Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Coaching and Training, Mental Health Advocacy

My once in a life time opportunity at the lone Psychiatric Ward as a clinical psychotherapist



Hi World, when you dare to follow your passion, with persistence and perseverance, it is a deep sense of fulfillment all the way – all the time. I bash you not but I am learning, loving and sharing so much in this once in a life time opportunity at the lone psychiatric ward in our city of Douala, Cameroon.

Needless to scare you with grueling details on say the numbers we receive each day, the number of shrinks available leaving out anything psychologist or therapist… nor the condition and resources of the ward… I got two months running from April 2nd – June 2nd 2018 and for that I simply put honoured, humble and happy. One of the first patients I saw wrote me a love letter on the eve of his departure and just yesterday another told me he was sad I was too beautiful for him. I mean isn’t this worth it?

You know, it wasn’t easy picking up psychology studies after I completed my CBT Training obtaining the first ever DISTINCTIONS note in my entire academic pursuit. But, and indeed, I was so motivated by this score and took an online diploma in psychology, dedicating close to 13 tough hours spread over two weeks, to have a merits score of 88%. Well there was lots of reading background too right? Anyway, below is what my records show:

Learner-Verification-Diploma in Psychology
Sharing just to inspire and motivate

I was now ready to for the once in a life time opportunity at the lone public psychiatric ward in my city, and considering the journey to get that opportunity, not even a nagging swollen eye nor any discouragement from ‘friends and foes’ could blur my vision.

I will just share a small portion of an email I sent to my soul family after two weeks at the ward:

April 20th: I call them my friends, I meet them before reading their records, most if not all have pure hearts marred by etc

Simply put, I am the first therapist seen there and I am fortunate to do it my own way. I am personal – calling names and not bed/room numbers; and I greeted and hugged a 19 year old girl and it meant the world to her. (She’s moved on to be my first ever private client, she is doing so well already and gladly her meds were revised … to read she’d been diagnosed with Schizrophrenia almost broke my heart)
Sadly, the meds culture is invading here and I have seen some zombies. But, many families don’t keep their patients here for more than a week because they don’t have money.
There is also quiet a high amount of addiction cases and I have already met and still work with 3 of them. Sad too many of their families have abandoned their patients and either care very less about them.
I generally see patients first and connect before reading their records, most records are filled with so much negativity and bias and bring out all things violent or pointing to need for incarceration and fierce treatment with ‘no mercy’ anti psychotic shots like haldol and valium oh my…
I take it in strides and many love me, indeed the lone bouncer there has started calling me to help him calm difficult patients ha. Some patients outright ask for me and some nurses too are not so pleased. But I go there only 3/week and the Major and Psychiatrist love me so and are so grateful I am there.
I mean, why would I pass on such a once in a life time opportunity to make a huge difference in my life and those of all these people hurting and suffering from all these debilitation, marginalization and stigmatization like my brother had, just because I am initially a lawyer and from a ‘noble profession and background?’


I have never doubted the intelligence my Almighty Father gave me. It is simply awesome all I sponge in, do, learn, love, share and embrace. No turning back for me, I embracing it all – all the way. His Amazing Grace is sufficient for me.

Gaby draws for a client

The boys are so proud of me and ask about my day. I tell them about my friends and sometimes they draw for them like Gaby did above for anty Love – she treasures that drawing and shows it off to everyone lol

Now, have you ever heard of an intern having an intern? Nadege above is a psychology major student who was sent to me on May 15th to train for two weeks before I leave. Here is a flash from our first day together. We took some pictures as she requested, and when she sent same to me, we had the following exchange (shared of course with her permission):

[14:08, 5/15/2018] Marie Abanga: Thanks for the pictures darling. Ravie de travailler avec toi (saying am happy to work with her)
[14:29, 5/15/2018] Nadege Psy: Don’t mention. Me too fière de bosser avec toi. Cette journée à été formidable (saying she is so happy too to work with me, and the day was a blast)

Our office is a hospital room, and we sometimes make a weary client to lie down for 15 minutes to the sound of some meditation music etc… we are out to help our friends as best as we can and am so happy to say I can give myself a 65% reach out. I go for walks with any I think need a walk or have that hot energy to burn out, I sit wherever with whoever, pray with them or sing or even just stare, hold hands, it’s all my spirit leading me. And it has indeed so done, I mean look at what one could manage to write on a worksheet I gave him

Another one who initially told me they don’t speak English, now greets me each morning as follows: “Hello lovely…” He gave me the large chocolate bar in the picture… many have given me little stuffs too, and it’s all so warm…

Be inspired and motivated with that passion and vision of yours regardless of your current circumstances or who says what around you. There is no doubt my just ended spiritual journey has fortified me bigtime for this once in a life time opportunity…

Happy midweek to all

Posted in Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy, Poetry

Must You Talk About IT?

