A few words with Kenyan couple Wasonga Sekoh who has been with Emirates for 17 years, and his wife Winnie Adhiambo Arunda for 19 years.
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 have been 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 we 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?
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?
As we are all staying at home, our kids go through eLearning. Our weekdays typically start at 9am with breakfast and we kick off with school. We split the eLearning between the two of us, so Jasmine studies with Winnie and Jayden is with Alvin. The kid’s studies at home end approximately at 4pm, and we move to other activities such 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?
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?
We all had to adjust to eLearning 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?
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 share 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
On self-care and wellbeing:
Now that you are home, what is your daily beauty regime? Take us through the process.
Alvin: I ensure I wash and moisturize my face before sleeping, it is something Winnie introduced me too.
Winnie: I concentrate a lot on my skin care to ensure it is healthy and hydrated. I use Garnier’s organic aloe refreshing botanical wash every morning, their micellar cleansing water in oil and nourishing botanical toner with honey flower. I always moisturize my face with Garnier moisture rescue refreshing Gel-cream with Vitamin E and fruit water oxidants that keeps my skin hydrated for 24 hours.
What beauty products do you commonly use?
Alvin: I use “Forever Living” products which are mostly made from aloe vera extracts.
Winnie: I mostly use Garnier and Neutrogena skin care products. They work perfectly with my skin type.
What is the best beauty advice you have ever received?
Alvin: It is important to cleanse and moisturise your face prior to sleeping.
Winnie: Never sleep with make up on.
What food do you eat/recommend that will help with healthy skin?
Eating a lot of fruits and vegetable and drink lot of water.
Any celebrities or personalities that you admire their look?
Alvin: Trevor Noah, John Oliver and Eric Omondi
Winnie: Dimma Umeh, Muthoni Njoba and Joanna Kinuthia
What is key beauty secret especially during long haul flights?
Staying hydrated is really important during long haul flights.
What is your daily exercise routine? Do you exercise indoors or outdoors?
Alvin: I am currently working out indoors, I make sure I stretch for 10 minutes every morning and in the evening, I also follow different workout programmes which I do about four – five times a week.
Winnie: I also stretch when I wake up and exercise three times a week with less intensity than Alvin. I also join the kids during their ‘The Body Coach’s’ exercise routine.
What is the best exercise advice that you have received that consistently works for you?
Alvin: High intensity workout has proved to be very efficient for me, also working out in my own pace has shown more results
Winnie: No pain, no gain!
Do you have a meal plan? Can you share some tips that works for you?
We don’t have a meal plan per se, we try to incorporate a balance meal with fruits, vegetables and protein. We also focus on portion control and avoid eating very late into the night.