Kristen and Nii: Order in the Court
Tiffany: What was the purpose of your trip to Ghana?
Kristin: As a law school student I applied for a summer 2016 legal study abroad program in Ghana,West Africa. Through the program I took a legal course and completed a clerkship at the Supreme Court of Ghana. It was an exciting opportunity because I clerked for Georgina Theodore Wood, the first female Chief Justice in West Africa.
Tiffany: How and When did you meet your husband?
Kristin: My husband Nii Quaye, was working as one of the assistants to the program when we met. We became friends during my 3 month internship. By the end of the internship, we became romantically involved and he proposed before I returned to the USA.
Tiffany: When did you fall in love and knew you wanted to be married?
Kristin: I knew I had fallen for my husband when we got into our first argument and the thought of me damaging him in anyway hurt me deeply.
There were so many things that I admired about him: his love for God, vision, drive, kindness and willingness to give to others. I had never experienced a relationship where they motivated me and poured into my well being.
I really applaud his views on marriage and his commitment and understanding that marriage is something that has to be worked at everyday through the ups and downs. I wanted to approach marriage with a forever mindset and in order to do that the two parties have to be committed to always making it work.
Family Opinions on Marriage
Tiffany: What were your family’s initial reaction about you wanting to marry someone from Africa?
Kristin: I know that it was fate, everything that happened the summer that we met just fell into place.
My parents Mr & Mrs. Tellis, visited me during the last 10 days of my stay in Ghana. Nii was able to interact with them everyday and get to know them really well. Had they not met him in Ghana prior to finding out that we wanted to get married, their reactions would have been very different. Instead, they were really excited and open to the two cultures merging. Out of respect, Nii’s dad Mr. Quaye called my dad as it is customary in his culture to do so. After they talked and both families approved, we started the process to become married.
Tiffany: How did other members of your family feel?
Kristin: My family and friends had lots of doubt, simply because they had never met him.
Tiffany: Did you have any thoughts about the marriage?
Kristin: I didn’t have any doubts but I wanted to make sure that this marriage was ordained by God. We wanted to hear from God, Nii and I went on a spiritual fast which included lots of praying.
Tiffany: Dating long distance is very difficult, What did you all do to maintain the relationship?
Kristin: We completed workbooks on courting and marriage. We also had extensive conversations on marriage roles. That included discussing topics such as cleaning, cooking, finances and sex.
Becoming Mr. and Ms. Quaye
Tiffany: When did you all get married?
Kristin: In 2017, Nii moved to Florida and we were married formally married in a small ceremony. In 2018, we had large wedding and both of our families were able to attend. Having a year to plan a wedding was a blessing because it allowed us to work on our relationship (ie. living together for the first time) and save up money for the big day.
Tiffany: How have you and Nii adjusted to living in the USA.?
Kristin: When my husband moved to the U.S. it was a huge adjustment. He had to learn American culture, which is different from Ghanaian culture. We decided to look for a church in Miami and found Christian Restoration Ministries International. It was nice because the pastor and wife were Ghanaian and they had relocated to the US many years ago. At this time we were able to seek couples counseling to ensure we had a productive marriage.
Certified Africa: Let’s do Business
Tiffany: Tell me more about your business Certified Africa?
Kristin: Certified Africa is a travel company that is focused on connecting the African Diaspora to culture, move-makers, business and opportunity In Africa. We took over 57 people to Ghana for the Year of the Return. During the trip we dedicated a day to exploration of business opportunities and networking. If someone is interested in doing business in Africa, we connect them with relevant individuals in their desired field.
Were you looking for love? Or did it find you
Tiffany: Were you looking for love abroad or did it just happen naturally?
Kristin: I was not looking for love abroad at all but I also hadn’t closed my mind to it either. I remember when I was leaving to go to Ghana a friend joked and said, ” don’t come back engaged” and I laughed and said, ” I’m not saying I will but I’m not saying I won’t. That energy was present and it allowed me to be open to the fate of my husband and I meeting. Maybe If I had traveled with a closed mind, I may have missed my divine opportunity to love.
Tiffany: If someone wanted to try international dating: Would you advise them to be cautious or go for it?
Kristin: I would say always follow your gut and don’t let fear hold you back from falling in love and pursuing a relationship. Go for it, know what you want and be intentional. If you want to ultimately be married, the other person should be on the same page as well.
Long distance relationships are difficult. During the year we were apart, we maintained our relationship because we were working toward a goal: him moving and us getting married.
Tiffany: If you were to take a baecation, where would you travel too?
Kristin: We love spending time together and discovering new places together. We want to visit every country in Africa, Bali, Israel, and India.