Archive for May, 2021

Nice to see you!

Monday, May 31st, 2021
Official photos were hung this week at the embassy!

This week sure felt a lot more normal. We had our first in-person country team meeting in over a year, I had a team meeting in my section around a conference table, and we’ve had a few social events. It’s great!

We had a couple of fun work things this week – John and I were invited to attend the promotion ceremony of one of our DOD colleagues, Jordan. We worked closely with him during last year’s evacuation flights as he ran the tarmac operations. For many of the flights, it was him, John, me, and Matt biting our nails and waiting endless hours for the flights to land and take off again.

Jordan and Matt – they clean up well!

We also had a crisis management exercise. Most of it was done via video conference, but afterward our med unit did an evacuation drill flying a “patient” out on an NGO’s helicopter, so we got to see the embassy’s helo pad in action.

Marines evacuating the “patient”

On the social front, we went to Nate’s last night for some good BBQ and a game of Catan. His house directly overlooks the beach so we enjoyed the sound of the waves and a good sunset. Today we went to a very fun brunch at Jason and Jamie’s house – it was fun talking to some of the folks who are “new to me” even though they have been here for a few months.

Great ocean breeze and view at Nate’s

Last Sunday I had a good video chat with Ann and Pam, and today my friend Cathy in Calgary and I talked for two hours – always fun to catch up with her.

We watched “The Mauritanian” and “Georgetown” this week – both were good, but I especially liked “Georgetown.”

Maybe I found a new job!

Don’t forget the lipstick

Sunday, May 23rd, 2021

After months of not worrying about lipstick, I am delighted to pick it back up again! Since most everyone in the embassy has been vaccinated, we are able to not use masks at work for the most part. We still do when we see our consular clients, but it’s so freeing.

I had a great video chat last Sunday with my former boss and good friend Nomi in Tijuana, then yesterday I did one with Tammy in Maryland (with occasional guest appearances by Scott). Wonderful to catch up with good friends.

Friday night we went to the Ambassador’s to watch “Seven Days in Entebbe” (excellent and with Rosamund Pike) – we started outdoors with the Marines grilling hotdogs, but had to quickly regroup inside when it started raining. We were a small enough group that we fit in the family living room – so all’s well that ends well.

Work was challenging as usual this week. I went in yesterday and, although I didn’t do what I set out to do, I still got things done.

Back to normal?

Sunday, May 16th, 2021
Rainy season is back!

We actually had three social events this week now that 95% of the embassy has been vaccinated. It was fun to get out and see folks, but the introvert in me got a little exhausted, LOL.

We started on Thursday evening with a farewell party for one of the Marines. It was the first time I’d even been in the Marine House even though it’s right by the embassy. The Marines are so young! It was fun listening to them give tribute to the one who was leaving. They served up Mexican food and margaritas – lots of fun.

Friday night we went to Justin and Stephanie’s for pizza and Catan, along with two other folks, and last night we went to Matthew and Ana’s for an eid celebration. Ana outdid herself on food – just an amazing assortment of Indonesian food and enough dessert for the whole town. She is really amazing. I had a good time catching up with Steve and Audrey.

The work week was crazy – a lot of putting out fires and other shenanigans. I worked Friday in the office – nice and quiet since it was a local holiday.

We’re enjoying “Mare of Easttown” and “Tin Star” on television, and last night we started “Hacks” with Jean Smart – she is amazing!

Happy birthday to me

Sunday, May 9th, 2021

I was talking with my cousin David yesterday about how we really don’t feel any different than when we were in our 20s, but yet, here we are!

I had a lovely day. John decorated the house with goodies David and Alison sent, and crowned me with a birthday tiara when I woke up. At an outdoor embassy party at the Ambassador’s house tonight, I was very surprised when we arrived and everyone sang – and then the incredible Ana unveiled this amazing cake and cat-cakes! So very kind and thoughtful. John and I finished up with sushi at Mamba Point. I got lots of good wishes from folks around the world – I’m truly lucky.

The amazing Ana



Love being vaccinated

Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

Thanks to vaccinations, I felt comfortable going out to dinner at Mamba Point with John and our fabulous friend and neighbor Ian, who we first met in Pakistan. Ian will be leaving soon, and we lamented not being able to spend more time together – thanks, COVID.

We enjoyed a small gathering downstairs with our friend Michael, with guests of honor who are here to make a plan for a historical Liberian site. I met new, interesting, and fun neighbors and learned more about Liberian history. We also caught up with Michael on Monday night when he came up for a glass of wine after work – good times.

I worked all weekend, in the office on Saturday and at home on Sunday. There’s never enough time to get everything done! John and I did enjoy some down time this week, watching “Mare of Easttown” with Kate Winslet, the lovely “My Octopus Teacher,” and “Mank.” I also had a great video chat with Pam, Ann, and Jackie last Sunday.

With fabulous DOD colleagues, Matt and Jordan, at a DOD promotion ceremony this week.