Tag Archives: Marie Abanga!

Broke but not Broken


Have you ever been to that city

Broke ville it reads

You get there and visit awhile

Some peace comes but worries loom

You then up to leave

But can’t seem to find your way

You have been stuck

In more embarrassing settings 

Too many times to count

Broke for cash, kind or soul food

But finally I Thank my Lord

this time around am glad 

I am only broke not broken

Ahead of my 38th Birthday: My Gift to You with gratitude


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I got the best photgrapher for this one

 

Hello World,

The above pictures show a now, and all the years back … I love them both. In the meantime, what has that lady done with her life so much that she can offer you a gift of it? She has made several interesting twists and turns leading to discoveries which made her loathe herself more before finally loving herself whole. It is one of the memoirs in which I record some of my greatest fears in life and how I have learnt to face them throughout the years thanks in large part to life’s lessons and my shaggy self, which I am offering to you.

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What’s the Worst Case Scenario…

From the 18th of January – my birthday, to the 22nd of January, my fourth and toughest memoir to write, will be free on amazon kindle. I bet you it’ll make a good read. I also hope it’ll convey my gratitude to you all who have in one way or the other impacted me on my earthly journey. It also in total gratitude to my Almighty Father and Mother Nature, that I keep writing and sharing and appreciating and reading and loving and living. I once asked how many times one outght to say thank you, glad I got no answers for I know I’ll always do love saying thank you over and again.

So, without much ado, get your free kindle apps and get set to download this modest gift of mine to you. Tell your friends and family who may be interested in reading such a memoir, it’s also my modest contribution to mental health advocacy – shaming the stigma to be candid.

I know many people wish me well, I wish someone who reads this will go out of their way to honestly tell me what they think about it… it could generously be via a review on the amazon (such a big gift for me), or even here on my blog; whichever suits you. All I really want to say by this post and gesture is THANK YOU – because saying that has never gotten any ackward for me 🙂

My Legacy: Happy New Year to All


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Hello World, I scheduled this post for the first day of the new year – here’s to hoping am still around. If I comment on any of your comments, then I sure still is around Amen…

I started writing this sometimes in October 2016, but for some reason I didn’t post it then… I’ll want for it to be live on my blog… to just be here for all to see… each passing day, each passing moment, brings me closer to the inevitability of my life’s closure… something I had even wanted to usher in myself over 7 years ago… it’s been a long trip since then and am still around… more glad than not to be here…say I love to live…

In my last memoir titled What’s the Worst Case Scenario: Fighting my fears within mindful of my mental challenges ; the last and shortest chapter (a single page), was ‘The fear of Dying’. I had to face that fear because it had already dealt so much with me and that fear greatly impacted my living to the fullest. Paradoxically to put it simply: The more I feared to die – the more I feared to live! Whatever show I put up, was very often just that, a show! Hurray am past that now… I not only faced that fear, I think about that past and I chuckle… I don’t look forward to dying any time soon, but who does? And yet it’s so inevitable that we’ll all walk or drift or etc. through that door of no return… and I just thought about my legacy especially on this day, what will I like to be remembered for? This is it:

I lived & loved: I loved &Lived

Truth equally be told, if in the in between of living and loving: loving and living; I was an inspiration to some and hopefully motivated even just one; then that’s a big bonus to my legacy: This is what I sincerely wish to leave behind for my sons and posterity; and be remembered for – and for all the gratitude I have always had in me for all who crossed my path in whatever way, even the hurtful way…

Without much ado now, we can’t afford to become sad on the first day of a new year: Happy New Year & Best Wishes – Thank You to all my gentle readers, followers and soul family…This year I make no resolutions other than to continue striving to thrive in every circumstance in total faith… So over to you;

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An Area Girl in Abidjan Day 3


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Aiming to be just this and try my best

 

What’s Up

Well, all may not be so good today work/conference wise, but at least I have a good food budget for today thanks to the strenous exercise which I did this am. It is leaving me barely walking I must admit, but hey I want to run and burn more calories afterall.

