We are home! We arrived home last Monday afternoon and have been grateful for the not-so-frigid temperatures. On Tuesday it was in the 50s and sunny and our sleep schedule was way off, so Daniel and I went to the zoo in the afternoon.
Our trip home was very smooth. We left from Kilimanjaro airport around 10pm and Daniel went right to sleep. Surprisingly, he slept through the lights on, switching passengers, announcements and safety videos at our stopover in Dar es Salaam less than an hour later. He ended up sleeping almost all the way to Amsterdam waking up just in time for breakfast. Unfortunately, Dave and I didn’t sleep nearly as well (I was holding Daniel for half the night after he woke up the first time.) He got to play in the Children’s Forest at the Amsterdam airport before boarding the flight to Detroit. He did pretty well on the flight to Detroit, except for the last hour or so when he kept wanting to yell (maybe “screech” would be more fitting). We got a snack with ice cream around then, so I told him he needed to use a quiet voice if he wanted ice cream. Worked wonders :) He didn’t have anyone sitting in front of him, so he could put his feet up on the seat and not worry about disturbing someone.
I think we’re finally adjusted to the time change. Daniel seemed to do better than the rest of us! Daniel and I went to bed at 5:30pm on Monday, which was as late as we could make it. I went to bed with him for several days knowing I’d need to be up with him whenever he woke up – anywhere from 4:45 on! It was nice to see Dave before he left for work at 5:30 and it’s amazing what you can do in a morning when you’re up so early, but I think I’d rather be sleeping. For several days, Daniel woke up between 4 and 5am, waking me up too. He would go back to sleep, but I never did. Today, though, we slept until 7:30!
We weren’t gone long enough to be making very many cultural adjustments back to the States. A few things I noticed, though, were greeting people in English rather than Swahili, not having to turn on the water heater an hour before showering, having consistent electricity, water and internet. Though those last two show you that we were living a pretty easy life in the city – we HAD running, water, a way to heat it, electricity, internet access, etc. It’s been very quiet here, especially at night (in the winter – summer in Detroit is a whole ‘nother story!) No roosters or cows or loud diesel trucks bumping and creaking up the hill. In other ways, Detroit is so much like an African city - you never know what you’re going to see and nothing is really surprising. We were on our way to a fruit market the other day and I noticed a random abandoned boat on the side of the road in front of an old warehouse. On the way home, I realized there were actually two abandoned boats.
After all the preparation to go to Tanzania, it seems incredible that we’ve gone, were there for two weeks and are already home and back into the swing of things here. Then again, I’ve never gone to Africa for such a short time before. More to come about our experiences and where we’re going from here.