01 September 2006


I had an encounter with a lizard this morning. I was standing looking down at the parking lot and he was running along the top of the fence around it, through the loops of razor wire. He had an orange head and a darker orange tail. He stopped and bobbed his head up and down, up and down and I thought of one of my friends saying earlier this summer that he had asked around and no one could tell him why they do that. I wondered if my lizard friend was smelling the air. Then he turned and looked at me and for a long few moments we stared at each other and I thought, oddly, that maybe what he was bobbing for were my thoughts. I finally had to break the stare and turn around to greet someone. When I turned back, he had run down the wall to the ground. A few minutes later, he spotted a bland gray female lizard and chased her around the corner, where he lost her and sat and sulked on the edge of the flower bed.


When I was packing to come to Liberia, my parents told me that there was no way I would need a sweatshirt. I brought one anyway. And a long-sleeved shirt. Not only do I need the sweatshirt, I need it every day. The airconditioner in my new room is stuck on and stuck on cold. Frigid, really. I sleep in socks. In Liberia.

I get cold easily. I'm cold here every day, because no matter how warm it is during the day, it is cool in the mornings and there is no hot water. None at all. Even in a warm climate, cold water in the morning is really cold. And in the evenings, sitting near the beach, I wear the sweatshirt. Sometimes I even wear the long-sleeved shirt and the sweatshirt, which is a whole new level for Liberia for a non-Liberian, although Liberians wear winter jackets and beanies on these nights, so I feel justified.


I'm flying out in two days. Two measly days. A summer in Liberia is far from enough.

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