About Work first

So let me get this thing off my throat before I return hopefully to normal. Group work sucks : especially when the group members aren’t interested in the work but in showing off or about. So today as in a while ago, we get split into groups and my co-mates talk and talk and agree on barely anything and then time is up. A self imposed group leader wouldn’t let others talk and I just sat back at one time not wanting to get so carried away with the vibrations – that’s life and in another country and time I am a lecturer and understand some student’s frustrations at their groups. Fortunately or unfortunately, in my student days that teaching technique was neither unknown nor deemed important…

Tricks and Tips learnt

1) If I take just that first step I could end up surprising myself. I felt sore this morning but I left anyway and ended up working out twice as much as monday. I’ll rest the limbs tomorrow and workout harder again Friday anyway…

2) When you cheer someone up  … it makes you smile and in return you are fired up too. I cheered a mama who was street sweeping and she smiled and I smiled and I leap further. Some men cheered; me up I continued uphill and then continued smiling to their commutes. One of my pals on Lose it called Bradley cheered me up two days ago and I bet he smiled to himself for doing that and maybe decided to keep up in his efforts too…

3) I could stuff up at breakfast, lunch & coffee breaks, and skip dinner altogether… or could I? Oh no to my disappointment… My Stomach wouldn’t let me stuff up as much as I could have wished for – it seems like when you lose weight, several parts of your body shrink too like your stomach, feet  and even invisible parts… and now tomorrow morning am not going to have breakfast because I just discovered a scale at this conference centre’s medical centre and the nurse said I could step on that – best before breakfast… I want to know how it’s going after 3 days, if I lost, gained or stayed the same nonetheless… friday is my last day at this conference centre and I feel doing that tomorrow will calm my curiosity quicker…

4) I finally got a new phone and what an excellent deal I got… The chinese are completely all over the place here and there’s even a song or two celebrating or making a mockery of that : « Partout à Abidjan Chingchon » ( chingchon refers to a chinese) and so pretty many things are Chines with their prices

5) When the training ends, leave quickly to go retrieve your passport because when you all go down at once and other trainees or participants at whatever leave their own events, the reception area could turn into something else 🙂

The day’s summary and other matters arising

Conferences are indeed tough like Bradley commented. When you get back to the hotel you just wanna crash, I wonder how the men manage it to hang out in the bar every evening or go out to the city as they narrate in the bus each morning. And oh, my I felt so cold today I wraped myself up in my winter jacket (served afterall) and wraped my shawl on my head, A friend had said we could meet this evening for dinner but am definitely not following up on that nor even looking forward to her call or chat… and tomorrow is even going to be tougher with an eminent personality coming in and there is 2 big homeworks already and I want to work on those and sort of impress him you know (well at least 1 of them) … Fortunately no sports in the am, maybe just a walk to relax those limbs more… And, yeah I found out about the hours and price for the miniature golf and am heading there on saturday morning ‘sun or showers’. While in Brussels, my SSh and I had made program upon program to go to a mini golf course and we never did helas… I called him today and took crash lessons… am looking out and forward to the fun above all else… In the meantime am curiously not keen on taking any pictures – hopefully by friday after conference official close at 2 pm I will 🙂

Wishing us all so so much

P.S Am still at the reception of the hotel since we returned an hour ago, fighting slow connection to finish this post and then publish and go me up to my room and be cool for a while before poring over tomorrow’s material…

An Area Girl in Abidjan Day 2


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Ah there goes Beautiful Abidjan – but little or no time for sigthseeing

I woke up on my second day in Abidjan on a left note to put it simple. I didn’t only feel over fed by none other than myself – (out of politeness to Pape my Monday dinner host, I had to give it a big try before taking the rest away), but I slept poorly because I had to watch the dang thing live and 9 pm in the US was gonna be 1 am in Abidjan. I dozed off like 20 minutes after smiling at seeing the first woman in the US History stadning on a Presidential campaign stage with a man who would have given all if he could not to run aganinst any woman especially one who lacked ‘stamina’ like he said.

