Friday, 22 March 2013

What is normal?

We're all together again, back in Addis, as of last Thursday. And are trying to work out our new kind of normal yet again. What will life look like as a family of five, living in a school in East Africa? Time will tell...

Tommy and the boys returned to Addis three weeks earlier to resume school life, while Sarah and Lily had a little longer in the UK for a few last health checks and waiting for Lily's documentation. We were very pleased that after further testing with the audiologists that Lily's hearing has been declared fine and she had no problems on her almost-six week check, besides the doctor saying she had a big head. But given she is on the 99th centile for her length and head size and the 95th for weight we're not too worried, she seems pretty in proportion, just a nice robust baby! It felt like a very long time to be apart - for all of us, so we are very happy to be together again.

I have been thinking about what our children will think of as normal - this morning I bathed Lily and we played with her ducks (I played, she looked on in amazement). I realised that she won't see a duck until she is at least 18 months old, yet might come across a mongoose wandering around the school and will certainly learn what fire ants are before too long. Tom lived his early years in a Cambridgeshire village with thatched cottages and a duck pond, nearby there were fields with sheep and cows etc. Josh doesn't remember living there when he was small, he remembers living on the ship - where sighting dolphins wasn't uncommon and seeing jellyfish in the water a daily occurrence in some ports. And now we are somewhere different again, where we're not even sure what all the normal things are.

It's good to be home and we look forward to Ethiopia feeling even more like home as we settle back here.

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