem here because you and your ex have agreed to all that.

The problem is that he has cut the maintenance by 2/3. What can you do?

You will note that I have used the word ‘maintenance’ and not ‘alimony’.

The reason for this is that maintenance is generally used in relation to

money paid for children and alimony for an ex-spouse.

“Our law regarding marriage,

divorce, custody and maintenance

is fair. As a country, we are right

up there with the best and most

advanced countries in the world.”

My ex-husband and I divorced three years ago

following my infidelity. Despite the circumstances,

he left me with the house, primary custody of our

three children and a more than generous monthly

alimony. Six months ago a question of paternity

came up and results proved that two out of our

three kids are not biologically his. He has decided

to cut the alimony to 1/3. The children attend

private schools and our lifestyle has always been

more than just ‘modest’. This financial change has

completely turned our lives upside down. Can I

fight him on this?

Gosh, you really do not make things easy for yourself, do you? Here’s my

advice: let sleeping dogs lie. Don’t even think of fighting your ex-husband.

You were responsible for the marriage failing. You must have known that

the two children weren’t his. You have the house and some alimony. Count

your blessings and make do with what you have.

This short advice may appear rough, brutal even, but it is the kindest way

of giving it. Sometimes, lawyers are stuck and cannot find any advice to

give which will please the client on the other side of their desk. This is one

case. And here’s why.

Our law regarding marriage, divorce, custody and maintenance is fair.

As a country, we are right up there with the best and most advanced

countries in the world. Our family law is really up to date. Parties are no

longer blamed for divorce, irrespective of actual blameworthiness. Courts

can transfer matrimonial property from the legal owner to the nonowner

following marital breakdown. Shares in jointly-owned property

can be adjusted. Custody is granted to one parent or another on the sole

basis of what is best for the child. Money and means do not come into

it. Maintenance payments seek to put the parties as close as possible in

the same position they were prior to the breakdown. In all these things,

Seychelles holds its own with the most developed countries. It is a system

of which we can be justifiably proud.

The only reasons that a parent has to pay maintenance for a child are that

that child is his or hers, the child is a minor or still undergoing education,

or disabled, and that child is not living with him or her. There is no other

legal obligation to pay maintenance for a child. There is also no real legal

obligation for a person to pay maintenance for another person’s child.

There may be a moral reason for doing so – the children may not have

known any other father, the ‘father’ may have treated them as his own

and led them to believe that he would always be there for them so that in

legal parlance he would be estopped (prevented) from saying otherwise

etc. But when push comes to shove there is really no compelling legal

reason for forcing a person to maintain a child which is not his, unless

he has contractually agreed to do so. In this case it is clear that your ex

believed the children to be his and treated them as his, to the extent of

paying maintenance for them. It is only when the paternity test proved

otherwise that he changed. It cannot be argued that he knew all along

and still decided to maintain them. Had that been the case, it might be

said that he should not be allowed to decide otherwise now. But, on the

facts here, this is not the case. He has clearly withdrawn maintenance for

the two children because he feels that you have not been upfront with

him. He has a point.

But, what about the children, you may ask? They are innocent. Why should

they be punished? Why indeed? But, by the same token, why should

somebody who looked after them as a father when he had no legal

obligation to do so continue when he realises that he is not their father?

Plus, they must have a biological father somewhere. Unless that person is

deceased, abroad, or destitute, he is the person who has the duty in law

to maintain his children, not your ex. So, it is to him that you must look for

maintenance to support the life to which your children are accustomed.

If he cannot pay, then you will have to face the unhappy prospect of a

reduced lifestyle. You cannot count on your ex legally to maintain children

who are not his, no matter how terribly that will affect you as a family, or

the two children who are not his.

I am sorry, but this is not a case with a happy ending. Rather, it is a case

which reminds us of the old legal adage: duralex sed lex – the law is tough,

but it’s the law.

Educated at Seychelles College and Cambridge University,

Bernard Georges has two Masters Degrees – in the law of divorce

and in canon law, the law of the church. He is best known as a

lawyer, having been in private practice for over 30 years. Over

the past ten years, he has also been a member of the National

Assembly. He is currently a part-time lecturer in law at the

University of Seychelles, where he teaches Constitutional Law.

And, he is a budding writer. He has written and published two

novels to date and he promises many more books on history, law

and Seychelles.




Joanna Houareau

so much more than a pretty face.

By Marie-France Watson


There’s nothing that makes my day more than

being able to see the accomplishments of my fellow

independent women, so it’s no surprise that I was

completely ecstatic about my sit down with the lovely

Ms. Houareau.

For those of you who don’t know, Ms. Houareau was

an athlete, one of THE best this country has seen! As a

sprinter, she took to the track plenty of times for 100m

sprints, 200m sprints and even 400m sprints with the

occasional long jump feats to add to her list. Although

she also participated in long jump events, Joanna was a

sprinter at heart, setting records for all three distances

during her career as a sprinter. It is no secret that her

400m and 200m records have yet to be broken. The

shorter 100m sprint record that has been held by

Joanna for over 15 years was broken in 2014 by aspiring

athlete Joanne Lou-Toy. If it took this long to break a

100m record, one can only imagine how long it’s going

to take to break the longer distance records.

Joanna’s rise to success as an athlete started while she

was still quite young by participating in the interschool

29th June sports competitions. Her talents were

recognised and she was recruited to join the national

team at 12 years of age and soon after she participated

in her first Jeux des Iles in 1993. Joanna never lacked

motivation in pursuing athletics as she had many great

influences within her own neighbourhood at Pascal

Village such as her neighbour and relative Vincent

Houareau who would always bring her along to his

athletics club training sessions at the beach. Alongside

Vincent, Joanna also had the late Mervin Pierre who

helped groom her into a sprinter at a young age in the

Beau Vallon based Athletic Club.

Potpourri December Cover

Two covers where Joanna has assisted on hair and make-up

Unconditional support is something she always had from her family, most of it coming

from her mother Julie Laporte. Julie’s support was alongside that of members of the public

and the athletics federation itself which provided Joanna with great coaches throughout

her career; many of the coaches also served as father figures as her own father was not

supportive to her.

