The stories of people who really have something to say are often the best. Shishay Ghesesew Gebrehiwet is one such person. After an eventful period, he settled with his family in Terneuzen. A good three years of working in the hospitality industry followed, after which he made the move to Kraker Trailers. From the hospitality industry to trailer construction? Surely there must be a story behind that. And that is also the case. Read a story about perseverance, daring to dream and putting all efforts into making those dreams come true.
The 38-year-old Shishay has a cheerful presence. A smile, a joke, a chat. And he works hard. That is basically Shishay in a nutshell. His path to the Axel trailer manufacturer was not an easy one, however. Sometimes Shishay finds himself trying to find the right words because Dutch is not his mother tongue. He speaks Tigrinya, a language spoken mainly in East Africa. After all, this also where Shishay's roots are. He is originally from Eritrea. About 10 years ago, he made the move to Europe, which one could describe as an eventful journey. From Eritrea, he travelled to Italy via Sudan, the Libyan desert, followed by a boat trip. Shishay eventually found his way to the Netherlands, where he was reunited with his wife and three children.
"The atmosphere is good, the work is fun: I'm enjoying myself at Kraker Trailers"
"After working in the hospitality industry for almost four years, it was time for something different. I worked very irregular hours and didn’t see my family very often. A friend of mine recommended that I should apply at Kraker. I've now been working on the production line here for eight months. It goes without saying that it is very different from the hospitality industry, but I’ve been well settled and I still learn every day. The explanations given are very good. It also helps that I love to learn and I seem to learn easily. Like the civic integration course. Many people find those difficult, but I passed it at my first attempt. I also wanted to combine learning and working, but that is a bit more challenging at my age. Not for me mind you, but according to the rules."
Shishay continued: "I work on production lines 1 and 2. The chassis are assembled and the floor guides are mounted on line 1, while the axles and wheels are assembled on line 2. And if it is very busy or when we are short of people, I jump in to help put together the trailers. I really enjoy working at Kraker Trailers, there is a good atmosphere. I really want to work here for a long time to come."
Besides his work, Shishay enjoys hiking, especially very long hikes. He often leisurely walks from his home in Terneuzen to the bridge at Sluiskil, then he continues through much of Terneuzen and back home again. "On the road, I meet many people and I like to chat with everyone. That is also very good for getting to learn the language even better."
Shishay is silent for a moment before he continues his story. "In the Netherlands, everyone "lives". You have every opportunity to make something of your life. Here, people do not die of hunger or for speaking their minds. There is a safety net in the Netherlands. Where I come from, things are very different. I have two dreams: the first is to be able to buy a house. The second one is for my children to continue their studies. I think that is very important. I am determined to fulfil my dreams."