Our trip was a real eye-opener for me in terms of: "Oh wow! We really do live in Kenya!" Everything is so easy in Denmark. You can walk or bike ride to the store in a few minutes and are quickly back home, instead of having to drive and wait (and sometimes haggle) for what you need. If you need to distract your toddler, you can just go for a walk to one of the (several) nearby playgrounds. Or if your toddler is having a hard time falling asleep for her nap, you can put her in the stroller and walk outside and within minutes she is sound asleep.
I also acutely realized a lot of the things that Grace is "missing" in her life. No, no, she does not have a difficult life at all. But we don't have access to a library, let alone one that offers not only books, but toys and activities/programs as well! She doesn't have access to many playgrounds, or "Mommy & Me" classes or activities. Our circle of "friends" is pretty small and logistical issues here (location, traffic, culture, people constantly moving away, etc) make it surprisingly not-that-easy to enlarge. These are "costs" of living here that make me sad from time to time, so I am working on changing things up a bit for sure (next blog, next blog).
We had a wonderful time seeing a lot of family and friends, but very specifically it was incredible of Kirsten (Farmor) and Hans to house us for so long. Grace had a rare and large amount of precious time with one of her three sets of grandparents who adored and doted on her to no end; she is still talking about them everyday, still doing things they showed her how to do, still playing games they played with her, still asking about them and requesting to talk to them on skype. Both of us improved a lot in our "Danish" - both culture and language - and I certainly got the rest I needed to continue making a happy home for Rocky on the inside.
We are so, so grateful for the time we spent at the Schmidt home in Varde, and that Kirsten and Hans fully let us into their lives and to invade their home for so many weeks. It is something that neither of us will ever forget (ok, I shouldn't promise that Grace won't forget because she is only 19 months old, but I do promise to remind her of our Danish summer so that she knows what a special time it was!).
Two weeks later we still miss Denmark, but we are settled back into our Kenyan life again. It has been a jam packed two weeks, to be quite honest, which I promise to tell you about soon...I am slowly getting back to writing and think I'll save our new stories for my next blog.