Archive for January, 2021


Sunday, January 31st, 2021

The highlight of the week was getting round one of the Moderna vaccine for COVID! We were thrilled that the Department of State prioritized West Africa (due to its lack of medical infrastructure) and enabled us to be some of the first in the field to receive part of their limited supply. I have to admit I got a bit tearful as I waited my turn,  thinking that maybe there’s a light at the end of this tunnel (NPR did a story on the emotional reactions to the vaccine so I wasn’t the only one).

We watched two really good movies this week: “White Tiger” and “The Little Things.” The former is set in India – it’s pretty dark but well done in a quirky style. Denzel Washington is in the latter – a good murder mystery. Escaping into movies was a good way to deal with a stressful week at work!

I had a good long chat with Pamela and Jackie last Sunday. Last night we had a relaxing, informal dinner on the balcony at our boss’s house. I felt like we were in a tree house, surrounded by greenery and the sound of the bats, with an occasional hawk swooping by. Views here on dominated by the ocean, which is lovely, but the view in the other direction made me feel like I was somewhere else.

Inauguration 2021

Sunday, January 24th, 2021

I’m not sure if these are benches or sofas or what – they popped up yesterday on our street.

I was thrilled that Inauguration Day for President Biden and VP Kamala Harris finally arrived! It feels like a new beginning.

Friday night, Country Team members went to the Ambassador’s residence for a toast after he presented his credentials to the Liberian president. It was fun to actually socialize a bit again. I love being on the veranda and hearing the waves crash.

We watched a cute movie called “Quartet” this week. Directed by Dustin Hoffman about a retirement home for musicians – if you watch it, be sure to stay for the credits.

I worked the holiday on Monday and again yesterday. My to-do list just keep growing, and the demand outstrips our ability to provide services. It makes for a lot of stress. We extended a job offer for a local staff position that I’ve been trying to fill for months – fingers crossed it works out and we get a bit of help.

I’ve enjoyed today, though – drinking John’s good lattes and reading a book called “This is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are.”

Happy birthday, Ginger!

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Pretty light

Monday was my fabulous mother-in-law’s birthday – happy birthday!

Our wonderful downstairs neighbor Ian texted this morning with an offer of just-from-the-oven sourdough bread (with golden raisins and walnuts) – what a great way to start the day! (We served with Ian and his then-girlfriend-now-wife in Islamabad.)

I don’t have a lot to report this week – work was pretty routine, although we’re short-staffed again which makes for busy days. Folks are keeping to themselves in an effort to stay healthy, so it’s basically just to work and back home. I’ve been having groceries delivered in an effort to avoid the grocery store, since Liberians aren’t keen on masks and social distancing (although you are expected to wear a mask inside the store, compliance is spotty, even among employees).

I had a good long chat with Pam in Toronto last weekend. I worked yesterday afternoon, preparing messaging for the new COVID testing requirement put in place for people entering the United States. Otherwise, we’ve just stayed home – great for my introverted self!

Off to a rocky start

Sunday, January 10th, 2021

Hopes of a drama-free 2021 were dashed with the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. It was hard to turn off CNN and finally go to bed, unsure of what we would wake up to the next day. I hope we can weather the storm.

Our new ambassador arrived this week, and we had our first country team meeting (virtually), so 2021 will be different in that regard. We have so enjoyed working for the Charge the past year, but it will be good to have an ambassador back in the country.

I had a fun video chat with David and Alison from the new condo this week – they go over to check on things every so often. My good friend Pamela gave us a bed, mattress/box springs, and a highboy, so we arranged to have that moved from her house this week – the previous owner left a lot of furnishings but one bedroom was empty so we appreciated Pam’s generosity. I’ve been trying to figure out what I need to buy and what I already have duplicates of that I can take when we eventually get to go see it in person!

Winter view


Flavie enjoying the sun

Apple pie – a gift from a friend! Snowflake design top crust!

…and happy new year!

Sunday, January 3rd, 2021

I think we’re all in agreement that it’s time to get 2020 in the rear view mirror! John and I had black-eyed peas and cornbread in hopes of bringing some luck to 2021!

I’ve enjoyed having some down time over the holidays, including this three-day weekend for New Year’s. Over the week I’ve had video chats with Pam, Ann, and Jackie for Pam’s birthday (happy birthday!), and talked to Cousin David in Hot Springs.

I read a book written by a former Secret Service agent called “Becoming Bulletproof” that was interesting. I’ve watched quite a bit of television, including “Let Them All Talk” with Meryl Streep and binged on a raunchy comedy series (it was funny!).

But-bye, 2020