I therefore had a low food budget for the day because I didn’t and couldn’t go for exercise. That may have even been very difficult had I even attempted because my hips were very sour and crying fowl from all I did with them at the mini gym I found on the beach on Monday. Anyway, this morning I am back on those tracks hips better heal on their own, afterall that’s where I want most if not all of those 5kgs to flee from.

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Helas, that was the closest I could get to the monument

Conference training was hectic and I ate very little so as not to run over my food budget like I did on monday. I managed to leave on break time and dash to that gorgeous cathedral which was fortunately oppositie the conference centre, but the gates were CLOSED from all ends and I couldn’t even find the opening hours before the rain started to have a shower. I dashed across but the only openening entrance to the conference centre was two blocks round the corner. Abidjan has had its own share of crisis too and bet ya security ain’t taken for granted here.

Getting back to the hotel at 5.30 or so pm, I was just ready for my bed and nothing else period. I finally managed to call home because I had gotten a local sim card during break too, and then I walked some to a nearby supermarket hoping to find Ivorian cocoa to no avail. It was thus back to my room, eating the take away from Monday, and sleeping like a log.

I go jogging now hoping Wednesday comes with a better food budget, better this and better that Thank you Lord…

Nice day to us all

P.S : Network didn’t allow me to publish before going for sports, now I can update. I surprised myself for running 30 straight minutes even if only slowly as in ‘quicker jogging’ (hope you get this), and then yep went back to that mini gym on the beach and put in 20 minutes of same excercises and more, and then did 10 minutes aerobics to stretch and lalala. It was more day break than monday and commuters were starting to be up and about and it so happened there was no other female around doing what I was doing and some men cheered me on and one really clapped. I was so flattered and hyper motivated. I can’t wait to log this into the Lose It app and see what I get as food budget for today…

Stepping on the dreaded scale and other musings of mine…


What’s Up ?

Copyright Phototèque ACCOR.Photo Gilles TRILLARD.So, I am in Abidjan since 1 pm today, and although the hotel I am lodged at has greatly tempered my excitement to be here because of it’s ‘wifi which is out of service’ (and now works only at the recption), I am still happy to be here. This hotel was the first to be built in this country in 1952, and among their distinguished guests you have General Charles de Gaule and H.E Felix Houphuet Boigny – the 1st and awesome president of this country known as Cote D’Ivoire. I remember grumbling to mum I wasn’t sure I’ll be glad here because there’s no gym at the hotel, but then on flight I read the palmares of the hotel and I was like mum you see where I am? And it’s close to the beach meaning I can go there and jog, and my room gives out to that view oh my, just see for yourself…

View from my room, that's where am going jogging
View from my room, that’s where am going jogging

And what about stepping on the dreaded scale ?

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One of our backstreet medical cabinets, I have sour memories of going to one of such years ago

Ok, over to my stepping on the dreaded scale right ? No sooner had I posted the book review of the Latte Years which narrates Philippa’s brave journey to shed 30 good kilos and more life aches, than it came haunting me that I had definitely put on some ‘feelable’ weight since my return to Cameroon last August 2015. I returned home weighing and feeling 75kgs, but now although I hadn’t stepped on any scale since I returned, I felt ‘heavy’ to say it simple. I didn’t feel like I was back to 115kgs like in 2010, but I had to know what the scales said.

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Another of our backstreet medical cabinets

I bravely went out to find a scale I could step on, and see the verdict for myself. I did have to look around to find a scale because I didn’t have one at home, and the nearby ‘medical cabinets’ like this one which are in my neighbourhood, were either still closed or didn’t have a scale. I hadn’t had breakfast yet because I wanted to weigh ‘light’ you know, and I needed to step on that scale sun or showers even if only to justify my ‘skipping breakfast’.

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A famous polyclinique in my neighbourhood

I finally went to the nearest Clinic and gladly stepped on the scale. Bam 79.850 kgs. Let me honestly say the needle was very close to 900 grams and my face fell. It took me 2 tough years to lose 30 kgs, how many months now to lose 5 ? I just need to lose them by December latest and I am joining Dyane’s team on Lose It – No more excuses period.

