Teamwork has seen us through the years

Thursday November 1 2018

Paul and Susan Harera with their children. They

Paul and Susan Harera with their children. They say that working together to better their family has been key in sustaining their marriage. PHOTO by Edgar R. Batte 


Early this month Ssalongo Paul Harera and Nnalongo Mucyo Susan Harera celebrated seven years in marriage. To Susan, it is a journey worth celebrating for the love and vision that they share as a couple.
“Knowing that no matter what, I have someone to count on, to trust and someone I am comfortable being around is the best feeling in the world. He is always there for me. He is a selfless man and a generous giver and I cannot trade him for anything,” she says.

How they met
Before they met, his expectations of a lover, partner and soulmate was someone patient and hardworking. The two met in Kisoro at a time when Harera travelled a lot on assignments in the region as a journalist.
“One day, I was going to Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) when I stopped to withdraw some money from the bank. I saw this beautiful woman and started a conversation with her. After some time, we exchanged contacts and this is how we kept in touch,” he recounts.
On several trips to DRC, he stopped in Kisoro, where Susan stayed to check on her. However, after two years of meeting and chatting, Paul made up his mind to confess his feelings to Susan. She says that at first, she was skeptical about committing to a man who was always on the move. “However, he turned out to be the man I was looking for.
“He is a provider and with no hesitation loves me and the family, accommodates my faults and always wants to make peace quickly when there is a hiccup,” Nnalongo says.
She adds, “I tend to drag when there is need for a quick decision to make. I first think through an idea he brings to the table that sometimes, this is misinterpreted as lack of interest, but I have adjusted with time.”

Whereas Paul is friendly and easily blends in with people, Susan confesses to being the opposite. She is a woman of few words and tends to shy away from crowds. “In the beginning I struggled a lot to fit in but with time, I have learnt to relax,” she says.
During the seven years of marriage, the couple has been blessed with children. Susan, a human resource officer at the Association Of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda, says having children has greatly changed their relationship.
“The most trying time was when I gave birth to the twins. It was hard work and sacrifice that sometimes we had to forego sleep and the time we used to have together was limited. We, therefore, took a few weeks off when they had grown up to take a trip and used this time to bring back the spark in our relationship,” Susan says.

Because Susan delivered the twins through a C-section, she is grateful that her husband was hands-on during this time and helped with house chores and looking after the children.
“I am forever grateful to him for standing in the gap,” Susan says.

Celebrating the anniversary
Celebration of anniversaries is one thing but what is ideal and worth celebration for Harera is the journey so far and what they have accomplished as a couple.
“So, I am celebrating by reflecting more on what we can do as couple to make our marriage better and bring up our children to be respectful citizens,” he shares.
“Nothing comes easily but above all we have had a good journey together. We work closely together because we understand each other. Even where we have got challenges, we fix them as soon as we can. We personally aim higher each day and move towards the highest point as our target,” he adds.

Ever since the two started living together, Paul and Susan Harera have managed to establish a home farm which provides 80 per cent of the family’s daily food, saving them a lot of money. The couple also have a Matooke (banana) plantation and rear goats and chicken.

Paul says as a couple, they work hard and this is one of the pillars upon which their relationship has thrived. They also attribute respect and love for each other as the other key pillars in their committed relationship. Paul advises all couples to find time for each other and focus on mutual success.