we returned safely. The journey was EPIC. Seriously no other word for it and now that we have Internet (thanks to some pestering the guys in town by J) I can at least update a bit. Warning: I am wicked tired and have no idea what time it is A.) at my current locale or B.) at our point of orgin in Chicago thus the following may make no sense, contain multiple spelling &/or grammar mistakes, and confuse those dear readers who are just checking to make sure we got here safe and with all our gear in tow. Short version: We did and we are thankful or as I have told the crowds of visitors : tunamshukuru Mungu kwa safari salama (We are thanking God for a peaceful trip). The girls were actually both complete rock stars only having the occasional meltdowns on all the plane rides. They mostly slept actually which was a huge blessing. J and I can never really sleep on planes though so we were wrecked upon arrival in the UK. Then there were still 2 more planes …Oh Vey! But alas, we made it and so did our stuff!! And even though it is massively overwhelming it is good to be home. Once we arrived we were bracing for the worst as far as our place, the weather, etc. We have found that living here it is best to always have catastrophe at least on your radar. If not you will have too many disappointing moments. Actually, only our toilet and air conditioner unit in our bedroom was busted (both of which we are working on currently). That and someone carved a bizarre little turtle on the side of our car door. We were expecting much worse and our friends and team mates made sure we felt welcomed back.

Here is a brief update our our first 24-ish hours by numbers….

tons- the numbers of prayers that got us here safely! I took this pic at the airport after I noticed that during our prayer Anni’s baby had snuck her hand in šŸ™‚
over 35- number of hours of consecutive travel to arrive here.
2-number of amazing former team mates who picked us up and looked after us in the UK. It was great to catch up, see their little boy and intro them to Evy, and eat their yummy food! Thanks guys!
This pic below cracks me up because Anni’s pants (with a drawstring) kept falling off. The best timing was running thru Heathrow airport “everybody see my chupis” Yep!
94-degrees it was when we landed…with 85 % humidity (Anni would like everyone to know her curly hair “came back on my head again”) I would add with a vengeance..
12- at least the number of times J and I commented to each other “can you believe how hot it is here?” Or “was it really this hot?” or “blasted, it is HOT!”

11- number of pieces of luggage that arrived safely in Dar after 2 1/2 days of journey: Miracle!!! Even Evy’s car seat they made us check last minute in the U.S. (meaning we had no car seat in the UK-Argh!) made it!!

2- number of awesome team mates that met us in Dar and took our mounds-o-stuff via puke boat so we could return as a family by plane: awesome!

2- number of meals provided for us by the awesome girls on our team for which I am ubber grateful as cooking is just too much for now. Oh how I miss the land of drive thru’s and microwave meals. There was also this adorable sign and some veggies in the kitchen when we arrived home.
16- number of hours Annikah slept STRAIGHT our first night back- she did not wake up until almost noon the following day!! She had so much energy while seeing friends and rediscovering her room and toys but then took out a puzzle toy around 7pm and just 3 minutes later we found her like this…completely passed out on the tile floor

1 & 1- I paca (cat) that died; Pili Pili from some mysterious illness while we were away and 1 new paca that now adopted our house. The neighbors named her Mboga (vegetable) because she likes to eat the spinach growing in the shamba. She has no tail and so far seems a bit kali (fierce, mean) but she can stay for now
1-happy little girl to be reunited with her friends here. She has forgotten a lot of her Kiswahili though so we are all trying to get back into the groove. She also quite astutely said “mama all my friends here are brown” well, not all but most.

2- number of HUGE c.a.b.a.c (cockroaches as big as cats) that crawled across my path in our bathroom resulting in my shrieking and jumping backwards whacking my foot hard: ouch!

13: number of guests that “Hoodi”ed our first 24 hours back home. If kids are included it was more like 35 or 40. Word traveled fast that Mama Annikah brought pipis (candy) from America. It is great to see everyone and hear about the last few months. Evy is lovin’ the attention too! Everybody loves a bald white baby, especially one with a Kiswahili middle name šŸ™‚

45+- approximate number of Kiswahili word I have forgotten. I am hoping some of it is due to lack of sleep and that it comes back with practice.
3-the number of hours it took upon arriving in Africa for little Evy to get heat rash šŸ™
5- number of outfits I went thru in the first day due to spit up & sweat

3- number of power cuts so far (but none lasting more than a couple hours so no complaints here)

1 billion-ish- number of bugs that descended on one unattended and covered in spit up bib left of the floor

15+- number of times I have been told to cover up Evy with a blanket or turn off the fan or put socks on her because she will get cold. Seriously. The kid’s back is drenched with sweat and everyone here thinks she is freezing. Also, every time she cries I am told “anataka kunonya” (literally she wants to suck the breast) I already gave up trying to explain that actually the heat is causing her to cry šŸ™‚

So while we are definitely suffering from the demons of relocating; lack of sleep, feeling of uprootment, culture shock (reshock in our case)….we are excited to be back. We are home and that is a good thing.

  1. Anonymous says:

    so glad that you (and all of your stuff!) made it back safely. how is it that evy already looks so much bigger than she did LAST WEEK when i saw her last?? it's going to be a long 2 years… love you!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    We prayed for your long journey and are so glad you made it safely and with all your luggage! We'll be praying for a good readjustment to the island and the ability to laugh when things don't quite go as planned. Love, julie

  3. Anonymous says:

    So glad you and all your stuff made it. Evy looks so much bigger already. Is she swelling in the heat? Anni's hair is darling, too. We got snow again, but it is melting quickly. Just so you know what you are missing here. Loved the pic of Anni passed out on her toys! Glad you feel at home, and hope the toliet and AC get fixed quickly. Miss you all.

  4. Anonymous says:

    this post made me laugh out loud! so glad you are back safely–looking forward to more of your delightfully verbose posts on life in africa, and praying for you, as always. love you!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Glad you guys are back safely šŸ™‚ I think Evy grew to Wesley's size in the 2 weeks since we last saw you! Or, it could be that everyone on the island is so much smaller than us HUGE americans my perspective is off šŸ˜‰ get some sleep if you can and just remember, jet lag magically goes away after about 1 week no matter what you do or don't do!

  6. Anonymous says:

    yay!! you're home! praise God :)love your quick recap of your trip. well done for so little sleep!love you lots,jkw & lfw

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wow does Anni's hair look beautiful! Ava says to give her a big hug- we'll send a letter this week. Big hugs to all. Praise God for safe travel. We'll be praying for the readjustment!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I'm loving Anni's natural perm! So cute! I agree with everyone that Evy looks so much bigger already! Crazy! Anni must be so excited to get back to her room and the toys she left (and adding the new ones to her collection!) So glad you have power enough to update the blog. We love having this connection with you.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Glad you guys are home safely Rox!! xoxoxoxoxoxo from the Colledge clan!