Archive for December, 2020

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 27th, 2020

Reindeer Rolls

We enjoyed a quiet Christmas at home. My co-worker’s fabulous wife brought us a lovely Christmas dinner, including reindeer rolls! We opened packages from our friends Scott & Tammy and Mary – fun! Tammy always finds the cutest things – an inflatable tiara and tiny tinsel Christmas tree with color wheel! Mary sent lots of food goodies – she’s heard me complain too much about the lack of good food options here. And I got my two favorite things from my mother-in-law: the annual Audabon daytimer calendar and chocolate covered cherries! We had a good phone call with Pete and Ginger, and I had a video chat with Pam, Ann, and Jackie. Earlier in the week, I had a video chat with Mary in Nashville and got to see Ander and little Samantha – life’s good!

Cuz everyone needs a tiara!

(Speaking of Nashville, luckily Mary and Ander’s family weren’t affected – a bomb? Not sure what the world has come to.)

I finished “The Biggest Bluff” this week – a good book about a psychologist who learns to play competitive poker in the name of science (chance and luck vs. psychology). I watched an old classic, “Moonstruck,” and finished “Little Fires Everywhere” – it went a little off a deep end with the story line, but an interesting story nonetheless.

Contented Flavie

Almost Christmas?

Sunday, December 20th, 2020

It’s so hard to think of the holidays when it’s hot and humid, and no Christmas decorations to speak of, save for a Christmas tree in the embassy atrium and our stockings hung on our door at home!

I enjoyed a video chat with Jackie today (we were dismayed that Jamie’s phone connection dropped!). Jackie took me on a tour of Hillcrest where I got to say hello to Bruce & Beth, John & Nan, Oigan, Mary, and Judy! It was all quite a fun surprise! I even got to see our duplex across the street from Judy’s house. Thank you, Jackie! John and I also had a fun video chat with David and Alyson last weekend – we wished we were there with them, sitting by the fireplace. Some places in Arkansas got snow!

Our big news of the week is that we closed on a condo in Hot Springs! It’s a short walk (or swim) to David and Alison’s on Moonlight Bay in a quiet, no-frills complex. We look forward to getting back to Hot Springs at some point to see it in person!

View from condo balcony

Late season rains

Sunday, December 13th, 2020

Stormy afternoon

It continues to rain off and on – we had a huge thunder and lightning rain storm one day that ushered in a day of cooler air, which was nice, and another morning storm. I’m sure the bats are quite confused.

Liberian national elections were this week; the government declared a holiday for our local staff. We also scheduled down visa appointments, so it was a slightly quieter week.

We went to a small (socially distanced/masked) dinner at Angler’s this week to celebrate a military colleague’s promotion – it’s outdoor setting by the ocean makes for a nice evening. We spent a lot of time with this particular colleague during our long hours at the airport doing repatriation flights back in the spring; it was good to enjoy an evening with him under less stressful circumstances.

I had a good video chat with Pam and Jackie yesterday, although we missed Ann. John and I are enjoying a nice weekend; I haven’t left the house and don’t intend to!

John brought flowers for me


Sunday, December 6th, 2020

Another pretty sunset

I’m not sure how it got to be December already! It doesn’t feel like the holidays are coming up – we’re entering dry season here, the bats have returned to the embassy compound, the humidity is high, and it’s warm and sunny. COVID cases in the U.S. are out of control, and even here we’re seeing an uptick in cases as the Liberians make no attempt to use face masks or socially distance.

Last Monday was a local holiday here. I used it and yesterday afternoon as a way to try to catch up on work in the office. We had a small outdoor ceremony Friday morning for the celebration of the Marines’ 245th birthday. Sadly they couldn’t hold their annual ball, but the lovely cake-cutting ceremony in their full dress uniforms (and masks) under the American flag was moving – I was glad for a laugh when they introduced the youngest Marine in attendance (a tradition) and he was born in 2001! Wow.

Michael and Karisa came down last night to play Viticulture and eat Indian food which was a lot of fun. I chatted last Saturday with Pam, Ann, and Jackie, and Pam and I had another long chat today, too. I also spoke to Carol in Maine which brought back a lot of good memories of being there.

We were excited to receive a care package in the mail from David and Alison with lots of goodies, including a miniature painting by Alison of the Liberian flag to add to our collection! Thank you!

The Liberian flag center