Four-day weeks

Why is it that four-day weeks feel so long?! We were off last Monday for MLK Day and it was a crazy four days at work. The officer who normally handles the day-to-day for American citizen services is on a well-deserved leave, so I’ve picked up those duties in his absence and it’s been busy. Despite it being a holiday and getting to stay home, we had an emergency with a U.S. citizen on Monday that kept me on the phone on and off all day.

We said goodbye on Friday to an eligible family member (EFM) who worked in the section for the last couple of months as she and her family prepare to depart post, and we congratulated one of our local staff on his engagement. Another staff member returned from a family funeral. We have a good group of folks in the section and our congratulations, condolences, and well wishes come from the heart. As we begin our final months in Monrovia, I’m feeling better about leaving as I see our new team come together.

During the week, John and I finished “Landscapers” (excellent) and “The Beast Must Die,” which I really enjoyed. We also watched a Swedish crime show, “Honour” that we really liked (girl power!). Last night we started an Israeli spy series that we’re hooked on, “Tehran.” I had a nice chat with David last Monday – looks like it’s getting cold in Hot Springs! I tried to read “Look Homeward, Angel” but had a really hard time getting into it, so I’ve set it aside for now. Instead, I started Bob Woodward’s “Peril.”

Yesterday I spent most of the day decluttering – hard work, but I ended up with sacks and sacks of clothes and books to give away – it feels great! During a break in my flurry of activities, I read a fun book by Margareta Magnusson (who is “between the age of eighty and one hundred”) called “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.” I thoroughly enjoyed it — and it was great motivation! Pack-out preparation has begun!

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