Cost of living in Mauritania

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#1 12 August 2008 12:21:09

expat blog
expat blog
small earth

Cost of living in Mauritania

Hi everybody,

It would be very useful to talk about the cost of living in Mauritania.

Don't forget to mention where in Mauritania you are living.

How much does it cost to live in Mauritania?

> accommodation prices

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)

> food prices(per month, how much does it cost you?)

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)

> eduction prices (if you need to pay)

> energy prices (oil, electricity)

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant

> prices of a beer and or a coffee in a regular pub

> price of the cinema

Do not hesitate to add items to this list!

Thanks in advance for your participation!!

#2 27 August 2009 17:03:24

Sandrawp
Sandrawp
Johannesburg

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Its very expensive in Nouakchott, electricity and water are outrageous, gas is reasonable when compared to electricity so a gas cooker is a must.  Rentals are also very high, although there is one price for locals and another for expats, but most Mauritanians are willing to bargain on the rental if they know you are going to maintain the house and they generally expect long term leases.  If you break the lease, expect to pay out the balance of the contract.  Maintenance on the houses is ongoing and very expensive, bulbs blow regularly due to the electricity output, most of the houses have no earth leakage and wiring is almost always done in an unsafe manner. 

Artisans are interchangeable, you have one chappy who does the plumbing and the wiring, and will also work on your car if needs be!  Be sure of the quality of goods purchased for the house, pipes and pumps are regularly fitted which burst or blow up because of incorrect capacity and weak workmanship

Taxi rides are reasonable if you communicate and negotiate the price upfront about 100UM if you are charging around the city, more if you expect the cab to wait for you.  Its also difficult to tell intially which cars are cabs, but walk on the road and hold your hand up as you are walking will generally pull one.

Good coffee for some reason is hard to find, you can expect to pay in the region of 1000UM depending on where you go, 700UM for a bottle of coke, hotels are very pricey, its always better to find a restaurant.

Purchase fresh foods from the market place which is cheapest and lovely quality, or from vendors on the side of the road a little more expensive and not as fresh usually, dont use the supermarkets unless you have to.  Ensure your know your butcher or have a referral, meat is expensive and mostly imported.

The French cultural cnt regularly hold movies, concerts, etc, and are fabulous, their prices are reasonable and they seems to find the local and African talent.

I found that internet acces, in the greater scheme of things was reasonable about 15,000UM a month for unlimited access.

Primary and High School education is expensive if you expect to go to the International School, although I am told its in line with other International Schools, but a great bunch of people.  I am not sure what the costs are for the French School.

#3 07 September 2010 21:52:48

smudge2003
smudge2003
Nouakchott

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Hello Sandrawp.

thanks alot for your post very useful to me as I haven't managed to find many people who can speak English and I don't speak french.

could you give a bit more idea on the price of electric? and water costs per month?

Also the movies in the french cnt are they in french?

thanks!!!

#4 22 September 2010 14:07:54

laurinacht
laurinacht
Bogota

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

jejejeje beer and cinema... thats was a good one!

water 4000 omg and electricite depends on how much your consume! around 60.000 we have two climas, tv, lamps.... we consume a lot.. so i guess you ll pay less... food is expensive and accomodation you can find good offers u ll need someone to help u.. a local person... good luck!

#6 28 September 2010 04:44:47

littlesunshine
littlesunshine
Nouakchott

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

I have been lucky enough to be shown around a bit here in Nouakchott by a local. There are several places you can find alcohol(beer)if you are interested. A couple restaurants and hotels. English speaking clubs I have no clue yet but I have met a few Mauritanians that speak English fluently.

#7 25 October 2010 23:27:29

winona119

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

life in Mauritania has its charm, and as regards the corners of meeting, or to eat
I can give you some names of the most famous restaurant:
-  La palmerie
-  petit cafe   
-  sahara cafe
-  capricorne

regarding the places of distraction. there is the french center which prepares a monthly program, it's really interesting, you can Attend for musical concerts, theatrical peieces, conferences, movies..........

good luckkkkkkkkk to everyone

#8 02 November 2010 10:53:22

EuropeSky
EuropeSky
Praha

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Hi all,

for my business I need to better understand the electricity prices in Mauritania. To laurinacht (or anybody else able to answer): those 60.000 (i expect in UM) is for a month (I do not expect it is for a year)? Could you, please, find the price per 1 kWh or 1 MWh, or at least the ammount of kWh or MWh for that bill (should be somewhere on the bill)?

