Allyson Felix: IAAF Female World Athlete of the Year 2012


 Along with the fastest man on earth (at the moment) and IAAF Male World Athlete of the Year USAIN BOLT.


What can I say, the girl deserves it after her steller performance at the London 2012 Olympics.


She became the 2nd female track athlete SINCE 1988! to win 3 gold medals in an Olympic

 

She won gold in the 4 x 4, 4 x 1 and 200m track events


I think most people enjoy watching track & swimming events because its a dog-eat-dog world out there. 
All eyes are ON YOU


There are not 10+ players on the field like on other team sports.

You either got it or you don't. 

You can NOT hide behind your team mates. 


Your teammates cannot "carry" you or make up for your weaknesses. 

Get ready to Swim or Sink.

4X4 relay team: Gold medal winners at London 2012

I mean....to train for years, for an event that last less than 10 mins total is crazy!

She started running in 9th grade of high school. 

People, this is why i keep saying, my kids have to DO SOMETHING/ EXTRACURRICULAR activity.


It doesn't have to be sport. 
I don't care what they decide to do as long as they DO SOMETHING!...

Many schools are doing the best they can to provide these activities. Its up to parents to sign their kids or support the programs.


Its not just about earning a college scholarship or the beginning of a professional career. 

As a product of this system, I believe in its power to help teens learn discipline, leadership skills, the value of hard work. team work and respect for authority.

I hope this inspires YOU.

STAY THE COURSE OF YOUR JOURNEY

CNN 2012 Heroes

The Year is coming to an end! 

 And in Keeping up with the tradition, CNN has released their  


1. Pushpa Basnet - Butterfly Home - A home for kids with  incarcerated parents - NEPALS

2.Thulani Madondo - Kliptown Youth Program - South Africa

3. Wanda Butts - The Josh Project - Teaching underprivileged kids  how to Swim - USA

4. Leo McCarthy - Scholarship Program for teens who pledge ( Mariah's Challenge) against Under Aged Drinking - USA

5.  Mary Cortani - Operation Freedom Paws - Using dogs a s a therapeutic medium to help veterans with PTSD - USA

6. Razia Jan - Zabuli Education Center - Provides free education to girls in rural Afghanistan

7. Connie Siskowski - Youth Advocate for teens who are the primary care givers for their family members - Florida

8. Catalina Escobar - The Escorbar Foundation helps teen mothers with education, counseling and job training - Columbia

9. Malya Villard - Appolon - KOFAVIV - provides counseling and legal help to rape victims - Haiti

10. Scott Strode - Phoenix Multisport - Using sports as a rehab therapeutic medium for drug addicts - Colorado

La Leçon 
There are millions of non-profit organizations out there. Each addressing  a specific target group or injustice. Most are successful, not because of funding but by the generosity of people who volunteer their time and talents. 
It doesn't matter what you believe in. 
It doesn't matter what part of the world you live in.
Where ever you are. In your petite niche, there is someone who needs your help. Help can come in various forms. Financial, craftsmanship, handyman, role model, counselor, office work, friendship,and etc

When was the  last time you HELPED a stranger? 

Do you know the  salvation army donation bin in your town?

Do you know the food donation pantry in your town?

Do you know the  homeless shelter in your town?

Are you aware of the youth programs to help underprivileged teens in your town?  
 
In the words of John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
 

So whether you like it or not, we are all affected by these circumstances. 
Directly or indirectly. 
If we want change, then we have to become part of the solution. 
Go out there and BE NICE. Smile at someone :)...Wish them a good day and be a helpful neighbor. 

African Film(Documentary) :Taxis Sister



As you should all know by now, one of the goals of  

Ma Petite Niche 
is to highlight the achievements of the African Woman.

The reason being, the AFRICAN WOMAN is playing catch up with the rest of the world.


Our feminist movements are finally mobilizing across Africa.

Gender roles are now open for public discussions and in living rooms. 

Women's professional competence is no longer the laughing stock of the African man.

Of course, we will always have the minority, who will forever think our roles do not extend outside the kitchen and bedroom. But that number, as with all things influenced by a need to "suppress", is dwindling towards extinction .


I first came across the documentary TAXI SISTER while browsing MIMI MAGAZINE blog.


Shot in Dakar, Senegal and released in 2011, it chronicles the daily life of a female taxis driver.


Here's an except and trailer of the documentary from Vimeo, 


"...Taxi Sister is a documentary about Boury, a female taxi driver 

in Dakar, Senegal.

As a woman behind the wheel she leads a busy life filled with 

everyday drama, and constantly grapples with society’s view and 

expectations on women.


The film is based on the Taxi Sister project, which was started by 

the Senegalese state in 2007 with the aim of encouraging female 

entrepreneurs. Ten women were offered the opportunity to get a 

drivers license and buy a car on credit.


