The best part of our arrival in Dar two Friday nights ago, was that my friend came to pick us up at the airport as a surprise, with another driver and an extra car so we could fit ALL of our stuff (9 bags equal to 510 lbs of luggage + 7 carryons + Aya's car seat and stroller + 5 people). It was a wonderful treat and helped me relax a lot even though Grace & Noah's car seats didn't arrive with us.
Arriving at our house at about 11:00 at night, we were wondering if we would have electricity. It was another gift that our electricy was working. Thank goodness!
But that's where the "good news" stopped. Our water pump was broken so we had no water at all until late the next afternoon. We discovered the next day that both of our car batteries were dead dead dead. AND, the worst, our house was covered in mold!
It was a rookie mistake for us to leave our house so closed up during what turned out to be an incredibly long rainy season. The air was damp and it never moved or circulated and it was so hot that the mold just grew and grew. Rose has been furiously cleaning all week and we still keep finding it in new places! We'll NEVER make that mistake again!
All of this is just to say that despite a very long 3-month break from Dar, it took just a few minutes for us to really "feel" the differences of being here. I have to say I took these small inconveniences pretty hard the first couple of days because Aya - who had slept through our whole trip here - was WIDE awake our whole first night until 5 am. That was brutal. The next two nights were also not great before she started sleeping at more normal times by Monday night. Once the cloud of sheer exhaustion lifted, I could see that these were really small problems on the Dar scale of "irritating" to "complete disaster".
And back to the good news, we've been welcomed back so warmly by all of our friends in the Nordic community and our friends in the more American-ish Friday happy hour community. On Grace & Noah's first day back to school they were welcomed like rock stars! They have been on a constant ride of play dates with good friends, and everyone has been very sweet on our little Aya.
All in one week I felt like I experienced the high and lows of expat life here, but overall it is quite nice to be back in our daily life and in our own house. I'm not perfectly well rested, but I'm also not doing too badly considering we have a 6 week old.
Pictures of some of this week's events (playdates, circus and last day of school!) are coming soon!