Living in Ulaanbaatar, from CAMEROON - Missionary Sister
Interview made by Cyril Bruyelle in August 2017
In transit in France between the US and Russia, I had a meeting at a movie production company. When the producer heard that Mongolia was next on my list after Russia, he told me right away that he could introduce me to the best person ever: Lucille. Lucille is a Cameroonian missionary sister living in Mongolia since about 18 years. In the (very) poor suburbs of the capital city Ulan-Bator, she helps single mums to find a job while also providing good education to their kids. As in many poor countries, pregnant women are often abandoned by men, who are too coward to accept a baby. Alone with a child to raise, these women can’t find a job. That’s where the vicious circle begins. The NGO Caritas, where Lucille works, gives them sewing classes while also providing good education to their kids. Lucille helped me to interview a lot of people around her and I want to particularly thank her for that.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
When I was a kid I did everything children usually do. We played, we liked seeing pictures made by the children, I liked playing as if I was a mother, like a teacher with the other children, I liked to play the mom.
With whom would you like to have a coffee?
I really don’t have any preference to take coffee with.. I take coffee with whoever is in front of me, so that everyone feels at ease.
If you could choose something that could be taught in every school in the world, what would it be?
I would teach three things, love everything you do and do it well and believe in something bigger, it can come from you or someone else. Help everyone, without differences, because you never know, tomorrow it could be that the person you helped saves you from a certain situation.
To you, what’s that main characteristic that all human being have in common?
Love and be loved and be well received. Because everybody likes to be well accepted everywhere, because otherwise you can’t be at ease, everyone wants to be at ease and loved.
To you, who is the happiest person on earth?
I would say, me because I know myself better and the people I am with, I think they are happy too.
If you were President of the US, what would your first reform be?
I would let everyone in, because there are things I see that if I was the president I wouldn’t block people out, that creates problems, to say the Cubans can not come in the US, there shouldn’t be border in between people.
What do you need?
I need a big thing; I need people to help poor people where I am because sometimes I’m not capable of doing it.
What would you do if we gave you 1 million dollars now?
I would build the pre-school because here, we really need it. I would also build a better road that comes to the school, many people would enjoy that road. Additionally I will add water, the pre-school also with toilets.
Which innovation, realistic or not, would greatly ease your day-to-day life?
I’d like to build a building big enough to welcome women to be able to learn another job that the three jobs we choose from now. I would want it to become larger so that everyone can come and find a family. It might be difficult but I believe in it.
What’s the news that affects you the most in your country these days?
For example, if I start with my country, Cameroon, I am disappointed because there are field resources that we could use but right now it benefits only a very small amount of people. The large majority of the population is left alone and cannot access a better life, not to have much money but just to live right. Make the roads better, health, hospitals, schools, it could be more modern because there are many innovations now and the children could benefit from it. That’s what i’d like to do and also; the president, when he has done his time, he should give up his office and not stay indefinitely because then there is no change we stay the same.
Here in Mongolia what I would say also is that it’s also a small amount of people who benefit from the resources of this country and when you look around here we cannot think that Ayubi, a couple miles from here people can live like that too, without road and water, electricity is here but no way to access without roads, there are no school, no health, no hospital or badly equipped ones, the kids want to learn but have no school. We should learn to distribute the common goods.
Do you think your life is easier or more complicated than the life of your parents?
If I look back in time when they were younger, I would say it’s better now because at the time, my dad is 78 and my mom 68 so a lot of years have passed and they didn’t have everything we have. So I think I live better but now at the age retirement they live better. Because when you look at rich people and then my parents, at their age they still see themselves as young people instead of people who have everything.
If you had to create a company, what would it be?
I would create a workshop for sewing and crafts here because there are a lot of people gifted with these talents. Maybe the problem would be the market; we would have to find a big market to sell. But also have machines that would be more productive and innovative so we could make more things.
Can you draw something beautiful?
Can you sing something beautiful?
Lucille is singing a religious song.
What are you afraid of?
When I don’t succeed a project I have to do, it’s, I don’t know if I can but I’m a bit disappointed and scared because I’m not able to do what I wanted to do, so it upsets me and I’m scared of not succeeding.
What is your dream?
My dream is having a better world, here where I am.
Close your eyes, you are in 2100, what do you see?
I see the light, it’s a sort of hope, I hope, better, something better.
What is the most beautiful thing that you’ve seen in your life?
The people that I met, who grew up to be great people, my students who are grown ups now, have good work and a family, it gives me joy.
If you had to write a book about the current world, what would you be the title?
It is beautiful and big.
What is the most beautiful thing that you’ve seen in your life?
To dance and dress with traditional clothes, people still like to dress up traditionally. When it’s a traditional cultural week, and that someone wakes up and says I want show that I’m from Cameroon. We don’t have a dress just for Cameroon but each province, and there are ten, has its own, in mine it’s the hand sewed dress, for the men it’s like the imam that you just put over your head and then there is pants and a hat and for the women also, a lot of bright colors hand sawed.
Who is God for you?
God is my neighbour, it’s you, it’s everyone who is around me.
If you could do any job regardless of money, what would it be ?
Service, I would help in any domain, teaching, cooking, I wouldn’t choose I would do what’s needed at the time.
If you had to explain our planet to an alien, what would you say?
If the world could be equal and the resources could be better distributed to everyone, this is what I would say, because in that case there wouldn’t be so many poor people who we need to help and they could have a better life. I would tell the alien this.
And you, which question would you like to ask to the world?
How can we manage to make the world a better place?