As I wrote on my Facebook today...
"Today is our 3-year-Dar-iversary. In those first two weeks we had no generator and almost no electricity. Our landlord would have their househelp deliver carosene lanterns at night time! It was close to 95F and crazy humid all day every day, and we had just come from a couple months of holiday in Denmark and Northeast America. Those first few weeks Grace and Noah were so sick all the time...I felt we would never escape our doctor's office. I was terrified all the time of them getting malaria (ok, that hasn't changed too much)! I would take them to the grocery store to walk around just for the A/C. My main thought those first two weeks was "what the hell have we signed up for?!" After 4 years in Nairobi, I thought we could handle anything. And yet Dar was still a big adjustment! But then we got a generator, and cooled off a bit. And we discovered the beach down the road. And we started meeting very nice people and making friends. And we found out the "winter months" (July-Sept) are just amazing here. And somehow, this became our home. Granted, we would love to move on to a new chapter sometime soon, but Dar has been kind and good to us (despite STILL being in the doctor's office all the time...) and we should celebrate the interesting experiences we've had and the lovely people we've known in these three years."
I think the challenge for us right now, at a time when we have a very nice daily life but increasingly ache to get back to one of our home countries, is to remember the things that are so good about living here, and to keep challenging ourselves to find new, interesting aspects of this life and this place. Sometimes I feel we get in such a rut - and maybe that is true of all people, wherever they live! - that we don't appreciate the great stuff and we overly emphasize the hard parts. But, for however long we've got left here in Dar, I hope we can make the most of it.