She was a nationwide star in the sports world, having competed in various competitions,

both here in Seychelles and overseas such as:

• Jeux des Iles

• Jeux d’Afrique

• Francophonie Games

• World Championship Games

• World Indor Championship games

• Olympic Games

Potpourri January Cover


100m final 29.06.95

The list goes on and on with various regional competitions but her biggest accomplishment

was being part of the Olympic games. I asked her how she felt about going to the Olympics

and her response was “First and foremost I was overwhelmed, the feelings were something

I can’t totally describe as I was very excited at the same time for having the honour to stand

and compete against the world’s greatest, the ones you only hear about and see on TV, I had

the opportunity to see them face to face, and not only the athletes, but a variety of different

sportsmen and women from different sports. To me the Olympics is the best sporting event

any sportsman or woman can ever be a part of.”

As with any athlete, Joanna encountered difficulties that stirred feelings of giving up within

her. Being a sprinter is not the easiest thing in the world… the training is relentless and

hard, carried out on a daily basis, to maintain and improve the speed. During her school

years at polytechnic, she took a break from the sprinting world for a couple of months

All Africa Games 99-100m

IOIG 2003 Mauritius

All Africa Games 99

Joanna and Frankie

IOIG 2003 4x100m relay



leading towards exams in order to focus on her studies. Juggling athletics with its intense training,

constant travelling to participate in competitions away from home and studying at Post Secondary,

as well as trying to build a path to an alternate career was causing a tiresome and stressful life for

Joanna. What pushed her to not fully give up was the achievements and milestones she reached as

an athlete, the accomplishments and rewards for her hard work fueled her and motivated her into

going back.

Unfortunately, Joanna retired from her career as a sprinter in 2008 following a persistent leg injury

that was refusing to get better without prolonged rest. “The more I rested to heal my leg, the more

time went by and I was getting older so I decided to stop and found myself never going back. I

didn’t regret my decision as I had accomplished more than enough during my years as a sprinter.

Sure I missed it, but it was time to move on”. And move on she did, into a new career that filled the

void left by retiring from athletics. I’m sure you’d be quick to think she didn’t move too far away, on

the contrary, she did. She left the track and moved on to hair brushes and make up brushes; these

are now Joanna’s trade tools. Having always had a passion for styling hair, Joanna saw it as the

perfect career choice, it’s easy to tell she’s the type of person who lives the life she loves, and loves

the life she lives, by putting her energy and time into things that bring her joy.


After retiring from athletics, Joanna went to Australia and enrolled into a three year Hairdressing

and Make-Up course in the Melbourne based Sheila Baxter Institute for Hair & Beauty. Upon

graduating, she came back to Seychelles to start her new career. She took her childhood passion

for styling her sisters’ Emma Hoauareau-Motheé and Janice Houareau whenever they had a

special place to go, & turned it into a career! An example of Joanna’s work can be seen on some of

Potpourri’s recent covers where she was the make-up artist for the cover model. Quite impressive

work if I may say so myself. She is truly a multi-talented individual.

Following in her aunt’s footsteps, Gaelle Dubignon

After two years of being a freelance beautician with establishments such as Ste. Anne Resort

and Spa, Marco Pros and Direct Bookings as well as individual clients who are forever loyal to

her, Joanna is currently in the process of acquiring her own salon while she still has one hundred

percent of her time to spare as she has no children yet. When asked about whether she would

like her future sons or daughters to pursue athletics like she did, her answer was “Yes, definitely

yes! I feel that the involvement in sports is a very important aspect of a child’s life; even up to

adolescence as it helps develop you in various ways. It provides you with a sense of responsibility

among other things, this is one of the reasons I’m encouraging my niece Gaelle Dubignon, in the

hopes that she might attain the level I did, maybe even be the one to break my two remaining

records! And keep things in the family”.

After spending half the time talking about work,

I was curious to find out a little more about her

lifestyle, and it was no surprise when I learnt that

Joanna was truly the down to earth person I had

pegged her to be, with a kind heart. Her idea of an

ideal ‘fun-time’ is going to the beach, socialising

with her family and friends, as well as spending

quality time with her boyfriend Hans. Not being

an athlete hasn’t changed much in Joanna as she

is still to this day anti-smoking and anti-alcohol,

which equally means she dislikes people who

abuse the two amongst other drugs. She likes

to keep to herself, in her own world, away from

the constant gossip always going around the

grapevine. She also believes in working hard for

what you want and appreciating what you have.

Although Joanna has stepped out of the athletic

scene, she feels that the youth of today aren’t as

dedicated to the cause, that they let too many

negative distractions into their lives instead of

the good. I couldn’t leave our little tete-a-tete

without asking her if she has any words for the

few aspiring athletes there to keep them on the

right track, her words were: ´To succeed as an

athlete you must first and foremost have the

mindset to do it on your own without others. It all

depends on you as in the end your successes and

achievements are all your own”. So there you have

it, Joanna Houareau, more than just a pretty face,

a role model to all the aspiring female athletes

and aspiring beauticians of Seychelles. From

tracks, to brushes, she made it.




…with a little help from my friends, says Jenny Gilbert

I am absolutely ecstatic right now. The article I am about to embark on

has been sitting with me for a few days and I have to say that I felt a little

apprehensive about writing about this subject. Just this morning, as I

was deliberating about the article again, I found myself inexplicably led

to another area of healing which is exactly what I was looking for and I









didn’t have to do anything at all! Co-incidence? Luck? Maybe for some.

However, I know that I will always get what I want when I’m willing to

open up to the help that is just waiting for me. It’s being offered all the

time; I am never alone and I wonder why – especially since I work in this

field – I don’t call on it more regularly. One thing is for sure: the more I

apply what I know in a practical way, using it in my ordinary daily routine,

the more I am blessed with beautiful results.

