It’s that time of year again…

It is that time of year again when we all should reflect on the past and plan for the future while living in the moment! The reflective mood has come upon me to the extent that I dusted off the laptop and opened up my blog! Imagine my joy when I observed that my stats have been booming despite my 10 months hiatus busy with other tasks. Suddenly 20,000 plus views, which shows there is still an interested audience.

Suddenly I am eager to type and post a few more words. It also makes sense to face the fact that I am no longer living in Liberia and I should update and transform my blog to acknowledge the current reality. I always knew that a blog about Liberia was a little different and would find a few curious readers, and then when I moved on I didn’t really know what to do with the blog. I left it…floating in the blogosphere…and yet it was always something that could not be left untended. As well as describing my experience in Liberia, it was also an expression of me and my life experience and it doesn’t need to be limited to my Liberian chapter.

While I have not yet decided on the precise nature of my next blog-steps, I do want to indicate that this blog is not forgotten, it is not redundant, or dead. I have plenty more experiences from Liberia that it would be healthy to express as well as a whole lot more to tell about the present and the future. Since my platform exists, I will breathe new life into it. Refresh and reinvigorate things a little. It is that time of year again, after all!

Catch you again soon!

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Celebrating the release of the last Ebola patient in Liberia

While it is wonderful that the last Ebola patient has been released from hospital in Liberia, until the virus is eradicated in neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone, Liberians should not be complacent. Read more at the BBC…

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-31744616

Let’s celebrate the victory in Liberia and hope for the same in the neighbouring countries…soon!

To the next 10,000

Whew that milestone is over! 9,999 to 10,000, 10,001, and onwards towards 10,050 and the next 10,000 will come. That’s life hey, one click, one minute, one idea, and one step at a time!! Before you know it the day is over, the week is done, the month is finished and the next one is beginning!! So, here’s to the next day, the next click, and the next dream idea!

I dug into my files for these two lunchtime photos. These guys worked on the construction site next to my place, and they built a 5 storey apartment block – one brick at a time!  

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9,999

Isn’t it funnily human to want to watch a number tick or click over – from 9,999 to 10,000! I’ve sometimes driven with eyes on the odometer watching for the magical once in a lifetime moment! the bigger the number, the greater the excitement. Ain’t it true!

So imagine my excitement at anticipating the click over from 9,999 to 10,000 hits on this blog. I have no idea who it will be. No idea what continent; what country; what time zone. I’m also curious to know what motivated the 10,000th visitor to drop by…and maybe even to say hi!…especially when there is no prize! 

Congratulations! Maybe you are visitor number 10,000 to this blog, and you are most welcome!

Thanks for the thrill! 

This blog!

All is good with me! I hope it is good with you.

It is six months since I left Liberia but it’s still on my heart and mind! I thought about removing this blog because it has been bereft of new posts for a long period. However I see from the stats that a lot of people keep dropping by, so I may as well keep it rolling by posting a few of my photos. The main challenge to that is TIME or lack of it!!

In a few days or hours even…this blog will reach the milestone of 10,000 hits – which is pretty lousy for a 5 year lifespan, but its still a milestone nonetheless!

Take care out there! 

Out of Liberia

Hi ya!

Yes I’m still alive and thinking about my blog and everyone who drops by to read it!! I can see that its still attracting readers even though my last post was in October, just after I left Liberia!

My goodbye cake was pretty delicious!

My goodbye cake was pretty delicious!

These photos were taken at my farewell from the mission in Liberia and when I look at the faces again, I know how much I miss my African brothers and sisters and all my colleagues. I served the section there for 4 days short of 4 years! I learned a lot and that is helping me in my new role in Cyprus. I know I gave a long speech that day, but what touched me during the farewell was how people spoke about my work. I can’t claim to have had a huge impact but I do hope that our staff in the county offices knew there was some hope of help in HQ when they needed it. In the end I think we had a good time at the farewell and there were plenty of jokes and laughter. Even though mission life is about transition and comings and goings, hellos and goodbyes, the lessons and memories of time with good friends can be taken with you wherever you go. Everyone contributes into my life and I hope I contributed into others lives too. I certainly do miss my friends from Liberia and I thank them for expanding my life experience.

There always has to be a group photo!

There always has to be a group photo!

The medal cum reward for my service! Handshake with the Chief!

The medal cum reward for my service! Handshake with the Chief!

There’s absolutely no way to compare Liberia and Cyprus! But the UN is the UN whatever peace-keeping mission you’re in and so the adventures continue in a new setting with new challenges and new colleagues.

