• Friday, September 22, 2023
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Kemi Oloidi’s Up and About: A tour guide for families exploring the world

Kemi Oloidi’s Up and About: A tour guide for families exploring the world

Being a spouse to an expatriate who chooses to be with family alongside work will mean that every member of the family is incorporated in the journey.

This could mean being in unfamiliar environments, coping with culture shocks, acceptability, living as a foreigner and adapting to various cultures.

This is the story of Kemi Oloidi, a wife to an expatriate who spent over two decades of her life traversing continents with her family.

In her 244-page book titled, ‘Up and About – Memoir of an Expatriate Spouse’, she took each chapter sharing events and memories from each country her family lived in for over two decades before retiring to homeland – Nigeria.

A civil servant, before the opportunity of travelling the world presented itself, Oloidi and her family lived in Uzbekistan, Kenya, Belgium, Romania, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirate (UAE) before her husband’s retirement and eventual homecoming.

Her 13-chapter book takes us through her life’s journey in her eyes, living the expatriate life.

In Oloidi’s style of writing, a memoir, you could picture every scene and incident she described, even as it dates back to 1994 when the expatriate life beckoned.

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Making her way through the Murtala Mohammed International airport documentation alongside her toddlers (a five-year old Dami and Lizzie a one-year-old) on a six-hour flight to their first destination, Uzbekistan, Tashkent airport.

She ensured to paint a picture of most countries while landing at its airport, not forgetting the locals who received them and settling at a hotel.

Oloidi ensured she gave her description of finding a perfect home for her family, and the peculiarities in each country when it comes to designing an apartment. She also shared the rigorous process to getting one, as the case may be.

She took us through choosing the right school for her children, getting involved in their educational welfare and most importantly, volunteering in their school to joining the Education Policy Committee of the American School of Bucharest (AISB) in Belgium.

Driving in a foreign land too comes with its challenges, which Oloidi shared helpful tips. As a great host, she ensured to host her foreign neighbours, friends and family when an opportunity presented itself in tea parties, garden parties and picnics. Before exiting any country, Oloidi is sure to host.

Living across the world didn’t stop them from taking holiday trips and visiting other tourist sites. While in Romania her family visited Bulgaria, Cyprus, United States, Canada and Turkey. She is the definition of well-traveled.

One of many culture shocks she experienced was having to send her 18-year-old son out of their roof as it is a standard for the Romanian government which considers him an adult who should be responsible for himself.

Most importantly, Oloidi, a lover of God and His gospel didn’t fail to take it to every country she lived in no matter how little the number of Christians were. She ensured to organise and lead women fellowship groups one of which is the Master Key prayer group that is still in existence today in Switzerland.

The book also included postcards at the end of every chapter which gives tips from an expat’s wife on living, staying and surviving in a foreign land. This will also help young wives find their footing and carry on with family in unfamiliar terrains, especially in this Japa era.