Darunida Kristin Madsen is less than 150 cm tall, has long, black hair and narrow eyes. She looks like most Asians. Sitting in the hotels chair where she works as a marketing manager her every move is considered and modest and her words are well thought out.
In her heart Darunida is more Indonesian and Scandinavian than Thai. Although she likes Thailand and the culture, there are several things that does not go along well with her personality. She believes she have more in common with the scandinavian lifestyle.
“Sometimes the Thais are too traditional and conservative, I am open minded,” she says.
Left Indonesia in a rush
During most of Darunida’s childhood her father was working offshore, one month home and two month offshore. The months where her dad was at home, or when he came home for small breaks in between, are the moments that she cherishes the most. There were no one else she was more close to, always daddy’s girl.
When she moved to Thailand as fifteen year old it was the intention to stay closer to her parents, who had moved to Thailand. She stayed in Indonesia to study and lived with her aunt. But the distance was too long and she made up her mind to leave even when the sudden decision was not a good idea according to her family, who wanted her to stay and study in Indonesia.
Dangerous snake bite
When tragedy hits you the same question always pops up; is there a purpose or at deeper meaning to why it just strucked you. When it strucked Darunida, she woke up from a life where it was only about surviving.
Short after Darunida changed Indonesia for Thailand her mother got bid by a poisonous snake and got very ill. Darunida had to leave all her dreams for more than a year, to take care of her mother and younger brother.
“It was hard to let everything go but it was better than loosing the only mother I had,” she says.
When she came to Thailand she could not a word Thai. But the days and night by her mothers hospital bed side she spend time watching Thai soap operas and learned the language.
When her mother got well it was too late for her to apply for school in Australia. She then rushed to apply at an international school in Bangkok. She became the oldest in her class.
Father died of cancer
But her endurance was to be tried even further. In 2009 her father was diagnosed with cancer.
“It was a shock and I did not want to believe that it was terminal cancer,” she says.
At that time she had started at the university and was preparing for her exams, while her father went to Denmark to get treatment. One day the phone rang from the hospital in Denmark. Her father had past away.
“That means that he is not here anymore,” she thought and fled to her friends house to grief. She did not pass her exams and had to stop at the university.
She then faced a difficult time. Money was short, her stable life had turned upside down, and she was on her own. She had not thought much about the future. Suddenly reality hit her in the face.
“I had a mental breakdown. In a short time I suddenly had to take things serious so I grew up fast,” she says, smiling carefully.
“I am not giving up!”
But Darunida did not accepted a defeat. Instead she uses the hard times to overcome obstacles in her life and work today.
“My dad is the reason why I’m here and I am not going to give up,” she says thinking back.
She started working at the hotel and worked hard to get promoted. She also got job offers at the same time that she turned down. It was a stressful period.
“I was afraid I wouldn’t get the job so I pushed my self hard,” she says with a sigh.
And that is how she overcomes hard times today, by working hard.
All planned out
Darunida wont let it be a disadvantage not to have an diploma from the university or let it get in her way. She believes the word of the sociologist Max Webber:
“You do not have to stay in the class you are born in, you always have the effort to move foreword.” she says and continues.
”I am young, there is a lot of opportunities.”
However Darunida has not given up the idea to graduate one day from the university but time is not right. Now she will work and study in her free time.
In her mind she has her carrier well planned out, step by step for many years ahead and she knows what she wants.
Thailand may not be her home country forever. It might be The Big Apple, New York or a place in Europe. In Darunida’s dreams that is the optimal place to fulfill her dream of being the manager of her own hotel.
But first she will go to Australia to be better and more experienced and practise her skills in marketing.