Hey, must you talk about it

She asked staring appalled

What’s wrong with talking

I answered innocently

I mean about It she lashed

About what ain’t got a name

Well you know what you so talk about

I so talk about pretty much I counter

Well, you focus it seems

On the weary and scary 

The shaggae and reggae

And if I don’t I query

Would that make it any better

We all have our own moments

I talk so people know

There ain’t any shame in talking

And so am sorry

If you feel embarrassed at my talking

And now to give a definite answer

Yes, I must talk about It

They too deserve a to be heard

Am of both worlds…

P.s: These poems will be part of my “Serene Soul” collection, inspired by the healing, closure and acceptance am finding while studying the book High Tide Low Tide… By  an awesome twosome Martin Baker and Fran Houston… Can’t thank them enough

One of those inspiring & motivating feedback from a student …

With some students at PaidWa
With some of my first students: Sidoine is to my right. The dressing to near match was pure coincidence

My first lecturing gig was at the Pan African Institue for Development West Africa, in Buea South West Region Cameroon. That town hosts the famous Mount Cameroon and the School is not far from the foot of the mountain. SO yes it gets pretty ‘winter – like’ cold up there especially for someone like me with rhumatoid arthritis.

So, when you brave it there twice a week for two months; catching a good cold and fever along the way, leaving your city at 6 am to be there by 10 am ahead of a 4 hour lecture regardless of how you feel about that ‘calvary’ – and then a year later you get such an sms from a former student who also interned with your foundation, how else can you feel but super motivated to keep trying your very best?

March 10, 2017

From Sidoine Felix Paid-Wa and later Gbm intern

“Hey good day Mm. Long time trust you are fine. Sincerely permit me express my gratitude to you for all the invaluable knowledge and support you gave me during my stay with you. I can’t believe this but its true and happening. Since I left Douala I have been very engage in project proposal writings here. And Mm, the projects we work out together have been my guide and masterpiece in all the ones I am writing now. And guess what??? People are praising and appreciating the format and maturity of the project proposals. I haven’t done much but to contextualize these projects using what you thought me with. And sincerely I can’t go any further but to express my gratitude and joy. Thank you very much Mm. Hope the boys are all fine. My regards to them please”.

And as coincidence will have it, I was in Buea on that day for some work and had actually planned on checking on him – cause sure we have kept in touch. I offered him lunch and we had a good 45 mins of inspiring and quality time.

Such and many others from the others I have taught in my own city since then, keep me grounded and so motivated. The second batch I taught (and by grace they are all asters students) voted me the best lecturer they had ever had, and invited me to their end of year party, offering me a gift… it was all so emotional. I love teaching, sharing knowledge, relating with the students at any point, and simply trying to teach better than I was taught. I actually let them teach us all too and I have also learnt so much along the way. I actually dragged my mumps face to class last Sunday and braved an 8 hour lecture.

I have as often as I can told the lecturers who impacted me most that I was so grateful. I have visited a few who taught me even 15/20/30 years ago and oh my that made our day. Before I started teaching, I had a talk with my best undergrad lecturer and she inspired and motivated me along. Today, I consider teaching one of my top passions.

Is there any lecturer in the house? How do you feel about your work? Any student too? Have you ever thought how a small appreciation from you could mean the world to your lecturer? Much more than any salary raise? I have as often as I can told the lecturers who impacted me most that I was so grateful. I have visited a few who thought me even 15/20/30 years ago and oh my that made our day.

Posted in Famous Quotations and teachings, Journey to Coaching, Mental Health Advocacy, My Heroines

Watch “Shit happens. Clean it up and move on! | Beatrice Achaleke | TEDxKlagenfurt” on YouTube

Beatrice is my heroine, my mentor, my boss from my day zero here on earth. No matter how long we stay without talking to or seeing each other, when we do it’s a bam.

Am still planning my trip to J’bourg.

Who is following Us to Africa? 

Who is giving themselves unapologetic permission to clean the shit that happens in their lives?

Kindly leave some insight here or on the clip, you never can tell who’s gonna be helped by your comment.

