On March 15, Patrick Phiri was ready to take his global romance to the next level. Patrick, 32, lives in Malawi. His girlfriend, Fiona ten Have, is Dutch. And he was on his way to see her after nearly three months apart. He was relieved as he waited for his plane to take off from the airport in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital. It’d taken months to prepare his visa application. And he was nervous about meeting her parents. Fiona, 27, was nervous too. “I really wanted my parents to like him,” she remembers, “to spend some time together so they could get to know him.”

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