Today there are fifteen women taxi drivers in Dakar, which is 

nothing compared to the fifteen thousand male taxi drivers..."


The documentary was directed by Theresa Traore Dahlberg, a native of Burkina Faso + Sweden


Ironically, I will soon be attending an event at a Senegalese restaurant here in Boston. I can't wait to tell you guys all about my experience with their cuisine.

If you have any suggestions about popular Senegalese food that is "taste-bud friendly" to a foreign tongue, feel free to comment below or leave me a message on Google + or twitter.




Thanksgiving holidays Reading List

This year I am having a longer than typical thanksgiving holiday.  As much as i feel like...nooooo...i need to be working and making that "chedeh", I accept it. Instead of lazying around, I decided to get an education. I'm spending the next 5 days in coffee shops aka Starbucks, cozy bookstores, libraries, parks, the Boston Charles River and etc immersed in the following books.

1. Mighty Be Our Power: How Sisterhood, Prayer and Sex, Changed a Nation at War by Leyma Gbowee with carol Mithers

- The Author Leyma Gbowee was one of the 3 women who in 2011 won the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE. Alongside her fellow country woman and current president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Book Description:

As a young woman, Leymah Gbowee was broken by the Liberian civil war, a brutal conflict that tore apart her life and claimed the lives of countless relatives and friends. Years of fighting destroyed her country—and shattered Gbowee’s girlhood hopes and dreams. As a young mother trapped in a nightmare of domestic abuse, she found the courage to turn her bitterness into action, propelled by her realization that it is women who suffer most during conflicts—and that the power of women working together can create an unstoppable force. In 2003, the passionate and charismatic Gbowee helped organize and then led the Liberian Mass Action for Peace, a coalition of Christian and Muslim women who sat in public protest, confronting Liberia’s ruthless president and rebel warlords, and even held a sex strike. With an army of women, Gbowee helped lead her nation to peace—in the process emerging as an international leader who changed history. Mighty Be Our Powers is the gripping chronicle of a journey from hopelessness to empowerment that will touch all who dream of a better world.



2. Then We'll Sing a New Song: African Influences on America's Religious Landscape by Mary Ann Clark

- because I am on a lifetime spiritual journey. I want to learn as much as I can, about the history of religions. Irrespective of the religion, one thing they all preach is peace, love and unity.

Book Description:

Then We'll Sing a New Song is a fascinating examination of how African religions have shaped belief and practices in America. Not just the story of the development of African American religions or the black church, this book tells the often-unrecognized, but important story of how African religions have shaped religion in America more broadly.
Mary Ann Clark introduces readers to the cultures of three African kingdoms that contributed significant numbers of their population to the African slave trade, and also profoundly shaped religion in America—the Kingdom of Kongo, the Oyo Empire, and the Kingdom of Dahomey. Each of these groups has a unique history within the long history of the Atlantic slave trade and interacts with the Americas at a specific point in history. Clark shows how each may have had an influence on contemporary American beliefs and culture, sometimes in surprising ways. The book features a glossary, timeline, and maps.

3. OPRAH!!!!! lol...*official title below*. I could not help myself

The Oprah Winfrey Show: Reflections on an American Legacy by Deborah Davis

- In preparation for my birthday and the new year, I have been on the hunt for inspiration. I have been looking for books or activities that employ me to be a better sister, daughter, friend and human being. THIS BOOKS DOES THAT and then some more! 

Book Description:
The Oprah Winfrey Show came to an end on May 25, 2011, after 25 years on television. Arguably the most influential television personality of all time, Ms. Winfrey and her show have had an impact on American culture that cannot be overstated. This beautifully illustrated book will explore and celebrate the legacy of the show using essays and tributes from a stellar group of contributors including Maya Angelou, Bono, Ellen DeGeneres, Nelson Mandela, Toni Morrison, Julia Roberts, Maria Shriver, Gloria Steinem, John Travolta, and more. The book will feature photographs from the Harpo archive, spanning the 25 years the show has been on the air, including the farewell season.
 
Essays within the book will be dedicated to different themes (e.g., personal growth, social action, and literature) and will explore how the show has touched people’s lives and impacted the conversation around those issues. The essays will be followed by narrative text, which will guide the reader through the history of the show’s involvement with each topic and will include stories about the events, people, and organizations that have acted as touchstones or provided insights along the way. Accompanying the essays and narrative text will be images from the show, behind-the-scenes photographs, as well as signature portraits of the contributing celebrities taken by noted photographers.


4. The Affair by Lee Child

".....A lonely railroad track. A crime scene. A cover-up. A young woman is dead, and solid evidence points to a soldier at a nearby military base. But that soldier has powerful friends in Washington..."

- I picked this book because i love crime themed novels. I read them with the same excitement i watch CSI, Law&Order, Bones and Castle. I am always competing with the authors. Trying to solve the puzzle and figure out the true villain before the end of the story.