If I get my answer and the figures will be reasonable, I will try to open business in Mauritania. In that case I promise to offer participation to responding ones at first.

Thanks and have a really nice days

#9 06 September 2011 11:56:52

zambrut
zambrut
Copenhagen

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Electrical bill are paid for every 2 months. I estimates MRO30,000 per month is quite ok (normal usage with 1 AC (not continuously for the whole day). During summer & raining season is where will be frequent power interruption so be prepared.


Water bill is ok as long as your house serves by the city pipeline. so area not connected with pipeline so u have to call for water tanker to supply the water (MRO 11,000 - 14,000 per tanker).

#10 23 June 2014 09:07:57

runningmom

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Hello, curious on any more up-to-date figures on this thread. What sort of budget seems appropriate for a couple? We eat in most of the time but do like to go out a few times a week, though I've not been to Mauritania yet so can't be tooo accurate.

How about housing staples? Housekeeper rates? Transportation?

Thanks in advance!

#11 23 June 2014 13:19:13

kenjee
kenjee
Quatre Bornes

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Hello runningmom,

As you have seen this thread is quite an old one, if however you do not get any response, I would suggest you create a new thread to increase your visibility on the forum and get better response.

Regards

Kenjee

#12 24 July 2014 21:27:27

srws
srws
Nouakchott

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

The cost of living in Nouakchott can be expensive and it can also be inexpensive. It just depends on what type of lifestyle you choose to live. You will find that in many circumstances if you try to rent you will be charged more because you are an expat. They wouldn't charge locals even half of what they would charge foreigners. While they would charge you more they also want you the most because they believe expats will take care of the houses better than locals. I have actually been refused rentals once they found out I was married to a local. Anyways if you can get a local to vouch for you and talk down the price try not to pay more than 150,000 MRO to 200,000 MRO (200,000 is kind of pushing it). You should be able to find a very nice house to rent in a good area with that amount. Your electricity should be no more than 30,000 MRO a month but WARNING!!! the electrical company can be corrupt. Most locals pay no more than 35,000 or so for a housekeeper but I suggest that you offer more around 45,000 MRO for a good housekeeper (cleaning and cooking full time).

If you want to live less expensively you should get a cook to make the local dishes for most meals. These local dishes are fish and rice, chicken with onions, meat and potatoes with sauce, and pasta with different types of meat. Either way you shouldn't spend more than 100,000 MRO a month (for two hungry people plus a guard). That is considered high but I am adding in you buying from the regular grocery stores instead of the local market.

You will probably need to get a guard, it shouldn't cost more than 35,000 MRO. While they are used as a safety factor they are just as useful in helping keep the outside area clean, running quick errands, and keeping those who want to come in (when they shouldn't), out. Most homes have a room outside of the house that they can stay in.

Taxis will cost about 200 to 300. Most taxi drivers will try to charge foreigners more. What many expats do is make an arrangement with a specific taxi driver. This helps. The cost of a good working car is between 2.5 million to 4.5 million MRO, depending on how new it is. Gas can cost between 40,000 MRO to 60,000 MRO a month depending on how much driving you do in a day.

#13 25 July 2014 07:48:22

runningmom

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Dear SRWS,

Thank you for your detailed advice! You are very thorough!! I appreciate it. I will be living in a flat provided by my employer so that takes care of much of my expenses. I wonder if you could expand on day-to-day expenses (shopping, entertainment, clothing) etc. Additionally, any helpful hints about life there in general would be appreciated! There's not a lot of reading available and not much chatter on any of the expat sites!

#14 26 July 2014 00:02:05

srws
srws
Nouakchott

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Dear Runningmom,

   To be honest I don't really get out much. I'm pretty much a homebody outside of work. I can help out a little though. First off, buying clothes here can be expensive so I find that most people buy outside when purchasing clothing. I buy clothes for my two children and myself in the U.S. once a year. I try to buy things that are simple and can easily be sewn by hand. There are quite a few really good seamstresses though that can copy certain designs if I want to add to my clothing. I use to be a blue jeans and t-shirt girl but since moving here I tend to wear the thin flowing pants and skirts. They are more comfortable.