Today my experience is no exception; simply deciding to brave it and

write about angels was enough to call on whatever angel took me to a

place of incredible enlightenment. More on what I discovered will follow

in a future article but for now let me honour the angels for guiding me to

this place by sharing my view on these light bearing, loving entities with


Since childhood, and for many years, I felt that I had to defend myself

against derisive comments and ridicule from those who considered me to

be slightly crazy or, worse, unintelligent. Often labelled as someone who

‘swims with the dolphins’ or ‘is away with the fairies’, I often felt compelled

to stand up for what I knew made me feel whole, alive and connected to a

wider universe.

With maturity, and a steadfast commitment to helping to heal the

planet (and myself), I no longer worry about what others think because

I realise that I never doubted myself at all. Every day, in some small or

magnificent way, I am better and better and closer to living a life as a

worthy individual, connecting more and more with a truth far greater than

anything I ever learnt in an established, conventional institution.

I have learnt that the more I give, the more I open up, the more I free

myself of judgment, the more I am willing to stand up for my principles

and the more I am willing to be guided by universal intelligence, the more

my self-worth develops, the more at peace I am, the younger I feel, the

more vibrant I get.

So it is no surprise that this year’s programme of articles is also a

means by which I can share some thoughts on subjects which are very

much intrinsically healing for humanity and you, the readers. I do not

necessarily have a deep knowledge of all of these subjects myself but by

sharing my time I get to stay in touch with tangible, real truths and get the

chance to tweak your interest and set some of you on a path of enquiry.

Just for today I hope you’ll set aside the ‘critic’ inside, that you’ll open your

mind to the possibilities that exist for you to be more ‘wholy’. I know that

the Universe is magnificently generous, non-judgmental and impeccably

true, that its intelligence is irrefutable and, most importantly, that it is just

waiting to embrace you so that you can free yourself to be one with it.

There are countless ways in which you can start connecting with universal

energy to claim your place as the intelligent, incredible individual that you

are. For a moment, perhaps you could suspend your disbelief and know

that you have nothing to lose by doing so.

Let’s visit the Angelic Realm. Angels have existed forever. They are

innumerable. Angels can be considered to be transformers of light to

sound, carrying messages to and from heaven (or The Divine/The Source/

Universal Energy/God) in a language that us humans can understand.

There are enough men and women who spend entire lifetimes studying

the history of these celestial beings and it must be fascinating. The good

news is that we don’t have to study Dante’s Angelology to invite angels

into our lives. I believe that there is an infinite pool of wisdom available

to us, and to lock ourselves up in theory and conjecture about their

existence is somewhat futile when there is enough evidence throughout

history to suggest that angels (whether metaphoric or not) surround us.

I like to see angels as my higher consciousness gurus. I believe that if we

affirm, in total integrity with ourselves, who and what we are and hope

to be, and when we are willing and open to being directed by an angelic

intelligence to guide us towards achieving goodness and ‘wholiness’

(wholesomeness if you like), avenues will be opened to us that we cannot

‘intellectually’ fathom. There is nothing that can harm us in believing that

we are surrounded by these higher consciousness gurus or angels – they

are there to protect us from calamity and to serve our higher purpose. We

will not be punished for reaching out and widening our experience of the

universe – no matter who suggests that we will. Remember always that

God (or whatever you choose name him/it) is ever loving and allows us

total freedom to honour our life’s purpose. If our intentions are good and

our hearts are loving, we are safe. Know that all religion stems from this

loving energy.








While it is believed that each of us has our own personal guardian angel,

most religions and traditions discuss archangels as the managers of

our personal guardian angels. It is understood that the archangels are

specialised in various areas and that they guide and provide superintelligence

to us through our personal angels. As an example of

an Archangel, let’s look at the patron saint of protection, Archangel

Michael. Lending courage and strength in times of strife and major life

changes, Michael is believed to have intimate knowledge of our Divine

life purpose. He knows our mission and understands our talents and

interests so that we may help others. While Archangel Michael protects

us, he also provides us with clarity. When we are confused, he will ensure

we receive clear answers to our questions. As a non-denominational

angel, Archangel Michael is there for us in every way if we simply ask. His


help and guidance is unlimited, non-judgemental and

respects our free will. His guidance is completely safe

and trustworthy. A better friend is hard to imagine!

I suppose it is easier to envisage angels with form and

character which is probably why these angels have,

over time immemorial, developed personas. Archangel

Michael is depicted as a tall, handsome man carrying

a sword which, it is said, he uses to slay our fear and

heighten our courage and strength to face challenges.

There are many accounts throughout history of when

Michael has been called upon by inspired leaders and

light workers. From the time of Adam and Eve when

Michael is known to have guided Adam to farm and

care for his family, Michael has been guiding legendary

individuals such as Joan of Arc and others to perform

incredible acts of courage in order to fulfil their passion

to help others.

Just today, know that you are being watched over with love, and nurturing care. Take a deep

breath and allow your guides to surround you and lead you to a place of calm and serenity,

clarity and new experiences. If this is difficult for you, consider Lady Luck as an angel. Create a

picture in your mind and imagine that this angel, called Lady Luck, is watching over you, ready

and happy to whisper words of wisdom. Start to develop a relationship with her and she’ll

introduce you to her friends. Consciously start the process of inviting in these happy, healing,

loving energies to your space and you may just find yourself starting to live the life you are

meant to.

Jenny Gilbert is the founder and owner of Everglow Ltd, the island’s premier

natural health manufacturers and service providers. She is also Director of

Wellness at Resonate Wellness at The Station. Homeopathy is a well recognised

system of natural medical treatments for most diseases and conditions. Please

visit or email wellbeing@




Dear Annalisa ......

Cursing and forgetfulness are issues that Annalisa helps our readers solve this month…

Foul Mouthed Parenting

Forget my birthday-not

Q: Dear Annalisa,

Recently, I find myself swearing at my 7-year old. I have never been

known to curse and it shocks me that I am unable to control my anger.

My child is driving me insane and I am now dropping bombs left, right

and centre. How do I stop this?

