Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The Best Reward After Living in Tanzania After 2 Years

We've been in the US for 2 1/2 weeks so far, which means that we're at the halfway mark. It's been a wonderful vacation and every day is like a blessing and a dream. It's hard to believe that we've been gone 2 years and it's almost even harder to believe that we still have another life in Tanzania. My mind just can't seem to grasp two such separate realities and every night I've been dreaming both in Swahili and English and they're taking place in locations that are weird combinations of America and Africa.

So far we have spent at least 2 nights each in NY, NJ, NC, GA and MS. And we are still looking forward to visits in SC, VA, NJ (again) and PA. What a great life we have!

Some constants from our visit so far:
  • Snow! It's followed us from NY to NJ and down south as well. Who decided to make our visit here in the winter!? Never again!

In Jersey City, leaving for our drive to south Jersey. Someone isn't pleased.*

The frozen bay in Cape May. Beautiful but unbearably cold!

Snowing in Charlotte.
  • Babies! Everyone's had a kid over the past 2 years. Love 'em!

Wiley chowing down on some African handicrafts. What a cute little sausage!

Lillie warming up to Unkie. Or maybe it's Unkie who's doing the warming up.

Tristan is being schooled early.
  • Amoeba! I've been sick since I left Africa and today is the very first day since getting here that I've not been medicated. Let's hope it stays that way.

In a mega-show of irony, Adam and Sarah gave us a stuffed amoeba, which they'd bought a while ago before they knew I'd have amoeba during my visit with them.
  • Friends! If I ever doubted it before (I didn't), we have the best friends in the world. Our friends are the most supportive and have been some of our biggest cheerleaders from the very beginning. And now on this trip they've gone above and beyond to welcome us back and ensure we have the best trip ever. Our friends have come from states away to see us; they've cooked us meals, payed for outings, driven us through snowstorms, listened to countless Tanzania stories. We are so fortunate to have such amazing people in our lives.

Wonderful gathering with friends from my time in the Newman Club at NYU. Some folks came from as far as Rhode Island and New Hampshire. What great friends!

We don't see much of these friends in TZ either.

Chris visiting his long-time friend Erica and her newly extended family.

Chris and Andy with fruit.

Chris's grade school friend, Billy, and his wife.
  • Family! Everything that I said about our friends can be said, and more, about our family. Our family is amazing. They put up with us moving to the other side of the world, and all the pain that goes along with that, and then when we come home they put us up for days at a time, give us their car to joy-ride around the country, give us money and gift cards so we don't get stranded 1/2-way on our trip, take us out to meals, and any umpteen other things. I can't say enough about how wonderful our families are and how much we owe them for all the support.

We got to meet my sister's new beau.

Me and mom on a trip to a small NJ seaside town. Cold, but beautiful.

Me with my nieces. When did they get so big!?

Typical "Bo" face.

I love this photobomb by Maddie.

Just after I served up some serious butt-whipping in Scrabble. Maybe I shouldn't be boasting about beating my 96 year-old grandfather and 87 year-old grandmother in a board game.

Hanging out with Chris's mom on her 60th birthday.

Expect many more pictures and stories of wonderful things because the trip is only 1/2 over, folks. WHAT!?

*This other picture was taken before the snow started.

Someone was happy to be reunited with his winter wear. That is, until the snow started.

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