Other Musings

I successfuly tried some new aspects of me out and am definitely pleased with the results :

1) I didn’t pack a month before my trip although I couldn’t do that on the eve either. I gave in to my anxious mind and did pack a week before. I used too when I was in secondary school, return home in June and be all packed ready to go back by July although school resumed only in September;

2) I didn’t leave my house for the airport at 5 am as I had been struggling in my mind to do, all in a rational that I could be late for my 7.50 departure if I wasn’t that early at the Airport. I chided myself and calmed down and left at 5.45 am, got to the airport on time ( a 25 mins drive from my home), and checked in fine and waited quite some at the departure lounge…

3) I didn’t ask for an aisle seat nor wear my winter jacket on the plane. There was a time my legs got all wobbly when I was on a plane and so I always asked for an aisle seat to stretch them out. I equally ever felt so cold in the plane I just had to have my winter jacket or several pullovers on. Sometimes even back home in the Douala heat, I will have a pullover on and I couldn’t stand neither a fan nor AC. Things are definitely getting better and now on the first time since my return from Belgium, I sat in an assigned middle seat, and I didn’t wear my winter jacket. I had brought it with me but at last minute shoved it in my hand luggage…

4) The flight was on the average cool, but I wasn’t in the mood to chit chat on the flight. I had ear plugs on anyway and I could feel my neighbour wanting so much to chat by the glances he kept making. I finally borrowed his magazine and smiled at him. I equally bothered him some to go to the loo and this is one reason I might as well ask for that aisle seat after all. I do use the loo way too much both on flight or on the ground.

5) Ah my luggage almost didn’t show up and I started panicking and near crying pitying myself it it didn’t. I have been through those scenarios more than once and if it happens in Africa, either I lose it altogether or it shows up on the eve of my departure. Some more polite countries like Tanzania sent it to my hotel, others just called and said it was at their ‘wherever’. I therefore started pleading with the luggage wherever it was and I begged that it surely wouldn’t want me filling one more of those forms right? After 20 or so minutes, it showed up almost the last piece and I was so full of love for it. I almost shouted out: “What took you so long Hon?” (I did say that to myself and I was the last guest on that hotel list who hadn’t shown up in the arrival hall yet)…

6) I meet friendly Isa the luggage help who told me much in 10 minutes and made me already plan to go visit his area which is opposite the lagoon where my hotel is. You first take a ferry to cross and then a bagoda to go to his area. When I told Isa I was from Cameroon, he gave me a military salute. Our countries seem to have a love affair especially since our ‘football star’ Samuel Eto Fils married one of theirs.

Oh me this area girl huh? And then I have just me a guy call Pape referred to me by our favourite foreign currency exchange agent called Marabout – more plans for after conference outings for dinner already being made… hmm la vie est belle la…

Dear World, I am learning and loving so much, and am filled with so much gratitude at the awesomeness of my Lord. I even got another big surprise on my arrival at the hotel and this one is still so much for me to share. I just wish us all so much well in all our corners of the globe and all our different endeavours…

The woman and mother I am becoming…


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Dear world, it’s been a while and I have been from meds cum side effects tuned, to feeling good. I have wanted to write several posts on different subjects, but oh my where is the time!!!

Oh before I proceed, I finally got a new good smart phone so I got my beloved WP and other dear apps back 😍

So this morning while waiting for court to start, I can do a post from my new gadget…

These past few days have got me thinking and doing lots towards becoming a better Me: Me the Woman and Me the Mother…

Souvenirs like these boosts the moods tons
Souvenirs like these boosts the moods tons

Me the Woman is already on track with the sorting out via my memoirs, the continuation of Me Moments, and more reading and writing. I am also beginning to connect physically with some old and new acquaintances. I had an awesome lunch with my dear Bea at some chic beach restaurant and she even spent the day and night with me yesterday. Indeed, my favourites are very few but that’s perfect for Me…