Potty-Mouth Mummy

A: Dear Potty-Mouth Mummy,

It seems the swearing and cursing has become a way of dealing with

your child’s testing ways. The only problem is that this method is neither

effective nor healthy (for either of you). Children don’t only learn skills

that make them more mature and successful in life. They also learn skills

that make them troublesome. Your child has learnt that they can behave

in a way that elicits feelings of anger from you. Your child has learnt that

they have the power to spin you out of control. More importantly your

child is learning that swearing is an “ok” behaviour when angry.

The first thing to do, is to find alternative methods of responding to

your child’s troublesome behaviour. Most children thrive on attention;

it makes them feel important, loved and popular. Young children

favour any behaviour that gets them frequent attention. So a “naughty”

behavior that delivers a swear word is a behaviour worthy to pursue

because it delivered the much-needed attention.

If you feel irritated by your child’s behaviour and believe that they are

doing it deliberately to seek attention in a negative way, it may be best

not to give them the attention they are after. The trick to reduce the

likelihood of the “naughty” behaviour occurring is to withdraw attention

from it. Simply ignore, and ignore all the time. Note here: aggressive,

dangerous, or destructive behaviour, should never be ignored, at any


Some guidelines for ignoring behavior:

• Choose one behaviour that is annoying or irritating, at a time.

• Every time this behaviour occurs, everyone significant to the child,

should ignore the behaviour.

• Avoid eye contact with your child.

• Avoid verbal contact with your child.

• Avoid physical contact with your child.

• Stop ignoring your child, as soon as the undesirable behaviour


• Expect the behavior to get worse before it gets better.

• Ensure that any behaviour that is unlike the undesirable behaviour is


The other thing to do is get a jar and for every time you swear, put a SR5

coin (or more) in there. It would mean a cost to you, for swearing around

the house. The money should eventually go to another person around

the house (not your child) who has to live in this constant “bombdropping”

environment (given they are not swearing either). Be honest

and pay up each time, that in itself should deter you from running a

potty-mouth (unless you cheat).

Q: Dear Annalisa,

I forgot my best friend’s birthday a few months back – the first time in

23 years! We laughed it off but I get the feeling she is still upset about

it. She ‘forgets’ to invite me to girls’ nights out and a week ago forgot

to tell me she was travelling. This is someone I used to speak to almost

everyday – including the birthday I forgot. I need us to move past this.

What’s step one?

Louise, 39

A: Dear Louise,

To forget your best friend’s birthday, is BIG! And to not forgive a best

friend, for it, that’s BIG too. Now which is bigger, tends to depend on

which side anyone is on.

I’m guessing step one might require a bit of backtracking to as far

back as the day you realised you had forgotten her birthday. Did you

apologise? What did you do then? Moments like these, call for empathy

- putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. How would you have

felt? What would you have liked your friend to do if the situation was

reversed? Bearing in mind, even best friends may have different takes on

the matter.





Sometimes when important things happen between friends, things that

may cause pain, hurt, or disappointment we are eager to “laugh it off”.

The “laugh it off” is sometimes done to make light of a difficult situation;

not knowing how to deal with the situation from both ends; fear of

coming across as selfish or greedy may cause the affected person to

play along; not knowing how to deal with the affected person’s reaction.

These are all possibilities why humor or laughter is sometimes used to

try and remedy an awkward situation.

Now it’s all-good if the affected person is genuine about seeing only

the funny side of the whole situation. If you gather, she’s not really

laughing, then step two would be to talk to her about it. If you failed

to acknowledge her true feeling the first time round then create the

opportunity to do so now. It’s also a moment to share your own true

feelings about the situation and your fear of its consequences on your


Step three (optional): throw her a “sorry I forgot your birthday for the

first time in 23 years, please forgive me” party. It can be the simplest

party for two; two cupcakes, one balloon, and a big sorry sign; just be

genuine and do it from the heart. Hopefully it wins her over. All in all, I

wish for this friendship, a lot less forgetting and a lot more forgiving.

Annalisa Labiche is a practicing Clinical Psychologist with over five years experience. She completed her Bachelor of Art (Psychology) degree and Masters in

Psychology in Australia. She gives advice on a multitude of subjects, including relationships, parenting, family issues, psychological disorders, substance misuse

amongst many others.


La trisomie 21 ou Syndrome de Down.

contenues dans le liquide amniotique ou le placenta. Le prélèvement,

appelé amniocentèse ou biopsie du trophoblaste, n’est pas sans

risque (risque de fausse couche). Ce prélèvement qui n’est pas

disponible aux Seychelles, est proposé uniquement si le fœtus a des

risques élevés d’être atteint de Trisomie 21.


Après la naissance, l’existence de la trisomie peut être suspectée

et nécessite alors la réalisation de l’étude des chromosomes de


Le 21 Mars est la journée mondiale du syndrome de down, je profite

alors de ce numéro spécial de Potpourri pour parler un peu plus de ce


Quelles sont les origines de la trisomie 21 ?

Dans chaque cellule du corps humain, il existe un noyau. A l’intérieur

de celui-ci se retrouve des gènes .Un gène est une petite portion

d’ADN, support de l’information génétique de l’individu. Les gènes

portent les codes responsables de nos caractères héréditaires,

et sont regroupés dans des structures appelées chromosomes.

Classiquement, le noyau de chaque cellule chez l’être humain

contient 23 paires de chromosomes, 23 venant du père et 23 de la

mère. Le syndrome de Down apparait lorsqu’un individu se retrouve

avec une copie partielle ou complète du chromosome 21. La

personne atteinte a un chromosome surnuméraire sur la 21e paire de

chromosomes. Elle ne possède donc pas 46 chromosomes, mais en

possède 47.

Il existe différentes formes de trisomie 21.

C’est au moment de la formation des ovules ou des spermatozoïdes,

avant la fécondation que se produit “ l’incident génétique “

responsable dans 95% des cas de la trisomie 21.

