Quarantined in Love: China Edition

Kisha & Nana

Struggle or Strengthened 

We are experiencing unprecedented times in the World. Coronavirus has literally stopped us dead in our tracks. Due to the stay at home orders that many countries have in place, we are now spending more time with our loved ones.

During this time, we have the opportunity to discover who are spouses really are. Spending a significant amount of time with a person may cause you to fall deeper in love or out of love depending on the hour or day. LOL, 🙂 China has reported that there is a rise in divorce rates due to quarantine. Let’s talk with Kisha & Nana Abban to see if their relationship is struggling or has been strengthened while living abroad in China.

Covid-19 & China

Tiffany: When and why did you move to China?  

Kisha: In 2014,  I accepted a school counseling position at an international school in Guangzhou, China.  After realizing the savings and travel potential, I decided to stay abroad.  I completed a 2-year contract in Nigeria from 2016-2018.  In 2018, I  eventually made my way to Tianjin, China, where I currently reside.

Students and teacher in Africa

Tiffany: What are your thoughts about COVID-19 and China as they have some of the highest rates in the world?

Kisha: Initially, I was frightened by COVID-19 due to people becoming ill and dying.  I have been confined to my house because its scary to know that there is a deadly virus that you can’t see or smell.  

Looking back, I can now laugh at some of the crazy things I did to ensure I was safe.  One day I received a shipment of Girl Scout Cookies from my Sorority sister in Japan.  Before bringing the package in the house, I ran outside with my mask, gloves, and used a can of Lysol to spray the entire box.

As an ex-pat, I must admit China has been my least favorite country while living abroad. Despite my feelings, “I appreciate how the government has handled everything”. Although the lockdown has been hard for many people, it minimizes the risk of infection.

Staying quarantined in China has proved to be the best decision as other nations began to see a rise in infections.  Best of all, we did not witness any price gouging, and supplies such as toilet paper have been available.

Kisha & Nana

Love is strengthened during Quarantined 

Tiffany: How did you meet your husband?

Kisha: I met my husband through Christian a mutual friend who was from Ghana. Christian provided the contact info, and Nana and I began chatting right away.  A month later, I traveled to Ghana to meet Nana. We had our first date at a restaurant called Honeysuckle located in East Legon.
Kisha & Nana
Tiffany: When did you know you were in love?

Kisha: I fell in love with Nana when I observed how he interacted with other people.  He made each person feel unique and valued, even in disagreement, he can make you feel heard.  As I took note of how he treated others, I began to watch how he behaved and interacted with me.
Nana took great care with me as if I were a special prize. His selflessness and his love for me can be seen in his actions and deeds.  This man rides for me in a way that I have never seen before, and he is my biggest cheerleader and supporter.  He prays for me daily, and you can’t go wrong with a man like that.
Kisha & Nana
 
Tiffany: How has your relationship been since you are quarantined for 24 hrs a day?

Kisha: We have a three-bedroom apartment, so when we need a break from each other, we can go off and do our things.

For the lows, we have had some small disagreements, but they were always resolved shortly after.  We have learned to be patient with one another and to ask clarifying questions to ensure that nothing got lost in cultural translation. I think the quarantine has made our relationship stronger because we were able to talk in-depth.

For the highs, we discussed family traditions that we want to create as a family. We would like to incorporate our culture that comprised of Ghanaian, Jamaican, Cuban, and American.

I am fortunate that Nana knows a great deal about the black American experience as he grew up listening to hip-hop, reggae, and a few black movies from the 90s. During our quarantine chats, I realized he knew a lot of black sayings, but didn’t know where they originated. So, we began watching classic Black American and Jamaican films such as The Color Purple, Friday, Boyz In The Hood, Fresh, The Wood, Dancehall Queen, Rockers, and more.
I’m learning more about Ghana and the Fante people through our conversations.  Although I have been in Ghana on and off since 2017, I only got to delve into the culture on the surface, being married to a Ghanaian citizen gives you access to a deeper level.
Kisha & Nana, mother and grandmother
Tiffany: What have you learned about yourself and your husband during this time?

Kisha: During this time, I have learned that my husband is a profoundly spiritual man.  I knew he was a Christian, but his level of discipline and desire to spend time with God was amazing to me.  I have watched him pray and commune with God for hours.  I grew up in a strict West Indian Seventh-day Adventist family, and we don’t hold a candle to Nana lol.
As for myself, I have learned to trust my instincts a bit more and go with my initial gut feeling.
Kisha & Nana laying on the beach
Tiffany: Do you think we should come out of quarantine soon?
Kisha: Quarantine in China officially began on February 3, 2020.  It was mandated that all residents stay indoors, except for getting necessary items such as food and medicine. Nana and I watched as February, March, and April passed by.  Now, things are slowly returning to normal.
America has been battling the virus for a short time, and citizens have not adhered to the quarantine rules.  The longer they take to follow the rules, the more they delay the virus dying out.  If America strictly enforced the quarantine, I would guestimate the ban could be lifted by August or September.

Around the world: Dating and beyond

Tiffany: Do you all travel together? If so where have you been and where is your next trip?

