What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

Don't bring much personal furniture. All houses are furnished with a lot of furniture, and the Embassy has limited space to take away items.

If you have the chance to take French classes before arriving, I strongly recommend it!

The culture is different - not as direct as Americans, and greetings are very important. Don't start a conversation without first greeting someone and asking about their family. Time is also a different concept here, you may not get a lot of notice about events, and meetings often start late. Patience is a virtue. - Dec 2017

A crystal ball that the security situation was going to destabilize. But in all seriousness, we expected a hardship tour, and that's what we've gotten. There have been plenty of bright spots as well. - May 2016

Flying out of the country is really expensive. Regional flights cost almost as much as flights to Europe ($500-1000 range to get to neighboring countries!). - Aug 2015

There aren't really any outdoor activities here because of how harsh the weather is, so it can be tough to get exercise if you're a runner, hiker, walker, biker, into water sports, etc. - Jun 2015

Having lived in West Africa before, I thought I was ready. I wish I'd know it would still take some time to get mentally settled and then I wouldn't have been so hard on myself for needing a little time to adjust. - Jan 2015

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

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