DEBORAH KULAH , 20, LIBERIA

I am Deborah, from Liberia. I came to Norway in 2006 and I have lived here for almost 14 years. The way I came to Norway was through my father. He was the first in our family that came to this country, and later my mom and my little brother followed. The main reason why our family moved here was because of the war in Ivory Coast in 2002. There was so much chaos. There was gunfire and fighting all around the city. At the time I was 5 years old and I nearly lost my life because of that war. Our family first planned to go to America. My father is a pastor and he always prays before anything he does. He had a vision of God taking us to Norway. He took a chance and came to Norway, to a country that he didn’t really know anything about. My family was apart for 4 years, I didn’t see my dad until I was 8 years old. When I first arrived here, I lived in a small town called Verdal. Since we came to Norway that has been our city. It was strange in the beginning, I wasn’t used to snow, the weather was really cold, the city was so quiet. I didn’t like to go out, even though I had friends and they wanted me to. It was a little hard for me to communicate with my friends because of the language. We used English, that was the most common language I could use to communicate. Being curious of nature and wanting to learn things, it took me 2 months to learn Norwegian. I used to ask my brother the meanings of the words. I moved to Trondheim 2 years ago to study, I continued my education to become a health worker. While in Trondheim, I met my fiancé. I discovered that my fiancé lived in the same town where I was born and moved to Norway under the same circumstances. I believe it was fate that brought us together. We arrived at the same time at the apartment I am living in in Trondheim. When we met it was as if we had known each other for so many years. We connected immediately, it happened naturally. It was easy to talk to him, to express myself, and likewise for him. When I was telling him my story of how I came to Norway, he could relate and had the exact same experience. That was wonderful.

 

LLOYD PAUL, 24, LIBERIA

Born in Ivory coast, I came to Norway at the end of 2003 in December. My  family and I moved here because of the war in Ivory Coast. We were also about to go to America. The day before we were to take the plane everything changed, we decided to fly to Norway. At first, we arrived in Bodø, in the north of Norway. When we came it was snowy and very cold. I was surprised and everything seemed new to me and my family. I stayed inside the house for 1 month, because I wasn’t used to the weather. During the first month I really missed Africa, but when you think about coming to a new place, a new chance to live your life in peace and the fact that you don’t need to be afraid of something, that was a very special opportunity. Growing up in Norway was a unique experience, and you must establish yourself and get to know the place. It took me a long time to adapt, I was the last person in the family to learn the language. In 2016 I left my parents’ house. It took me that much time because I wanted to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I was about to go Bergen, but I changed my mind on the last day and came to Trondheim, without knowing anyone. That was when  I met Deborah, it was the perfect timing. I want to understand things before I go forward in life and Norway gives you this kind of peace. I just wanted to be here, and wait for the perfect time to move out. When I left the city I was living in, it was the exact time she left her house as well. If I had gone anywhere else we would never have met. I worked for a ventilation company for a year. Now I am taking things slow, writing a book and working on a project. She and my mother are the only people in the world who know me. It is good when you have someone in your life who pushes you. She knows my strengths and my weaknesses. I also love travelling, I want to experience new places, see how people act and respond. Together, we have been to many places and would love to explore a lot more.