Archive for June, 2021

Crazy times

Sunday, June 27th, 2021

After over a year of low COVID rates, the numbers are high here now. We’ve gone to skeleton staff at the Embassy and are holding our breath to see where we go from here. The lights are still on in Consular.

I had a fun chat with Ann and Pam last weekend, and also a good “catch-up” call with Carol in Maine (how I’d love to be up there right now!). We also celebrated Father’s Day with a call with Pete and Ginger.

We’ve had some lovely torrential rainy days this week (which I love as long as I’m inside!). John and I finished a great season of “Unforgotten.”

Stay tuned! The next week may be interesting!

Happy 60th!

Sunday, June 20th, 2021

Pete and Ginger celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this week – congratulations! Philip and Michelle organized a lovely party at Butterfield Trail Village – we wish we could have been there!

With Philip and Michelle

This was a very busy week, overshadowed by an uptick in COVID cases here in Liberia. The Ministry of Health reinstituted some public health protocols, and we’re watching the situation closely. My office continues to update U.S. citizens in Liberia on the situation, and I also had a call with a member of Congress this week to update him on the latest here.

Late on Thursday afternoon, we got word that Friday would be a federal holiday for Juneteenth, to celebrate the end of slavery in the United States. While happy for a new holiday, the last-minuteness of it had us scrambling to rebook appointments. I worked most of the holiday, and again on Saturday, but never seem to get caught up. There’s just too much work and too little staff.

John’s section worked hard to organize our annual awards ceremony this week; they set up a huge outdoor auditorium under a tent. We were both thrilled to receive Superior Honor Awards for our work here, and were most appreciative of our boss who took the time to write the nominations for DC approval. Thank you, Alyson!

We had two fun outdoor events last night (within the new public health guidelines) – we started with a fun jazz concert at the DCM’s house. The DCM’s husband Rick Bassett, a professional musician, hosted Tanya Garnette and her accompanists for two hours of great music under the portico. Afterward, we moved to Nate’s for a rooftop going-away party for Justin and Stephanie – lots of folks had 70s and 80s themed costumes. It was fun to laugh and disco dance looking out over the ocean. Good times! We’ll miss Stephanie and Justin!

With Justin and Steph

Thanksgiving in June

Sunday, June 13th, 2021

We went to a “Thanksgiving in June” dinner at the DCM’s residence last Sunday evening – it was fun, a dozen people or so. The DCM and her husband are getting ready to leave, so we were the lucky recipients of a frozen turkey in the freezer! And leave it to them to make a fun party of it!

I also went to the DCM’s residence on Thursday night for a dinner to introduce some of her female contacts in government and civil society to some of us women in the Embassy. I met some new folks and had a chance to catch up with some familiar faces. I sat with the two female Liberian senators. One won a hotly contested election in her county – she described being forced to hide alone in the bush from a country bush devil. I’m not exactly sure how to describe a bush devil – they are usually men disguised to protect their identity who mete out punishment or justice – that’s my understanding, at least. You sure don’t want one coming for you. I bought a small depiction of one last week and he’s hanging out in my office for now. If he get mischievous, I will put him in a drawer.

John and I went to our neighbors Pam and John’s for drinks after work Friday. We really like them – and they have a kitten! He’s at that perfect kitten stage where he acts totally crazy then conks out!

I had a good chat with cousin David on his birthday last Sunday, and another chat with Ann on hers Wednesday. Pam, Ann, Jackie, and I also had our biweekly call last Sunday.

Work continues to be overwhelming with too much to do and not enough time or people to do it. Our fabulous IV chief left yesterday for his well-deserved R&R so I know the coming weeks won’t be easy.

June already

Sunday, June 6th, 2021

It’s hard to believe it’s June already – that means we’re within a year of moving on from here to our next post. We’ve been talking about bidding and next steps – stay tuned! We won’t see the bid list for a couple of months but it’s fun to start dreaming.

We had Monday off this week for Memorial Day. The rest of the week was pretty regular. We did a chemical weapons drill with our hoods which we had not done before – it was pretty uncomfortable but good to know how to do.

Monday night we went to Rebekah’s for a small going-away party for the USAID country director – it was nice to sit out on her balcony and chat. Friday night we watched a good movie, “Oslo,” about the Oslo Accords – really good.

Pablo and I in our hoods – the silver disc is a fan and it’s loud!