Friend week

Thank goodness for video chats! I remember living in Costa Rica in the late 1990s when email was just getting started and the only real way to communicate was by phone. We had some kind of bootleg system where we’d dial a 1-800 number and then get a callback to be connected, but it was still relatively expensive. Love the new technology.

Last weekend I had a birthday chat with Cousin James, and John and I did a chat with Jim and Joan – so nice to catch up! Later that day, I talked to Jaime and Jackie, old college friends. Yesterday I had my bi-weekly meet-up with Ann, Pam, and Jackie where we approved of Biden’s VP pick, Kamala Harris, and discussed instant pots (lol).  John and I were also on a Zoom call to say goodbye to departing colleagues during the week.

We had two small going-away ceremonies for colleagues this week, one for a long-time local staff member who received a special immigrant visa for his years of service to the embassy. He played a critical role during the Liberian civil wars, especially in 2003 when the embassy received mortar fire and thousands of refugees made camp on the land the current embassy sits on today. Given the trouble with flights and all of the different Presidential Proclamations limiting entry to America, we all breathed a sigh of relief when we got word he and his family made it through immigration in New Jersey this week – a mere two days before the visas expired!

Last night we had a really nice (socially distant) dinner on the veranda of the Ambassador’s house hosted by Rick and Alyson, with Matt and Kateri also in attendance. It was a bit windy and cloudy after an afternoon rain, but very pleasant with the sound of the waves crashing just below us. They served a really yummy steak salad which was a treat for me.

Yesterday I finally ventured out to the salon for a hair and nail fix for the first time since March – needless to say, it was long overdue. I was the only customer there and the staff wore masks, etc. so I felt pretty safe. It was a good reward for what was at times a frustrating week at work.


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