Posted in Marie's Garden

An Area Girl in Abidjan Day 1



Hello World, Sunday was technically my day 1 in Abidjan but since it was travelling and settling in day, I consider Monday to be my first day.

First thing I did outdoors the am was go for a run around my neighbourhood. That’s one way of facing my fear of ‘insecurity in a new territory where I find myself’, and that was also part of the Lose It efforts I have signed up to commit to daily and hopefully lose this nagging 4.6 kgs by December (I joined the Wondrous Writers’ group of my friends Dyane and Brian). I am however already a bit sad that I used up near 3/4 of my calories budget for the day before it was even lunch time – another lesson learnt…

Secondly, I discovered some stuffs on my run like some ferry stops, the post office, one of the large bus parks, a miniature golf course and a mini gym all of which I am putting on my to do/check out/ go to etc list before I leave the city… I already discovered a neighbourhood called Chicago which I don’t think will ever be on a list of places to visit because it could be the ‘harlem’ of this city. I just walked and walked yesterday looking for where to eat and I found myself there, I even lost 1000 frs but couldn’t dare look down nor ask anyone… well I made it back safe to my hotel probably because I looked so area like too hahaha 🙂

The programme for the conference was hectic as I found out, and the online conference library filled to the brim, and the speakers oh so experienced … I am loving it but then that’s for my intellectual wellbeing – nothing much to be blogging about here…I did however find some good spots worth fotographing in the conference centre where we are and hope you smile at them… well sorry photos wouldn’t load. They are of a Laction room (I’d never seen one before, and a little floor garden named Jardin du Bonheur)

I hope and plan to catch up with a family friend of long date who lives and works in this city, whom I haven’t seen for near half a decade. She actually works in the same building where the conference is taking place just that the security and protocol may hamper meeting her in here …

P.S: Well I did meet her for like 10 minutes and then we agreed to have dinner before I return 🙂

Hmm, the guy I didn’t want to chit chat with on the plane yesterday, was actually coming to this conference too and is lodged at the same hotel. He is even related to someone I am related to by my father’s adoption when he was a kid… simple huh? We again met at the lobby this morning as we awaited the navette to the conference venue, and I just sucked my embarrasment in and went to him and broke the ice of our eyeing each other over breakfast and wondering in our heads what next now… So now from not wanting to chit chat, am conversing and laughing and he’s promosing to accompany me to my house when we fly back in at the ungodly hour of 00:30 on Sunday 02/10…

I will go out with Pape after conference hours and I’ll be extra careful on what I eat, but I’ll also be excited to sightsee and will flatter him to bring me to the famous Abidjan Cathedral. Ain’t it a gorgeous building?


P.S: I did go out to meet Pape at the chic restaurant where he works called Akwaba, and I must say I have definitely started off my Lose It program on a ‘lousy note’ (to put it this mildly). What was I to do with all the food served me there at near 8 pm? And in our African tradition, it’s an ‘insult’ to pick at food offered you by a generous host, and we do know how to be hospitable. And so I tried, and I haven’t yet even logged in what I ate, the scales should be screeching now oh my: I had this for a glimpse served with halal bread and fresh vegetables mix and etc etc

Such and much more for poor me seeking to Lose It
Such and much more for poor me seeking to Lose It






Marie Angele Abanga (simplified to Marie Abanga) aka MAG likes to describe herself as a “Jacqueline of several trades”. She is an everyday woman and mother with a zigzag profile. Let’s give it a try! She is an Activist, an Author, a Coach, a Consultant, a Feminist, a Lawyer, a Lecturer, a Prince 2 Project Manager, a Psychotherapist, a Philanthropist, a minister of the Word of God and...! She just loves to sum it up by saying she is a person of passions and a tale of talents. Her life’s journey has filled over 6 books already and her three musketeers keep her busy at home. MAG is also the founder and CEO of the association Hope for the Abused and Battered, and the Country Director of the Gabriel Bebonbechem Foundation for Epilepsy & Mental wellbeing. The plethora of life's experiences and shenanigans she has lived through and learned from in near 4 decades of existence, have equipped her with such an arsenal to coach, train and motivate just any and everyone. She is so charismatic, dynamic and full of life, going by her designed mantra of 3Ds: Determination; Discipline and Dedication. These sum her+her quest to be the best version of herself and impact others perfectly. She attributes all her wealth of knowledge to her conscientious attendance of both informal and formal school.

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