NATIONAL NEWS - Only two months after the wedding bells rang for them in December 2019, Meagan had to say goodbye to her husband for what she hoped would be only a short while.
“Before our wedding, we started thinking about emigrating to New Zealand. In August 2019, we made the final decision and started planning our journey to New Zealand,” says Meagan.
At the end of 2019, the couple resigned from their respective jobs with the hope that they could tour together in January and spend a few days there for a mini honeymoon. They would also use the time to get everything ready before starting work in early February.
However, things did not work out for them. Their visa applications have taken a long time to be approved and Christiaan still does not have his. Meagan only got her visa on February 12.
Christiaan said the reason the visas took so long was because they had to apply for police clearance three times.
“We already applied last year, but there were excuses every time. Meagan got her visa, but my information was lost and so we are now dealing with the virus pandemic and still waiting.”
Meagan also had problems with her visa.
“I made the mistake of immediately changing my maiden surname on my ID and passport. My visa was issued on my maiden name, Opperman, while my passport, my married surname.”
Meagan had to reapply for a new visa and got it on 27 February.
“I prayed so hard that Christiaan’s visa should come at the latest next week so that we can experience the trip together. It would have been his first international flight.”
Meanwhile, Meagan’s employer in New Zealand has set an ultimatum for her. Either she starts work next week or her job is given to someone else.
“I gathered courage and drove with Christiaan to Johannesburg. The road there was not long enough and on 4 March I bid my husband farewell and travelled alone to beautiful New Zealand. Fortunately, this was not my first international flight. ”
Christiaan is still waiting for his visa and due to the Covid-19 outbreak and the time limit, he is still in South Africa. Neither of them knows when they will be back together.
He says it is hard to be so far from his wife, but their faith is strong.
“We make the best out of the situation and stay positive, because complaining or being negative is not going to help.”
Meagan agrees and says she’s grateful for technology.
“Some days everything is OK and other days I just want to pity myself, lie under a blanket and cry all day. Every day we hear about the cases that are just getting more and more deaths with the knowledge that this isolation period can be extended by even more days, and we will be even further apart. Fortunately, we have hope and faith to hold on.
“We are both strong people with strong personalities so for as long as we cannot be together, we try to encourage one another through text messages and WhatsApp video calls.”