Eastbound

Finally – a post where I don’t say anything about how freaked-out-excited I am that I’m going to the Pole next month. I may not even mention it. Instead, I’m going to muse about the current interstitial roadtrip, er, “airtrip”.

D and I are eastbound at the moment on VX22 to New York (when did in-flight internet become so commonplace?); we’ve left the kids with Jamie while we jet off for a day of meetings about Liberian philanthropy, what’s broken, and what we might collectively be able to do to fix it. Longtime readers may remember that I was in NY about this time last year; ostensible purpose was to spend time with my east coast co-workers, but the timing was calculated to overlap with a previous meeting of folks trying to figure out how to help the Liberians rebuild their society (and economy) back from the stone-age rubble they’d bombed themselves into.

The intervening year has brought some progress, but a lot of frustration. I guess everything involving West Africa involves a lot of frustration – you just learn to focus on the “some progress” bit. We’d been trying to help with an urgent, promising project to rid the upland swamps of Schistosomiasis, which is crippling kids and preventing farmers from growing the crops that would let Liberia feed itself. Twelve months later, the project has come entirely off the rails, with no prospects of ever making it to the field.  On the other hand, we did manage to get a bit of money to Redemption Hospital in Monrovia, which will provide training and IT access to the dedicated but overwhelmed staff.

The trip to NY is also an opportunity for a little getaway. We get about 36 hours of being grownups. Together. In New York. Granted, we’re overtired fuddy-duddy grownups who are counting on spending about half that time asleep,  but we’re hoping to make it to a trendy restaurant or two, hang out with other grownups, and not – for one moment – talk about kids. Okay, I’m lying on that last bit, but we’re also going to take a break from talking about kids to talking about stuff that doesn’t directly involve kids.  I’m hoping a walk in Central Park will get worked into it. Too early in the season for chestnut vendors and the like – it’s still full summer, but we can still wander and watch and try to look like tourists who aren’t trying too hard to not look like tourists. But I will try to take some pictures.

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