I have been here 4 years and each year I have seen it changes. Stores are carrying more and more items from the outside. When I first came here I found it hard to find things as simple as sliced bread in packages but now you can easily get it. Even though it has gotten better I still try to bring many things over. Since I cook I find that the pots and pans found at stores here are not that great of quality but I see them getting better than a couple years ago. One thing that can be annoying is that it make take going to several stores in one day to find a simple item such as a potato peeler but I try to tell myself I am on an adventure.

For entertainment there is not as much things to do as what a person in a westernized society is use to. Most locals just enjoy meeting a cafes. They are everywhere. There are a few other things, though. You have the French Recreation Center where they show movies (in French), small art showings, music concerts, and simple events. You can get an itinerary of what they are doing each month. The beaches here are beautiful and uncrowded. Unless you are a very good swimmer I wouldn't suggest getting in the water though because of the strong current. Clubs open here but get closed and then another one will open. You never know. Life is simple.

The people can be very friendly but you will find that some will take advantage of foreigners. That of course is almost everywhere you go. You will see a lot of beggars around. In front of stores, in the middle of the roads, at restaurants, and at stops signs/stop lights.  If you are obviously foreign then you may get rushed by groups. I don't know what your opinion is about charity but it is always good to keep a few coins (only) on your person. My advice is to try an ignore and "apologetically" decline giving anything when you are walking anywhere. I personally only give the coins when I am in my car and to specific people. If I am walking and I give a coin to someone it is seen and then I can get rushed. They can sometimes get aggressive. This includes the children. Just keep some hard candy on you and it should be good enough. I also give about 20,000 MRO a month to be spread out by a family member. I know that it is being spent on women and children that need assistance. Mauritanians can be very giving and charitable people. If you want to fit in you should match this view. If you are going to be working in a company that has many locals working at as well it will do you good to bring little gifts to give out. Candy (for their kids), key chains, little pocket knives, perfumes, and etc are good ideas. This is just advice. Be careful with compliments. In many cases if you tell a woman that her perfume smells great and you show interest then don't be surprised if she gives it to you. Same thing can be said of her jewelry. Don't get offended if someone shows interest in your items and asks if they can have it. Just ignore it, don't take offense, and politely tell them no (or just give it to them).

If you are a person who believes on getting to work on time, getting things done quickly, and getting things done right the first time, then you might run into issues. Locals here are very "laid-back" and not very prompt with most things. Just have patience, keep your cool, and keep working at it. How you deal with this can either make you or break you.

I don't know what company you are coming to work for or what environment you will be set up in BUT I would be happy to help you if you need it. I currently "manage" guesthouses for a company that has foreigners from around the world. I have helped people (mainly Americans) understand the life here before they came and navigated them around town in the beginning. You have two ways of living here. You can live inside your bubble, spending time only with other foreigners and having other people get what you want or need. OR. You can jump out of that bubble, make friends with other Mauritanians, learn their ways, and learn where to go to get what you want. I find that those you get out of their bubbles do better here in the long run plus, I think, learn a lot more.

#15 26 July 2014 07:20:00

runningmom

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Dear SRWS,

Thank you so much for your follow-up! You've been incredibly helpful and insightful! I'll pm you once I arrive and hopefully treat you for a coffee!

#17 03 August 2014 23:19:11

suefrankdahl

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Hello SRWS
I have read your your very informative posts and have a few questions. I have retired early from my profession and wonder what the possibilities and types of  employment are there. I have  a modest income and will receive a pension in two more years. I think that working or volunteering are the best ways to assimilate. I had looked at Ecuador but it is changing rapidly as more and more Americans choose it as a retirement destination.My French is rusty but would probably come back if I was immersed in the environment..

What the currency exchange rate (USD to MRO)? What do you mean when you say "rushed?" I am single (divorced) 58 years old. How would I be received? What kind of problems might  I have as an American woman?

