The Children

          When people look at the life of a diplomat, the impression they get is that all is well and do not enquire about how we feel regarding the whole experience. If you ask my children what they think, I bet you would be surprise at their responses. I would like to view things from the eyes of my children.
          Mummy, where are we going this time? We have just arrived here and have made some friends, so why do we have to move again? What about my school? I have just a year to finish high school and I do not want to lose a year again. The questions are numerous but let us just stay with these few. What do you think my answers are to these questions? I do not know.
          How frustrating that can be to children who think that mummy has all the answers and they have the right to feel that way. Take the child who has just a year to finish high school, he knows from experience that every country we have moved to, there was always the question of difference in standard. Every country says their system is different thereby having higher standard while we do not see the big difference. Another point is that most schools do not like enrolling new students into the graduating class due to fear of how that student would perform. So, do I leave that child to finish high school in a foreign country and at such a tender age?
          Absolutely not, I would go crazy from fear of the unknown. Nevertheless, we moved to another country and he fears came to past. He lost a school year and now has two years to go. You can imagine what went on at home for some months. He would not talk to me or about the issue and would not attempt to make new friends. The situation at home is not made easy for me as I try to settle them down in the new country and only time heals the wound.
          Ha, what about making of friends? Well, I am not an expert but just think of my approach to the problem. I follow them to school on the first day (by the way, I process all the registration), I wait with them for as long as they need me and help them to break the ice by making the first introduction on their behalf to the kids in their class. I wait at the back ground and watch as they carry on from the initial contact and when I think the coast is clear, I melt away.
          You would ask, what is the difference with other kids? The big difference is that there is a cultural barrier and in the past my kids had had it rough. Taking the first step has become difficult as they grew older. The little one by the way is still having fun and his biggest problem at the beginning is the fact that nobody wants to play with him. I am still working out a solution on how to be at the play ground during the first few days and encourage other kids to play with him.
          Mothers have the solutions and not the answers.



Published on July 31, 2008 at 10:18 am  Comments (10)  

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  1. Mother! Mother! Oh! My Mother!, from the east to the west, north to south mothers always have an answer to every question and a solution to every problem from a child’s point of view. It could take time but answers and solutions will always come.
    I was the last child of my parents and as such I had so much pampering. Before I finished my primary school education, my father had made up his mind to send me to a boarding school so as to make me get used to living an independent life when I grow up much to the disapproval of my mum. When I got to the boarding school, my father would always give me very minimal pocket money with the excuse that I didn’t need more than I got, so the task of making me have more money fell on my mum. Whenever my dad visited me in school she would always improvise. There was this occasion I would never forget in a hurry, I needed money to pay up what I had borrowed during the ”dry period” and here my dad was giving me money which would only offset the bill and leave me without any extra and I didn’t have the nerve to tell my dad I had borrowed some money. As usual my mum had cooked me a meal of rice and tomatoes stew (my favorite), just before I started reading her letter, I had checked everything my mum sent to me and didn’t find my lucky number (extra pocket money) like she always called it, so I got angry that she had forgotten to do for me what she always does and I suddenly lost appetite of the food she sent to me, but out of curiosity I decided to read the letter she wrote and in that letter I found the MAP to my lucky number. This time around she had carefully wrapped the money in a small nylon bag and had put it at the bottom of the food flask before putting the rice. Oh My God! It was unbelievable. Let me leave you to imagine how I felt after that.
    I wish! I wish! I wish! Oh! if wishes were horses even the poorest of the poor would ride on them

  2. You mother is an amazing woman.
    Thanks for sharing this with me.
    It shows that children do remember the sacrifices of their mothers.
    As a mother, I sometimes do not know if my children understand and appreciate the efforts I put in.
    You have just assure me that they do but just do not show it.
    Thanks again.

  3. Nnamdi your mother is indeed an amazing woman,please give her a hug for me,but i must confess that my mother is the greatest woman that has ever lived on the face of the earth and i sure do belive in more than one way that mothers do have the solution to every and any problem their children might have.