As for this blog. I will continue to talk about Liberia but I’ll expand it to include photos and stories of my travel throughout the African continent. I still have 10,000+ photos that need to edited and shared!!!

Out of Liberia!

I am ‘out of Liberia’ and ‘out of Africa’ but I find my eyes searching constantly for reminders of the continent! A big part of me misses my African adventures and my african brothers and sisters, while the other part is enjoying the thrills of traffic lights, 24 hour power, fast internet and 4 euro lattes!! I have been in Cyprus for a month now – busy with settling in, learning new stuff, and establishing my new digs! Today I got connected to fast internet!! So in the coming weekends I want to get back to my blog and write more. There’s still so much left unsaid about Liberia and my travels in Africa. It will be interesting to see what observations I have about Liberia when it is no longer my daily experience – to describe it with the freedom of being  one step removed.

I miss you!

A few words on my week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

On the first day I felt as though I had landed in paradise, and that feeling has not lessened in the few days I’ve been in Addis Ababa! Of course everything is relative, and most of the people I’ve met here have grumbled and complained about life here, but as I’m coming from Liberia, this is relatively close to paradise! It helps immensely that I’m being hosted by my friend in her cosy house with wonderful garden. She’s introduced me to all manner of interesting people and we’ve eaten at several lovely restaurants. Aside from the intimidating government (they just banned Skype) and the lack of big modern shopping centres with well stocked shops, I can’t think of anything to complain about! Addis does not feel like a city of 5-7 million people and the parts I’ve seen of it have been easy to move around. I admit I’m moving in the expat world, but I move in the expat world in Liberia too and I know which of the two I would prefer! This is not Nairobi, or Dakar, or Joburg, but there’s a lot going on because it has the African Union HQ and there’s a big presence of UN and international organisations. There is potential for things to move ahead and in the meantime, its definitely possible to have a comfortable and interesting professional life in Addis. I will continue to explore the options!!

Hopefully these few photos can be uploaded….

I don’t know how many people have heard of InterNations, but I had the chance to go to the 5th InterNations event in Addis and it was so cool! For people who move to a new country to live, InterNations helps to connect people to the expat network so that they can find their way around the new location as well as meet like-minded interesting people. The whole objective is to ‘bring global minds together’! It worked so well in the last event, a dinner at Top View restaurant in Addis (my photos are on the IN Addis website). I’m a member in Liberia’s InterNations network, but I don’t think they’ve ever had an event in Monrovia. I will be curious to see what potential there is to activate such a network in Liberia.

It’s been a fruitful and amazing holiday in Addis. I will come again! When I return tomorrow I will fly with a head full of ideas and plans which should sustain me for the next period in Liberia and also help me to do something to rescue my pathetic career! Cheers for now!

Another birthday, another chance to reset my direction

I’m in a reflective mood brought on by the fact that its my birthday! So allow me to ramble a little as I sit in Addis Ababa looking out over a green flowery garden, listening to the birds twitter. This is paradise for me at the moment, because it is beautiful and because it is not Monrovia. I have to admit that my main objective seems to be to ensure that the 19th June is not spent in Liberia! My first birthday since working in Liberia (2009) I flew back to Australia to escape, in 2010 I went to Senegal, 2011 to Durban RSA, and this year to Ethiopia! That’s a fun way to remember my birthdays! I wonder where I’ll celebrate next year! But, beyond the surface, I really like to get out of Liberia so that I can reset my thinking and direction.

I think when milestones come along, they should be celebrated – marked in a special way.  The birthday date serves as a marker and a milestone. Another year has passed by and what have I done with it? What do I want to see happen for the coming 12 months? At the moment, a big part of me would love to settle into a comfortable life in Liberia with good friends, a comfy house, and some semblance of normalcy – that is very attractive! It could almost be possible. Another part of me wants to see how far I can stretch the limits of my abilities and how much I can contribute to this planet. Its a dilemma to balance these two conflicting desires because I don’t know how to blend them together. I hope it is possible to push ahead with the career motivations but within a network of loving, supportive friends who encourage and give you the courage to give your best. I doubt that this international life will ever be normal, but I can see from my friend in Addis, that there are ways to create a loving, exciting, and challenging lifestyle within the constraints of the abnormal settings where we are temporarily located. That may not make sense to many readers, but its very real to me! I want to shake up my pathetic career and I want to live a more connected and real life with loving friends. It will be interesting to see how far I’ve moved towards that by June 19th, 2013!

Love ya!