Have a great Sunday my e-family…

Posted in Marie's Garden

When I am passionate about something, I say and show it: Haters can go to Hell

Dear World, something is coming up in my city next Friday the 16th and am super excited about it. I got so passionate and when I was contacted to find out if I could graciously go on TV and promote the event, I said yes – I mean this is the first of its kind I am hearing about in this country, I am a returnee and oh am excited to go on a red carpet and dance all night long 🙂

So let me promote it here again – maybe even only for the haters I have so far ignored:

THE RETURNEES – INTERNATIONAL NETWORKING CONFERENCE AND GALA : Friday December 16th 2016 : St John’s Plaza Bonapriso


Tickets available in Douala 699-989-474 and Buea 694-232-409

A 12 hour networking and gala night in the affluent city of Bonapriso, Douala, Cameroon that will bring together a selected network of doers within the Cameroonian community at home and abroad through The Returnees Project umbrella.The Returnees project is aimed at unifying the nation’s human and capital resources on a platform that will easily be accessible for all. The team has brought together entrepreneurs, investors, educationists, leaders and passionists in several disciplines who are committing to exchange and share thoughts, ideas and network for the betterment of their respective communities and/or operations.
This special night will be graced by music artists, comedy artists, motivational speakers, seasoned entrepreneurs, investor groups and leading patrons in several disciplines who will come to exchange resources with all present.

Before posting what one hater wrote on my facebook, let me post what the Returnee team wrote on my facebook… I don’t even know the lady who created the project and have never spoken to her, but come on I love her project:

“We from the Returnees Team are happy to share this passion with you and thanx again for representing US on TV Marie Abanga Marie A Abanga Dec 16th is definitely a Rendez vous not to miss!!!!!!”

And now what one of those haters wrote if I can find it: – it was in French: – ok the network isn’t good for me to search well…

She wrote like ‘You are too old to be excited like a high school kid’ hmm, I don’t even know her and I think maybe she’s one of those stray miserable stalkers or what generous empathetic phrase can I use?

Anyway, am just sharing my newest passion via my blog and just felt like adding that stuff about haters… I really don’t have time for them… never have had to deal with anyone of them either here on my blog or any social media platforms… but I have read of their harassment of others to the point of some blogs being taken down… so if you are a hater or potential hater and do read this post, please know I wounldn’t give you any more of my precious time than I have done on this post… any hateful comments I will just delete as usual and move on…

Thanks all for reading and have a nice weekend… do you have some tips for dealing with haters?

Dear Hater, dear you who will be in Cameroon around then, why not call and get yours?
Dear Hater, dear you who will be in Cameroon around then, why not call and get yours?

Posted in Book Reviews, My Heroines

Book Review: Choosing the Hero by K. Riva Levinson

Choosing the Hero by  Riva Levinson

Choosing the Hero

Although I humbly think this beautiful and profound memoir by Riva is slightly overdue, I commend her dedication, despite her hectic schedule, to finish it and share it with the world.

Indeed, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the other main protagonist in this memoir, in her soulful Foreword, encourages us all to read Choosing the Hero: “It tells my story from the special perspective of a woman who knows me well and was with me at every stage of the journey – a woman to whom I will always be grateful.” I know of no other more befitting endorsement of such a work. The President actually mentioned in that same foreword that Riva even believed in her much more than some of her closer entourage at one point – in short, Riva never gave up on her although she tried and failed twice before making it to the Liberian Presidency in 2005, amidst all odds and breaking the ‘tremendous taboo’ that no woman could be President in Africa.

So how did these two brilliant, brave, strong headed, strong willed, dynamic, dedicated, determined, and above all, disciplined women from worlds apart, cross paths? Riva was from the US, with her multidimensional background, upbringing, and career, while Ellen was from far off poor, shady, gloomy and poverty cum conflict stricken tiny Liberia in Africa. I have come to conclude that their personalities had a ‘spiritual magnetism’ and caused them to chose each other.

Riva is largely convinced she chooses Ellen Johnson Sirleaf because she saw in her a Hero. In her own words, thought out way back in 1996 when she first met Ellen Johnson in her office at the UN: “… a new thought that is just beginning to take root and grow: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will make history. She will change the world. I don’t know how she will do it, or what it will entail. But I know that I want to help her. I want to come along on that journey. I want to work for Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.” I think that is where the choosing started. Eventually when she had the opportunity to be interviewed by Ellen Johnson, she was determined that that not even her five months old pregnancy was going to stand in her way. Riva reflects rightly at that point that she’s facing yet again the primary tension to her job: “needing to work for the clients who pay, while being drawn to the clients who inspire.” She knew Mrs Sirleaf had limited resources and relied on her personal savings with dignity and integrity, but that was what made her Hero more appealing.

