I am preparing to leave Liberia for good, with no clear work destination or timeframe to date. After some insane months, I have finally made peace with the fact that I am not the one who gets to choose this time, and that I have no control on the timing of whatever is going to happen. I now have a one-way ticket out of Liberia and into Paris, which is where I will be for my next post , if, of course, my flight does not get cancelled because of the (small) Ebola outbreak affecting Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Some countries in the area have closed borders or banned flights coming from the affected areas. In addition, an 8.3 magnitude earthquake followed by a minor tsunami, and a huge fire which to date has destroyed about 2.500 houses and affected some 12.000 people, have rattled my country in these past weeks. Too many events, too many emotions, too much…

I am also excited because my retired parents will join me in Paris for four of the six weeks I will be there. Family time is precious, much more so when you live so far away from them all. Finding the perfect spot for three of us to stay in Paris at a reasonable cost has not been a minor undertaking: I have bothered all my friends and acquaintances in Paris and probably explored every site that offers short-term apartment rentals. It is spring in Paris, which means high season, high prices, and high competition for the available flats. We will finally stay in a nice cosy apartment in Montmartre. In the meantime, I have read all the information in the ISM website, had my academic advising session, revised library materials, explored the various courses available, gone through the APA style guide more than once, and tried to work on my assessment evaluation I. With emphasis on tried because I found myself a bit lost with this first exercise, not knowing where to start or how to move forward. I am hoping that it is due to the overload of information in addition to all my other activities, incidents, and stress. I am also hoping that I will be able to overcome the blockage and mental exhaustion that has finally overcome me during the past two weeks and manage to submit an acceptable document while wrapping up work, packing, attending my farewell events, and keep going to all the yoga sessions to avoid total collapse. The website is quite comprehensive and helpful, and being walked through its contents during the academic advising session was most useful. Having a guided navigation through the programme and courses available has also been helpful. The online library is enormous and provides access to a gazillion resources, between books, papers, journals, and referrals to other websites. If you are not well focused on the specific subjects under research, there’s a chance to find yourself deviating from the original search. The APA style guide and anti-plagiarism policy are quite comprehensive and even a bit scary: lots of rules and guidelines to comply with, which is something I am used to, albeit in a different context. So it is time to learn new rules of the game, I just have to put in some time and effort to master them. I have been assigned the expansion of the business of a well-known company to India. It has brought back all sort of memories from my four-month stint in Delhi some years ago.

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