I hope that you had a great weekend, I did, full of events that will not go undocumented. Then, to all who sent great feedback following Yngve´s inspirational story, I am happy to report that he is glad, that through him you can be encouraged to look beyond your imperfections and disabilities and see how far you can get into reaching your goal.
“Thanks for your story about Yngve. It is inspiring to see how people with disabilities can function so well. I feel sad about seeing the struggling life people with disabilities have here in Uganda. Many of them are begging on the streets. I wish they had other opportunities” commented Marianne Godding Boye, a Norwegian FK participant living in Uganda.
Yes, when you are coming from Africa or even visiting you will probably get to see the torture and suffering that some of those disabled undergo, leaving them with fewer options but beg by the roadside hoping that some well-wishers will be kind enough to help them out. Others, just wallow in self-pity and simply cannot do much on their own.
Yngve and his wife is a story that challenges even those without any physical disabilities. “I met Hannah´s Pastor at a conference here in Norway. One morning we were taking breakfast and he mentioned to me that there was this girl from his church, though she was blind, he thought we could make a great couple and true to his words, his revelation has come to pass” said Yngve.
Since Yngve knew so little English, they exchanged mails for a while before he got the courage to call Hannah who was in Israel pursuing her Masters degree in Middle Eastern History and Culture. “ When I called her, I had all my conversation planned out. I even guessed her answers and I made it as brief as possible, so that I couldn’t run out of my English vocabulary,” he said with a smile.
They continued communicating and in about 5 months, they had arranged to meet face to face. “I told my family about my decision to meet Hannah and they gave me their support. I had a friend to accompany me to Israel and this was the first time I met Hannah,” he narrated to me.
At the Airport in Israel, Hannah was accompanied by her girlfriend and she was excited to meet Yngve. “I was done with dating men and in relationships that seemed not to go anywhere, I was looking for a lasting relationship,” said Hannah. When we saw each other, we all said “Wow”. She added.
“I saw her and I thought, “Oh, she is so short!” said Yngve and I laughed. He then made a clarification that, that the truth is, Hannah is quite short compared to the average Norwegian woman. Looking at them, I thought, “Ha ha ha ha! What a joke, the difference between the two of them is so small, yet Yngve kind of exaggerates it too much.”
So now it was a group of four people, Yngve and his friend, Hanna and her girlfriend. Together they had a few days in Israel, all fully planned out to ensure that they had enough time to get to know each other. “It was a very busy time, we visited different places in Israel and after four days we had to return to Norway. I can tell you for sure, that was the longest flight I ever took. I missed Hannah so much and I longed to see her again”. He said.
They continued talking and two months later they were planning on getting married. Hannah was about to complete her education and on finishing she jetted to Norway. One week later they were engaged and four weeks later they were married. They did a wedding in Norway and later went to the United States of America and had a celebration together with Hannah’s relatives and friends. From what I see, I can confidently say, the two are happily married. Wow!!!
You probably want to know, did Hannah´s Pastor who connected them in the first place attend their wedding? I am sure he must have been the happiest man on earth. “No, he couldn´t make it, he had some appointments that he had to attend to and so he canceled at last-minute,”said Hannah.
Ok, now lets talk about the coming of your little angel, how was it, tough decision, putting in mind that both of you are blind? I ask. “Not really. We both wanted a baby, but we were not very sure of what people will say about it. I am strong enough and I knew I will manage it, I wasn´t scared, but many people were scared on our behalf”. Said Hannah.
I asked this question following a comment made by one of my friends in church. “Patience, I admire this couple. When we saw Hanna pregnant, many of us were all worried how they will manage the pregnancy and the baby, but it is such an encouragement to see how far they have come”.
On their baby boy
Yngve is quick to let me know that it was not easy, especially when the boy was so young, they both could not see and could not understand what he wanted when he cried. He is now grown up, he speaks two languages, English to his mother and Norwegian to his dad. “It is very challenging, we have had family and friends to help us around and we are thankful to God. We therefore, do not plan to have a second one, no, not at all.” Said Yngve.
I look at them and marvel at their love for their baby and for each other. They are inseparable. A few days before the 20th of August, I was missing at the office, I was on assignment at Oslo. On getting back to the office, I meet Yngve. “Hei Patience, I have been looking for you, I need to discuss something with you”.
He informs me about his wife’s birthday in a days time and says he plans to surprise her with some African food. He mentions that his wife loves this particular African dish, he explains and I already know he is talking about Pilau and asks if I was willing to make for them Pilau which I willingly obliged. Wow, what a great love, I thought to myself. “Don´t tell Hanna about it at all, I will just try to ensure she follows me blindly until we make it to your place.” He said, emphasizing that will be tough, it is not easy to trick Hanna just like that.
We plan it out and together with my Ugandan housemate, we prepare special birthday meal. “Oh, this is so nice, I am so happy,” said Hanna, almost in tears. I looked at them, speechless! Only a great man will be so creative and daring.
On reading my last week blog, Yngve writes back to me “One more thing, I am not tired of your questions. If there is something you would like to know, please ask. We are both journalists, and we know very well how important questions and answers are. That is the only way to break down walls and to get more knowledge.”
What else can I say? Forever, he remains my true inspiration. Thank you Yngve together with your wife and your baby, for being my friends, I am honoured that I met you and you challenged my life a new, may God continually bless you and keep you!
“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.