I am now in Liberia since two weeks. Here is a short resume with some pictures from the More Than Me Flickr account. A little négociation with the boss allow me to share my work if it come from this account!
Cost of life, Monrovia is expensive except if…
A paradox. I don’t know is it is the main reason, the country is corrupted and we can find in all the “rich” supermarkets (rich like occidental, with aircond, security, etc) a libanese owner, or someone that is not a Liberian (Liberian owners smaller shop, more authentic, more honest but less scrupulous to bill double price to the white man that don’t know the right price); Prices in supermarkets are very high. Then, i buy food in markets, still with his colors, his smell and his dynamic. 500g of rice will cost when nobody try to rip you off, 25$lib (versus 160$lib (2$us) for the same amount of macaroni). 4 onions, 30$lib. 2 Avocados (big and free of GMO) for 60$lib.
Regarding my flat, it cost me about 300$US per months, witch is expensive is don’t include the generator to provide power, house furnitures, Esther and the security team that take care of the house and also, people who share the place with who you can drink beers and wine. a BBQ fish with salad will cost you between 5 and 7$US. Liberian cigarettes: 20 to 50$lib. Internet cost, please take a sit, 370$US/month. Basic salary is about 200$.
I ate stuff from here. A not surprising fact, all is spicy. yes, food put your mouth on fire and yes spice are like highways, you have to pay at the exit. For the moment, i just ate rice (just to change with Thailand). With this, we eat a mixture that come from tree leafs that you will cook with fish or chicken (sometime both) and spice indeed. there is also all kind of bananas that you can cook or not. On the morning i eat mango and small bananas
Weather in Liberia.
Hot, wet (very wet). Same fact as in Gabon. When you go out off the plane, you feel like crushing and suffocating under the weight of humidity. It scare me a bit for my equipment! Since a week it always rain!
Warm people, tolerant (specially with religion) and open minded (more than in thailand where it is harder to make locals friends, probably because they are tired of tourist. People here seems happy despite the past they haunt them.
A women, the first one in Africa, run the country. This is her second Mandate and we can be happy that she maintain the country in peace. I am asking myself some questions regarding the rest. Power drop down everyday. Roads are full of holes. No public transportation. Everything is to make here and Liberia is representing a gold mine for people that want to run business. Just hit Liberia on Google, there is nothing about this country.
Work with More Than Me.
Everything happening perfectly. For the moment, i did staff pictures the you will can see here soon in addition of school lifestyle pics. Next projects are all student pics (about 170) with story telling about them then a movie in West Point with Go Pro. Can’t wait to start all of this!
What about you servant?
Everything is great. I didn’t expect that Liberia was so nice. I met nice people. I have 7 months to stay here and when I see projects list to realize, i am telling myself that it will be too short! I am doing economies on food and i do not eat meat when i am at home. I go out on week end, Everything is about rap and reggae. One night in a bar, maybe 5 or 6 persons did improvisations to us. Only problem: Language, I do not follow conversations well and it’s a bit frustrating. Next step: Picture from West Point!