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

Bring things like Mexican, Indian spices, pesto sauce, fancy dips, capers and special treats in my consummables. Bring more craft beer. I like IPAs and there's isn't one to be found for 1000km. Bring lawn games or sharable hobbies such as board games, outdoor activities to get people involved. Be prepared to host small events at your house to pass the time. Pool toys! Plan trips out of Ouaga regularly. - Jun 2020


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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