Countdown to Christmas

December 19th, 2021
Christmas decorations in the neighborhood

The big news of the week was making a decent score on my Spanish test – it will help finalize the paperwork on my next assignment in Buenos Aires. I was very nervous about it since I haven’t spoken Spanish much since 2017 – and my tester had an accent that I am not very good with (from Spain) – but all’s well that ends well.

I also got a few pieces of good news regarding various projects at work, so I’ll mark this week up as a “win”!

John donned a Santa suit yesterday morning for photos with the kids at post – he had a lot of fun but was ready to get out of the Santa suit after a couple of hours in the outdoor heat!

You never know

December 12th, 2021

We learned tonight that a friend of ours passed away suddenly from a heart attack. We had seen him on our trip home to Hot Springs in November and he seemed fit as a fiddle, happy, and stress-free. Our hearts go out to his family.

I had a great video chat with Ann, Pamela, and Jackie today. John did a coffee roasting demo with our fun neighbors Pam and John this morning, followed by brunch (I had Lawrence come yesterday to shop and prep for me).

I was sorry to miss the celebration of Lehmah Gbowee’s 10-year anniversary celebration of her Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, but work was just too hectic and I wasn’t feeling tip-top. I’m happy to have been invited!

We had a delightful dinner at Mario and Amanda’s house on Thursday, along with some other fun folks – Mario made a home-cooked Mexican dinner complete with my favorite white posole! Lots of fun and laughter and a highlight of the week!

December already

December 5th, 2021

With temperatures in the 80s, it doesn’t really feel like the holidays are approaching! There’s not a lot of decorating in town, although the embassy put up a huge tree in our atrium and stockings are hung for the Marines (we have eight Marines, some as young as 18!).

I had a fun chat with Ann, Pam, and Jackie last Sunday while John hosted a gaming day. Tuesday night, Matthew and I hosted two contacts for dinner at a local restaurant to talk about inter country adoptions (we do about one per week).

There has been a lot of news coverage about the new COVID variant, Omicron, and I spent some amount of time on last Monday’s holiday and late Friday afternoon making sure our messaging to U.S. citizens was updated and correct.

John and I are re-visiting “Miranda,” which really makes us laugh. I finished reading a murder mystery, “The Guest List.” I’ve been listening to some Spanish podcasts to brush up a bit before my Spanish test later this month!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 28th, 2021

We celebrated Thanksgiving at an Embassy potluck held outside by the pool, then again last night at Matthew’s house. Both events were fun and gave us the chance to visit with folks. I chatted a long time with a visiting CDC doctor, in part about the new COVID variant identified last week by scientists in South Africa.

We welcomed a new local staff member to the team this week – I’m grateful to finally have a fraud assistant on board (one more to go!). Training up new people takes so much time and effort, but it will pay off in the long run.

John and I watched a slow but very sweet moving about refugees this week, “Limbo.” And we’re watching our Finnish crime show (and enjoying the beautiful snowy scenery in Finland).

One very happy and relaxed cat!

Back in the Groove

November 21st, 2021

John and I got back to work this week – I spent most of the week just catching up on emails and cables. We welcomed a new officer to the consular section, so we’re finally back to our normal staff of four officers. It was tough getting up every morning, especially as we shake off the jet lag. Since Liberia doesn’t do daylight savings time, we are now five hours ahead of Washington.

I had a nice video chat Friday afternoon with a consular colleague back in DC, but otherwise it was a quiet week. We celebrate Local Staff Appreciation day on Wednesday, and employees were greeting by a small band of high school musicians as we came to work. The local staff enjoyed a free lunch from the cafeteria, as well.

We watched the silly but fun “Red Notice” this week, as well as the most recent episodes of “Succession,” “The Morning Show,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” John spent all afternoon and evening yesterday playing board games (and had a blast), while I gratefully stayed home and read “Unspeakable Acts,” a compilation of essays on crime.

A pretty quiet week! I’ll take it!