Things I see on the streets

I’ve now had two whole weeks to explore my new environs! That may sound like loads of time to explore, but the combination of standard work days, short daylight hours and the propensity for crime in certain parts of Monrovia, especially during hours of darkness has left me with limited opportunity for exploration. So far I have spent a considerable …

This is where I live

I woke up late for the second day in a row, at nearly 0900! It must still be the time zone adjustment, or perhaps the lack of strong morning light in my room. Fortunately today is, really, a day of rest for me rather than a work day. I made a cup of coffee and decided to drink it poolside. It’s already 80F and the humidity is… well, high, whatever it is. The Atlantic is booming only a 100 feet away, and I can see splashes occasionally when the waves hit two big rocks that jut out of the water at low tide.

I was starting to write that I’d seen very few birds since I arrived, which is perhaps not surprising but is still disappointing, when a brown dove and a pied crow came to the pool, and overhead something fast, white and medium-sized flew by (not a bird of prey, not a heron, maybe a large tern?). The crow perched on a fence post for several minutes. It’s call is very similar in pattern to that of our ravens, but is softer and has a soft, hollow rattling character to it. Each time the pied crow called, it dipped down in a parody of a courtly bow: body almost parallel to the ground, head forward and “crest” feathers erect, wings partially outstretched but held toward the ground so that the tips were perhaps six to eight inches lower than the body.

As I walked back toward my apartment, past blooming bougainvillea and into my air-conditioned domicile, I thought to myself that this is definitely going to be a different experience from that of Peace Corps in Cameroon. I mean, I have someone doing my laundry for me three times a week! I don’t even do laundry for myself that frequently. I’m sure I will enjoy the comforts of the slightly more affluent urban life, but I think I shall miss the less hectic and closer to nature aspect of being in a rural area.

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D is for departure. D is for Dulles. D is for Dull. Dulles is an incredibly boring airport. It has a very… Socialist State look on the outside. Utilitarian. Not ugly, but definitely no edifice to elegance. And inside, it is clean but pedestrian, almost sterile. None of the hustle and bustle of people excitedly, expectantly, moving from gate to gate. …