#18 04 August 2014 01:03:15

srws
srws
Nouakchott

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Dear Suefrankdahl,

  From your info I saw that you retired from nursing. There is always a need for nurses here and I have heard of a few Americans that did come here to work at local hospitals. If you are not wanting to go back into nursing there are a few other options you can check out. There are a couple companies that are looking for English speakers to help in business matters. There are a couple English speaking schools looking for teachers or help at the school. The school TLC International may be looking for a school nurse. I am sure once you come here the French will come back to you quickly. My mother is actually retiring early and moving here in a month or so. We have some ideas on how to keep her busy but still give her time to relax. There are definite opportunities for people like you. I have seen people do quite well in just offering English classes. If you are computer literate you can help out by offering basic computer services like teaching Microsoft and formats that they could use in getting better jobs.

The exchange rate is about 300 MRO to $1.00 USD. When I said "rush" I was speaking about the begging population. I have gotten out of my car at a store or other place and then immediately I have been surrounded by 3 - 5 people asking for money. If this happens just keep walking, do not be rude, politely put your hand over your heart and ask forgiveness "simah" in Arabic. Do not look at them for too long because they can sometimes be persistent. I do not mean to sound rude or uncaring but honestly you can give only so much. Do not give more than 50 MRO at a time to a single person. Giving 100 or much to one person is too much. It will add up and since you are on limited funds you will need to be careful.

Divorce is very common here so this is not an issue. Being American you might run into people that have the "old view" of if you are American then you are rich. People may try to charge you more than what something actually cost or they will automatically think you can give them money because they feel you should have plenty. Don't be offended, it is just what they see more often than not. Being an American "woman" might be harder for you than them. I have dealt with what I perceive as chauvinistic views but it is not necessarily seen the same by local women. I deal better with men who have been educated outside than those who did not.

Women are given certain offerings that we would never receive in the US. The first time I went to pay my electric bill I started out being frustrated when I saw this horrible long line of about 30 people "men". I saw only one woman and she was at the counter paying her bill. My first thought was that it was considered the mans job to pay the bills and gave a little laugh in my head and got in the back of the line. When the men noticed me they immediately stepped to the side and everyone encouraged me immediately to the front. I became the first customer after the woman I saw. After I paid the bill and left I spoke with one of my male staff members and he explained that women come first here. The men will usually step out of "line" to allow the women ahead of them, even in such large numbers. This doesn't always occur but it does happen quite often.

You do not have to wear the local garb (melafa) or a scarf to cover your hair. Wear what is comfortable to you. Now that being said locals are very appreciative of foreign women who wear the melafa. Don't knock it until you try it. I do wear it sometimes and it can actually be quite convenient. Basically, you will receive what you give out. Be kind, be understanding, be respectful, and be patient.

#19 04 August 2014 01:51:22

suefrankdahl

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Thanks for your time and good information. I am just at the point of doing research but who knows what might happen. Perhaps I will contact the school you mentioned.  The winters here are dreadfully damp, grey and drizzly. I am originally from New England so I don't think I will ever adjust. I am looking for a place with maximum daylight and sunshine.

#20 04 August 2014 15:41:22

srws
srws
Nouakchott

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

When you change your living environment there is always some type of adjustment. Living here I feel as though I will never know what it means to be cold again. Even in an air-conditioned room.

There are so many places you can go. You will find that if you make that move to another country it will open the doors to more countries to visit. Living here it would be much easier to visit places like Mali (not now though), Morocco, Senegal, Spain, and Paris. We are only a 45 minute flight to the Canary Islands which cost approximately $150.00. It is a 7 hour drive to Morocco and then a 7 hour drive to Senegal. Both depending on the speed and route you take (give or take). Senegal is interesting with the Goree Islands and old colonial St. Louis. Hotels are inexpensive and while they are no 5 star hotel they are still comfortable.

The day I moved here was the first time I had been outside of the U.S. much less the southern United States. I thought I knew what I was getting into but I really had no idea. When I bought my ticket here I also purchased the return in a year. It was my goal to at least make it a year. My first year was extremely hard and believe me I cried a lot for what I was missing. I made it through that year and decided to be stubborn enough to force myself through another. I changed that second year. I made myself get out more and be adventurous. I worked in a position to help other foreigners when they came here to adjust which in turn helped me to adjust.

