So I haven't written about it yet because it is a hard thing for me to write about. But it's time to let you know that Rose, our housekeeper and nanny for the last almost-4 years, is moving back to Kenya and getting married next month. We only have her with us for a short time remaining, and this is very big news in our world.
We are very happy for Rose (who I know often reads this blog...Hi, Rose!) and think it is a great next step for her life. We never knew that she would want to stay with us in Tanzania as long as she had, and we are so grateful for the time she has spent working for our family.
But at the same time, I credit Rose's presence and help for much of my sanity living in East Africa these last many years. Our transition from Nairobi to Dar was very smooth, in large part because of her. So I am particularly and quite selfishly sad that Rose is leaving because I do believe she is irreplaceable. I am sure we can find someone else to work for us (working on that currently...) and we'll even find someone who we like and does a great job. But she will not be Rose. And considering that she is probably the person on this continent that I have the spent the most amount of time with consistently in the last 6 1/2 years combined I feel it will be a hard goodbye.
Grace and Noah took the news well and are talking about it a lot. Noah asks her everyday, "Rose, did you get married yet? When are you going to Kenya?" Grace is telling everyone she knows that she has to get a new "dada" [means sister in Kiswahili and is used for a nanny/housekeeper] "because my Rose is moving back to Kenya to get married." (Please note how much I love it that she calls her "my Rose.") I am sure the sadness of the situation might not occur to them until after she leaves and doesn't come back. Luckily, though, this lifestyle has helped Grace and Noah become pretty good goodbyers. I am sad on another level, though, that Rose will not be here with Aya...especially because they already get along so well!
But mostly, as I said, I do feel really grateful that we were lucky enough to find a woman who has really loved our children these years - especially because we never intended for her to be our nanny (note that we hired her to be a part-time housekeeper but on her first day working for us I was admitted to the hospital with complications in Noah's pregnancy and - ta da, Rose became our nanny just like that!). When you live so far away from your own family, it is a blessing to have some extra love around for the little ones. We have so many great memories of and with Rose, and she will always have a special place in our family's story.
Rose is leaving at the beginning of July and next weekend we will throw her a little goodbye party here to send her off. I'm already crying - ACK!