Hello everyone! Hope you guys enjoyed your Valentine's Day. This day is usually big for some people but I know a whole bunch of others that don't even care.I still remember back then in Nigeria, how big Valentine's day used to be and I know for sure that it hasn't changed. In Nigeria, everything about Valentine's day is so dramatised that you can't help doing something with your partner. There are lots of shows that give couples the opportunity of having a romantic outing together, even if it's just once in a year. Why won't they, after all how many Nigerians will say they don't have "house-helps" or family members taking care of there children while they are away. Do I envy them? NO! I wish I can afford such luxury here in Germany but "es geht einfach nicht".
Living far away from home has it's advantages. I love Deutschland, not just the country but I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by wonderful friends, have been privileged to see life from a different perspective, appreciate other people and their different cultures, embrace my African heritage and so on. Nevertheless, there are some times that I would really ask myself: WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?
Yesterday was Valentine's day: I didn't have any great plan but enough to enjoy myself with my family. I took my daughter to Kindergarten in the morning and was having my breakfast when my phone started ringing. It was the 'Tagesmutter' (the caregiver). She sounded so bad. She was sick. So sick she couldn't take care of my children while I go to work. I went blank, when I recollected myself I asked if she could repeat what she said. It could be that I didn't understand the German she spoke to me but she made herself even more clear. After she hung up, I was confused. I couldn't think of what to do. I wanted to scream but my little boy was sitting at the table with me and I didn't want to scare him. I made several calls to friends and neighbours but no one could really help. How can I get an emergency baby-sitter under a couple of hours. Even if I finally get one, how can I concentrate at work knowing that I left my little children in the hands of a complete stranger. As I was trying to call the next person, I noticed that my hands were shaking and I'd started running temperature. Was I having fever or was it just panic. I ran to the balcony for some fresh air. "Calm down Nneka" I said to myself, if I get sick now, I can't even handle my classes. As the cold winter breeze blew on my face, I drifted off for a few minutes. Things would have been different if only I've not been living too far away from my family I thought to myself. This is Valentine's day, most couples will escape like love birds to have special time with each other leaving their children with their 'house-helps', parents, relatives etc., but here I am in Germany, can't even find somebody to baby-sit for me just for 3 hours. I wasn't even going out for fun, but to go and work.
By the time I started getting cold from the breeze, I decided to go in and make few other calls. All I wanted was to get solutions and not self pity. The next person I called was Christa, a very good friend of mine. I knew she works on Monday afternoons but I wanted to ask if she knew anybody that could help. We spoke for almost half an hour with no concrete solution when she said she would get back to me. At that point, I decided to call my husband at work to let him in on what was going on. When I hung up, Christa called back. "Geschaft!" she screamed with joy. She told me that she called her mother who lives in a nearby city and was lucky to get her at home. She explained the whole situation to her and pleaded that she should leave her 'kaffee treff' and come over. Luckily, she agreed. I know her mother very well and so do my children. I was relieved. Everything was under control again and I didn't have to worry about my children because Christa's mama came to stay with them at home and she is not a stranger. I was so thankful to them and most thankful to God for giving me such wonderful people. I know that in such situations, you feel as lonely as ever but isn't it in the bible that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Though my nerves were nearly finished after dinner, but we still had a beautiful Valentine's Day.