REINVENTED EXPAT PARTNER
(DANIELA – CUCINA DIVINA IN ACCRA)
Our first interview story on “Reinvented expat partner ” is about Daniela. How she moved to Ghana and how the Country has inspired her as well as her experiences.
What brings you to Ghana?
I’m here in Ghana accompanying my husband who came here for work.
How did you cope with the culture shock and transition to life in Ghana?
I actually coped very well, without any issues. It is obviously quite different to living in Singapore, but I’m enjoying it. I believe you have to keep an open mind and embrace diversity in order to learn and adapt your lifestyle accordingly. I have enjoyed and appreciated every place and posting so far, including the different and unique cultures and traditions of each country.
Did you find it easy to start your cooking school business here in Ghana and how long after you moved here did you feel ready to go for it?
I thought it would be much harder! However, I identified a need in the expat community. When I went to the supermarkets for the first time, I realized that my recipes would need to be adapted with what products were available. After that initial adjustment, in less than 3 months I had already started Cucina Divina!
What advice can you offer other expat partners on how to get settled into Ghana quickly & easily?
I believe a place is as good as you make it, no matter where you are. I also think it’s important not to create high expectations and to keep an open heart.
Do you have any advice or tips for expat partners who would like to explore a new career path while on expatriation assignment with their partner?
If you choose to do something you enjoy and are passionate about, it will come quite naturally. Don’t be afraid to try!
How did you go about choosing your neighbourhood and where to live? And how did you decide about the house versus apartment question?
The company where my husband works suggested some neighbourhoods for us. After some research, we decided that Cantonments would be the best option for our needs. Since we have two big dogs with us, who are part of our family, we decided on a townhouse option (which is a separate and stand-alone home, bigger than an apartment but still within a compound with security).
What’s the best thing about living in Ghana so far?
I’m really enjoying Ghana! The people are happy and welcoming, with a rich and very interesting culture. I hope to explore all of it!