What's the Worst Case Scenario...
What’s the Worst Case Scenario…
” In my writings, I have come to transcend boundaries to the me I thought was long ‘dead’. That little troubled but hyper kid nicknamed ayo, that turbulent teenager fondly called by some ‘ayobebe’, ‘radicaux’, ‘zam zam’, that battered, tattered but not shattered woman and wife, that ‘guilt stricken‘ mother, that transformed young, dynamic, disciplined and dedicated lady with a new ‘soif’ for life.” Excerpt from my fourth memoir  – cover above

Me the Mother is still trying. Trying so hard to be there for my boys though homes apart. My first son is in boarding school so I can only visit him once a month – school rules. We write to each other weekly though… I brought him a letter this morning and saw him looking rumpled and pale – he is sick but also very homesick… Will take him out for check up and emotional support…

The other two still live with their Dad because am not ready yet to take them full swing. I have them every other weekend, and visit them at school once a week as much as feasible. This Saturday I decided to go pick them up and spend the afternoon with them. I found them in a very uncomfortable situation. At least their dad finally agreed that I could give the 9 years old a phone. This is a huge milestone we are talking about HERE …  You can imagine how many times we communicated yesterday by sms and calls…

They both asked me to visit them at school today and my initial reply was No. But sure guilt and even logic set in and I called back to say sure see you guys at 3 pm. It’s logical I think that I try to see them much more often than when I couldn’t either because I was in my travels, or I didn’t even know their school nor home location…

I just think it’s going to fall in place slowly but surely. I have to work so hard to become the best Me the Woman so as to be the best Me the Mother. For me that’s proving to be the order of things. I am learning lots of patience, tolerance, boundaries, and alternative ways of saying and doing…

I am grateful for all the opportunities I have had in life, and ever conscious of the need to stay close to my bliss and faith…

Wishing us all a nice week…

Ode to all who take their meds…


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And sometimes, twice/thrice a day!!!

Dear World, in my last post, I had hoped that the prescribed ‘ just some antibiotics’, were going to take the week old fever and ‘meh’ away. I am not even able now to laugh at my own self. That is how misreably I am faring since the side effects of those meds kicked in Sunday morning. I wasn’t expecting them to be that many and for real  you know, and at some point I thought I was on my way out of life.  I actually wrote a farewell chat to a friend, and called my dear Bea for 40 minutes giving her my last wishes (no will cause nothing really to will out…)

I remember how my brother diagnosed with BD hated taking all those meds. I mean at one point I summed his life to ‘take my meds’, cause that was like about all he ‘looked forward to’. Goodness, I am just waking up from a near 2 hour ‘siest’?  And am only on Clamoxcyl 1g and Ketaflox 400mg. I take the C twice a day, and the K once. I was taking the twin dose in the mornings until yesterday when I ‘wisely’ thought taking them both at bedtime was better? Guess it’s that night dose dishing me all this sleep and agitation…

On Sunday as I was saying, it got so bad that I drove with an eye closed for ‘better vision’. Then I stopped every 10 or so minutes to rest. At some point I called a cousin to pick me up. I was sweating profusely and lost my nerves so shamefully with a dear friend. I don’t want to trouble you with the side effects listed, sometimes if we could read them before buying them maybe we would risk staying with the malady we already have…

And yet we sometimes really can’t take any risk not going on those meds. We want to get well and we trust them these meds to help us out. Maybe the docs who prescribe them could lecture us some on those effects? But will we listen? And then do what as an alternative?

For all these musings, and my personal experiences, and those I witnessed from my brother, I really want to salute all those in the house who take their meds, or even ‘try to take them religiously’. It’s no easy fit, and sometimes it’s truly difficult to function ‘normally’ when taking those meds especially when you got to pop them twice or thrice a day.

To those not on any meds, lucky you, sometimes I am in that category too. But what I strive not to do, is brand those who are almost always or really ever always on meds, as lazy or lousy people. No one will probably opt to pop pills all their lives, but helas some find themselves there now, I really wish these meds did not have such drastic side effects for which other meds with their own side effects were needed … see that cycle and circle?