• Si toutes les cellules de l’organisme ont 47 chromosomes, on

parle de trisomie 21 homogène.

• On parle de trisomie 21 en mosaïque, lorsque seule une partie

des cellules est touchées.

Dans 5% des cas, c’est une trisomie par translocation. Le

chromosome supplémentaire est dans ce cas attache a un autre


Quels sont les facteurs de risques ?

La trisomie 21 touche toutes les populations. L’origine ethnique ou le

niveau économique ne sont pas des facteurs de risques.

En dehors de la présence d’une anomalie des chromosomes

équilibrée impliquant un chromosome 21, le seul facteur de risque

connu est l’âge maternel au moment de la fécondation. Le risque

d’avoir un enfant avec une trisomie 21 est en effet de :

• 1/1500 naissances si la mère a 20 ans

• 1/1000 à 30 ans

• 1/400 à 35 ans

• 1/100 à 40 ans

• 1/28 à 50 ans

Comment fait-on le diagnostic ?

Avant la naissance, il est possible de diagnostiquer une trisomie 21

chez un fœtus pendant la grossesse. Mais uniquement par des tests

qui permettent de prélever des cellules du fœtus. Ces cellules sont

Comment savoir s’il existe un risque élevé ?

Des tests sanguins effectués chez la maman, permettent de faire un

calcul du risque. Ce test n’est pas disponible aux Seychelles.

Aux résultats sanguins sont combinés l’âge de la patiente et la mesure

de la nuque du fœtus (clarté nucale). Cette mesure est réalisée lors de

l’échographie du premier trimestre. En effet, les fœtus dont la nuque

est plus épaisse que la norme sont plus à risque de trisomie 21.

Quelles sont les conséquences de la trisomie 21 ?

Il en existe plusieurs, voici les plus fréquentes :

• Une déficience intellectuelle variable, avec des possibilités

d’intégration sociale différentes selon les enfants. Cela

n’excluant pas une autonomie relative des personnes

atteintes de trisomie 21. D’où le rôle primordial de l’éducation,

et de l’accompagnement de ces enfants des leur plus jeune âge.

• Un aspect caractéristique du visage (qui n’empêche pas a ces

enfants de ressembler a leurs parents).

• Une taille ne dépassant pas 160 cm à l’âge adulte.

• Une diminution du tonus musculaire (hypotonie) et une


• Des malformations d’importance variable le plus souvent

du cœur ou de l’appareil digestif, pouvant bénéficier de soins


• Des troubles ORL, de la vue ou de l’audition…

Quel suivi pour les personnes atteintes ?

La prise en charge des problèmes spécifiques rencontrés dans la

trisomie 21 doit toujours être conduite dans l’objectif de permettre

une meilleure insertion sociale et professionnelle.

Beaucoup de symptômes classiquement décrits dans la trisomie

21, sont secondaires à l’hypotonie et à l’hyperlaxité et peuvent être

bien améliorés par la prise en charge précoce en psychomotricité,

kinésithérapie et orthophonie. Il doit y avoir une mise en place dès le

plus jeune âge d’un partenariat entre les parents et les professionnels

de l’éducation, du soin et de la rééducation joue un rôle primordial.

Cela permet également d’accompagner les parents et leur permettent

de mieux comprendre leur fils ou leur fille.

Il n’y a pas de traitement médical de ce syndrome.

C’est grâce à la meilleure prise en charge des problèmes médicaux

et notamment au traitement des malformations cardiaques et des

infections que l’espérance de vie des personnes avec une trisomie 21

a beaucoup augmenté puisque plus de 50% dépassent l’âge de 50

ans aujourd’hui.

Pour plus d’informations n’hésitez pas à contacter le professionnel de

santé qui vous suit.



Juggling Motherhood


Working moms have a lot on the go, but being realistic and having a sense of humour makes all the difference,

writes Nathalie Hodgson.

Most women this millennium are returning to work when their children

are still very young, without being questioned or judged. With the cost of

living on the rise, two incomes is what is required to keep a decent family

household or to maintain the lifestyle you once led but with additional

mouths to feed. So how do you balance work, love and play when no one

has the time? I spoke to two working mothers to share some valuable tips

on how it’s done.

Neesha Kumar, 30, Creative Director, decided to extend her three-month

maternity leave, dip into her annual leave bonus and eventually resigned,

after having her first child. ‘I would rather die than leave my little one so

young’, she thought to herself. But after six months she realised that this

was not financially viable; she had to return to work and decided to take

up a position that she been offered some time back. Returning to work

not only helped to pay the bills but it opened up new doors of valuable

experience, which has led her into opening up her own business (Neesha

Kumar Ltd).

‘The to-do list is so long that I am overwhelmed just looking at it’ Neesha

explains, ‘I am mentally racing back and forth between my responsibility

to my two children (six-year old girl and one-year old boy) and my

business. I can’t take sick days as this means I don’t get paid for that day

and the work is then a day late. There are simply not enough hours in the

day to accomplish what needs to get done, so I am often up until 2am or



It is the ultimate juggling act; the pressure on working mothers and

fathers with full-time careers and young children leads to a constantly

racing heart, all-consuming guilt and a certainty that you’ve become

inadequate at home and at work when things go slightly wrong. So the

key is to place some logical strategies as pillars into your daily life to keep

the walls from caving in.

Being a great mom isn’t

about making every meal

or doing every load of

laundry. It’s also about

being a strong female role

model for your children;

the two are strongly interweaved.

An essential part

of being a great mom is

pursuing your own passions

and being an interesting,

dynamic, growing person

that your children have as

an example.

‘Honestly my work-life balance needs some improvement’ Neesha

confesses. There is no quality weekday family evening time, as I am

working solidly to build my young business. I am blessed with a husband

that fully supports and understands this critical stage. I do force myself

to take some downtime when I have been multi-tasking all day however

and I do not work on Sundays (at all). This is strictly family time. I cook and

spend time with my loved ones’ Neesha explains.

and daughter (feeding, bathing, playing, stories). It’s just manageable

really. I have a lot of motivation as my patients offer me many kind words

and letters and of course the support I receive around me from my

partner, family and friends’.

