Archive for April, 2022

All packed up!

Sunday, April 24th, 2022
Packing crew

The movers were here Monday and Tuesday packing everything, and then it all was loaded on Wednesday. It was a good crew and I was probably more relaxed than usual – the same cannot be said of Flavia, poor girl. We brought in lunch from the Embassy’s cafeteria each day, and our housekeeper Benetta was on hand to help as well. It’s eerie being in an empty apartment with just our suitcases and items from the welcome kit. The vet also came on Friday to examine Flavie and issue her health certificate – she commented on how good Flavia looks at (almost) age 17.

The Ambassador and his wife had us over for a relaxing dinner on Thursday night. It was fun just to get to visit and talk without other people around. Friday night, Matthew and Ana hosted the consular officers and spouses for a home cooked Indonesian meal – that, too, was wonderful as it gave us a time to say our goodbyes and stuff our faces with Ana’s good cooking! The meal fest continued last night when Khalim and Saoussan had us and the Pasches for a Moroccan dinner (amazing!). We really like the four of them and it was a fun dinner. John taught 10-year-old Amelia a magic trick and she was amazing (really!).

We were deeply saddened to hear that one of our favorite Embassy drivers, Clifton, passed away yesterday. We’re not clear on the details yet, but it sounds like he was having a minor operation. The health care here is so poor you have to wonder if it could have been prevented.

When John and I moved to our house on Saddle Hill back in 2004, we bought a great (and heavy) reclining sofa. We’ve had it in many of our posts and it’s so comfortable for watching television. However, we decided to bid it farewell this trip and asked the movers to find a home for it. It had a few stains on it, and after the move from Mexico to Monrovia, we could get the foot rests up to a point, but couldn’t get the seats to recline fully. As the movers stood it on end to take it through the door, John saw that the movers in Mexico had tied the reclining mechanisms with twine to keep everything in place in transit! A simple snip of the scissors would have fixed everything! DOH! At any rate, it was still time for it to find a new home.

Goodbye to an old friend!

It’s getting real

Sunday, April 17th, 2022
Sweet plaque for us

John’s group had a surprise going-away get-together in the CLO office where they gave us this sweet plaque. John’s admin assistant Sedia and her backup Norah always call us their ”parents,” (it’s kind of a Liberian thing) so they and the local staff who work for me gave us this sweet plaque. We’re going to swap out our photo with a group photo of all of them. Sedia called up each staff member by saying “James Crippen, Nico Crippen, Kabineh Crippen, etc – pretty funny. The CLO also had people write notes to attach to small packets of peanut M&Ms for John. They were all put into to large (and heavy!) hand-carved pot with the tribes of Liberia on it (photo to come). It was all very sweet!

We are in the final throes of organizing for the movers. We spent all day yesterday unearthing things from lower cabinets, the store room, etc. We’ve gotten rid of a lot by giving it to Lawrence to sell (he works for us sometimes). One of the lower shelves in the kitchen had an assortment of plastic and glass containers accumulated through this tour – lots will be recycled – I sent the jars to the guy on the corner who sells gas on the street, take-out food trays will go to a friend who donates a lot of food to various people and her mosque. Sadly there is no real recycling here, but hopefully some of these things can find another home.

I’m also using up the last of my favorite hand lotion from Iceland – it has birch in it and smells so good.

We had a last massage yesterday from the fabulous Rowena! We’ll miss her.

I managed to finish “Little Fires Everywhere” last weekend and really enjoyed it. We’re also watching ”Star Trek Discovery” at night when we’re too pooped to do anything else!


Saturday, April 9th, 2022

We’ve had several good dinners with friends as we start our countdown to leaving Liberia. Last night we were treated to a wonderful evening with our Peace Corps friend Austin, his wife, and new baby (and doggo Ajax!). Tonight we went upstairs for a yummy meal and great company with the incomparable John and Pamela – I really wish we had had the chance to get to know them better.

Meanwhile at work we keep plugging along, trying to wrap things up and put out fires at the same time. Friday was a local holiday which gave us an extra day of packing preparation. We’re getting there, slowly but surely.

I finished “Educated” today – a really good read! I started “Little Fires Everywhere” – we didn’t finish the TV series but I’m enjoying the book so far.

Meanwhile, Flavie seems oblivious to the upcoming move. She really — really — likes Liberia!

Rainy season already?

Sunday, April 3rd, 2022
Stormy weather!

We’ve had a few storms come through lately – it seems early for the rainy season, but maybe not!

We had a nice dinner out at Mamba Point with a German diplomat, Peter, and his wife Lia who was visiting from DC. They were lots of fun – and we discovered they had gone to Sabi Sabi for a safari many years ago – small world! Later in the week we went back to the hotel for dinner with Mike and Carolyn to talk about their bidding – another nice evening. Friday night, I went with John to his book club (despite not having read the book). I had fun listening to them discuss “Lincoln in the Bardo” and enjoyed the hospitality of Sonya and Jeff.

We’re still organizing for pack-out, but made time last night to watch Kenneth Branagh’s “Murder on the NIle” – it was fun and had some actors we like. I finished reading “Nives,” a fun work of fiction by Sasha Naspini – I kept thinking of what a good stage play it would make, or even just a reading. It’s primarily a telephone conversation between two people but with lots of twists and turns.