Archive for the ‘Foreign Service’ Category

Cats in stores

Sunday, September 19th, 2021

I was pleasantly surprised today to see three cats in a local grocery store – it’s one I had never been to before. Our neighbor told me they have a good Lebanese bakery there, so I took advantage of available street parking today to pop inside to check it out. It’s not a big store but has the basics – and cats! I saw three wandering around. They were quite content to let customers scratch their heads. While we see street dogs, we don’t see a lot of cats here (although we spy kittens on occasion on the Embassy compound). I came home with some groceries and a box of Lebanese cookies.

I had nice chats with two girlfriends this week: Pam in DC and Tammy in Florida. It’s always fun to catch up. I had dinner with a colleague from one of the Ministries on Wednesday which was nice.

A relatively new colleague and self-proclaimed Anglophile had us and another person to his house yesterday afternoon for high tea. Sadly I didn’t have a fascinator to wear, but we enjoyed some champagne (The Widow, our favorite), then tea, scones, cucumber sandwiches, etc. It was quite fancy and fun.

Afterward, I went to the Old Embassy Compound to join a walking tour of the grounds with our outgoing Facilities’ manager. He’s a huge history buff and knows so much about the history of the U.S. mission here – it was fun to hear some stories and hear the history of the compound.

Let there be light

Monday, September 13th, 2021

In almost every house or apartment we’ve had in the Foreign Service, the sink has been under the cabinets and it always drives me crazy because it’s just dark and your body blocks any light coming from the overhead. I finally repeated what I did in Guadalajara: ask the landlord to install a light under the cabinets! It always takes me a while to complain about it and then remember that there is actually a solution to this – a really simple one, at that. It makes me appreciate U.S. houses that seem to always have a window over the sink – not only can you look outside and daydream while doing dishes, but you can actually see if the dishes are clean.

John had a small group of folks over for gaming on Labor Day which was fun. I ordered Lebanese food from a local place, then went over to Rebekah’s to meet her financial planner to see if we might want to hire him.

Tuesday I attended a women’s networking event at the DCM’s house, with dinner upstairs on the balcony.

Friday night we met two other diplomats from other missions for dinner at a local restaurant. It was nice to meet some new folks in a pleasant setting!

Hail and farewell

Sunday, September 5th, 2021
Neighborhood goats

These three goats wander freely around the neighborhood. I’m not sure who they belong to, but they just mosey around eating bits of grass and just generally patrolling. The other day I made a quick run down the hill to the grocery store and they were walking down the main road four or five blocks away on a rather busy street. They really crack me up. In case you’re wondering, I think the Luxury Laundry Lounge is out of business. I’ve never seen it open in almost two years here.

This week our fabulous entry-level officer Pablo departed post, back to DC to prepare for his next assignment. In return, we received Mike and his lovely wife Carolyn. Mike came to us by way of Montenegro where he worked for my cousin Chris – I like keeping good officers all in the family! Goodbyes are always hard, but the hellos are fun!

I had a good video chat with Cousin David on Saturday – I’m glad to see him feeling much better after giving us a scare last week! I also had my bi-weekly chat with Ann, Pam, and Jackie last weekend.

Flag Day

Sunday, August 29th, 2021
Pretty sunset

Liberian Flag Day was Tuesday, so we enjoyed a day off. John hosted a late afternoon game day that included a TDYer from Accra – fun to meet new people. While they gamed, I hostessed and also read “Mexican Gothic,” a fun, spooky horror novel.

We had a reception at the Ambassador’s residence after work Thursday to welcome the new Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM, our boss). There were quite a few high-level Liberian contacts, along with representatives from other missions. It was still a relatively small gathering and I was glad to see masks on everyone.

Last Sunday evening, John and I took the new DCM to dinner on the roof of a local hotel. It was a nice night outside and we enjoyed some non-work talk with him.

I’ve been getting manicures again and enjoyed one yesterday, followed by a quick trip to the grocery store. COVID levels have dropped after a worrisome spike in June/July, so I feel a little better about going to the salon again – plus they are good about masking.

I read a fun Ruth Ware mystery, ”One by One” this weekend. We enjoyed catching up on “Ted Lasso,” started Season 7 of “Grace and Frankie,” and started a new French crime series, “Astrid.”

Fun and games

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021

We hosted a small board game group yesterday – I just played hostess and watched. It all looked complicated with a lot of fiddly bits, but everyone seemed to have a good time! The game lasted over five hours – yikes!

It was a pretty typical week and it seemed to go by quickly. I worked late on Friday then stopped by a happy hour at the palava hut on the way home, while John was a another game day at a friend’s. The weather was nice enough that John and I sat on the balcony a couple of nights this week.

We finished “Unforgotten” and are sad to see it end. We’re still enjoying “Ted Lasso” and look forward to new episodes. I finished a book by Dr. Jen Gunter on women’s health and today plowed through the delightful “Thursday Murder Club” – a fun recommendation from my friend Pamela.

Here’s a photo of a present John bought me! I love it – a calavera made from Liberian civil war weapon scraps (turned in during disarmament). He knows me well!