Thursday, August 20, 2009

NOT YET AN END TO THE EXILE FROM GERMANY FOR KEVIN AND VIKTORIA

Dear Family, Friends, and Readers,

KOMOESTAKA?

As I get ready to fly back to Germany—and out of my temporary exile (and temporary exit from Europe)—from the archipelago of the Philippines and my first honeymoon travels with my wife of nearly 8 months (Maria Victoria M. Baradero)during the next days, I need to note that I have had a great 4 to 5 weeks journeying across Luzon and Palawan. I have made friends in all places and look forward to learning Filipino.

Victoria and I had originally married with the plan of going and living together in Germany for two to three years. We are still fighting discriminatory immigration laws to do so.

http://the-teacher.blogspot.com/2009/07/jammin-with-maria-and-carlos-santana.html

Germany is a peculiar sort-of-federal-state where local governments and parochial peoples determine who lives where--or even come to settle within their borders. So, the local bureaucrats have circumvented European Union law since June 23, 2009 and stated to me bluntly that I would have to earn much more than 30,000 Euro (42,000-plus dollars) a year to bring my wife to live in Wiesbaden, Hessen.

Imagine if every small town in America were able to set immigration rules for the new-comers to the USA!! There would be whole areas—possibly as broad as a thousand miles long--where 0% new immigrants would be permitted to live due to peculiar discriminatory tendencies there.

Therefore, most anyone-who-looks-at-the-matter sees Victoria’s-visa-turndown (in Germany) as due to current local biases—i.e. the clear result of discriminatory immigration practices against peoples from poorer and less developed lands around the planet. (The current deadlock on Viks’ visa might also be the result of a decades long bias to allowing Eastern Europeans of German ancestry to migrate to Germany while prohibiting North American immigrants of German ancestry, too. In short, if my German ancestry were taken into account, Vik may have had no trouble emigrating to Germany as my spouse. However, American emigrants are not desired in the German system normally.)

http://the-teacher.blogspot.com/2009/07/sehr-geehrte-hessesischen-landtag-und.html

This is not the first time that Filipinos, like Maria Victoria (my wife), have experienced this sort of discrimination. There is intra Asian and international discrimination everywhere—despite what the Declaration of Human Rights says about the right for each human being to emigrate.

http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/


You see . . . Victoria grew up in a poor family in the rural areas of the most underdeveloped region of Northern (and Western) Philippines. The Philippines is a country very similar to the nation of Nicaragua that saw its dictatorships toppled over 30 years ago—only to find most of its society and multicultural peoples under the thumbs of entrenched interests. However, whereas Eastern European and other states around the globe had been transformed after revolutions of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, continuity in under-development has been the Philippines destiny (as it has been Nicaragua’s) to-date.

Even in her homeland, the poorer are often severely discriminated against in terms of school and university access. Maria Victoria got around this by getting a scholarship or work-study job with the Catholic Church in order to gain a university education.

Vik later worked as a nanny in both Abu Dhabi and then in Lebanon in the 1990s. Finally, she came to Kuwait in 2002 where the legal system was even worse than in those other Arab countries, i.e. in terms of protecting domestic servants against family abuse and outright inhumane treatment.

However, Victoria then ended up staying almost 7 years in Kuwait, though. She worked various jobs including in a Chinese restaurant and in a pharmacy.

http://alone.gnn.tv/blogs/30199/DATELINE_GOING_TO_CHURCH_WITH_MANY_FRIENDS_FROM_MUMBAI_here_in_KUWAIT_during_THE_SEIGE_IN_INDIA_Friday_November_28

Along the way, Vik found a new world of love and safety in Christ through Kuwait’s International Church of Christ membership. I was a member there, too.

I invited Maria Victoria and another Filipina to earn extra money by cleaning my flat in Kuwait while I taught in various businesses and universities. Then one spring we began to fall in love, so we began to date.

http://the-teacher.blogspot.com/2009/03/my-big-fat-kuwaiti-filipino-indian.html

I was struck by Victoria’s adventurousness and growing commitment as a disciple of Christ. She was very serving in the church and always caring of others.

This adventurousness and her love and caring ways has been evident during our honeymoon journey. For example, concerning being adventuresome, Victoria has done several new things on this honeymoon journey that she had never done in her life before. Just three days ago, she learned to kayak with me on the island off the coast and in the open waters off El Nido. (I have been canoeing and kayaking since I was in boy scouts. Vik is 42 years of age.) She also swam in the deep blue sea far from shore for the first time in her life in both El Nido and off the coast of Port Barton over the past two weeks.

http://www.kayakislandtrip.com/

Our next adventure may be either to apply for a USA visa for Victoria—or a Filipino visa for me. On the other hand, God may have bigger surprises—like having children or working elsewhere.

We are committed also to Palawan and all the family of Vik’s whom I have gotten to know here. We are even dreaming of building a house here if that is our destiny. (Perhaps, I can help bring solar power to Port Barton, where there is currently only 6 hours of electrical power each day.)

http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/oct2008/gb20081010_049382.htm

Likewise, we hope to keep building our ties with many different churches in Palawan, Luzon and the island of Negros (where Vik was born). On my coming November visit to the Philippines from Germany, I plan to visit Negros Island and meet more of Victoria’s large family.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negros


Prayers for us and our journey are welcome.

Love.

Kevin Stoda
Puerta Princessa, Philippines

Labels:

1 Comments:

Blogger Kevin Anthony Stoda said...

Kevin,

thank you for your lengthy report. I think you are missing a thing or two.
a) A society's wealthiness is dependent on a number of factors. One of these factors is very obvious: you can spend your money for infrastructure or food. Since the 1960s, the people of the Philippines have maintained a constant steady growth of their population and literally everything they earn extra is eaten up by their offspring. It's no surprise that the "industrial revolution" didn't kick in in the Philippines.
b) My Philippine girlfriend applied for a 1-week tourist visa for the US about 3 months ago, to accompany me on a business trip to Florida and take advantage of the situation to visit her relatives who happen to live near Orlando and Miami. Imagine that: I need to pay for one return flight ticket only, rental car and hotel room paid by the company, corporate credit card at hand. Sounds like a safe bet. Nevertheless, the US Consulate General refused to grant a visa to her. Her closest relative died this past week in a traffic accident.


Cheers,

Andreas

1:39 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home