Last Wednesday was a very big day for the Welsiens in Dar es Salaam.
Our shipment from America arrived containing 60 boxes (or, to be specific, 56 boxes, 2 kid bikes, 1 ironing board with various other tall/skinny things taped to it, and 1 tool box) full of joy. This was all of our stuff that we left in my parents' basement when we moved to Kenya in 2007 along with gifts and supplies that we acquired since then. It was almost all of our wedding presents, still almost brand new and in many cases never used, as we had only been 5 months when we left them behind. It also contained books and books and books...for me, these are individual memories tied to people and places in my life, and it sounds super corny, but I have surely missed them. It contained a one year supply of diapers, wipes, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deoderant, shampoo and conditioner, hair stuff, hand soap, laundry detergent and toilet bowl cleaner. And winter wardrobes for G&N so they don't get pneumonia this time when we go to Denmark for Christmas.
The best way I can describe the day an expat gets his/her/their shipment from home is "Christmas on Steroids." You can't unpack fast enough...or in our case, you can't find places to put all of your stuff fast enough! We have the space, but not necessarily the right storage furniture! It sounds quite materialistic, I'm sure, but it just feels so good to have all of our stuff. Sentimental stuff...practical stuff...old stuff...new stuff. Our stuff!
Here you can see it all - still crated and palatized on the "big truck".
And here you can see just some of the boxes unloaded in the house. (I was the foreman so I couldn't take too many pictures!)
Noah's favorite item to unpack was I think our very big stuffed giraffe. He loves to give him kisses and hugs. Grace's favorite thing from the "big truck" was her Cars bike and Dora helmet. (Although they have both been REALLY happy reuniting with all of their Christmas and birthday gifts...we have had lots of fun and happy playing at our house the last week. No bored kids here!) My favorite thing was the play kitchen we had bought for the kids. It took us 2 1/2 hours to put it together but it was well worth it in the end. Ok, that AND my Fiestaware. AND the diapers. Kristoffer's says his favorite thing was also the kids' play kitchen. AND our Keurig!
Most boxes are empty, but a lot of things haven't found a home beyond our bedroom floor just yet. We're working on it. There have been a lot of things going on at our house at the same time, such as getting curtain rods installed (FINALLY) and, therefore, curtains, an island in the kitchen, improvements to Rose's quarters, painting of furniture, construction of proper mosquito nets. So we've been quite busy over here, but really happy. And enjoying our stuff just as much as we expected to. I would say we are about two weeks away from being completely settled in our new home...and it feels really good to be this close to that milestone.