I’ve had some friends ask me this so I thought, I’ll put together a post for those of you wishing to come
back home for good.
Now before I go on, in view of the dire health system here, I’ll advice anyone with chronic or serious illness which demands frequent hospital visits to stay where you are if you’re being looked after well. 😆 On the other hand if you have to come, you’ll need to find which hospitals and doctors you need to see here and perhaps arrange for your necessary medication to be sent to you from abroad. All is not lost!
Now let’s get into the 5 things you need stuff…
#1. Right Attitude: Determination / Or Iron Strong Will Not To Go Back
For me this is the most important. If you’re one of those coming to “test the waters” so to speak without making an iron resolve to stay no matter what – and I mean there are a lot of things that will frustrate you – then you’ll go back within a matter of months!
People, Sierra Leone and for that matter Africa is NOT Europe NOR America and will NEVER be. The sooner we grab hold of this truth the better! In fact, there are frustrations you experience abroad that you’ll NEVER experience here and vice versa. 😆 There are many foreigners living here in Sierra Leone comfortably and will probably never go back. 😀 It’s a case of attititude.
Also, we all want to make changes for the better and contribute to the growth and progress of Salone but if you’re coming with a BIG attitude that ONLY YOU can make the difference and ONLY your WAY is RIGHT, boy, you’ll not last long especially if you’re going to work for someone rather than start your own business… a word to the wise… is enough.
#2. Vaccinations, Anti Malaria, Mosquito Nets
Make sure you’ve got all your vaccinations up to date. Yellow Fever, Hepatitis, etc and for the first few weeks maybe Anti-Malaria tabs. We never used it (Thank God for good health!). But it may be necessary for you as you. Also, buying medication for common ailments such as flu, colds, paracetamol, itching, swelling from insect bites etc. Another very important thing which we do is we deworm ourselves at least every 4 months.
Now this one is obvious but I need to give you heads up on the current rental markets in Freetown. If you have your own house that’s the best scenario. However, if you don’t and you have family or friend that will put you up that’s well and good.
For those who intend to rent, rentals for a decent property range from $4,000 to $15,000. Now that sounds expensive and yeah it is especially with the low quality on offer 😡 . With this point, I just want to let you know the reality of housing here.
Rental properties are expensive and very few landlords maintain their houses.
Usually it’s left to the tenant and the average tenant will not bother either so the cycle continues. You’ll have to view several properties to come up with the winner.
Having no car means battling with everyone else for the few (and run-down) taxis and “poda podas” available. (Read my experience with a typical freetown taxi here). There’s no adequate government transport and it can be tough out there.
An average decent used 4×4 vehicle in Sierra Leone can cost upwards $8,000 if you buy it here. Car insurance is compulsory so you need to get at least a 3rd party policy which is about Le150,000. (I’ll confirm this figure later) A comprehensive policy is about Le 5million a year.
Now this might not be an absolute necessity these days with Bumbuna up and running but, remember Bumbuna is not running on full capacity yet an just last week it was closed down for a week. As I’m writing this, it goes on and off. So if you’re like me and you need power 24/7, you need to get yourself one. A 12 – 15KV generator costs from $4000.
There are reliable people/ businesses that can fix and maintain them for you if you wish. Solar generators are an option. The last time I checked – which is about a year ago -using solar power for a whole house will set you back at least $10,000 ❗
I hope these points will help you, when you’re coming. I will be posting more stuff…
Have you got anymore suggestions I can add to this list? If so leave a comments