We arrived!

We left DC last Sunday and arrived in Monrovia via Brussels Monday night. We’re five hours ahead of DC; it was almost 30 hours door to door. Little Flavia was an excellent traveler and seems to have settled in fine (she’s on my lap as I type).

Our apartment is pretty nice and has a beautiful view of the ocean. We are walking distance to work, although this week we took motor pool back and forth. It’s very hot and humid, and although I think it’s safe to walk, I want to get more comfortable before I do it as there are a lot of people out on the street, often just hanging out or selling food or vegetables.

Our social sponsors Stephanie and Justin took us to a nice sushi dinner at the Mamba Point Hotel down the street, and Thursday night the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM, our new boss) had us over for dinner.

Yesterday Stephanie and Justin took us on a windshield tour of the city, and we stopped at four grocery stores along the way so we could see what’s available. I’m pleasantly surprised at the selection and prices for the most part.

Last night we went to a progressive dinner on the nearby Old Embassy Compound (OEC) where many embassy people live, including the ambassador and DCM. The dinner was a good opportunity to meet new people, and we had a lot of fun.

Work has been chaotic but I have a good group of hard-working officers and family members (EFMs). We have a few challenges at the moment, but we’re hanging in there.

I haven’t taken any photos yet, but hope to soon. The city has the potential to be beautiful, given its wonderful location along the ocean, but the effects of the 13-year civil war are visible everywhere with abject poverty all around. Most of the entrepreneurs in town are Lebanese, which is interesting. Currently the country is undergoing challenges with liquidity, and some civil workers haven’t been paid. Despite the challenges, Liberians are very pro-American and the morale at the embassy is very good, so we are happy!



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