Canadian Expat Mom

Sports Day in Congo

What happens when a French girl, a Dutch girl and a Canadian walk into a Congolese aerobics class?

We were about to find out!

Earlier this week, my friend from Holland asked if I wanted to go to an aerobics class on the beach with her Saturday morning. The first thing I thought of was the heat, and how it can sometimes make you feel like a piece of bacon in a hot pan. Sizzling skin aside, I thought it would be fun, and I joined her, along with our French friend for the 8:00 am start at the beach, as advertised.

Well, actually it was about 8:20 when we arrived, but no worries there; we were running on African-time and they were still setting up the stage, with most people yet to arrive.

We signed up, paid the small fee and were informed that we’d be called in the next couple weeks when the event-day t-shirts would be ready…guess we wouldn’t be wearing them today.

After spending some time sauntering around the area that would soon be transformed into our exercise space, it was show-time. With a fitness instructor on the stage, shouting at us in French through his half functional microphone, the aerobics class had begun.We were looking out towards the ocean, and the visible oil rigs on the horizon had me recalling last night’s movie, Deep Water Horizon. My mind was wandering about how much more informed I now feel about what actually happens out there on those rigs we’re always looking at. But I digress… (…as usual)Thankfully, the sky was overcast for most of the morning, but since we’re only four degrees from the equator, the temperature was still reminiscent of a smoking hot July afternoon in Canada. The heat outside, combined with the high impact cardio meant that we were good and sweaty in no time.After the first hour of aerobics, I was spent! Not to mention that the organizers had been grilling chicken skewers twenty-five feet from us and the smell wafting over was starting to make me hungry. The sponsor of the event stepped on the stage and took the opportunity for a bit of advertising.

The sponsor of this fitness event??


So midway through our sporty morning, we stopped to listen about the latest local beer, ‘Class’.I’ve yet to mention that Charlotte, Sarah and myself were the only non-Congolese participants in the sports morning and this became quite evident in the second portion of activities. We were pretty exhausted from the one hour of cardio in the heat. Then the African sun started to peak out from behind the clouds, leaving the three of us feeling as fair-haired as we looked. That’s when Zumba started and our Congolese friends sprang to life. A half hour into our sunny Zumba session and I could barely manage to do the steps, never-mind shaking what my Mama gave me! Meanwhile, everyone around us didn’t seem to be bothered by the heat and was moving their bodies like they were auditioning for Beyoncé’s back up dance team. By the end I was just kinda swaying my spaghetti-like limbs and hoping I wouldn’t fall over. (You’ll see in the video below)We were thanked us for coming and all invited to have a bite to eat before we left. I imagine you might be wondering what they were offering at 10:30am.

BBQ chicken and ice cold beer.

Breakfast of champions.





Overall we had a great local experience. Before we left, the fitness instructor came over and thanked us for coming(we may have stuck out a little) and invited us to his regular week-night class.




I couldn’t help but wonder if they finished that class off with a beer too? 😉A picture says 1000 words…


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