The Welsien family touched down in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania one year ago. We were hot. Really hot. And scared of many things. And nervous about many things. And we were really hot. Did I mention that we were hot? And at the clinic almost everyday. And boy oh boy, were we hot.
But one year has passed, and we did it! We survived! Even better than survived...we like it here! We have had some ups and down, but we feel at home now. We LIVE here! I feel more attached to our house and our daily life and people here than I did after just one year in Kenya. I am more involved here than I was in Kenya. And I am not as scared as I was there. I am more independent. Although in Kenya I did feel more attached to the country than I do here, that might have had to do with the fact that our first year in Kenya was when the country was an extreme crisis. I think the wisdom of having done it once before took about two years off of our learning curve. So after one year in Dar I feel about the same as I did after three years in Kenya. And that is a good thing!
Kristoffer has had a challenging adjustment to a really different kind of work than he was used to before. He has risen to the challenge and is increasingly happy with what he is doing. (I think...right, Krisoffer?) He runs or bikes to work, plays soccer (football) with a group of Danish guys, is learning to sail, and is still the best Lego-builder in our house.
Grace and Noah. Wow, do they love their life. They go to a great school, have friends and activities. They love our house and have a great routine here. We go to the beach and the pool every weekend. They have each other and us and they still love Rose so, really, what more could they ask for!?
I am really busy! I am substituting at the international school. I created and "run" the little library at the kids' school and am also now on the school board. I maintain the daily juggle of errand running (buying diesel, electricity, visit 3 stores to shop for one meal, etc.) and managing staff. I'm still working on our children's book and other "memory keeping" projects for our family and blogging of course. I think I am happy here too.
We are still hot - but not as hot. We still get sick - but not as often. We still miss our family and friends in Denmark and the US - but that will never change, no matter where we live! AND we've made a "bucket list" of things we want to do on this continent while we still live here so we hope to start checking off those things and enjoying the benefits of an African life while they last.
Some days I am not so enthusiastic about still living in Africa (and I am entitled to those ups and downs, right?). But today it feels pretty good.
Happy Dar Anniversary to us! Let's hope year two is a great one for our family.