Anyone out there with different experience with meds?

One Love …

Heal & Deal : Deal & Heal


Hence my philosophy that the two go together
Hence my philosophy that the two go together

Hello world, today I want to share with you some reflections on the above. You know I turned 37 yesterday and that makes it seven bonus years already. Why bonus? Read this post

When I recently wrote a post on Maya Angelou’s advice not to make someone a priority when all you were to them was an option, I equally shared how I tried to only leave that place when I had done a lot to Deal and Heal. In that instance, the greater bulk of the process took me 90 or so minutes. In other cases, that process has taken me years. Some issues are even still outstanding.  Gosh, I wasn’t even so aware of Heal and Deal (or the otherway round as the case may apply) until a few years back…

So let’s look at them one after the other:

Heal

I love this one
I love this one

I found this definition online: to make healthy, whole, or sound; restore to health; free from ailment

Heal yourself with love, joy, peace & compassion

Well, just on it’s own, I think to heal is pretty easy right? The benefits are glaring and em everybody wants a ‘healthy heart’ so they live long right? If it’s physical wounds and stuff of course we can’t stand the awful ordour, or blood gushing and handicap that may arise. So we are prepared to do all it takes, go to whoever it is, to get that wound or ailment healed.

Now when it’s emotional stuff, hmm; psychological stuff, hmm hmm and on we go… The first picture at the top  says it all: You can’t heal what you refuse to confront… of course even with that wound you have to look at it…

Deal

Dealing to a Hurray
Dealing to a Hurray

This one phrase from the various definitions of the word, caught my attention: To take action with respect to someone or something:

When something is not right, and we want to heal, we have to think of the deal involved…

I titled this post H&D or D&H and you’ll see why now.

There is an issue bugging you, and maybe you just don’t have the energy (be it emotional, psychological etc) to work to heal. You reflect on the deal (used here to mean the worth), and you decide you ain’t ready to go there… I mean a friend once told me they would have loved loving someone, but how it hurts to love and loss. They weren’t prepared to go that way again yet or even ever… they’ve sort of dealt with that issue “for now we may add”, but they have not emabarked on any healing because there’s no big deal…

And that is how I think there are situations where the healing preceded the dealing, while in other scenarios the dealing leads the healing. It may be a choice or a natural process. And yet, it sure takes and deserves time…

How much time? I don't know...
How much time? I don’t know…

A couple of days ago, it took me around 90 mins to D&H an ackward situation, although I still had to brood it over with a few friends into the next day…

Since Sunday, I have embarked on a situation that’s sixteen good years old, to hopefully D&H because that’s the logical approach at this moment. I need to deal with the pain it is inflicting and am ready now more than before. Since I wasn’t the only one involved, it’s good that the other party is ready too. We can thus do some of the dealing together, although the healing is of course an individual machination. And yes I must admit it hurts… I am still crawling on that although it’s getting better by the moment…

What’s holding you back

I once watched an amazing youtube from Ms O’s Life Class

I was touched to say the least. When we don’t H&D or D&H, the pain stays there. It stays and grows, and gains proportion – intensity and much more. I mean the pain starts to Haunt you, then it Hunts you down and then it Hurts you terribly.  It could someday become you, your story, your definition. People start saying: who, that angry woman? That jealous woman? That childless woman? That drunkard? That Selfish fellow? you name it…

You’ve gotta want to do that dirty homework of confronting what’s wrong. First you have to identify it, feel it, even embrace it, then deal with it in order to proceed to the healing. Other times, you may have to first position your mind to let go of the saga (heal), forgive yourself and show yourself love and all, then you can deal with it once and for all.

Dear all, last year around this same time, I shared my 36 courses learned in the University of Life. I share this post this day as another birthday gift to us all… -the first being my free books on the amazon… this is my year of Gratitude so help me Lord… may I keep fighting my fears especially those surrounding Love… Amen

Gratitude all the way
Gratitude all the way