In another lifetime, I'm pretty sure my best friends are Nancy Drew, Hercule Pierrot, the handsome Hardy Boys and grandma Agatha Christie.

5. State of WONDER by Ann Patchett

- I picked this novel because of the adventure motif. I love books that exercise my imagination.

Book Description:
In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, scientific miracles, and spiritual transformations, State of Wonder presents a world of stunning surprise and danger, rich in emotional resonance and moral complexity.
As Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon, she will be forced to surrender herself to the lush but forbidding world that awaits within the jungle. Charged with finding her former mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug, she will have to confront her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she journeys into the unforgiving heart of darkness. Stirring and luminous, State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss beneath the rain forest's jeweled canopy.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2012

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY!


While thinking of this post, I started writing a list of 30 things I was thankful for.

After item #3 I stopped.

The process had encouraged me to reflect on my life since moving to Boston last year.

So many things have happened. And shockingly, GREAT THINGS!

It does not seem like I've only been in Massachusetts for one year!

Instead of a list of 30, I came to this conclusion.

I am thankful and grateful to God for GOOD HEALTH. As long as I am healthy and strong, everything is possible. No matter your condition, having good health gives you the strength to put in the required hard work to change your current circumstances.

As an extension of good health, I am also thankful that my dad 
( the man trying to sneak into my pic above ♥‿♥ )
is still cancer free. His last check up was 2 weeks ago.

What are YOU thankful for?

RIP Former Captain of the Indomitable LIONS Théophile Abéga Mbida






Théophile Abéga 

Mbida, 

former 

Captain of the 

Indomitable

 LIONS died of cardiac

 arrest at the General 

Hospital in Yaounde,

 Cameroon at the age of 58.






                                                              Photo Credit: SoccernetEspn




He will go down in history as one of Cameroon's best 

offensives  players. It's a shame a severe knee injury

 forced him to retire early from football.




       Photo credit: Sports365

One of his notable soccer career performances 

include being an  incredible captain for the  first 

Indomitable Lions team to

 win the African Cup Of Nations. 

This victory took place in

 1984, Ivory Coast, against the Super Eagles of 

Nigeria.







                                                                           Photo Credit: AfricaPress



He was also part of the Indomitable Lions team that 

took Cameroon to their 1st FIFA WORLD CUP 

tournament - FIFA 1982 SPAIN



                                         Photo Credit: CameroonInfoNet


My condolence to family members and friends. His football legacy will live on forever.



Lights! Camera! Action! Take#3 Community Connections


Spent the soiree with my dad, he was the Designated Driver....yes..such is my social life....After this photo session am sure he was considering putting me up in a mental institution ^_^





Melrose Annual WALK AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE


Annual Candle Light Virgil and Walk

Candles where lit for all the victims of domestic violence in the city for the year 2012...the numbers went down from last year but still...it will be nice when we as a country get to a point where NO candles have to be lit. 

First Lady of Massachusetts Diane Patrick , wife of current governor of the state, Deval Patrick...giving a speech about her own personal struggles with domestic violence during her first marriage. It was a very sad story . I am glad she got out of it and is now with what seems to be an awesome man and future presidential candidate for the democratic party
They had art works and other auction items displayed in an effort to raise funds for the cause

I was glad and impressed to see a lot of young adults + high schoolers attend wearing their school jackets..sports teams jackets...etc...some of the victims where their ages! :(

Some of the victim's stories were displayed on figures such as the one above. They were several scattered across the hall. What really killed me inside was that some of the victims where children :/, probably caught in the middle of a nasty fight ...and others where police offers responding to a 911 call for help. May all their souls rest in peace






Africans In Boston networking Event

Location:Lucy Ethiopian Cafe

The people and ambiance of the cafe was great. It was nice to meet other young professionals from across Africa in the city and make new friends. 

I loved the arts works displayed on the walls and the fact that they had soothing, relaxing African musique such as fela and many others playing in the back ground

The ability to hold meaningful conversations with people who can articulate their thoughts in an intellectual manner is soooooo refreshing....aaah. I've been going through a dry spell with that*



Met a fellow cameroonian
The mug of tea you see in front of me is a traditional Ethiopian tea made of bark spies...THAT madames et monsieurs, was my 2nd cup. 
We thank God for the etiquette classes I took growing up because that was the only thing restraining me from having 10 cups!

If you love ginger, honey, cinnamon scents/tastes in your tea, you will love this drink

You can find Lucy Ethiopian Cafe Menu here

Inspiration of the moment


Stop being so scared. 

Be BOLD

Take a LEAP OF FAITH

Or you'll spend the rest of your life wondering....what if? and that mes amis is a very annoying "feeling"....Forever living in doubt, not knowing how your life may have changed...had you had the courage to GO FOR IT.

HAPPY WEEKEND!

XOXO

LO



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