Being a great mom isn’t about making every meal or doing every load of

laundry. It’s also about being a strong female role model for your children;

the two are strongly interweaved. An essential part of being a great mom

is pursuing your own passions and being an interesting, dynamic, growing

person that your children have as an example. You want to raise strong

individuals and they need to see that in their adult figures every day of

their lives.

Alice continues, ‘even after the most hectic and stressful day at work, the

duties don’t stop. There is no law that says that you have to make all your

meals from scratch, clean your own house from top-to-bottom every

week. I make lists about what needs to be done and cut corners on things

that really don’t matter, so I have more time to spend with my family. They

are my priority and I always make time for them. I know my career and

my studies are important too and hopefully one day my daughter will be

proud of her hard working mum’.

No matter how great your job, your boss, your partner and your kids may

be, it’s your number one job to take care of yourself. This is one job you

simply can’t delegate. Without your own health you are no service to

your family or your job so make sure you are ticking those boxes in diet,

exercise, check-ups and some personal hobbies (for your own mental

growth and happiness).


Alice Mancienne, 25 years, Staff Nurse at The Seychelles Hospital and

studying an Advanced Diploma in Midwifery at NIHSS, remembers her first

day back at work after having her daughter. ‘I fought back tears and kept

calling home to check up on her every second, it felt awful, even though

I knew she was in good hands with my grandmother. The only thing that

kept me going was picturing that little face when she would see me again.

This kept me sane and motivated’.

Alice always wanted to be a mother and always wanted to be a nurse,

a job she loves. ‘I am living my dream, I know this, but every day is not

picture perfect. I work shifts and my day includes dressing wounds,

preparing patients for operation, admission, withdrawing blood, doctor’s

rounds, administering medication, providing support and giving

reassurance. Then it’s time to go home and I do some laundry, cleaning,

preparing meals, feeding the dogs and spending time with my partner

While interviewing and talking to many working mums the one ultimate

secret that is constant in the working mums power kit is to always keep

your sense of humour. When dirty nappies fall at your feet, the babies are

screaming in the bath and you know dinner is about to burn, humour is

the ultimate weapon against the craziness around you, and the one thing

that will keep you sane.

Nathalie Hodgson is a writer, mother, PR & Marketing

consultant, Doterra essential oils consultant and yoga

instructor, juggling this whilst raising two kids, running

her own business and enjoying the most of life.





Generation Procrastination

Why not today?

What makes us put things off instead of just getting them done? Lynette Botha doesn’t have all the answers, but

she’s working on it…


I put the ‘pro’ into procrastination. This is not to say I’m lazy, or not a hard worker. Au contraire.

I am a workaholic – always hustling for more jobs on the side; mostly out of want than

necessity (for the time being). But man can I put things off – until the pressure is so forceful

and the deadline is so far gone, that I have to pull an all-nighter to catch up. And this is not

only with work. This happens with renewing car licence disks, taking in the dry cleaning,

going for a haircut. I once read a star sign that referred to Librans as ‘lackadaisical’ – and I was

like, “there, you see, it’s not my fault, it’s the way the stars aligned when I was born. Now I’m

off the hook”. If only.

This feature first

appeared in

Juice Magazine,

January 2015

"If you, like me, would

like to be a little less

anxious and a little

more proactive this

year, take note."

Truth is, it’s hundred percent me. And you. And like any other bad

habit, it’s something that takes time and commitment to rectify.


open in separate tabs is like asking for trouble and

setting yourself up for failure. When you need to do

something, tell yourself: I’m sitting down for an hour

and solely focusing on this. When you decide to switch

off and focus, you’ll be amazed at how much you can

achieve in a short space of time – you may get so

into it that you carry on for longer than the time you

assigned yourself. You’ll also find that you really did not

miss that much on social media. Maybe just another

pregnancy announcement.

Be prepared

When you’re ready to get started on your task –

renewing your driver’s licence, for example – make

sure you have everything you need. Your old licence,

ID book, photos, the correct amount of money in cash.

Starting out on a task and getting halfway because you

don’t have all the tools at your disposal will take the

wind out of your sails – and you’ll probably put it off

for another two weeks because you just. can’t. face. all.

the. admin.

Procrastination is a real syndrome though – it’s not just you ‘putting

things off’, some people suffer from it to a point where it can be

debilitating. So it’s no surprise then that countless psychological

studies have been done to not only understand why people

procrastinate and what triggers it, but also, what you can do in order to

re-train your brain to want to get things done.

If you, like me, would like to be a little less anxious and a little more

proactive this year, take note of the following (don’t worry, I’ll keep it

short, I know you’d rather be playing Candy Crush):

Just Start

Yes, this sounds pretty basic, but once you’ve started on a task – even

if you do not complete it immediately – you are more likely to finish

it (and sooner) than if you don’t start at all. Need to file a report by

Friday? Start the Excel spreadsheet on Tuesday – even if you only

create the columns and headers. You’ll probably make your end of

week deadline. This is due to something that psychologists call the

Zeigarnick Effect. In a nutshell, assignments that are unfinished are

more likely to nag at you and remain top of mind, than tasks that you

never started at all. Because it’s constantly on your mind, it becomes

irritating and makes you anxious and you just want to get it done.

Believe in yourself

Yes, really. Often procrastination stems from self doubt – a fear of

failure or a feeling of not being good enough. You’re so scared that

you’ll do something incorrectly or not well enough, that you never

get started on it in the first place. You’ve committed to organising

a bachelorette party for your best friend but you’re so anxious that

everything won’t turn out perfectly that two weeks before the event

you still haven’t even sent out invitations, nevermind secured a

venue. The longer you put these types of tasks off, the worse it gets.

