What Matters

#7 What matters to Flora

I love meeting people. And having endless conversation. But I hate small talk. After watching a ted talk about how to avoid it I wrote the questions I wanted to ask every person I knew and meet in order to avoid the superficial discussion and bond with them. And I decided to ask them. Here are the answers.
I met Flora last year, in a lodge by Lake Malawi. She had just arrived in the country and was about to start managing a lodge. She was glowing. You could feel the soft and beautiful yoga aura all around her calm smile. She’s a warm, beautiful soul. Her words on her blog and under her instagram pictures touched me. She felt both so accessible and at the same time she’s following the kind of path I am wishing to join. Yoga, open mind, love, traveling. I could not miss the opportunity to ask her my questions, for a moment of softness, hope and beauty.

Inspired on a Sunday #7

Sundays are for laziness and to be filled with what makes us feel good, full and alive.

Sundays are made to be inspired.

I went away on holidays for a few days and ran out of books. Kind of a drama for the bookworm I am but in the little paradise we were staying in, I found books. A lot of them. And I picked up Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Because I liked how the story sounded and the name of the author reminded me something.

Of course. She is famous – not only for this, but this is how I heard about her the first time – because she gave a Ted talk titled “We should all be feminist”. I heard about her, a lot, and never thought of reading one of her books. So I grabbed this one and soak myself into it; not letting it go for 4 days.

Americanaha is the story Ifemulu and Obinze. They live in Nigeria. Under dictature. Ifemulu is going to leave for the USA. They love each other, but life and time will bring them appart. This is their story. She becomes an author, famous for her blog about race, he’s now a business man, making money.

Americanah talks about relationship, race, being black in Nigeria, the UK and the USA. It talks about growing up, about cultural differences. And it raised my awareness, it made me laugh, chocked me. As a white european woman questions of race never were never a thing, until I moved to Malawi. And suddenly skin color mattered. Just because it is how it is. Many questions and reflexions came to my mind during this year, many discussion about it, with locals, volunteers, colleagues, tourists. But this book gave a new dimension to the interrogations I had in mind.

More than a beautiful story this book will question and push your beliefs, knowledge, feelings. Everything feels real and honest, I wish I could meet Ifemulu and she could talk to me the way she is. I wish we could discuss our views on white people volunteering in Africa, on race, on racism, on being a woman, on growing up, finding your path. I wish she could make me laugh like she did in the book.

“Sprawling, ambitious and gorgeously written, ‘Americanah’ covers race, identity, relationships, community, politics, privilege, language, hair, ethnocentrism, migration, intimacy, estrangement, blogging, books and Barack Obama. It covers three continents, spans decades, leaps gracefully, from chapter to chapter, to different cities and other lives…[Adichie] weaves them assuredly into a thoughtfully structured epic. The result is a timeless love story steeped in our times.”

Laura Pearson, Chicago Tribune

Americanah

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

What Matters

#6 What matters to Stephen

I love meeting people. And having endless conversation. But I hate small talk. After watching a ted talk about how to avoid it I wrote the questions I wanted to ask every person I knew and meet in order to avoid the superficial discussion and bond with them. And I decided to ask them. Here are the answers.

I met Stephen last year in very unique conditions. We were hiking a mountain with his group of friends in Malawi. 3 days and 2 nights in the nature, spending the day walking, admiring stunning views and sharing our out-of-breatheness. It is one of my best memory of Malawi. This very special moment with this group of beautiful human being. Stephen was here to volunteer and following my article about NGOs I decided to interview him and therefore decided to ask him my questions… Continue reading

Stephen, about changing the world

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about NGOs and how I am slightly lost and losing faith in them. And because I still want to believe that change is possible – not only in Africa but also at a planet scale (environnement…) I decided to talk about it to Stephen, a volunteer I met in Malawi last year,  and to ask him all the question I had in mind about this topic. It didn’t totally change my opinion but he gave me a little bit of faith in humanity and our ability to care and take care.

 

About creating, being an artist, a writer

Create

As far as I remember I liked creating things. Drawings, stories, plays. My imagination was on an endless run. When childhood started to fade, a part of me got stopped by people’s stare or lack of attention. I still said I liked writing, and I was still drawing. Then I started believing I had not enough talent. That art was for my sister who draw so well, my cousin whom my aunt was always praising. Not for me. I put myself in a box. I stopped everything.Only recently I started talking about my writing again. Not even investing much time in it. “Nobody’s interested anyway”. Only recently I started considering this space as a form of art. Not sharing it apart with very close people. “But nobody’s reading it anyway”. Only recently I started drawing again. Not really taking it seriously. “Nobody likes them anyway”.

I have some moments in which I wonder why I am doing this. If I am not wasting my time on silly dreams. But I don’t need to be Picasso or the next Pulitzer. I love creating. Any kind of creation. It doesn’t need to be “good enough”. As long as I create and it makes me feel good. As long as it makes me feel alive. As long as I am myself. Not doing it for people’s appreciation. But for myself. First. Creating myself, basically.

Create

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

What Matters

#5 What matters to Pauline

I love meeting people. And having endless conversation. But I hate small talk. After watching a ted talk about how to avoid it I wrote the questions I wanted to ask every person I knew and meet in order to avoid the superficial discussion and bond with them. And I decided to ask them. Here are the answers.

Pauline is one of the first person I met when I moved town to study for my masters. I was standing in our school’s backyard wondering where I was supposed to go and this little woman popped in with a big smile, asked if I were lost, kissed me on both cheeks and introduced herself in a few seconds. This is how kind and genuine she is. She made me discover the fantastic Nirrimi, brought me back to running and made me realize how some people are deeply wonderful, artist and creative mind – she’s one, of course. Continue reading

Inspired on a Sunday #6

Sundays are for laziness and to be filled with what makes us feel good, full and alive.Sundays are made to be inspired.

I used to draw when I was a kid. I wanted to be a fashion designer. I gave up thinking I wasn’t good enough. But during the past year I went back to this form of expression. I even started an instagram account to share what I create. And this made me discovered wonderful artists. Inspiring people. And because I never took any drawing classes and learn by myself it teaches me a lot about colors, shapes, what is possible and what works. It opened my possibilities and everyday when I wander on my feed it feels me with ideas and will to experiment more!

One of the first artist I followed and I admire his work is Marc Martin ( @marcmartinillo on instagram), I wanted to share some of his drawings with you today.

 

 

 

 

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin