Archive for August, 2021

Flag Day

Sunday, August 29th, 2021
Pretty sunset

Liberian Flag Day was Tuesday, so we enjoyed a day off. John hosted a late afternoon game day that included a TDYer from Accra – fun to meet new people. While they gamed, I hostessed and also read “Mexican Gothic,” a fun, spooky horror novel.

We had a reception at the Ambassador’s residence after work Thursday to welcome the new Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM, our boss). There were quite a few high-level Liberian contacts, along with representatives from other missions. It was still a relatively small gathering and I was glad to see masks on everyone.

Last Sunday evening, John and I took the new DCM to dinner on the roof of a local hotel. It was a nice night outside and we enjoyed some non-work talk with him.

I’ve been getting manicures again and enjoyed one yesterday, followed by a quick trip to the grocery store. COVID levels have dropped after a worrisome spike in June/July, so I feel a little better about going to the salon again – plus they are good about masking.

I read a fun Ruth Ware mystery, ”One by One” this weekend. We enjoyed catching up on “Ted Lasso,” started Season 7 of “Grace and Frankie,” and started a new French crime series, “Astrid.”

Fun and games

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021

We hosted a small board game group yesterday – I just played hostess and watched. It all looked complicated with a lot of fiddly bits, but everyone seemed to have a good time! The game lasted over five hours – yikes!

It was a pretty typical week and it seemed to go by quickly. I worked late on Friday then stopped by a happy hour at the palava hut on the way home, while John was a another game day at a friend’s. The weather was nice enough that John and I sat on the balcony a couple of nights this week.

We finished “Unforgotten” and are sad to see it end. We’re still enjoying “Ted Lasso” and look forward to new episodes. I finished a book by Dr. Jen Gunter on women’s health and today plowed through the delightful “Thursday Murder Club” – a fun recommendation from my friend Pamela.

Here’s a photo of a present John bought me! I love it – a calavera made from Liberian civil war weapon scraps (turned in during disarmament). He knows me well!

Farmer’s Market

Sunday, August 15th, 2021

I stopped by the embassy farmer’s market Friday afternoon and picked up some lettuce and fresh eggs. I also had this guy chop me a coconut to drink the water inside – yum! It reminded me of the pipas in Costa Rica, and also drinking a cold one on a very hot day in Cambodia. The lettuce was really good – almost like a cross between Bibb and Romaine. John grilled steaks last night from the NGO and I made a little salad. I tried to roast frozen broccoli but it was kind of a bust – but, I also threw in some frozen green beans and they were good. I took our social sponsee Jim to the grocery store yesterday and was delighted to see purple onions and decent cauliflower.

We spent a couple of hours on the Ambassador’s veranda after work on Friday for a farewell to one of John’s employees. It was mostly local staff – John and the Ambassador gave remarks (which I missed!). We laughed because it was apparent that some of the local staff thought John was the ambassador! We pulled up chairs and visited with some folks and enjoyed a beer and the ocean breeze.

We finished “Hit and Run” and “Schmigadoon” this week – and are still enjoying “Ted Lasso”!


Sunday, August 8th, 2021
Sunset Saturday Night

I had a couple of social things to do this week. Last Sunday we went to a pleasant brunch at a colleague’s house to welcome the new USAID Country Director. Afterward I had my biweekly call with Ann, Pam, and Jackie where we attempt to solve the world’s problems. Saturday night, our public affairs officer and I took the USAID Country Director to a sunset dinner overlooking the beach – a nice evening with a good breeze and cold beer.

Work was busy – an adoption, students, general visa work. Matthew is back from a long absence from the office – thank goodness! I’ve never been so glad to see someone!

I love the new “no-work weekends,” too. I wish I’d been doing this the last year and a half! I finished reading “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” and also read “My Father the Pornographer” – both good reads. Saturday I ventured out to a salon to get my nails done – nice!

John and I have been watching “Unforgotten,” “Physical,” “Ted Lasso,” “Schmigadoon,” (thanks, Muffy!), “Manifest,” – and most recently, an Israeli drama, “Hit and Run.”

Dipping our toes back in

Sunday, August 1st, 2021

COVID rates are declining here. Since the embassy has a high vaccination rate, we’re tentatively dipping our toes back in the socialization water. Last weekend included a local holiday on Monday, and we met a few folks at the embassy pool for a burger and a beer. Friday afternoon, the Ambassador had a small group over for a mid-afternoon happy hour. And yesterday John hosted a small group of gamers at our apartment – they had a great time and I enjoyed hostessing.

We welcomed the new USAID country director Friday night. John and I set up his house with enough groceries to get him going and met him there when he got in from the airport. I took him to the three main grocery stores yesterday and gave him a general tour around town (or as much as I could without getting lost!).

Sadly my car battery decided to die on one of the rainiest mornings we’ve had – motor pool came to my rescue, and John took care of getting me a new battery.

We finished watching “Mrs. Wilson,” which was good. We’ve been watching “Manifest,” and while it’s not as high quality as other shows, it’s an interesting premise and a no-brainer to watch!