Wednesday, August 26, 2015

August 26, 2015 - Don't forget the parents!

Trying to get back into blogging after a pretty decent absence, I think I've got you all caught up on the kids.  But what about Kristoffer and me?  With Aya starting to sleep better at night (except for last night of course), giving us one long stretch even if she wakes up waaaaayyyyy too early for the day, we are starting to come out of the fog of sleep deprivation.

Kristoffer is always quite busy at the World Bank; luckily his work is very interesting and he seems to enjoy (most of) it. It's only three weeks into the school year and I've already been substitute teaching a few days a week.  It's great for me to try to fit in some classes between playing with Aya and carpool drives to and from different schools.  We are still waiting to find out about a possible relocation to America in the near future.  After our long holiday away, life in Dar seems pretty sweet these days so we don't feel quite as desperate to leave Dar as we were feeling (again, when we sleep deprived) in the spring and in June.  It's amazing what some home leave can do for the expat spirit.  Having said that, we are quite sure that we don't want to live here indefinitely, and so we are patiently waiting to hear what the World Bank tells us and to figure out a plan from that point on. 

On our minds lately is the upcoming Tanzanian election, scheduled for the 25th of October.  Campaign season officially began on Sunday.  This election seems different than other recent Tanzanian elections because there have been politicians from the ruling political party who have controversially defected to other political parties.  Even though it is a multi-party system here with different parties forming coalitions, it seems very much that people are focused on the individual candidates.  Policy platforms or political ideologies do not really seem to be at play - there might not be so many differences between the candidates.  But the main guy who is running against the ruling party was actually a member of that party for DECADES and only defected when he was not chosen to be their presidential candidate.  And he took some other people with him to the other side and is now running against his former peer. 

So, while the election is expected to be free and fair and without unrest in its aftermath, our experience in Kenya seems to have left us with a bit of PTSD related to African elections.  We definitely seem to be feeling more nervous than everyone else around us.  We are considering taking a trip at the time of the election (although the school break happens two weeks BEFORE the election - so annoying!) or at least hunkering down at home for a few days when it happens.  When we moved to Kenya in 2007, we assured our family and friends that we were moving to one of the safest democracies in Africa! Less than 3 weeks later, we were in the midst of a very different story unfolding and it had a pretty big impact on us.  Of course we hope it will be different here and all will be calm, but we aren't counting the proverbial chickens before they hatch, if you know what I mean.

Kristoffer and I have made some new friends recently - or at least we've become better friends with people we've known here for awhile - and we're having a lot of fun hanging out with them. So that is also nice and refreshing change here, even in this season of us feeling like we're still waiting to figure out what happens next.


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