by Sandra Lee Buxton
Born and raised in Düsseldorf Germany, Mally described her life as perfect and couldn’t image changing any part of it. She lived on the Rhine River which was enchanting, enjoyed her friends and family. She was enmeshed in the culture of the city and especially the arts, visual and performing.
Her world was about to change in ways that she could not imagine and from an unlikely source. As her children grew older one of her teenage sons applied and was selected to participate in an exchange student program here in The States.
Returning to Germany after completing his year of studies he spoke nonstop about his time in America. He was so excited and anxious to return that he also choose an American college to complete his education. Mally and her husband visited their son at the school during parents weekend and liked what they saw.
Wanting to extend their American visit just a little longer they traveled to Captiva Island for an additional week. They quickly fell under the spell of an ideal climate, walking on the beach, sitting in the sun, watching nature and the bliss that comes with it. Towards the end of the week they looked at each other and said “why are we leaving, we need to live this life.” As simple as it sounds that was it. Leaving their roots was difficult but the pull of blue skies, a picture perfect beach and a laid back lifestyle won over.
They went back to Germany tidied up business, sold a home and moved to Naples in 1992, it was just that seamless. Let me define seamless however, in this case it represents no issues with the emotional or the physical transition.
Coming to America did require enough paperwork to resembled a New York City phonebook, and a big pile of cash. Another requirement was that the immigrant not be a drain on U.S. resources by proving financial stability. Mally was required to establish a business in order to prove long term intentions. She reveals that this was a great learning experience and became very confident in business decisions. It was also enriching that her business provided employment to other woman which in turn allowed them to reach their potential.
Mally spoke English when she arrived in Naples which allowed for early acclamation but on occasion was tripped up over pronunciations. Learning American slang or short cuts in communication is still something that she works on. One occasion that she still laughs about, is when the “Orkin” man came for pest control and she misunderstood and thought that he said passport control.
Quite a difference there I’d say! There was a sigh of relief once the confusion was straightened out. Mally maintained her business and was very successful in her endeavors and by 2001 had obtained her “green card.” Citizenship was granted in 2006 and what a thrill it was to become an AMERICAN. She loves everything about being an American, she states that we live the life we choose and are willing to take chances, we’re so “free.”
Quite a contrast from her background which has minimal risk taking and people are very self-controlled in actions and behaviors. She loves the natural beauty of Naples and is enamored with our spirited population along with the innate kindness and warmth that people exude.
Creative by nature she began painting and earning awards as early as nine years old. Her talent was so apparent that her parents provided private lessons enabling her to hone her skills. This natural gift has served her well and she now has art galleries in Naples, New York and Germany. What does she love about her life here, well everything, “I’m so free and there is no tension, it almost feels wild.” Mally oozes with joy, greeting anyone she meets with a mega watt smile and welcoming words. If you haven’t met Mally you need to as she will brighten even your worst day. She is a great Naples ambassador and American in general. Visit Mally’s website at: www.mallykhorasantchi.com