An Emirates crew couple share their stay-at-home parenting experience
Our writer had an opportunity to interview a couple of Kenyan Cabin Crew staff based in Dubai. Alvin Wasonga Sekoh who has been with Emirates for 17 years, and his wife Winnie Adhiambo Arunda for 19 years share their parenting experience during this Covid-19 period.
How did you join Emirates, tell us your journey?
Alvin: Prior to working with Emirates, I used to work in hospitality in Nairobi. I saw a recruitment advertisement for Emirates in a local newspaper and did not hesitate to apply, and I received my acceptance call almost a month after.
Winnie: I always had a passion for flying, before joining Emirates I was still a student at Alliance Francaise in Nairobi – learning French when I saw an advertisement in a newspaper. I applied and was shortlisted for the assessment and was excited to be accepted to join the cabin crew team.
How did you two meet, was it at Emirates or before?
Alvin: I met Winnie through our mutual friends at a restaurant, I was still relatively new in Emirates at that time and I bumped into her occasionally socially right after, and the rest is history.
Winnie: What is interesting is that we were both with Emirates at that time and shared a graduation, although never met at work.
What has your experience been at Emirates?
Alvin: Through training and learning, we developed our skills sets, the experience overall is fun and educational. Working for a multicultural company has enabled us to understand and appreciate people from different cultures and backgrounds.
Winnie: At Emirates, is like being in a big family, the support provided by peers, guidance from managers is overwhelming.
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
Alvin and Winnie : We have four children, our eldest boys Paul - aged 21 and Ryan - 16 years are currently in Kenya and our youngest Jayden – aged 9 and Jasmine – aged 6 are with us in Dubai.
What does your daily routine with the children look like?
Alvin and Winnie: As we are all staying at home, our kids go through e-learning. Our weekdays typically start at 9 am with breakfast and we kick off with school. We split the e-learning between the two of us, so Jasmine studies with Winnie, and Jayden is with Alvin. The kid’s studies at home end approximately at 4 pm, and we move to other activities such as dancing and aerobics and we give the kids time on their tablet to play some games or listen to music – this also provides us time to complete online courses or read a book.
On weekends, the family sleeps in a bit more and wake up at 10am. We have breakfast together and watch some sermons online. In the afternoon, we generally spend time playing games together like Ludo, Snakes and Ladders or Checkers or watch family movies.
What form of entertainment is your family recreating, while staying indoors? Any tips for other families?
Alvin and Winnie : We create a balance between family time and alone time. We try to find creative ways to spend time together such as looking for online games we can play together for us to enjoy including the activities mentioned above. We also allow everyone to have their ‘me’ time, to do anything they would like at home, creating a unified balance for everyone.
What are the most difficult things to manage with the family at this time?
Alvin and Winnie We all had to adjust to e-learning which is something new for all of us and creating a new timetable for us and the children.
With your busy schedule, how do you manage to take care of the kids? Do you take turn in the work schedule?
Alvin and Winnie: We take turns with the kids while at home when it comes to their studies as mentioned while staying at home, we also have a wonderful nanny who helps us.
Any last words to motivate parents in Kenya?
Alvin: Children learn not only from what you teach but also your actions
Winnie: Children are like a sponge, they absorb much more than we can imagine