Sometimes in life you just have to hold your breadth and jump. You can’t plan and organise life, you can work towards a goal, but the path will undoubtedly be different to the one you imagined.
I moved to Namibia on the 9th of May 2000. I had finished university and was ready to find my place in this world. My visit through Southern Africa had opened up a new possibility, one that I had never considered. But I knew upon my arrival in NYC that I would return. So I did on the 9th of May, my husband’s birthday. I hadn’t met him yet.
We officially met at the local German carnival – at the masque ball. He was dressed as a Highlander and I as a nun – who knew. We haven’t looked back since. We were married on the 22nd of 02, 2002.
We were married at the local magistrate and had one witness and our dog as flower girl. We didn’t let anyone know except for family – none of which are in the country. We then went for a sundowner drink on the beach, supper at a restaurant on the beach and drinks at our local bar. This then turned into an impromptu party with piano, singing and my husband playing the harmonica. We had a blast.
We have been married for over fifteen years. We have two children and or lives have changed quite a bit.
When I met my husband he was working as a skydiver doing tandem jumps and camera work. I was unemployed. That’s one thing about small towns, little opportunities. While living in Namibia I have worked as an au-pair, a temp at tourism offices, translator for tourist groups, lodge relief manager, in the locations dept. of a Hollywood film, belly dancer, run an HIV counselling & testing clinic, initiated an a local NGO, in the building industry – project management, and insurance. We still have the NGO, it has been running since 2004.
Life has taught me to be flexible. Living in a new country is challenging. And we have found that doing so with no family support is even more so. After having our two kids we can now appreciate how lucky some are to have a family support system. Our families are far away so for the everyday it is just us and luckily there are friends who can help here and there if need be, but still not the same.
When our first son was born, he had a very bad case of colic. So we did not sleep – at all. We really could have used someone to take him for an hour or two to allow us to catch up on some sleep. We eventually got a nanny to help a few days a week but that was only so that I would be able to attend meetings and work without taking him along, which is what I did most of the time. I was fortunate to be working for myself, running the community centre and the HIV testing centre, so that I could take him with me to work.
Now both of our kids are older and in school so I have reclaimed my mornings, except during school holidays when I work from home.
We also live about 20km outside of town so there is quite a bit of driving back and forth. We luckily have an office in town but if we leave something behind – it’s staying there. I wouldn’t change a thing tough. The sleepless nights, the long drives, it is all worth it. The peacefulness of our home is something I could not do without.
We are now heading in to a new year once again and I wonder what it will bring. What adventures, what changes are coming our way. We continue to grow on this, our road in life.
a broad life©