Why don’t I go by “Rose”? — LLS Appeal

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet”
William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet: Act 2, Scene 2. 1597.

 

NMRN

Ultimate Photo *[1]

  • “What do you mean by that?” I asked her.
  • “Well, wouldn’t that be simpler?”, she retorted. “It is quite confusing that you keep insisting on being called by your full first name, when you know quite well that people prefer monosyllabic names and nicknames.”
  • “R-G is fine”, I muttered, “pronounced \’er-jā\”.
  • “That’s two syllables and not everyone can roll RRRrrrs! You can’t swim against the tide all your life, you know? You will eventually get tired and give up.”
  • “Watch me!”

    As you can imagine, I have at least one version of such encounters weekly. Then why, might you ask, do I insist on being called by my full first name, “Rose-Gaëlle“?
It is quite simple, really: It is to honour the wonderful woman after whom I was named, Rose-Juliette M. Belinga, affectionately known as “Ma’a Rose”. In fact, she was such an amazing lady that my Great-Grand Mother — with whom I had the pleasure of practicing Deutsch almost every summer until my teens *[2] — lacked the fortitude at over 92 to handle the harrowing news of her daughter-in-law’s passing.

    I must add that hers was not the only legacy being honoured by that name preference. As a matter of fact, one of my Tantines (young aunts) was named after my Grand-Mother long before me and I can still vividly recall our last family Christmas celebration together. Even though I was hardly out of kindergarten and she a teenager, it did not stop her from wanting to spend quality time with the sickly child that I was, often hidden behind books and jigsaw puzzles. She had a limitless imagination, wonderful smile, great sense of humour, and selfless personality, despite her growing fatigue and weight loss, among other things.
The end of the school was fast approaching when we heard Mum shriek downstairs, having just returned from work. We hid in our room, thinking that she might have finally figured out that the large porcelain vase by the entrance had been super-glued back together days earlier, following a short-lived indoor football (soccer) game.

    After regaining her composure in what seemed like an eternity later, she came into our room, had us sit down, and docilely explained to us that we would no longer see Tata Rose-Nadine M. Ndongo *[3]. Not because she resided in another province, but was now in another “world”.
It took years for these news to sink in, as up to this point, we had neither encountered the concept of life and death, nor the reality that hospitals could not “repair” us when it came to Leukemia, unlike our frequent bouts of malaria.

    Several years have since gone by and a multitude of breakthroughs have been made with respect to blood cancer research, such as immnuotherapies that use a person’s own immune system to kill cancer. Furthermore,

Who could forget Emma’s moving story?

    As the search for a cure continues to make strides, I am excited to be able to contribute by participating in the 2017 NYC Triathlon on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I also invite you to support our team’s page, through well-wishing thoughts and beneficence. You may not know it, but every single donation helps save a life. Thank you for helping us take a stand in the fight against cancer!

http://pages.teamintraining.org/nyc/nyctri17/rosegaelle

Notes:
[1] Tata Nadine — indeed, she did not go by “Rose” either — was so camera-shy that this is the only recent photo of her that we could find when she passed away during her Senior year in High School.
[2] Kamerun was a German colony.
[3] Our family name is “Ndongo”. There is a long and interesting story behind why some of us ended up with “Belinga”, which will be covered in a future post.
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What can I do today to help my neighbour?

“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.”
Socrates

Adding some commentary on an image I recently shared, to answer a question that was PM’d to me:

https://twitter.com/rosegaelle/status/825694339280035841
I am NOT questioning the authority of elected officials.

This image is meant to be a conversation starter with all of you, members of my virtual network.
It is an opportunity to educate many about how DIFFICULT life is for us immigrants, regardless of the nation in which we are currently studying/working/living.

The main question I want you to get out of this image is:
“What can *I* do today to help my neighbour?”

Similar posts shared in the past, via social media and at work:

Be a role model!

Peace & Love,

Rose-Gaëlle

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Invitation: Oglethorpe Day NYC 2017

Nescit Cedere
“He does not know how to give up.”
Oglethorpe University motto (my alma mater)

I was still getting my bearings after moving to Atlanta when I received a mysterious Open House postcard in the mail.
Little did I know at the time that this was the beginning of an incredible journey which will take my footsteps to Auburn – for the dual-degree program – and later to NYC.

Doubtful that I would even last a couple of years in the city at the time, I still cannot believe that I have been here for four and half years so far, and counting! I love the tremendous amount of opportunities and activities the city has to offer, not to mention the wonderful people I have met who contributed to making this experience a positive one.

And guess what? I met several of them at OU alumni events in NYC and look forward to the next one, on Wednesday, February 8th, between 6:30pm and 8:30pm, at Riposo 72.

I hope you will be able to join us for the Oglethorpe Day NYC 2017 celebration and look forward hearing your OU story!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1401299063255443

Go Petrels!

Rose-Gaëlle Belinga ’07, hostess

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Aotearoa

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
–Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad (1869)

 

Queenstown, NZ

Queenstown, NZ

Kia Ora!

As well put by Mark Twain: travel is mind-expanding! In fact, I cannot think of a more wonderful way to end the Jubilee Year of Mercy while kicking-off the Advent season than by going on a personal retreat to the other end of the world.

It will definitely take me several days to upload all [random] photos taken and type up my travel journal, but I am certain you will agree that they are worth the wait. Enjoy!

~ Unless… ~

 

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We are going to be okay

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#GHC16

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[21] DEAR MR. CHRISTMAS: EXPÉRIENCES MAGIQUES

[SOMMAIRE > II. THIS TOO SHALL PASS >
II.9 EXPÉRIENCES MAGIQUES / MAGICAL EXPERIENCES ]

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Albert Einstein

Double Rainbow
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~ À SUIVRE… ~

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[20] DEAR MR. CHRISTMAS: LA FEMME CYBERNÉTIQUE DE VITRUVE

[SOMMAIRE > II. THIS TOO SHALL PASS >
II.8 LA FEMME CYBERNÉTIQUE DE VITRUVE / THE CYBERNETIC VITRUVIAN WOMAN ]

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”
Ancient Proverb


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~ À SUIVRE… ~

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[19] DEAR MR. CHRISTMAS: PERDUE

[SOMMAIRE > II. THIS TOO SHALL PASS >
II.7 PERDUE / LOST ]

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
Elbert Hubbard

Curiosity Mars Rover

Mars Rover “Curiosity”

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~ À SUIVRE… ~

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[18] DEAR MR. CHRISTMAS: DÉCONNECTÉE

[SOMMAIRE > II. THIS TOO SHALL PASS >
II.8 DÉCONNECTÉE / UNPLUGGED ]

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

2016 TONY Awards

Cheering for the cast of “Hamilton” during the 2016 TONY Awards.

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~ À SUIVRE… ~

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