Welcome to Ms. R's Blog!

A big shout out to my old students from Savannah and from Duluth! I miss you guys, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to travel and see a very different part of the world.

The teacher in me can never resist a teachable moment. So, as you read my blog about living and teaching in Liberia, I hope you absorb some new knowledge. Please comment on my posts; feel free to ask me questions and to answer the ones I’ve posed. I want this blog to be a place of dialogue!

I’ve got a list already started of things to write about, but I would love your input. What do you want to hear about?

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I do a little cheer in my head any
time I get to eat food from home.
On Thursday, I celebrated Thanksgiving at the US Embassy with about 200 other Americans here in Liberia.  The meal was more traditional that the one I would have had if I were back home in Louisiana, where my family ate seafood gumbo and crabmeat au gratin.  At the Ambassador’s residence, I had ham, turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc.

View from the Ambassador's pool
However, if it weren’t for the traditional food and the “Thanksgiving” marked on my calendar, I do not think I would have remembered it was a holiday.  First, it is a balmy 80-85 degrees here every day.  Second, my view from the table was of the ocean!  Third, the rest of the country went on with work and school in a normal way.  After all, it was not the Liberians’ Thanksgiving.

Liberians celebrate their Thanksgiving on the first Thursday of November.  For them, it’s a national holiday.  The businesses and schools close.  Families go to church, but I understand that’s about the extent of their holiday festivities.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
and me
Sunset on Thanksgiving
This event was my second opportunity to meet Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who is a Louisiana native.  She hosted the teachers from my school last month at a poolside BBQ at her house.  Though she is the second most powerful woman in Liberia (second only to President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson), she is remarkably approachable.  Plus, she does not mind getting her hands dirty.  For both the barbeque and the Thanksgiving feast, the Ambassador was in the kitchen busily cooking for the events.  She could just as easily have left the cooking and cleaning to her house staff!

This week, I had Thursday and Friday off for the Thanksgiving holidays.  In the past, the days I had off of school for Thanksgiving were much anticipated.  This year, however, I feel different.  During the month of November, I have not had a full week of school with my kids!   It seems like every time we get back into the groove of being at school, there’s another holiday.    

We had off November 3-4 for the Liberian Thanksgiving.  On November 7-8, school was closed for the presidential run-off elections, which Madama Sirleaf Johnson won by a landslide.  November 11 our school observed the American holiday of Veterans’ Day.  The next week, there was some political commotion; only four students from my class showed up.  By the middle of the school day, everyone in the school had been check out.  Next week, we will not attend school on Tuesday in observance of Tubman’s birthday.  (William Tubman was president of Liberia for 27 years!) This holiday is also referred to as Goodwill Day.

If you were counting, you would have realized that I have only had 13 days of school this month!  Now, the countdown begins to the Christmas holidays…

P.S. It’s been ages since I’ve updated the blog.  For those of you who’ve been checking regularly to see if I’ve added anything, I apologize.  Sometimes, I worry that I’m writing these blogs more for me than for others.  So, please make comments on the posts and let me know that you are out there…reading!

How would you like it if this little guy showed up at your table?