Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Report of what it's like to live there - 05/08/22
Personal Experiences from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?
I have lived in Costa Rica and Uganda and travelled on mission trips to many African countries.
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?
South Africa. About six hours direct flight only on Ethiopian airlines.
3. What years did you live here?
Not yet completed a year.
4. How long have you lived here?
Arrived beginning of 2022.
5. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?
Housing, Groceries & Food:
1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
In my opinion, the worst and ridiculously high accommodation rates. It seems you pay same price as in Manhattan but of much much lower quality. I feel the quality of workmanship for the apartments is NOT worth the +$2000 they want.
2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
It's a joke. Everything imported is super-expensive. All electronics including appliances like microwaves are more expensive.
3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?
Tomato sauce, jam, chutney, chocolates ( quality chocolates are scarce here), baby nappies, NAN baby milk powder, cheese, meat is also very expensive. 1000 BRR a kg.
4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?
Pizza places and few restaurants.
5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?
Not where I live. The whole place is a construction site, so many expats seem suffer from air pollution and sinuses because of the altitude. If you live in the bole/kirkos districts, expect unusual dust in your house
1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?
I use pouch.
2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?
Cleaners and domestic worker rates are relatively inexpensive.
3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?
At my workplace there's a gym.
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?
No. So annoying. It's a cash system everywhere and even where there are card machines, these are often broken.
5. What English-language religious services are available locally?
Not sure, maybe Christian orthodox? Language is a bit of a barrier.
6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?
You need a lot of it.
7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?
Definitely. The country's infrastructure does not accommodate such 'sophisticated' resources for people with disabilities. There's no pedestrian walkway.
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?
Diplomatic. It seems locals don't like it when foreigners own businesses. In my opinion, it appears they feel threatened.
1. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?
I do not think it's good for anyone. The economic system alone is a closed one.
2. Is it easy to make friends with locals here? Are there any prejudices or any ethnic groups who might feel uncomfortable here?
No. Rather stay away, be vigilant.
3. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?
4. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?
Words of Wisdom:
1. Do you have any other comments?
Diplomats are not respected here in my opinion. The treatment I got was disturbing to say the least. We are here to help the country, but the locals treat us like beggars. We didn't choose to be here, we simply agreed because of our commitment to humanitarian assistance.