Transitions

Monrovia is in the midst of the transition to rainy season.  We’ve had a couple of fantastic thunderstorms and lightening shows, but not daily.  Yet.  There have also been a couple of days of nice, light rain.  I haven’t gotten wet on the ride to or from work yet, but the rain has messed with me in other ways.  First, the sandbars on the road are getting shifted around by the rain.  There are a couple of sand piles that haven’t quite gotten washed away, and are in the process of creeping around corners.  In case you haven’t experienced it, sand+bicycle+corner+any sort of real speed=loss of control.  So, given the traffic and way that people drive here, I tend to slow way, way down when approaching these new sand drifts.  With any luck they will get washed away soon, but until then it’s time to be extra cautious.

The other way the rain makes bicycle commuting unreasonably exciting is by interfering with the normal function of brakes.  It’s getting just wet enough, even when it isn’t really raining, to make stopping a little less certain than usual.  I’m also due for new brake pads, which only adds to the fun.

At work, we are eagerly awaiting the day the bats all finally depart.  I think it will be sometime this week, since some have already flown off (I guess they couldn’t take the two or so good downpours we’ve had recently), and the rest are flying higher up than usual.

It’s also a liturgical transition season.  We’ve had the Ascension (really on Thursday, but many places transferred to Sunday, so every Catholic has celebrated it by now), and are waiting for Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit.  This time of transition is sometimes represented by extinguishing the Paschal candle at the end of the Gospel on Ascension.  That actually happened this morning, although I think it was unintentional.  When Father began his homily, he must have appeared overheated.  Maybe one of the servers didn’t notice him signaling for something (I didn’t see it since I was wrangling a three-year-old at the time), so one of the Missionary Sisters of Charity went up and turned the fan so that Father had a breeze.  This breeze also extinguished the Pascal candle.  In any case, we’re transitioning to Pentecost and the end of Easter season.

A little farther out on the horizon is the end of the school year.  That will bring with it end-of-year programs and other fun, then summer break for the kids.  After that transition, we depart Liberia in late July.  Even though late July seems pretty far away, the move is going to be on us sooner than we anticipate.  We’re in pretty good shape already, with orders cut, but I still need to do lots of administrative stuff to make sure our shipments get packed up and sent out without too much delay.  Timing will be difficult to manage since we’ll be going back for a posting to the U.S., so we won’t have the same support structures as if we were moving to another overseas assignment.  Then again, we’ll be in the U.S., so it will be a little easier to get some things done (although I still have nightmares about the Virginia DMV from last time we were posted to the U.S.).

Life without change and transition would be rather dull, but it sure seems like lots of them are coming all at once.  I guess it’s time to buckle up, hang on, and enjoy the ride.

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