And so it came to be that Riva didn’t only help her Hero, by working and supporting Ellen Johnson Sirleaf all the way through defeats, exiles, and eventual victory ten years later, but she actually got into some serious politicking and lobbying on Capitol Hill, most of it pro bono. Riva narrates this challenging but soulful journey, the different rejections and humiliations she faced in working with and for her Hero, recalling a time when she was told outright: “it’s a traditional society, a woman can never be president.”

One will read with hints of irony how the warlord Taylor, who had several times threatened grandmother Ellen’s life, ended up himself depending on her executive decision as president if he should be tried by the Special Court for the Sierra Leone. Another amusing fact in her memoir is the ‘play press’; both regional and international, who in the beginning were definitely not having anything to do with covering Ellen and her campaign. Once she was declared the victor over “King Leah” their proclaimed ‘winner’, they were in Monrovia overnight pleading for a spot with Madam President.

Riva’s memoir is captivating and hard to put down. Brilliantly narrated with some hints of her soulful family dynamics, her impressive and resourceful Oma, all the way through to Bagdad, Libya, and Somalia, where some of her most dangerous assignments were undertaken.

I commend Riva above all for making her memoir a fluent, easy, and interesting read. I equally appreciate that her opening scene is in Norway, where her Hero and two other dynamic and exemplary women laureates of that year’s Nobel Peace Price are honoured with their awards.

Indeed, Riva made the right choice in choosing her Hero. She is now a part and parcel of one of those ‘traditional African families’, and so gets her VIP pass to the ground breaking inauguration of President Sirleaf in 2006 and much more. Riva has also witnessed tremendous personal and professional developments and she now thinks her Hero is also her new Oma.

In light of all the above, I can only honestly and modestly conclude my review by adding my own tiny call to that of our very first African Female President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, that this book should be read by all and sundry – you will not regret it.

About the Author:

Riva Levinson
UNITED STATES – MAY 13: Riva Levinson, president and CEO of KRL International, is interviewed by CQ Roll Call in her Washington office, May 13, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

K. Riva Levinson is the founder, President and CEO of KRL International LLC. Over the past 25 years, Ms. Levinson has earned a reputation as sought-after strategist managing international policy issues.

A front-page profile in The Hill, a prominent Washington newspaper, said  Riva Levinson “…has been in trickier spots and taken up more daunting causes than all but a few other lobbyists in town.” A recent Financial Times article described Ms. Levinson’s reputation in advocacy as “formidable.”

Posted in Marie's Garden

Images of, and musings about my uprising artist





For now, he is into drawings like these:


He started drawing as all kids probably do, on the walls, tables etc. I thought it was the  nursery school era. When he’ll see me coming with that reproachful look, he’ll immediately say in french: Mama est jolie ( Mama is beautiful). I mean for a child who spoke with some difficulty, how could you go on to scold him after such a sweet statement?


He later migrated to flowers for mama and then boats and houses.


This son of mine, David my Shepherd and King, is that artist and serene me. I just don’t want to overdo or miss out on anything if you get my point. But I sure want to encourage him all I can especially if his passion and talent is still around in a few years.

Please my e-family, what’s your take? Thanks in advance and all the best…

Posted in From Around!

Our priceless African Blender


You know back in those days of the stone age right? Well we retained at least one of those precious inventions 🙂

You call it out there a blender or mixer etc. Where the tomatoes, pepper and spices are ground using electricity.

Here, we still do it manually on a stone. That item is still so precious in our African cuisine that it would be a bad omen for a bride not to bring one along 🙂


My sports keep those arms ready to grind me stuffs with passion. My mama and her mama and all them before, allege that spices ground on that stone taste far better than those from the whiteman’s appliance. Don’t ask me, maybe get yourself a stone and do your own experiment 🙂

Ainsi va ma nouvel vie au pays. Please google translate, I am as bilingual as my country is alleged to be hahahaha

Have a fab week dear all

My sports also come un handy

Posted in Journey to Coaching, Marie's Garden

Treats my Best Friend and I have been busy giving each other recently…

We always prepare our Lunch Box because we are on a steel budget right now :)
We always prepare our Lunch Box because we are on a steel budget right now 🙂

and in there we have stuffs we fix such as:

fixing our wraps, and juice etc
fixing our wraps, and juice etc, this one for first outing to Spa on July 14 – French National Day 🙂
For outing of Tuesday 21st - Belgian National Day :)
For outing to Liege on July 21st – Belgian National Day! Put some chips in a zip lock, did couscous for Lunch/dinner too, water and juice freshly pressed 🙂

And then it’s Ready : Go.

Dear World, my best friend and I have recently decided to do sort of a final Belgian tour. So our first trip was to Spa.

