Archive for November, 2019

PT Graduation!

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

Love that Avisha!

After almost six months of physical therapy, I had my last session on Thursday! I got pretty teary telling everyone goodbye – what a great bunch of folks who literally helped me get back on my feet! I got especially attached to Avisha – what a doll. I also got to know and like a fellow patient, a  young guy going to university here who had a bad wreck. It’s been such a long, hard road back to walking but I made it thanks to so many people who helped me along the way.

We had two fun social events this week: Friday night, John’s co-workers Thomas and Adrian came over for a game of Catan and chili, and brought their girlfriends. We had a big time. Saturday, Juan and Gloria invited us and a few other Juarez folks out to Manassas for paella. We loved seeing them, along with Laura, Roger, Dee, Graham, Jaime and Arachelli! What a treat to be around such smart and interesting folks, and I was especially glad we got to see them before we head to Africa.

Love my Juarez folks!

With Thomas and his girlfriend, and Adrian

I had consultations at the Consular Affairs building on Monday – it felt so odd to be back in the building for the first time in six months. (Before heading to a new post, you “consult” with different folks about the work you’ll encounter there.) It was fun to see people again, and I had a fun catch-up with my former boss Angela. The rest of the week I was on annual leave, busy going though closets and separating things into piles – hard work!

Shout-out to my blog reader Katie!


So much to do, so little time!

Sunday, November 17th, 2019

I’ll miss these views!

The weeks leading up to a move always fill up fast, and this week was no exception. My to-do list keeps getting longer! I’ve started the process of going through closets and drawers to decide what goes in my suitcase, what goes in the small air shipment (that we’ll get in about a month), and what goes in the slow-boat-to-China shipment. In addition, we will ship consumables since shopping is so expensive and limited in Liberia, so I’ve been estimating how much toilet paper and laundry detergent we’ll need for the next two years – argh.

Meanwhile, we’re trying to see as many friends as possible! I had dinner with my lovely friend Stacie on Wednesday night. Joseph and Sunera came over Friday night – John made delicious homemade pizzas on (store-bought) vegetable crusts (cauliflower, butternut squash, etc.). Saturday morning we met Nick and Wendy for breakfast at the loud-but-yummy Taco Bamba – and we got to meet the very beautiful Lana for the first time (and what a happy baby, too!).

With Stacie

Wendy, Lana, and Nick

I didn’t make her cry!

I was happy to be invited to a small lunch with our friend, the ambassador to Angola, Nina Fite, who we worked with in Pakistan. It was fun to meet and network with other women who know her. We were in the private dining room on the 8th floor, which always feels fancy to me.

With Ambassador Fite

We’re also doing last-minute doctors’ visits – this week John and I were in adjoining dentist chairs getting crowns (ouch)!

Flavie enjoying her friend the sun

Gorgeous light outside our apartment


Talking to goats

Sunday, November 10th, 2019

Talking to goats

We had a fun outing yesterday to southern Maryland to meet Tammy’s family at her brother’s house in the country. It was lovely and (squeee!) they have goats! We loved their family and finally got to meet her two sons (we had met her daughter once before briefly). There was lots of food, fun, and laughter (and did I mention goats?!). We were so happy to be included.

Monday evening, our old friends Missy and Sofia from Juarez came by for a drink – we hadn’t seen them in years. They are so sweet and fun, and just made us laugh so hard – and made us miss our fun Juarez days.

Thursday morning, my former boss Ian was in town from Baghdad and stopped in for coffee, along with his wife Michelle. We had a great time catching up for a couple of hours. Later that evening, the junior officer formerly in Bermuda came over with her adorable nine-month-old for a while – it was fun to get caught up with her in between her assignments.

Friday night I met the Pink Ladies for a drink – it was a small group, but I finally met a woman who I’ve known via email for years! She was in London when I was in Pakistan, and we sometimes had visa case overlap – it’s always need to put a face with a name!

I went to the doctor on Wednesday for my final visit to him before moving!

Selfie with Tammy

Tammy’s family

I want a goat!


Getting real

Sunday, November 3rd, 2019

At brunch

Our big news is that I got my medical clearance back, which means we can start planning our move to Liberia in December! It’s been a long time coming, and now things will start to move at light speed!

Pam and I had a great visit! We hardly left the house – our big outing was going to see “Downton Abbey” at the theatre in nearby Georgetown (it was lovely). The rest of the time we just relaxed at home and watched a lot of movies. I hated to take her to the airport on Tuesday.

My former colleague Brett stopped by Sunday after running the Marine Marathon – it was great to see him and hear about his life in Chicago.

With Brett

Tuesday night, John and I met Patt C. and his lovely wife Lenore for dinner – I hadn’t seen Patt since 1979 or so back in our Hendrix days – he is a fascinating artist and journalist ( We were delighted to spend time with them!

We met our friends Rick and Claire for brunch this morning to celebrate Claire’s birthday today and John’s upcoming birthday on Tuesday – always great to see them!

Who knew “ramona” is a member of the mint family?