Tag Archives: travel

The Journey (4)

Dalilah waited some news from Maarten after he left to his homeland. They had had several contacts through emails and phone calls. Maarten reassured her that everything would be all right since he sensed some uncertainty from Dalilah’s voice whenever they talked. Not knowing what was happening on the other side of the world, Dalillah put all her trust onto Maarten. After all, he’s my husband now, she thought. What could go wrong?

After some legal arrangement in the Netherlands, Maarten told Dalilah to start preparing for her journey to a new home. During that time, Maarten persistently urged Dalilah to sell her business and her property – reassuring her that a new beginning awaited her there with full hope. It wasn’t easy to find a buyer to take over her business, nor to sell her property in a very short period of time. Dalilah didn’t understand either why she needed to sell her property – after all she would like to retire one day in Malaysia with Maarten by her side. Maarten did mention about that idea too over and over again – telling her that Malaysia would be the most ideal retirement place for him. She believed him because she knew there was a lot of truth in it. No doubt about that. Maarten had showed Dalilah that he truly enjoyed his life in Malaysia.

The pressure of wanting to be with her husband and simultaneously needed to sell everything she had made Dalilah very confounded. Some friends couldn’t comprehend her reactions because they detected something wasn’t right with the big move. Especially when she needed to ‘get rid’ of her ‘stuff’ in Malaysia in order to be with her husband. If the husband was understanding enough, this topic shouldn’t even worth thinking of. After all, it was her property, her belonging. Not his. Others took advantage by dragging her down to almost bankruptcy. They offered such ludicrous amount of money that she almost fainted! All in the game of ‘good business’.  Dalilah was desperate. Yet again.

Eventually, after all the troublesome and heartache of having to sell her business, Dalilah decided to keep her house and sold her car – for a ridiculously low price! She wanted to cry since she couldn’t bare to see the amount of loss she accumulated. How could this be possible? Nonetheless, everything she did was out of love. Perhaps this was the sacrifice people were talking about, she thought. Being single is one thing, being married is another, she thought even more.

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Launching the Safety Net Project

Here we are!

Suzi and I were stunnedFamily small by the number of mixed couple who were divorcing in appalling conditions.  Generally, the woman was Asian and the husband was European.  They had met through a dating website or  during traveling abroad.  They had had a great time together (or, at least, everybody thought so) and then, the love story ended in a flurry of hatred, insults, hits, blue blacks, trials and lawyers mails…  The story ended in utter despair for the woman and the children, and generally a very bad social and economic situation for the entire family.

We were curious if this kind of situation was frequent and common, or if the couples we’ve seen were the exception to the rule.  We googled and investigated official documents as well as scientific reports and shockingly we found out that the cases we knew were not isolated family wrecks, but a broadly spread social disease…

We wanted to do something about it and, during a car drive to Eindhoven, to a good friend’s house, we talked about a project and how to cope with these harsh realities.  Suzi jotted down notes while I was driving and, while talking and scribbling throughout the one hour journey, we achieved our first structure.  The morning after, I typed a draft and we coined a name for this project : The Safety Net Project.

Suzi began to talk about it to friends and to professionals : lawyer, doctor, social workers.  All were enthusiastic and very encouraging.  She also met officials from local authorities and diplomats, and we have to say that the reactions so far are utterly positive.

So, in a few weeks, we’ll launch The Safety Net Project. You can already read a bit of it on this page.