Blog: on the move
Kateryna is ounew colleague. A colleague with a special story. Having been forced to leave Ukraine, we welcomed her with open arms to build a new life in the Netherlands. Kateryna shares her story in this blog.
On February 24, 2022, when the War in Ukraine began, I was on a business trip in China and Bangkok. At first, I didn’t even understand what was going on. When I came back to Ukraine, all planes were canceled, and all airports were already closed. I changed my ticket several times until I got to Bucharest. And already from Bucharest I went by bus to Ukraine, Odessa.
All ports of Ukraine were blocked by the Russian Navy. Huge maritime territories of the Black Sea were mined, and the passage of vessels was blocked by the Russian Navy. Vessels that were under loading and discharging also remained in the ports and there to this day. And also, ports like Ochakov, Berdynsk, Skadovsk, Mariupol, began to bomb from tha sea and from the sky. Russian war vessels were visible at sea from the window of my house. All of Odessa saw them. And all over the internet it was written that Russian troops were preparing a landing in Odessa or nearby.
Schools also stopped working. I have two children Arina and Ivan. Everything has stopped, no schools, no sports training and complete uncertainty ahead.
I had to make a decision taking into account the lack of work, without any benefits and no help except from my parents. Our relatives who lived in the Sumyregion of Ukraine who today as a large family were forced to flee from shelling and leave their house , were sitting in a bomb shelter and texted us that shelling was coming both the ground and from the sky and a huge number of Russian tanks were coming.We don’t have many options. Unemployment and uncertainty, and the worst thing is the risk of occupation by Russian fascists. They reduced Mariupol, Berdyansk, Skadovsk and Ochakov to ashes. And there are fights between Kherson and Nikolaev. Nikolaev is 140km from my hometown Odessa.
March 2, we loaded things into the car, and left for Moldova, where my friends with their children were waiting for us. When we crossed the border, friends in Moldova gave us a house to spend the night for free. And the next day we are all together, in three cars, my classmate Dasha with her family and my good friend also with his family drove towards the Netherlands. The choice fell in this direction because Dasha had a friend-client who offered us help. A desperate act, but there was no choice and no time to think, we were just going nowhere. We didn’t know and didn’t understand what would happen, the only thing we wanted was to protect children from fear that was happening in Ukraine. The road was very difficult, the borders were crowded with refugees from Ukraine, the queues were seven- eight hours long, we didn’t even have a plan which way to go. Standing on the borders, my dad paved the way for us on which we followed. We spent the nights differently each time in a new place where we had to, but everywhere people treated us with kindness and understanding.
When we got to the Netherlands after four days and three nights we were met by a wonderful person, Bart, a friend of Dasha. He arranged free accommodation and food for us. My whole family is very grateful to this man. He helped us all in difficult times. Meanwhile, I have got a house in Overschie with my children and mother and I fulfil the role of Customer Service Representative at Jordex where I am received in a warm bath, but how did I end up at Jordex?
Some years ago, my colleagues, agents from Georgia, called me and said that he had passed my contacts to an agent from the Netherlands, Rotterdam, who would need my help as an agent in transport in Ukraine. After a first meeting at the office of my previous work, the company joined the EAA Network, where I became responsible for requests, prices and transport.
I really enjoyed working and communicating with the EAA Network, with any transport to anywhere in the world, I had great opportunities and prospects for implementation. With Peter we often corresponded about business and prospects.
When the trouble happened in Ukraine, I had a panic state for several days. Peter, Managing Director of the EAA and also Key Account Director of Jordex, wrote in the first days of the war. I did not understand what was happening and communicated incoherently, trying to explain the situation, which I did not understand. In the first part I described to you what was happening in the area. A week later we were in Hilversum. And on the first day, I received a text message from Peter. He asked how my family was doing, but I didn’t know what to reply, I just wrote that I was in Holland in Hilversum. At that time, I did not know that Peter also works for the company Jordex, with whom I had regular contact.
I wrote to Peter asking if he could recommend companies to which I could send my CVs. Since I applied for registration, the next step was to find a job. In fact, everything happened like in a movie. He immediately replied that I could try to send it to Jordex, he will pass it to the HR department, and they will consider it, and if they wanted to speak, they will contact. I went to the first interview with enthusiasm about the great opportunities and prospects that open up before me, I was very warmly welcomed, we talked for a very long time, but it was very interesting and exciting. Leaving the office on the way to Hilversum, I realized that this is the company in which I always wanted to work, to become part of this big family.
I was looking forward to the second interview, although no one promised me anything, I really wanted to get into such a company with great opportunities for transportation around the world. The most exciting moment was, when Bianca was told that “you are now with us in the Jordex Family”. This is beyond words; I was just like a small child rejoicing at an insanely huge gift that I had dreamed of all my life. And then it just flew and started spinning, I go to work with such pleasure, sometimes I look forward to it, I really like my colleagues, the work system, everything is so interesting … I study every day; I learn something new and it’s so wonderful. I am very pleased that I can contribute my experience to the development of the company.