Kisha: Yes! Nana is a true adventurer at heart, and we love to travel together.  Our very first trip was our honeymoon to the beautiful island of Boracay in the Philippines.
During our Christmas holiday in Ghana, we visited the Cape Coast, where his family comes from.  I’ve been to the Cape Coast many times, but not as the wife of a Fante man. I was able to see the Cape Coast in a way that I would not have been privy to as a Jamaican-American.
We were scheduled to head to New York for the summer, where he would have met my family, but the coronavirus interrupted our plans.  It’s estimated that we will not be able to leave China for the rest of the year so we may explore parts of China during our summer vacation.
Kisha & Nana in the Philippines
Tiffany: There is a misconception that people from other countries only want a green card. 

Kisha: In life, nothing is guaranteed, you could meet a person in the States, and they can con you out of time, money, or sex.  The country doesn’t make a person terrible; bad people are everywhere; we have to be vigilant and look for signs.

Kisha & Nana

Tiffany: Any advice for those who are interested in dating abroad?

Kisha: 1) Trust your gut: If something doesn’t seem right, follow your instincts.  You can either investigate or bounce.

2) Be Patient and clarify everything: We often think that because we are all black that we will understand each other.  We have to remember that we have different cultures and different ways of doing and understanding things.  If your boyfriend/girlfriend says something to you and you get angry, ask for clarification first.  I like to ask my husband “What does this mean in Ghana?” Once he explains it to me, I will follow up and tell him what it means in American and Jamaica. Don’t assume that everything transfers over culturally.  By getting clarification, you can save yourself from an unnecessary argument.

3) Keep it quiet: When Nana and I were dating, I didn’t tell anyone except for my friend and cousins who were in Ghana with me on vacation.

Out of excitement, we tell our friends about our new relationship in hopes they will be happy as well. Before you can say anything else, they have already started talking negatively about the men in their country, causing you to have a flood of emotions such as fear and doubt.

I didn’t tell anyone, including my best friend that I was getting married.  I knew if I had, she would have talked me out of it, I knew I was making the right choice in picking my husband, and I didn’t need anyone to make me doubt that decision.  Once she met my husband, she saw how much he genuinely and authentically loved me. Today she is our biggest advocate.

Coming from Jamaica, I have given my friends warnings about dating men, but I’ve never discouraged them.  I just gave them enough information so they would be able to make informed decisions. The fewer people in your business, the better off you’ll be.  If it doesn’t work out, you can deal with it privately.

Kisha & Nana

What are your future goals as a couple/ or individual goals?  

Kisha: Currently, we have a few goals that we are working on as a family, the first is to develop our businesses.
1) Nabba Take-Off Shipping Line & Investments LTD: Our mission is to bring the world to your doorstep. We import Chinese and Ghanaian goods worldwide, such as electronics, clothing, hair & cosmetics, solar panels, etc.
2) Pathways To Success Educational Complex Limited: We are an educational consulting company that provides academic, social/emotional, and college/career counseling to students in grades K-12.  PTS specializes in assisting families in Ghana and other countries with college applications.  We are in the process of creating an international school where our goal is to empower students, ignite their self-awareness, which would enable them to change the world.
3) Our final goal is to purchase a home in the United States and build a house on our land in Ghana.
Follow Kisha and Nana on her blog and youtube channel

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2 Pandas hugging

Great Wall of China

Kisha & Nana after wedding

Kisha & Nana with N95 Masks on

19 Comments

  1. Enjoyed the article. Very informative on dating. As a traveler, I turned myself off dating due to crazy thoughts told by friends

    • Thank you for reading Cheryl 🙂 I always like to experience things for myself. Be cautious but you should def keep an open mind to dating abroad.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Wishing you and your husband many more enjoyable & educational nights together. Stay safe & blessed.

  3. I love this post! I am currently in grad school for school counseling and you definitely opened my eyes to think about going abroad. I also feel your struggle about dating while quarantine, but I believe it made our bond stronger.

  4. I loved reading about the love story of you and you husband, especially as it relates to strengthening your bond due to Covid 19. It does sound like China’s response was well executed to prevent any price gouging and shortages.

    • Thank you 🙂 I’m glad you read beyond the main points (love and traveling) and found encouragement from the post. I am hopeful that things will be able to turn back to normal.

  5. This was an amazing story. Especially being able to get perspective on how quarantine was experienced in China. Happy for their love!

    • Thank you, I loved interviewing this couple, they seem to have a great beginning and I’m hopeful for there future.

  6. This was really sweet. How scary for them to be living in China during the pandemic! I love their love was strengthend by the stay at home orders. Great post!

    • I would have been scared to be in China but it appeared as if they put great safety measures in place to prevent further cases. Yes being quarantine could have been bad but seemed to work in there favor.

  7. Very nice read! Your husband seems amazing. It’s nit so easy to find a man that makes you feel heard whether they agree with you or not. Also, America is so hardheaded. Only time will really tell where we’re going from here.

    • I love America because thats where I’m born and raised. But even I could say we dint always make the best decisions. Thanks for reading 🙂

  8. Such a great love story! I need to travel and stay a while I see. By yes, I wish the US would’ve did better at quarantine and shut things down like China did. I also love how you two know how to communicate which is major for any relationship. And lastly I’m loving the goals! I look forward to seeing those business names in the future!

    • Yes international dating is always a good time! Stay longer and enjoy some fun in the sun with cute international bar. LOL Communication is major and one of the sources to staying together. I def think that American could have done better by following some of the other countries protocols.

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