Nelly E.

I had originally planned to publish only articles about the residents of a defined territory. I must say I've already made two exceptions to that rule. At this point, Nelly made me permanently loosen it up. She insisted that its rigidity could make me miss beautiful meetings. I gave it some thoughts.

So here is Nelly.

Originally from Douala in Cameroon, she arrived in Montreal less than a year ago from France, where she lived for a dozen years. Her three sisters had preceded her there. She joined one of them in Nancy and they became roommates. While living there, she studied communication in Metz. However, it is in Paris that she had her university internships and found work, the people of the Northeast being, she says, less receptive to foreigners.

She would like to make a career in radio journalism, a profession she experienced in Paris among other jobs. Admitted here as a qualified immigrant, she made many efforts upon her arrival to find work in this field. In particular, she contributed as a volunteer to the radio program Magazine Centre-Ville at 102,3FM, a station for intercultural rapprochement. However, she soon found out that, contrary to what the immigration officers had told her, it is not easy as a foreigner, to make her place in the labor market. As she must make a living, she found a receptionist position in a training institute on Gouin Boulevard. It allows her to pay a modest apartment in the Plateau Mont-Royal. However, she has not given up upgrading her professional skills to improve her perspectives.

Arriving here alone, as she had departed from Cameroon in her late teens, she faces a double parting. It is indeed with a French companion, blond with blue eyes, that she had planned to settle in Quebec. He had initially enthusiastically shared her project, but cooled off as the scheduled date of departure got closer... Nonetheless, Nelly did not change her mind.

Surprisingly, it was her mother who told her about the possibility of a favorable reception in Canada, after hearing it from a person she met in Cameroon. To date, she believes that the people here are less stressed out than in France and that life can be better. For now, she hopes her mother will visit her, as she has already done in France with her sisters earlier this year.

I met her while she was talking in a park with a Congolese nun she met at a retreat in Rougemont. I thought that being the granddaughter of an evangelical pastor was perhaps for something in this recent friendship. She tells me that her friendship with Maria Gabriella rather stems from the fact that she is a true and kind person with whom she shares a similar vision of life.

Nelly E. in  Tolhurst Park