Departure June 7:

I left the DC area Saturday, the 6th, after barbecue and beer with friends and family. It was a good note to leave on, especially since it wasn’t specifically about me leaving as a gathering. As Shauna put it, no one tells you that one of the hazards of international work is the binging of going away parties. Not that there were that many, or that every gathering of my friends in the past week was specifically about me. But when you’re leaving for 7 months, it’s nice to see everyone.

So my parents kidnapped me after this week of debauchery and brought me to some small town in the middle of Maryland (actually, closer to New Jersey in order to have a short drive to Newark). They decided to drive me to Newark after my mom and I simultaneously freaked out when I impulsively bought the cheapest ticket I could find, one out of Newark. Oops. Thanks Mom and Dad! We managed to have very good food at a seafood spot and Mom and I went for a walk around the biggest water we could find. We forgot our cameras.

That may be a trend on this blog. Forgotten cameras.

Right now, I’m sitting at the Newark airport while airport personnel remind us over and over of our impending flight. “In 8 minutes we will begin boarding for Brussels…” Why 8 minutes? Did they forget to mention it at 10?

From Brussels on to Monrovia. And I am definitely not the only one flying from Brussels to Monrovia. An older lady with a walker befriended me instantly and I promised I would help her were she to need it. Doesn’t seem likely though since she’s traveling with a young man and another older lady (though more mobile) and is getting a lot of attention from the airport personnel. I’ve also seen a lot of Liberian passports…I think…I don’t really know what a Liberian passport looks like yet. I do know that there are many people speaking a fast rolling English that includes words unfamiliar to me. Liberian English may not be as simple as I hoped.


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