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Uncertainty revisited

We are not sure what our place of residence will be a month from now. We are sure that it will not be Tanzania.

Meanwhile, life goes on. Tarek and his friend Trudi make paintings of the garden, the women hang the laundry and papa goes around taking photographs.
trudi and tarek painting
Trudi and Tarek and watercolours

hanging laundry
Maya and Miko at work

Uncertain no more…?

Yesterday evening Hein received an e-mail with a contract. Extension. It had already been somewhat clear for some time that probably it would be offered but now it’s real and we don’t have to worry about a source of income when T2 is born. If you want my advise: never become pregnant with an Expected Date of Delivery right when the contract to your only income expires. Hein and I stayed quite calm, considering the circumstances, but it was kind of hard having to tell the ladies that work here that we may need to lay them off. And when I saw the burst of energy that Hein got after things became clear I realised: we may have thought we remained zen about it all – tension was brewing regardless.

Another great source of uncertainty has been dealt with, the BBC told me this morning: finally The Netherlands has a government again.


There is quite a bit of uncertainty in our household, which is mainly driven by the ending of my contract at IITA November the 7th. Up to this date it is not certain if the contract will be extended. This in itself is not such a big issue. However, the birth of our second child soon after complicates matters. The choice is either: go to the Netherlands for delivery and return or alternatively not return. If we return there are few complications. If we do not there are many logistic issues like: moving, terminating contracts with our personnel, selling of assets, etc.
The funny thing is that I thought it was quite an event when we moved here in such a short time which would probably not be matched in future. Now matters are more complex with stakes a lot higher (family and all). I wonder how it will look like in 10 years.

Stay or go

Many things have happened the past few weeks but very little has been written down. I apologize for this neglect. A main event was the visit of the nearly complete Bouwmeester family. We shared busy and happy times during which a lot of alcohol was consumed and many games of Regenwurmen were played. I will not write too much about this since Bouk has written a guest column which summarizes the visit pretty well. He has committed himself into making a soundscape of Dar with all the audio samples he recorded during his stay. We are looking forward to it!
Last week we tried to quantify if we would extend our stay in Tanzania and push for an extension of my contract after it expires in November, or if we would return to the Netherlands. Inspired by Marjan we came up with a nice graph where the x-axis represents Hein and the y-axis represents Maya. The dots represent the variables such as living environment, temperature, cycling and 22 others. The higher the value of the dot, the higher the weight (e.g. friends will have a higher weight than bugs). Figures below zero represent the Netherlands while positive numbers depict reasons to stay in Tanzania. As is clear from the fact that most points are located in the same quadrants (namely the 1st and the 3rd), we agree on most variables. I will not specify the points for privacy reasons but want to show the graph because I am a little proud of it. Of course it is an imperfect balance but at least it forced us to think of important things and gave us an idea. The average of the entire exercise was about -1, meaning slightly in favour of a return to the Netherlands.
stay or go

Later that week Maya had a little conversation with the principal of IST. He mentioned that he had given her job to another person. This came as a little bit of a shock. It will probably lower the average of -1. We also booked our home leave and will fly into Amsterdam late June and leave mid July.