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Meet the People: Catherine Nakato Strehovec, from Uganda

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SLEVIA-NEWS 23 APR 2020

Where are you from, and how did you come to be in Slovenia?

I am from Uganda and I moved to Slovenia at the end of 2014 to join my boyfriend, who’s now become my husband.

How do you keep yourself busy here?

I travel a bit and I hold meetings and am passionate about talking about Uganda and some of the countries I have been to, to students or a group of people ready to travel to Uganda.

How is your Slovenian, and how well integrated do you feel with Slovenians?

It has taken time but I am improving each day with the language. I have a couple of Slovenian friends and so far I have got all my educational documents evaluated in Slovenia. I was worried that my education wouldn’t be recognised, but it was and my MBA still stands.

What has been your experience of culture shock?

Ah, this has been asked of me many times, and I have to think about it now since I’ve have spent some time here and travel a lot, things which shocked me are not issues anymore.

But I have to say that it was shocking at first when people seemed to either fear sitting near me or kept a distance. I kept on thinking what had I done or how I looked to be intimidating?. I came right from Africa to Slovenia and I didn’t know anyone or anybody except my husband, who is not very outgoing. I feared people more than they feared me. Someone even shouted at me at Zvezda Park … if I was looking for ships. Now I laugh at all this because I don’t have time for such kind of people.

And of course I can’t forget the winter and summer. So hot and so cold for someone who is from Uganda, with an average temperature of 28 degrees. I come from central Uganda. The equator line is literally five minutes’ walk away from my home.

Also, although I’m not very social I came from an environment where I knew my neighbours and they knew me even when we lived in different houses. Now I live in a block but it took me time to know the people next door. Still, I feel accepted here.

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