24 on 24

March 1st, 2020

John and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary on February 24! Congratulations to us! We had our downstairs neighbor up for a glass of wine, and she made guacamole – an odd combo, but delish!

Work continued to be busy this week, especially with the coronavirus. A large part of my job is to protect Americans overseas, so I worked a lot on our message to them on coronavirus and how Liberia is screening at the airport and dealing with people who must be placed under observation. That took up a lot of late Friday night and Saturday, but it needed to be done.

We had to say goodbye to two of our temporary local staff employees this week; they will head back to their home countries of Senegal and Iraq. They were just delightful. Lea and I took them to dinner Thursday night – it was fascinating to hear the Iraqi describe how the embassy was attacked recently (she was there!). It’s always amazing to hear how host country nationals assist in the protection of our embassies and their people all over the world.

I was grateful to end a stressful week with our downstairs neighbors Brooke and Ian with a relaxing dinner Friday night!

 

Nesting

February 23rd, 2020

When I haven’t been working, I’ve been busy nesting. The house is coming together, even after a second shipment of household effects Wednesday. It took a lot of muscle and trigonometry to get our ginormous reclining sofa into the study, but by golly, they made it! The last step will be to figure out where the art goes, and then we should be finished!

I especially like the hutch in the kitchen where I have some favorite dishes displayed: the top shelf is Fostoria from John’s grandmother Winnie; next is a tea set from Pakistan, Aunt Jean’s tea pitcher, a casserole from Ann’s mom; lower shelf are some glasses from Guadalajara, antique Fiesta from Winnie, and a fruit bowl/platter from Mom. Lots of good memories!

Kitchen Hutch

I worked for a few hours last Monday even though it was a holiday. The vet came in the afternoon to give Flavie her vaccine shot – she’s an interesting Swede who’s been living here for a long time (I was grateful for the visit – evidently getting to her place is a challenge to find and will be near impossible to get to in rainy season).

I had a nice video chat with Cousin David yesterday – always good to catch up! We also had a good chat with Pete and Ginger last weekend – happy birthday, Pete!

 

Digging out

February 16th, 2020

We’re still digging out from the delivery of our household effects last week, but things are coming together slowly, but surely. It’s just a lot of work – made more difficult by the fact that I wasn’t healthy enough during pack-out to go through and get rid of excess clothes and things, so I’m trying to do that now. We have one more crate arriving next week with the last of things from storage – argh!

Tuesday was a local holiday – I worked most of the day at the office, but was able to get some things done around the house.

In local news, there is a horrible gas shortage in the country, so there are long lines at the pump. Many of our local employees are having problems getting to work.

We had our neighbors Ian and Brooke over Friday night for pizza, and really enjoyed their company. Last night we went to the DCM’s residence for her husband’s birthday party. He’s a professional musician (he’s done arrangements for Broadway), so the night had a musical theme with an in-house concert. Several local singers performed, with Rick on piano and local guitarists and percussionists. Another woman sang “My Funny Valentine,” as well as a song by Nina Simone who lived in Liberia for a few years. The song recounted the story of Nina going to the disco and having so much fun, she stripped naked! The singer said the story was confirmed by her aunt, who was at the disco that night. Click to see her performing the song in 1987 – it’s pretty catchy!

Sort of like Christmas

February 9th, 2020

Our stuff!

Big news! Our household effects and my car arrived last week – hurray! It’s fun to see our stuff again, but very overwhelming. We basically had the movers unpack everything and just put on the floor or wherever they could find, so now we have a big job ahead of us to get it all put away. It will take a while, but eventually we’ll get it done.

I think there were seven of these huge crates (and one more to come!)

It was another busy week. I met with a very nice UN official one day at her office to discuss an upcoming conference in New York. We have a new TDYer from Senegal, and we had to say goodbye to our beloved Fikir from Ethiopia.

We went to a nice dinner last night with the book club, at Kris and Chad’s house. Interesting company, and we listened to an excerpt of Tolkien reading from “The Lord of the Rings” on an old record album (yes, they have a turntable!).

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Moving along

February 2nd, 2020

With Jim at brunch

Things are moving along here – I can’t believe we’ve been here for two months already!

We had a chance to see Jim again last Sunday for brunch – the restaurant has an excellent ocean view. We so enjoyed getting to spend time with Jim and can’t wait for a return trip!

My co-worker Lea and I went to meet with some Liberian officials this week to discuss adoptions – interesting discussion. We took the opportunity to have lunch at a Chinese restaurant on that side of town. They had good dumplings, but it was a pretty strange place – not sure we’ll be going back.

Lea and I took our Argentinian TDYer Fernanda out to dinner on Thursday – we had such a good time. Fer is just delightful and we have so appreciated her during her three weeks with us.

Friday night John and I went to an open house at the newly remodeled rec center on the grounds of the Old Embassy Compound. They had a nice wine tasting, and we enjoyed visiting with folks after a long week.

I’ve decided Saturdays are my lazy days, so I didn’t do anything very productive yesterday, which was nice!

I want to make a plug for travel insurance! We had purchased a policy for our ill-fated trip to Alaska, and were pleasantly surprised when we received money from them this week! It covered quite a bit of our hotel expenses while I was in the hospital in Seattle, our airfare back home (I had to buy three seats to accommodate my leg), some of the hospital deductibles, and part of the medical evacuation costs – we were thrilled!

John found a little bit of Stuttgart, Arkansas, at the local grocery store!

A bit of home at our local grocers