You become more anxious, more deflated, and less likely to want to

get started. Stop doubting yourself, believe you can do what needs

to be done and challenge yourself to prove it by starting work on it


Make a list

If you’re anything like me, you may be great at writing a list, but not

so great at doing anything with it once it’s written. But writing lists is

scientifically proven to make us more likely to do things (and to feel

less anxious by getting things out of our heads – where they can be

forgotten, and on to paper – which you hopefully don’t lose). A list

does not literally need to be a piece of paper with bullet points – it can

be any form of you getting what you need to accomplish out of your

head; this may be in your diary, on your iPad or via an App. The one

form that I find works for me, is electronic calendar reminders, set for

days leading up to a certain task or assignment – it’s like building in

time to allow yourself to procrastinate.

Turn off your WiFi

And your cellphone. And your social media notifications. Move away

from the TV. Keep distractions to an absolute minimum. Sitting

down to complete a task with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube





Are you brave enough for this intense workout? Hassan Al-Ameri is here to guide you through it…

Here is an example of a training session you could try, if you’re feeling

really brave and in the mood for something that will push you both

mentally and physically. It’s certainly not for complete beginners, and is

also designed for those who prefer to train with a partner.

I call it the “Soldier of Misfortune” as it’s based on a training principle that

was applied to our training sessions whilst I was serving in the army. I

still feel that this standard is by far one of the most important to consider

when designing a training program for yourself or anyone else.

And remember; never sacrifice one element of fitness in pursuit of



3 x 5 wall squats (toes against a wall)

3 x 15 bodyweight squats

3 x 10 goblet squats

2 x 10 push-ups

2 x 10 proper push-ups (lie flat and take hands off the floor between

each push-up)

10 x 5 man makers (push-up on dumbbells, row each side, feet in,

stand, shoulder press)



4 X 30secs on/30secs off FROG HOP

4 X 30secs on/30secs off PUSH PRESS (hell style)

(rest with weights above your head!)

4 X 30secs on/30secs off SPLIT JUMP

300 seconds total FRONT LEANING REST (high plank)

(stop the clock when you need to rest)

Do not be fooled; this is a muscle-aching lung-busting workout – not for

the faint-hearted. Get in touch with me and let me know how you found


Until next time…

Yours in Health & Fitness,


Hassan is a Master Trainer from the European Institute of

Fitness, living on Mahé. For any further advice on health and

fitness, you can contact Hassan directly on:

Tel: +248 2568629


Complete three rounds of the following with one minute’s rest between

each round:

250m row whilst partner performs a rack hold (24kg men/16kg women)

Then switch to complete the round.






Save money, improve your fitness and do your bit for the environment

Photographs: Joe Clothilde

Can riding a bike save the planet, and you? Experts say that cycling could

help resolve many environmental and health problems. It just needs

to ‘catch on’, and become the next green and fashionable thing to do.

Contraptions on wheels are the most popular form of transport over

land for most people. Amid an array of cars, trucks, vans and jeeps, the

simple and modest bicycle tops the list for the healthiest, wheeled mode

of transport, for you and for our planet. Why not ride bikes to help the

environment, save on gas, generate less greenhouse gases and burn more

calories, all at the same time?

Cycling is a low-carbon, eco-friendly mode of transport. Car exhausts are

a cocktail of all types of cancer-causing and global-warming-inducing

gases that include carbon dioxide, sulphur oxides, methane and other

particulates. Bikes have no exhaust system; they are solely powered by

your strength. Subsequently, riding a bike produces zero emissions, which

equates to zero air pollution and less incidences of throat and lung cancer

caused by the particles that contribute to air pollution. By the same token,

working those muscles to power the bike forward will increase your

metabolism and help you burn calories up at a rapid pace. Not only that,

pedalling away on a bike helps to keep your heart healthy (and pumping).

Parking lots are also a problem for the environment, especially with the

increasing number of motorised vehicles on the road. This means clearing

more land for parking that was once home to plant and animal life. The

asphalt, tars and other chemicals poured to make parking lots and roads

also release pollutants into the air and create heat islands that contribute

to global warming. The removal of trees and other vegetation eliminates

vital biomass that helps reduce the quantity of carbon dioxide in the

air. Bicycle parking requires little space, which means that bikes help

minimise the effects of global warming and also preserve habitats.

While you ‘ride for the planet’...and for yourself, remember to always keep

safe. Here are a few reminders from one of our previous articles on safe

bike riding:

• Avoid busy streets

• Wear a helmet

• Wear brightly coloured clothes to increase your visibility

• Follow the rules of the road

• No music players or mobile phones to distract you or inhibit your


Last but not least, while most bike riding on Mahé or Praslin is done for

sports or for recreation more than for commuting, we should tip our

hats to our brothers and sisters over on La Digue, who use bicycles as an

everyday mode of transport, and serve as inspiring role models – and

that’s the kind of biking enthusiasm we want to spread.

Contributed by Ginnie Laurencine for Sustainability for

Seychelles, a local NGO whose mission is to promote

sustainable living in Seychelles. Contact us on info@ or tel. 251-9135 or 422-4072. Find us

on the web at or on Facebook.




Le Bourgeois


at Le Méridien Fisherman’s Cove


Divine dining is how

Vee Mari Power sums up

her experience at this

picturesque spot

Le Bourgeois Restaurant kicks off the year 2015 with an

exclusively seafood menu created by the artful genius of

Executive Chef Anthony Robin who specializes in Fusion Cuisine.

“We are excited to re-launch Le Bourgeois as the seafood

restaurant on the island, unique menu which is affordable with

good portions and an excellent variety complements the location

and personalized service” quotes Wael Rashed – the General

Manager of Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove.

Dining at this sensational restaurant is guaranteed to satisfy even

the most adventurous taste buds.

Stroll along the floor lit decking from Le Méridien Hotel that

meanders along the coast line of Bel Ombre and enjoy the

gentle breeze that blows in from the North of the island, until

you stumble upon this secluded eatery. This is a dinner-byreservation-only

type of establishment, with a cozy seating

arrangement to ensure a private fine dining experience.

