The Comoro Islands: Life in Dumoni

Not many people know about Anjouan and how beautiful it is. Anjouan is just one of the small volcanic Comoro islands located at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel. It is halfway between Mozambique and Madagascar and has “stretches of black, sandy beaches; it is truly a tropical jewel set in a sparkling sea.” Martin and Harriet Ottenheimer share their experiences of living in Domoni, Anjouan during the 1960s. They describe their stay as having been fascinating and humble.

“When we arrived in the town of Domoni, there were no hotels, restaurants, electricity, or running hot water. There was one narrow, twisting, mountainous paved road, a handful of cars, one radio, and a public telephone at the post office (that worked sometimes). In spite of the lack of amenities we set up housekeeping and settled into a wonderful way of life, learning the language and the culture of our hosts.”

Even though the people of Domoni still have the same spirit and heart as in the 60’s, Dumoni and its sister islands (Grande Comore, Moheli,and Mayotte) have been affected by a lot of political turmoil. All the islands have been through a lot; several coups, a government takeover, and the assassination of a President. All have deterred foreign investment.

In spite of these problems, the future of the Dumoni and the rest of the Comoros is still promising. There is now some political stability and people are trying to meet the challenges to achieving a good living.

Source: Martin And Harriet Ottenheimer EscapeArtist.Com