so this is Christmas…monrovia…2009

the line from the song, ‘so this is Christmas’, just keeps going around in my head. the statement seems apt for the situation and my mood.

so this is Christmas 2009…my second spent in Monrovia…

not much to say about it really. a welcome long weekend spent on the balcony…on the fone…and online (apart from some small time with people in the compound)

i’m enjoying spending time reading, reflecting, resting, editing fotos, texting, phoning, blogging, chatting,

when u can’t be with friendz and family face to face u have to touch base with them using technology to reach out, record your presence with posted fotoz, express your thoughts with short facebook comments, connect with a quick sms, and use emoticons to pass on imaginary bear hugs and yellow smiley faces to distant friendz. its a funny life we lead out here…

but to be fair, i should add my impressions of Christmas as celebrated by Liberians in Monrovia. Christmas is a very important time for liberians. everyone goes to church and there are many many churches to chose from. the day is spent with family making it as good a time for children as possible. everyone greets you with ‘compliments’ or ‘the season’ as a way of greeting! behind it is the reminder that you should give them ‘their christmas’ (dollars) soon!! any employed liberians have already had the season’s pressure placed on them by relatives and friends who visit and line up for their ‘christmas’. the december and january salaries are all given away to hangers on – becoz if nothing is given there is always fear of retribution the next time conflict breaks out in liberia. some people even take out loans to get them thru this season of obligation!

monrovia turned on the christmas spirit by hanging some christmas lights on the streets and you see christmas trees in the big shops. you can even buy christmas cards too. mambo point (main shopping area) is packed with cars and people – with traffic made even crazier by the much-welcomed but poorly-timed decision of the Ministry of Public Works to start reconstruction of Broad Street 1 week before Christmas! any visit to that area could see you stuck in traffic for a couple of hours, but it must have made the street sellers and ‘parking volunteers’ happy!

and so this was Christmas…Monrovia…2009

i hope yours was Merry!

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