The À la carte menu offers a fantastic array of locally sourced

delicacies that will stimulate your appetite. We recommend the

generously portioned appetizer of crab nachos or the crispy

calamari with black olive tartar.

For the main there is a tempting selection of seafood risottos

and pastas that will no doubt leave you sighing with satisfaction.

We were drawn to the star of the show, the Asian Spiced Grilled

Lobster with truffle mash, grilled asparagus and orange-carrot

sauce. The rich and aromatic flavours of the spiced lobster are

matched perfectly by the creamy truffle mash.

Dessert at Le Bourgeois is a must! You will be hard-pressed to

choose between options of Chocolate Teardrop to homemade

caramel ice-cream with peanuts, popcorn and chocolate sauce.

We enjoyed the warm chocolate-walnut brownie with homemade

vanilla ice-cream and blueberry compote. It is the perfect

balance of sweet and savoury and beautifully presented as a treat

for the eyes, as well as your sweet tooth.

Everything about this dining experience suggests attention to

detail and pure luxury, from the location, and the delectable

menu to the impeccable table service. There is also a wonderful

list of wines and suggestions from the house sommelier for each

course so you can be sure to fully experience the sensory delights

of every part of your meal.

“At last we have a true sea food restaurant at Le Meridien

Fisherman’s Cove, unlocking a new culinary experience to our

guests locally and globally” quotes the General Manager.

If you would like to share the same culinary experience,

discover more at


A tale about St Patrick

Do you know where this day originates from and why we celebrate it? Read on…

St. Patrick was born in South Wales, his father was a Roman

called Calpornius. When he was about 16 years old he was

taken by Irish raiders led by the infamous “Niall of the nine

hostages”. They took him to Ireland to a place called Mount

Slemish near the present town of Ballymena.

There, he worked as a slave for six years. During this time

he had several dreams where God told him he must escape

from Ireland and become a priest. He walked 200 miles to the

coast where he escaped to Scotland, returning home, and

eventually going to France where he became a priest and then

a Bishop. He was Bishop of Auxerre in France for 12 years. He

was haunted by dreams of the people of Ireland calling him to

return and bring Christianity to Ireland which was, at the time,

a pagan land. In 432AD Pope Celestine decided to send him on

a mission to convert the Irish to Christianity. St Patrick arrived in

Ireland in the winter of 432AD.

Christian faith later on. So if you are a Christian today with some lineage to

Ireland, you may well owe a debt to St. Patrick himself.

He died on March 17th 493AD and was buried in a place called Down Patrick.

In recent years, St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated at the Level 3 Bar in

Seychelles. On St Patrick’s Day 2014, Level 3 Bar was renamed “Rogan’s Irish Bar”,

making it the first Irish Bar in Seychelles.

This year St Patrick’s Day will fall on Tuesday 17th March.

You will find all the traditional celebrations at Rogan’s Irish Bar.




Many stories have been told about what happened next.

He converted the whole of Ireland in around 30 years. He

is responsible for the 29th of February being a day when

the ladies can propose marriage. This was to help speed

up wedding proposals in cases where the men might be a

bit slow or shy. He used the Shamrock, a three-leaf plant of

the clover family, to help explain the trinity to his flock. His

converts became the new stronghold of Christianity in Europe,

and Ireland shone the light of the Christian faith throughout

the dark ages in Europe, and sent missionaries to return the















Big Booties and Cash Cows

The Undeniable Influence of Kim Kardashian...

By Kurt Gilbert

As a full-time fan of Kanye West, I’ve had to put up with my fair share of

Kim Kardashian-related news over the past couple of years. Admittedly,

before Kimye was a ‘thing’, I paid very little attention to the camera-hungry

stylings that placed Kim on the A-List of celebrity culture. I had the same

fundemental problem with her that so many other people do; I couldn’t

reconcile the fact that she’s made silly amounts of money by airing her

dead-end, first world ‘problems’ on TV, while far more important issues

are crammed into a four minute slot on late-night news. That’s the case in

America, at least.

What’s important to note at this point is that I’ll never ride a bandwagon

purely because everyone else is on it, and neither should you. I’ve learnt to

question everything in order to create an informed and justifiable opinion

on whatever I may be talking about, and Kim Kardashian is no exception.

For that very reason, I decided to take a deeper look into the life and times

“Granted, her field is pretty much defined by being in the right place,

wearing the right clothes, and laughing at the right jokes, at the right

time, but that doesn’t detract from the simple fact that she owns it.”

of young Kimmy, and what I concluded from that

brief foray and indeed, how I feel now, may come as

a shock to anyone who knows me and/or has read

anything I’ve written over the past couple of years.

It’s like this – I think Kim Kardashian absolutely

deserves her place on our TV screens, Instagram

feeds, Facebook newsfeeds and magazine covers, and

here’s why:

She’s not as stupid as you think.

Mrs. Kardashian-West is, in fact, one of the most savvy,

ingenious individuals in her ‘field’ right now. Granted,

her field is pretty much defined by being in the right

place, wearing the right clothes, and laughing at the

right jokes, but that doesn’t detract from the simple

fact that she owns it. If for one minute you think that

anyone can do what she’s done as long as they have

a little bit of luck and rich enough parents, let me be

the first person to tell you that you’re more dumb

than you think she is. There are plenty of super-rich

people who would love to be in Kim’s shoes, so why

aren’t more trust fund heiresses and insurance money

girls marrying the biggest musicians in the world, or

getting special endorsements from fashion labels like

Dolce&Gabanna and Yves Saint Laurent?

I’ll tell you why – they’re either not willing to work for

it or they’re not thinking big enough. Kim Kardashian

does both, and has for a long time. She understands

her target demographic, sets high goals and pushes

them out until you can’t open an internet browser

without seeing her name or photo somewhere. Sure,

a lot of what she does isn’t exactly the pinnacle of

artistic evolution, but that’s a matter of taste more

than anything else.

The bottom line is that Kim K has converted a

derogatory reality show start-up into an independent

A-list career. She runs in her own lane and for that

alone, demands respect.



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