once upon an expat

Expat-wives GOT Talent

Interested in Yoga? There are always a few expat wives that are very skilled yoga teachers. To keep us all zen.

Zumba, or Pilates? Again plenty of instructors but my friend and I preferred doing Zumba on the Wii, very fun too! Actually Zumba is a bit 2015, Piloxing is THE new thing here in Pointe Noire.

Baking? Trust me “The bake off” is nothing compared to what some of the women can do here! Especially challenging without supply of “normal” products here in Congo so therefor everything is made fresh and from scratch…unless you cheat which is what I do. My very good friend Betty Crocker helps me to keep up appearances within my expat community. Only sometimes I find myself in the awkward situation that people ask me for the recipe…aargh “well it is a family secret” would be my reply.

rainbow cake

Angie’s amazing rainbow cake

Cooking? Wow, an average potlock here has better food than a Michelin star restaurant! Especially the Asian community here provide you with the most delicious foods and make it look so effortless. These are always reminders of my own inability to cook. So I usually bring drinks to potlock events!

Music lessons? Well you have your local Congolese musicians that will teach you or your children the drums or any other local instruments. Then you have these gems that appear throughout your expat journey…these super talented musicians that offer anything from musical classes to singing or piano lessons.

piano lesson

Kingston with his very talented piano teacher Svetlana

Theater? Again all of the sudden these moms you didn’t expect at all to be actresses, have a natural gift in performing and entertain us by having regular performances.

There are too many talented Expat-wives that I sometimes find it intimidating and really wish I had a specific skill set of my own! You have groups that find local projects to support; they will raise money and build schools or teach local schools about Oral hygiene.

hygiene project

The dental/ hygiene project in Congo!

Then you have the uber-creative ones that are talented in sewing and are using it to train local girls to sew the most amazing clothes, bags etc. One of these groups/ brands is called: African riddim (www.africanriddim.com) hold sales every few months in Pointe Noire and trust me an average H&M-Balmain collection sale is nothing compared to this! Woman fight to get in and righteously so as their items are amazing, unique and one of a kind.

African Riddim

African Riddim

Last but not least… the reason I started writing about talents are the bloggers and writers amongst us. Some of the blogs I come across are so incredibly well written and so fun to read. One particular mom (Canadianexpatmom.com) decided to bundle a selection of stories written by Expat-moms into a book called; Once upon an Expat. Guess what?? It is available now on amazon and trust me it is funny, sad, interesting and educational all in one book….check it out! Oh and all proceeds go to charity, so really why havent you ordered your copy yet? (If you have already purchased it…THANK YOU!)

once upon an expat

Yeah I am in this book!!! Check it out on Amazon now!

Have a great week everyone!


Paige at school

High on (Congo) Life

Today is one of those days…..where I absolutely love Congo and living here! Trust me there are also many days where I hate it! But not today, the weather is great and of course hot….very hot!

The kids are on a break from school and currently in the pool with their swimming-instructor. Yes we have a swimming-instructor who comes to our house (Frederique). Not the most reliable person but he is good with the kids and they love him! So currently in the pool are my own two kids, Zache and Krisma.

swimming class

Swimming class

Zache lives in my friend’s orphanage (Mwana Villages) and is a bright little 5 year old. He calls me Maman Cecile, and whenever I hear him say that my heart melts! He can get away with murder at my house and he knows it. I like to spoil him when he comes home with us every Wednesday. My daughter Paige and Zache have a very special bond, he constantly looks out for her and she loves him and makes sure he has enough food and drinks or candy! The two of them are trouble and I wouldn’t want to be a 4/5 year old trying to play with the two of them. He loves to swim and is obsessed with Paw Patrol so we watch the DVD on repeat and of course in French. We have a routine that starts with a peanut butter sandwich and milk before swimming. I made the mistake once of baking pancakes and I have never seen such an angry looking child. So for now we will stick to the peanut butter sandwiches. Sorry for the pancakes Zache!

Zache, Kingston & Paige

Zache, Kingston & Paige

Christelle is my AWESOME maid! She has been with us for 2,5 years. We had two different maids before her and that didn’t work out so well. The first one, Cecile (already confusing to have two Cecile’s in the house) was very sneaky and some things money related went down and I didn’t feel comfortable with her in the house. The second one Justine was more my friend as the whole having “staff” in my house was new to me. This didn’t work out and I still feel guilty about this as she named her baby after my husband. She still shows up every now and then asking me for money. Which I give her… she in return brings me fruit or African fabric. Christelle’s youngest daughter Krisma joins our Wednesday swimming class too. The first time she was terrified of the water but after a few weeks she is loving it.

Paige and Krisma

Paige & Krisma

Christelle also started to join the swimming class and she does it on Fridays with Paige & Frederique. I am glad we get to share this and love watching them improve their swimming every week. Last week Christelle took Paige with her to pick up Krisma from school. When they returned she was holding on to Paige so tight and told me; “I get it Madame, I get it now!” I have been telling Christelle that I find it scary to take Paige to local markets or neighborhoods, as she is blond has blue eyes and everyone wants to touch her, I find it overwhelming sometimes. Christelle, just experienced the same as the whole school wanted to touch Paige. I’m not sure Paige understands, as I am pretty sure she feels more African then we do.

So today is a good day…a great day! African Sunshine, Frederique showing up on time, all the kids happy in the pool and one happy mommy watching it all!

Bon Weekend!