It was a sunny and windy day. Timothy’s first day basking in the sun at a beach along the Indian Ocean in Mombasa, Kenya. While marveling at the beautiful scenery in the coastal town of Kenya, a beautiful waitress came to serve him a drink. Her name is Eunice.
Love at first sight applied between the two and before long, one thing had led to another. They enjoyed each others company, being that Timothy had just been posted to work in Kenya. Eunice was just from high school. She was working to support her mother who used to tailor to feed seven of her siblings. Just like her older siblings, she had seen no sign of ever going to college, hence she held on to her job.
When Timothy came into her life, he insisted that she had to go to college. For three years he paid her school fees where she pursued a Diploma in International Relations. At the same time, when she was not in school, they could go for a holiday to Timothy’s homeplace in Germany, Italy and traverse Europe for a whole month.
That had become her lifestyle. They then decided to get married through a civil wedding. Shortly after, Timothy was transferred to Haiti but Eunice was pregnant. She opted to remain in Nairobi, Kenya’s Capital where she lived a few kilometers from her family. What she did not realize is that she had committed herself to a foreigner and at some point, life would force her to relocate and leave behind her family!
Before getting carried away with interracial marriages, you should have it at the back of your mind that at some point you will have to move to a foreign country, whether permanently or temporarily.
Life was good because Timothy would visit every three months, and she would also visit him after giving birth to a cute baby boy. Before she knew it, she was once again pregnant, barely four months after giving birth. Nine months later, she had her second bundle of joy; another boy. This time, her husband had received a transfer to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Due to security reasons and the volatility of the place, she continued living in her home country, and her children grew to learn Swahili and English which are the official languages.
The children joined school and started adapting to the 8.4.4. system of education being offered in the country. Just then, one day, Timothy came visiting with a fixed mind: they all needed to relocate to Germany. “But how? The children and I will be totally lost in your world! We cannot speak German!,” protested Eunice. But Timothy was not seeking her opinion. If anything, his mind was already made.
The fear of unknown was pushing her to quit the marriage. But after consultations with her family, she gave in to her husband’s demands. He convinced her that it was similar to them moving to another town far away and that she can occasionally return to meet her family.
They left for Timothy’s rural home in Wustrow. Interaction has been a nightmare ever since. In school, the children have no friends due to language barrier, and only play together since they can only speak Swahili and English! Living in a country, where English is not the first language can be quite a challenge. That is when you realize that as much as English is an international language, not everyone speaks it.
At home, apart from her mother in law who can struggle to utter a few English words, she has only one friend who is also an anglophone African. Going shopping was a daunting task for her. At least when lonely, she talks to her family via Skype, Facebook, emails and WhatsApp.
“I have tried to adapt to this life but it is not easy. I wanted to register for language classes so that I can learn Dutch but I was told that is reserved for refugees and poor people. People who are well off like me are not in that category,” she says. She has now decided to register for a degree program which will force her to start with learning German before embarking on the actual course. For now, she has decided to learn the German language via youtube and she is coping well.
The food has been another challenge for her, but every time her husband comes from Africa, he carried maize flour for her that she uses to cook the Kenyan staple food ‘Ugali’. She is also sampling new recipes from Germany and her children are adapting really fast since they eat locally prepared food from school. She has learned to prepare Fränkische Bratwurst (beef traditionally served with bread roll sauerkraut or potato salad), and Spätzle (pasta with eggs, flour, salt and a hint of fizzy water).
Relocating abroad is a challenge that can be overcome. Many have done so, but it takes courage and the willpower to adapt to your new surroundings. Maybe, with time, you will get to love your new home country and the urge of going back to your old one will leave as quick as it came!