Ursula came from Mulheim on Ruhr in West Germany. She started work at the age of 17 in 1949 in a malting company called Malzfabrik. She got the job through her teacher Miss Gertz, who told her about the job. She was an apprentice in the office doing shorthand, typing, accounts and bookkeeping. She had to use a metal typewriter and took the letters to the local post office. Each week she had to hand over her earnings to her mother.
Hitchhiked from Germany to Morocco and got lost in the old part of Tangiers. Returned home to West Germany. Had a bank-note left over which she framed when the bank would not take it back. She contacted the UNICEF office in Frankfurt to offer them the banknote. They gave her the address of an office in Tunis. She was too old for VSO so they told her that the Catholic Church would sponsor her to go to Tanzania. That was in 1967. She was sponsored by German churches to do office work in East Africa, where she met her husband.