20150714_120043This is emm a great place in this country, it has the best Formula 1 track in the World. To its record also, we have this Thermes de Spa (which our steel budget prevented us from visiting anyway). But we could pay a euro to go into the museum and see for ourselves the bathtub in which the Tsar Peter from Russia is alleged to have spent 6 months in 1900 to be healed from some ailement. He was purged only with the water both through his mouth and his behind 🙂 We however tried drinking so much of the free spring water called Spa too, but we only ended up with a rumbling tumbling tummy 🙂

The Tsar’s Bathtub
Come one come all and drink to your...
Come one come all and drink to your…

Next day, we headed to a locality – Beersel, very close to Brussels to visit this Mid-Age Castle: I mean, it was wow wow wow walking in there, and entrance fee was 3 euros:


Third day, Dinant here we come. Hmm please google this city out I bet you!

20150717_111625 and sure, we went up to that citadel and on a brief cruise


She took me these:

20150717_115245 20150717_141049 and yes my T-Shirt reads J’aime La Vie. I have come a Looooooong way and I’m Happy 🙂

Then day 4 was to visit Leuven where the phenomenal Catholic University is found with all those breath taking buildings. I mean sometimes the view is so fascinating you don’t have steady hands to take picture:

20150716_110903 the evening of this particular day, saw us go check downtown Brussels with another great friend. I proudly rocked my T-Shirt sent by Julie from the US


Day 5 Belgian National Day 21st July – Liege and Brussels for Fireworks

I only now see why I missed going on this trip yesterday. A cousin called me last minute to say he was coming in from Paris at 3 pm, and I cancelled my trip to pick him up and host him a few hours. He was one of my Men of the US Adventures. And here is why today’s outing to Liege was special:

Dear gentle readers and followers, sure I am, and now my best friend and I, are wanderers and somehow we meet kind people in our lives all the time. My Ss Hero gave me some train tickets, and I have monthly Bus and Subway subscriptions I am itching to maximize. Now the other deal is, I have come to realize that money is not everything and love, joy, passion, happiness…, have no price tag. Above all, it just dawned on me to stop wasting my time looking for a best friend out there when one had always been there inside me, neglected for so long 🙂 We have one or two more places to visit, and yes a trip to Germany this very day at 10 am. And you, any treats to share? Who’s is your Best Friend?

Hoping our treat is with such :)
Hoping our next treat is with such 🙂
Posted in Journey to Coaching, Marie's Garden

My dream shoes and more muse…

I had a dream and they were blue too

Wow world, I am super excited I finally bought my dream shoes. You know there are shoes you wear because they are chic. Those you wear because they are appropriate for the ocassion – say like sneakers for the gym or heels for… But I have always dreamt about buying the above. This time around, I was so determined that I got the lone blue pair (my fav colour ) even though a size bigger for me. And now thanks for the sales season, I got them for a wonderful 12 euros 🙂

My darling dream born of envy

Enjoying a walk in the woods to celebrate my dream shoes 🙂

My brother used to have these shoes and I just envied both he and the shoes. We call them German sandals. Ironically I buy them a few weeks to going there 🙂

So, I will be full of envy and her sister jealousy, when my brother will wear his so easily and up to go german sandals. I could tell they were also comfy. I don’t know why momma never thought of buying me one too. I recall buying some for my boys later on in life, even for X H. But I don’t know why I was yet to get one for myself. Maybe caring what people will say? Then when I got to Belgium, and was thinking of finally getting one to wear and go visit my brother, he passed on.

And now, my beautiful dream shoes have been with me since I got them 3 days ago; I remove them only to sleep. Yes that’s a dream come true for me…

Other muse?


Am making the best of my last days out here, some serious perspectives and retrospectives…

Please ignore my crappy face and hair – just look at my hand 🙂

I keep being graced. I received an amazon coupon with which I got the first wrist watch of my choice. I mean I have received watches since my childhood, but I don’t recall buying myself one especially of this caliber. Sometimes you buy for others almost all the time and hardly for yourself. Well, I have done just that lot of my life, and I have received just so much from others too.

At last, I get to watch a movie in the open
At last, I get to watch a movie in the open

Dear gentle readers and followers, sometimes we take things for granted which may just be another’s precious dream. What makes you happy, may mean not a damn to another. Yet we must not stop dreaming or tell others they dream too big or too small right? Well, I spent another wonderful evening just watching a movie outdoor organized by the townhall. Entrance was free and yet I had never found the time to go watch them. Say another small dream fulfilled…? Even the envious and jealous rain was not going to deter, nor another glitch with the bike 🙂

The envious and jealous rain chose this of all nights right?
The envious and jealous rain chose this of all nights right?