Care – extra care

extra care
Dian and kids enjoying a nice kebab next to an intriguing museum in Brighton. Image: Dian Ekowati

I’m trying hard to sleep, seeing my dear 18 month-old daughter finally fall asleep. I am exhausted, tried to sleep, but instead my mind travelled far to where I started my journey as a PhD with WEGO. Here are some reflections of that time. I remembered that soon after I got shortlisted as a candidate in the project, I found out that I got pregnant with my second child. My first one was 7 years old and while we had been trying to have another one the last 1,5 years, nothing happened. And therefore, getting the news was really surprising. 

Before I knew it, I got the position. Only with the support of my current supervisor, I managed to start my PhD, but with a delayed start, an initial visa refusal drama and a big move to UK with my husband and 2 kids (one was 4 months old). I wouldn’t have been able to get myself together if not for the kindness and care from my colleagues in the university, the project, my neighbours, and new friends I found in Brighton. They literally have gone extra miles, far beyond their responsibility. I remember when my project manager dropped in to our place in our first evening in our “Brighton home” and gave us a rug, blanket and a cot while we’re still waiting for the bed to be delivered from the preloved-charity shop we bought them from. I remember how long the chain was of my supervisor’s email trying to work out finance to help me out with the big move. I remember how my new neighbour helped us with the practical elements of the move. And also how one of the friends in WEGO got me to gather myself together when I found out one of our dearest family passed away while I was alone in Brighton before my family joined me. Then finally I remember how a parent in my son’s school took my son to the cinema and watch his very first movie in Brighton.

So much has happened, great and not-so-great things I did not foresee would happen, but what I learned is that here and there, many people will help when you reach out. Therefore, despite the rollercoaster, I have no regrets, it’s all worth it. Even if I found that my project often came last and needed to wait for the end of the day to be touched.

But I wouldn’t be here (and my kids would not have enjoyed the nice kebab in this photo next to an intriguing museum in Brighton) if not because of this support system, the care of those lovely people. Thank you!

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