Taking stock

On the balcony

This week was the calmest I’ve had since arriving in Monrovia. I’m working more normal hours, home before dark, etc.  We’re boycotting work this weekend (save answering a few phone calls and emails) to give ourselves a chance to relax and unwind a bit. We’ve been in a constant state of stress for the last few weeks.

Sunsets are starting to get pretty as rainy season approaches.

John and I played “Wingspan” yesterday, a board game that is thoughtful and educational about birds; the cards are beautifully drawn, each card has interesting facts about the birds, etc.

I’ve slept 10+ hours both Friday and Saturday nights! I guess I had some catching up to do. Last night, I had a great video chat with Pam and Ann – fun to see and catch up with them.

At work, we spent the week (including last Sunday) assessing the remaining demand for flights and getting our ducks in a row should there be one. A genius regional consular officer and someone in Banjul came up with a way for folks to simply complete an online form that spits out the paperwork we need on our side – up until now, we had to process crowds of people through the embassy to get that step done ahead of time. It has simplified our work a lot, and allows everyone to obey the stay-at-home order put into place in Liberia.

Since three team members evacuated back to the States, we’ve had a few conference calls. Luckily they can get into our systems remotely and do a lot electronically.

The embassy is pretty much a ghost town. As many people as possible are working from home; others are simply on administrative leave. Hopefully these measures can help stop the spread of the virus. There are around 70 cases here with under 10 deaths so far, but we are holding our breath to see if Africa becomes the next hot spot.

After four evacuation flights, I’ve been on the two-lane road to the airport a lot recently. It’s at least an hour to get there, more depending on traffic. I find it depressing. Here are a few shots along the way. The sign for Disco Hill Safe Burial indicates the road to the safe burial site, where thousands of Ebola victims were buried according to appropriate safety protocols (a USAID project). In addition, there are untold numbers of bodies cremated with their ashes stored in barrels there. The community of Disco Hill got its name because it had a disco back in the day that was quite popular.

Disco Hill Safe Burial turnoff

On the road to the airport

Club 90 and Baby Face Entertainment Centers

A common sight here – selling small quantities of gas.

A rare nature view on the road to the airport




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