This is the review post of the 15-for-15 challenge where I get to review another bloggers entries for this challenge. This post should have been up last year but I couldn’t even do the necessary research (visit the blog and read the posts) before I travelled to my hometown and subsequently got cut off from the world. In defence of my hometown, network was terrible this year. None of the network providers (we have all four networks in my family) had internet service, my brothers and I didn’t quit get the relaxing holiday we were expecting.
After a few false starts, I’d be reviewing Phoenix who blogs at ediyemade.com. She’s a Nigerian blogger who’s married to a German citizen and recently moved to Germany. She’s learning the language and even writes part of her posts in German too. Reviewing her post was a pleasant experience, I had to use google translate and maybe I picked up German phrase or two.
Her first post was about her preparation for relocating to Germany and the stress involved in getting her certificate. Anyone who’s attended a public university (federal or state) since the 1990s can attest to the fact that the administrative arms and offices are the most frustrating and annoying set of humans in this world.
Her second post was titled Schule, which means school in German. See! I’ve picked up a word 😉 I like her conversational style of detailing her experiences, if I want to immigrate to Germany her blog would be a very valuable resource. She talks about learning German and deciding on what to study, apparently elderly care workers are in high demand there but our Phoenix doesn’t want to give anyone injections.
Sprachen Sprechen Fremdsprachen is the title of her third post, Google translate tells me it means ‘languages speak foreign languages’. Here she talks about learning German, she makes it sound like fun. Trust me that had to have been tough, German is one language that looks unintelligible to the English speaker. Spanish, French, Italian look simple and pronounceable but German with all the sch, satz and ch- in her words and the so many consonants bunched together looks so alien. Love makes us do the oddest things I guess, would I learn German because of my husband? I’d have to think about it.
Her fourth post was about a meet up she had with a group of African ladies who grew up in Germany, they had Ethiopian food and she didn’t like it so much.
The fifth post is about religion, in Germany 9% of your income is deducted from your salary and paid to the church before you even collect it. Yes, tithe is by force here. I’d read the post before- I discovered Phoenix in 2013/14, she was featured on one of the natural hair blogs I follow. For a woman with relaxed hair (I’m not planning on going natural in the near future) I follow a good number of natural hair blogs. I even knew JantJanyl Benyl from African naturalistas, when she was a contributor and not from Duru. I just realised that I read this post with keener interest (reviewing a series of posts is not easy) and it struck a strong chord in me. She talked about her faith and wanting a higher dose, don’t we all?
By now you must have guessed that her theme for the challenge is German integration. The sixth post is about getting married in Germany, bureaucracy is the same all over the world. She’s a dual citizen of the US and Nigeria and her husband is German, the procedures for their marriage makes interesting reading.
Her seventh and eighth posts were similar in tone, they were about German politics and language and the role of language in aiding easy assimilation of German culture. She sounded really passionate about learning the language as an immigrant and becoming part of the German society.
A visit to a market with African shops and goods on display is the focus of the ninth post. The tenth post is about her misgivings about applying for a job due to factors that we’ve already seen and the fact that she’s been seeing jobs mostly in faraway cities.
Post eleven was written in August, just before one of her major German (language and politics) certification test. This post also dwells heavily on racism and Rachel Dolezal, incidentally I just read a post on Awesomeluvvie about a journalist who employed Blackface (a white person painting his skin a darker tone) to tell African stories, this is all the shades of annoying!
Whoops! I just looked at my word count 772 words! Ok this is getting too long. The remaining posts are about her exams and result, she passed brilliantly! Naija no dey carry last jare. She got a contract job basically to improve her German and hasten her integration. When I read that 50% of her pay went to taxes and insurance, my jaw almost fell open. This is why such societies work, if you have to shell out 50% of your salary for taxes and all; you will definitely care more about governance and corruption, you will demand responsible spending by government and definitely demand that your money provides social amenities and welfare facilities for the helpless.
Reviewing Phoenix’s post was a pleasure, so what are you waiting for? Visit her blog and see for yourself while I think about marrying an Italian 😉