We are all back in Dar es Salaam now. We've been here for about 5 days and I would say that Grace and Noah's jet-lag is gone (they did really great...although I might not have thought so during our first couple of late night playdates) and mine is one night away from disappearing.
Our trip from Boston to Amsterdam went smoothly: Grace and Noah were super travel pros at Logan Airport; it is the first time that nobody panicked during my security patdown (pacemaker) when they had to go through security without me or anyone else. They were always cooperative and calm and responsible for their own backpacks and suitcases. They didn't even stress out when our airplane's engine wouldn't start and we had to wait for one more hour for it to be manually started (picture some guys cranking it...picture me praying feverishly). Noah didn't sleep much overnight, although he was well-behaved, so when we arrived in Amsterdam 6 hours later I was thrilled to see Farmor. The transfer to our next flight was the hardest part for Grace, who was exhausted in the middle of the night.
A very nice KLM woman took pity on us (good timing on your tantrum, Grace!) and upgraded us to "Economy Comfort" which means more leg room and more recline for the seats. That was so nice!
About 10 1/2 hours from Amsterdam to Dar also went very well. Noah slept the first four hours so I could also nap since Farmor could watch Grace. Throughout the trip the kids did some activities, read lots of books, watched a couple of shows on the mini TVs, wrote "emails" to Nene and Pops on their mini-magnadoodles, and didn't even wear down the iPad battery all the way. The last hour of our second flight was definitely the longest and hardest, but we survived. We even received many compliments on how well behaved the kids were.
All 10 pieces of luggage (for us and Farmor) arrived with us and everyone was THRILLED to see Kristoffer picking us up at the airport in Dar, even though we didn't get home until after midnight, totalling 25.5 hours of door-to-door travel.
Noah's favorite part of the trip was all of the "hush candy" he received throughout the trip. Grace's favorite part of the trip was the ice cream given out midway through our flight from AMS to DAR. My favorite part of the trip was having Farmor's help for that loooooong leg! I also loved that we didn't get any nasty service people - everyone on this trip was very friendly and helpful.
The kids were, and still are, incredibly happy to be in their own house with their own stuff (old and new alike). We are getting back to our normal routines and I would say we are almost fully re-organized after unloading our 300 lbs of luggage!
The only downside of our week at home thus far has been that Grace got a serious injury at school. She was being driven around in the back of a car like this:
and apparently tried to use her foot as a break to stop it when her friend was driving fast. Without shoes on. This resulted in a first-degree burn on her foot that nobody knew was a first-degree burn! We did clean it and tried to keep it covered, but since she hadn't gotten proper medical treatment I arrived at school yesterday to her screaming loudly as it oozed infected yellow guck. Needless to say she is now on a week of antibiotics and has been home off of her foot all day today. It was nice to see all of our "Friends" at the clinic, although I was hoping to stay away from them a little longer. She gets it checked again tomorrow, and I'm sure she'll be fine. We will hope for no more drama this week.