Hello world, the first two pictures were taken at her house in Yaounde, and the third one in my own house in Douala.
I am talking about my heroine Arrey Echi’s house lol. Now, here is who my heroine is in a few words;
She is a gentle and caring soul. She lives with sickle cell anemia and she is a warrior. Recognized both nationally and internationally for her advocacy, she has received quiet some awards for her work. She is currently setting up her foundation aptly called Joy2Endure, and those t-shirts are part of her branding and advocacy material. Ah, I could write a whole book about Arrey Echi.
I happened to have gone to the same university with Arrey, but hmm…where will a chakara like me meet a gentle lady like Arrey if not through our respective online advocacy? We’ve been following each other like for a year now, and we even ran into each other at an event last November, but the time wasn’t right yet it seems. We acknowledged each other and continued our friendship online.
Two weeks ago I decided it was time to go visit her when I got to Yaounde. It was an awesome visit. We had just 30 or so minutes together in her office, and it was hard to say goodbye. Indeed, we agreed when next I was in Yaounde I was staying with her. Here was my recap on facebook lol;
I have been following all her advocacy here on FB and didn’t really want to write anything until I met her. The conference I had to attend in Yaounde and hopefully spend a night at her place eating one of her healthy and deli dishes she sometimes tempts us here with, was suddenly postponed. Gladly another opportunity came up and Yaounde I did have to go. I braved the 8hrs trip because above all I was going to meet my heroine. Her voice left me mesmerized, we just got into each other. We both don’t hear so well and so we enjoyed reading our lips and using our hands lol. I am a passionate advocate of some causes too and so I love meeting other passionate advocates like her. And to say we were UB mates? Well chakara me couldn’t meet calm and focused people like her there. And to think I was dreaming she could be my petite soeur because of her petite self and gentleness? Lol see me to blush. Life has lessons. Am a proud student. What is there to fear about sickle cell? Follow my heroine Arrey Echi and be educated. Thank you darling for receiving me.
The opportunity came up while I honoured an invitation to the 2nd national days for Mental Health. I got to Yaounde on Monday and left her house on Thursday morning. She simply spoiled me and I wrote the following about her on Facebook.
Arrey Echi I will celebrate you from the mountain top because you are a remarkable person with a very warm heart. I am not saying this because of all the food you loaded me with (wish I could finish each of those plates however lol), I am saying this because of your gentle and caring nature. When someone in 2018, warms you water for your bath, you go on your knees and say a special prayer for them. You came back home early not feeling so great, but you still offered to fry some plums? Chai thank God I had already brushed my teeth and quickly went me to bed. This early am you asked me to wait for a quick breakfast or take along, ha mami, I couldn’t for the love of me accept that o. Now, the advocacy you do for Sickle cell is not just noise, I witnessed you eating balanced meals and sleeping good and co. You even thought me why it was VIP to know one’s genotype using a simple to understand diagram. Have I said before I am mesmerized by your voice? I wish I could stay longer and learn sign language like that other student of yours. Dearest Arrey, I will celebrate you now and not later. Thank you so much, and thank you too Yensi. Dearest Arrey then, hopefully see you next time in your office where there wouldn’t be all that food hahahaha.
Now, talking about being a Sickle voice, the food didn’t kill my voice hahaha. I learned why it is so vip to know our genotype and she used this diagram to explain that to me.
I think I was lucky gambling into making babies without knowing my genotype. I will however get the boys and I tested cause one never knows, and for them, iy would be great knowing their genotype now and not when they fall ‘madly in love’ hahahaha.
Anyways, dear Arrey, I just wanted the world to know what a pearl I have found in you. All the excellent work you do to raise awareness, and that am adding my voice to your campaign and say, ‘No Sickle cell is not witchcraft’, people can live with sickle cell into a ripe old age, #NotoStigma
Happy weekend everyone
p.s; let me just mention that Arrey brought me so much popularity on Facebook with a total of over 170 likes and about 50 comments on all my write ups about her lol