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It’s not always black & white


Sherie Holder-Olutayo

It’s not always black & white

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Whereas differences can often form the great divide when it comes to new love, they have been the glue that have held Donna and Stefan Potthoff (now newlyweds) together.
Without overstating the obvious, they’re clearly from different races, different countries – he’s German, she’s Barbadian, but the tie that binds them together is love. That affection and love had the opportunity to blossom after an introduction by a friend. That love also had to withstand months of separation brought on by geographical limitations.
But that love, instead of being diminished by distance, race, and sometimes the unfeeling comments of naysayers, this couple somehow managed to grow more closer within two years, which led to their recent nuptials last month.
“I was supposed to go back up with him to Germany, but there are still things to sort out,” Donna said of the upcoming separation.
That means a separation of two to three months until she can settle things and sort out her travel arrangements for her permanent relocation.
“It’s okay because I’ve lived here all my life but it’s a change of everything, environment, people, culture place,” an excited Donna says. “I’ve been there three times and I haven’t had any problems so far.
Stefan, who returns to his job as an account manager in Germany this week, said that separating from Donna has grown more difficult each time they’ve had to part.
Preparing to embark on this new phase of her life doesn’t seem daunting to Donna. At 33, she’s ready for marriage and looking forward to motherhood one day. 
“We agreed on two kids,” Donna said laughing. “I would love to have twins so that I could get it one time, but whatever I get I’m thankful.” 
What has made their love easy is the acceptance by family and those close to them, despite the racial divide.
“Our families met for the first time at the wedding and everyone got along well,”said Donna. “We didn’t have any problems.”
Though she realises that the camaraderie of her family doesn’t always extend to certain people, she is not daunted.
“There are always issues from the white part of the society and the black. But I find that the black part of society is more disrespectful and more vocal than the whites. Even if they may think it, they don’t say it.”
Donna found to her surprise that she got the greatest resistance from Barbadian men.
“Guys are much more vocal to me when they have seen us out,” Donna said. “They would make comments and have their own discussions, but they didn’t bother me.”
Stefan said that everyone in Germany loved Donna but he did agree with her that the greatest resistance came here.
Donna and Stefan are both aware of the challenges that lay ahead of them, especially when it comes to the distance. 
“Each time we leave it gets harder and harder because we’re married now, but I find that when we have stuff to do, we focus on doing that so that the time will go faster.”
Stefan is glad that they’re benefitting from this digital age where it makes the challenges of distance easier to bear.
“We talk every day on Skype for free, and we’re also on Blackberry Messenger” says Stefan. “If this was 40 years ago we’d have to send a letter which would take weeks to get it so I appreciate the technology.”

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