Welcome! This blog documents my experience as a Nancy Germeshausen Klavans Cultural Bridge Fellow with the Liberian Ministry of Gender and Development during my studies at the Harvard Kennedy School.

The views expressed are solely my own and are written to share experiences, introduce issues, and initiate conversation. Thank you for reading!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Weekend rejuvenation: a view into the lighter side of my summer

This past weekend was wonderful, complete with 2 trips to the beach, a Sex and the City DVD marathon, my first Sunday morning mass and a Saturday night cookout! After the long week, it was quite nice to kick back, stay out of the office and away from the laptop, and take the much-needed time for self-rejuvenation.

Thinkers Beach is a pretty desolate beach property scattered with a few white plastic chairs and tables for the international crowd. Nothing fancy compared to beach destinations around the world, but it is a resort get-away compared to the rest of Monrovia’s garbage-strewn sea shores. I relished the two afternoons of Frisbee throwing, book reading, and sun soaking - especially because the days are getting rainier as we head into July.

(Zach the grill master)

Perhaps the biggest treat of the weekend was our good-ole American cookout, inspired by Zach and Jeff. During the week, we have a woman cook our dinners, which are mostly Liberian-inspired with a few adaptations. By Liberian food, I mean lots and lots of fish (see below). She is a lifesaver because without her we’d be eating even more peanut butter and pita than we already do (lunch everyday at the office).

Given the fact that we don’t have electricity until 6:30 at night, and our stovetop takes about an hour to boil water, cooking for ourselves becomes an all night affair. But this weekend, the boys grabbed the Liberian coal grill, we splurged at the Western grocery store, and we feasted on hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans and Pringles. Food therapy at its finest!

Liberian dinners: grilled fish prepared by Sonnie, usually served with rice and a fruit desert of bananas, fried plantains, gigantic avocados, or oranges

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