  4. I take solace in your words nnamdi and i look foward to when i will become a mother so that i can pass all the love my mother did bestow on me to my kids and i hope they show me their love as well.

  5. Valentina we could go on and on and on in trying to give points on whose mother is or was best but lets just give credit to all women including yourself,women all over the world with exceptions of a very very minimal percentage who are not worthy of been called mothers are to be celebrated everyday.

  6. WOW. That’s my first reaction after reading this, then came the tears. Being one of your children has really made me a proud person today. I am greatful for giving me this good opportunity to see the world, although moving from one country to another has its advantages and disadvantages, but at the end, everything happens for a reason.
    Me being the next child in the family to head out for college next year, won’t be easy because i’m used to having you and daddy by my side when i need someone to turn to.
    We gave you hard times back then but surely we would repay you for all the good deeds you’ve given us.

    Some say actions speak louder than words but for me, if you join both of them together you would realise both speak louder than just one. It’s just left for you to figure out how much your children really LOVES YOU.

  7. Alas we hear from the daughter of a diplomat.
    I agree with you in full that everything happens for a reason,but Yohana Olisa could you shed a little bit of light on some of the advantages and disadvantages of been a daughter of a diplomat from your own point of view and how you tend to cope with them.

  8. Well, let me start of with the advantages.
    As a child of a diplomat and a student in high school in my teen years, not every child on earth has the type of oppurtunity i have by living and visiting around the world. Going from one country to another has taught me many different things such as languages, cultures, and knowing or differentiating races. I have really learnt from people and their cultures which has made me a very proud and outstanding person to other teenagers who are mostly stereotypes. Other than that, i love travelling and meeting new people.

    AS for the disadvantages what i’ve been through is mostly dealing with racism and having to leave good friends behind. Oh, and of coures switching from the British school system to the American school system, everytime i went to a different school, i had to loose a year. Like coming from the Philippines to Israel, i was supposed to graduate this year but since i moved to Israel i am graduating next year. But oh well, as i had mentioned in my first comment everything happens for a reason and i am very greatful for the life i’ve been given.

  9. Thanks Yohana for shedding some light on this issue,it must have really been difficult to leave friends behind,i for one know what it takes to make,keep and leave friends. It takes a great deal of courage to do that and it’s quite unfortunate that you had to drop back one year due to the different types of school systems,but all the same like you said everything happens for a reason,maybe the SUPREME BEING needs you to learn more about Israel,could be their language,culture or something.
    Am sure some of your friends would envy you a great deal for the fact that you speak more than one INTERNATIONAL language,it’s also a plus for you for future purposes just in case you decide to step into the shoes of your parents which i want to believe might be too big for you except when there is a WILL to achieve,because everything under the sun is possible.
    I want to use this medium to wish you all the very best as you head for college next year and try to live up to the good name of your parents and i promise you that the sky will be your stepping stone.

  10. Dear Leegho, and all those in the diplomatic corps, I salute you for your bravery, your commitment and your courage. Looking from the outside in, we develop a romanticised version of what your life is supposed to be like; we focus mainly on the outward glamour and privilege we assume you have and rarely look deeper into the ups and downs of leading our life and the prospects of life on the move. This site has really given us a reality check enabling us to gain a better understanding of the sacrifice that diplomats often make when serving their country. It’s far from a bed of roses! Yohana, continue to aim for the stars, we, your parents and family are very proud of all your accomplishments and will be rooting for you all the way, it will be worth it in the end! I was glad to read of your Christmas experience in the Philippines; it’s nice to know what to expect when visiting that part of the world. I can guess it’s a totally different scenario in Israel. Take heart, our thoughts are with you. I hope this site will continue to grow as a lasting testimony, lessening the isolation families feel, whilst also connecting us as a global network. Maybe the site will develop to be a major reference point for families moving around sharing advice, experiences and Frequently Asked Questions? I appreciate your honesty and the sincerity of all your efforts. Thank you for sharing your lives and experiences, with us and we look forward to reading more and we wish you every success. Keep it up, those in Nigeria and we in the UK are very proud of you. (Ps remember, inner beauty is lasting and will always shine through, especially when George Clooney is at the table!)

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