Saved by a Commitment and Determination

I want to share with you today how a commitment and determination to keep that commitment, helped me manage and change my apprehensive emotions.

You see, I am from the ‘jungle’ and back there, we eat ‘cooked’ meat, drink palm wine and know nothing about ‘cheese’. Typical Cameroonian meals looks like these:



Our version of barbecue
Our version of barbecue
Palm wine - sweet wine
Palm wine – sweet wine

So, when I came here and then met a French man and discovered to my “horror” that what l thought was cheese wasn’t actually, l was sad to say the least.

La vache qui rit is not cheese

La vache qui rit they say is not cheese?
La vache qui rit they say is not cheese?

His family chorused to me that La vache qui rit, what we consider cheese back home and which is considered such a luxury, isn’t anything near cheese.

Oh Ayo, what am l to do now? The cheese I saw, didn’t even smell good to begin with. I told myself l wasn’t to eat it and l didn’t even want to give it a try. l also didn’t want to drink wine and they have a variety needless to say. As for meat, we sure all know how it is eaten out here right? The question is usually ‘rare or medium’?

I knew only a commitment and determination can save me

Yet, l had to adapt to this new way of life, love and yes commitment. If l couldn’t manage those apprehensive emotions creeping up there and even getting me to churn when l met ‘cheese, meat or wine’, how can l help others do same?

I started with Cheese, because that was the toughest of feats. At a leadership workshop I attended, we were asked to list three commitments we were making to lead ourselves. The class laughed hard when my first was: Fall in love and enjoy Cheese.

I had to do that one step at a time and l am glad for the support l got from my darling darling and family. His dad explained the different ‘cheese’ to me and told me some history and what wine to have with which one so as to enjoy it better.

Fast forward, a good and committed student, determined not to let her apprehensive emotions manage her, is proud to share this picture:

I love cheese now though no excess allowed
I love cheese now though no excess allowed

Learning and having wine

I need not introduce French and Wine right? The variety, history, regions and all. I used to be so scared of getting drunk and even back home, l wouldn’t get past half a glass of palm wine.

Now, I had to drink different half glasses of wine and or champagne at meals or gatherings and l decided not to be ‘left out’. l made another commitment, I learned as much as l could and l went to a wine fair. Hmm Ayo was beginning to love wine huh? At a recent fair with 50 or so stalls, I visited most, tasted several (sips only though) and learnt a lot.

Ayo at a wine fair
Ayo at a wine fair
l am yet to go to the Paris Fair with over 1500 stalls
l am yet to go to the Paris Fair with over 1500 stalls

Rare or medium?

As for meat, I am sticking to medium. I noticed that if l select well-done, even the waiter may be disappointed. After all, l don’t find it that awful – l must admit it is even juicer.

Commitment and Determination indeed right?

Dear gentle readers and followers, l sincerely think we could make efforts to improve managing our emotions if only we make commitments and are determined to go by them. l think, whatever aspect of life we want to control or project or get past, it starts with ourselves and up there in our minds. We should get support when we realize we can’t do it by ourselves alone and we should be proud of our milestones.

I am proud of mine and wish you same or don’t you want to stay ahead? Let me know, and pass this on too!


2 thoughts on “Saved by a Commitment and Determination”

  1. Interesting post Marie. I like the way you’ve adapted to your new life. It’s great that you’re adventurous enough to try out new food and delight your taste buds. I too enjoy a glass of red wine sometimes. 🙂

    When I met my ex husband (a Ghanian) I had no idea what ground rice or fu fu (I hope I spelled that right) was. Or the other African food. But I was willing to try. And I fell in love with the food. I’m still cooking it years after our divorce. I love it. 🙂

    1. Dear June,

      You use the right word, adapt 🙂

      You did that too as you narrate right? And you sure know it had to be or else you guys will have one more ‘nit natty’ to disagree over right:) and now see how you still do pounded yam, rice and fufu all these years? hahaha 🙂

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