Monrovia, Liberia Report of what it's like to live there - 08/13/19

Personal Experiences from Monrovia, Liberia

Monrovia, Liberia 08/13/19


1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

This was our first Embassy experience, however we have lived in several SEA countries prior to this tour.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

We live in the Boston area (MA). A good flight connection includes two flights, however most of the time we had three connections to make, which can harder when travelling with two small children. It is expensive to fly to this country and there are not many options, as not a lot of airlines fly here.

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3. How long have you lived here?

We completed a two year tour in Aug 2019

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Diplomatic mission.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Housing is basic (mostly apts), however we had three bedroom apt for a family of three (grew to four while at post). There was no usable outdoor space around our apt building, which we would have loved, as we have small children. If you are located on upper floors of the building you get a nice view of the ocean (first floor gets a view of the wall). We lived walking distance to the Embassy, which was great for us.

Groceries are expensive and fresh fruit and vegetables are limited. This was the biggest challenge of us while posted in Liberia.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Groceries are expensive, however its a consumables post, which helps out a lot.

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3. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Restaurants are average, especially if you are vegetarian, however it is one of the only activities to do on the weekend so you often end-up at a restaurant. There is a food delivery service and its fine (cook shop).

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

We never sent any mail, only received mail through the Embassy. There are not any good local postal facilities, the only option is the Embassy.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Pricing depends on what you are willing to pay. We think it's important to pay a living wage, so paid more than others in the community. Expatriates have household help, nannies and cooks.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

There are few options outside of the Embassy, however we did not use them. Yoga was big and also football.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Not commonly used, we use cash while posted in Liberia.

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5. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?


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6. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?


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1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Only used a taxi before our vehicle arrived. I would not use other forms of transportation.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Four-wheel drive.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Installation happened on the day we arrive; super fast!

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Use a local provider.

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1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

There is only 1 vet in-country and she has a basic kennel service. Most people rely on friend to look after pets when they are out of the country.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

NGOs and the local international school are the only employment opportunities that I was aware of outside of the Embassy.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

We didn't go out late at night. There were few issue while we were at post.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Medical care not great in-country. However, we did use a local dentist. We medevac for all appointments related to pregnancy. Most take the option of medical evacuation when its approved by the health unit.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Good. No health issues.

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4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?

Environmental allergies in the wet season.

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5. Are there any particular mental health issues that tend to crop up at post, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues)?

Wet season blue, as it rains a lot.

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6. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Hot and more hot.

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Schools & Children:

1. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?


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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Good morale within the Embassy community.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Day trips to the beach, yoga classes, and eating out.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Families with young children like it here; I wouldn't want to live here with older children as there is not a lot going on.

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4. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Trips to Roberts Port with friends.

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5. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Not a lot, but the Embassy puts on markets which are nice.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

It was an interesting post and good opportunity for the FS Officer. I would do the post again because it can only get better from here on out.

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