Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Handling Money in Liberia

Liberia has two national currencies: Liberian dollars and US dollars. 72 LD (Liberian dollars) equals $1 US. The 180 Liberian dollars shown here equals $2.50. Most businesses use US dollars because it's so much easier. The street markets all us LD$ (Liberian dollars).
Bills are used here until they are worn out and extremely dirty, as the $10 bill shown here. However, businesses will not take any US $ that has any kind of tear in it. No tear, no problem -- no matter how dirty or worn the money is.
This shows the difference between a well-used LD$5 versus a relatively new one. LD$5 =7 cents in US dollars. There are no coins in Liberian money and US coins are not accepted, only paper dollars.

This is what we see every day in and around Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia

This boy had made a pull toy out of soda pop cans cut in two for wheels.
We liked this picture of a boy carrying eggs across the main bridge in downtown Monrovia. Anyone who wants an egg, he will stop, reach up for the eggs, sell them and move on - usually never taking them off his head. Women sell eggs all over. It's unusual to see a boy selling eggs.
None of the police here carry weapons. The only ones with weapons are the UN peacekeeping troups, who we rarely see. We got good news this week that the UN peace keeping troups have extended their stay in Liberia for another year. Notice also the man's "store" (wheelbarrow) full of coconuts for sale.

We see these type of scenes every day in Liberia

The amazing thing is to see a loaded truck like this weaving in and out of traffic in unbelievable ways!
Here's typcial scaffolding when constructing cement buildings.
It seems like most families have some kind of little business where they set up on the street to sell something.
Here's a high-end clothing "store" because the clothing is hung up. Most clothing is sold out of wheelbarrows or off their heads.

More Typical Scenes in Liberia

Here's a Medicine store, which is different from a pharmacy. We get all our medicine for sick missionaries at pharmacies.

Any time there is a truck, there will be people in the back of the truck, no matter what else is already in the truck. Notice the "zinc" roofs on the buildings. Most roofs leak at some time or other.
Very typical scene in Monrovia. This is on Logan Town road.