You must understand that when you choose to live outside of the U.S. in a place that is not as developed you have to decide what it is that you are expecting. Are you wanting to live the same life with all the same easy comforts as home or are you willing to live a much simpler life. If you still depend on the same comforts as home then you will live expensively. It is much easier and less expensive to go without such things. Over time you will realize you don't need those certain comforts so much. I have found a balance between the two. I live in both worlds. Example: I have a washing machine but only use it for half of our clothes while the other I wash by hand. I choose not to have a dryer as it takes up too much energy. We have a guy to wash the clothes of my husband and son while I personally hand wash the clothes for myself and my daughter.  If I don't have the time do hand wash then I have the washer as a back up. When I lived in the states I always had a full pantry but now not so much. We just mainly keep it to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Set meals with not much in-between. Most meals are simple local dishes but on Fridays and Saturdays I cook my southern meals for the family. I use to cook all the time but it is just more expensive to eat and live the same way so we decided to get a local cook. When I cook I buy the best meat which is a little more expensive but when she cooks I let her buy the meat and just hope for the best. I have only gotten food poisoning once since I was here and that was at the Chinese restaurant. Never went back. I have had clients that refuse to eat vegetables or fruit here because they think it will make them sick. There is a simple way around this but they just didn't want to try. I also had a group of people that refused to use the tap water in any form except bathing. They even used bottle water to brush their teeth. That got expensive quickly. Don't always listen to the scared people who try to convince you that something is not ok. Do your own research and study  of your new surroundings and make your own choices. You will miss out if you don't. This isn't just for Mauritania, it is for every place you may find yourself in the future. Get to know the society, the culture, the lifestyles, eat the food, and try wearing the local clothes (at least sometimes) before you make any judgments.

#21 04 August 2014 17:19:06

suefrankdahl

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Thanks again for your time, energy and info. I had always planned to retire overseas and do some kind of humanitarian work I am adventuresome, and adaptable always have been. As far as creature comforts (amenities) I think everything is a trade off. I have already simplified my life and am gradually continuing to do that. I have travelled in the Third World and lived in a very remote area of Alaska for ten years (access by boat or float plane only-no roads, generaterate your own electricity, haul and collect rainwater for drinking and bathing ). Less amenities than some Third World countries. Did some reading about Mauritania and have researched other places. There are so many French speaking countries. France seems out of of the question. I had enjoyed living and working there many years ago and was able to travel a lot in Europe as you are in Africa and environs. Immigration to France is complicated and they are much less welcoming of foreign nationals  now.  My boys are grown and out of the house. I have know relatives here except for two ex-in laws. My youngest is 19 and decided to go back to Alaska. Hopefully someday he will decide to go back to school. Commercial fishing might be easy and fun for him now. Living in a tiny fishing village had advantages and ultimately I decided too many disadvantages. My husband (now ex) needed open heart surgery so we had to come back to the lower 48 and have access to health care and health insurance.

What is your immigration situation? How difficult is it? Mauritania is not on the list of "Live and Retire Overseas" for peanuts propoganda. As I said American ghettos (bubbles) are cropping up everywhere.

What is your health care situation? The ratio of doctors per citizen looked pretty bad. Living in the capitol where you do. I am sure it is better..

Thanks,

Sue

#23 04 August 2014 18:25:01

Sotiria Nice Mauritania

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Hello,  do  you  know  if  someone   from  another   country  can  Live   for   ever   as  volunteer   in  a  organization ?
She./he  must  pay  to  Live  in   a   organization ?
To  volunteer  Free  for  ever .
In  the  Capital  of  Mauritania ?

#24 05 August 2014 01:49:12

stumpy
stumpy
Vientiane

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Sotiria Nice Mauritania wrote:

Hello,  do  you  know  if  someone   from  another   country  can  Live   for   ever   as  volunteer   in  a  organization ?
She./he  must  pay  to  Live  in   a   organization ?
To  volunteer  Free  for  ever .
In  the  Capital  of  Mauritania ?

Volunteering is done on a contact basis. It is not a lifetime job. 
Countries do not want volunteers using this as a way of entering the country and staying.
Some volunteer organisations make the volunteers pay to work with them

#25 05 August 2014 04:44:26

suefrankdahl

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

stumpy wrote:

Sotiria Nice Mauritania wrote:

Hello,  do  you  know  if  someone   from  another   country  can  Live   for   ever   as  volunteer   in  a  organization ?
She./he  must  pay  to  Live  in   a   organization ?
To  volunteer  Free  for  ever .
In  the  Capital  of  Mauritania ?

Volunteering is done on a contact basis. It is not a lifetime job. 
Countries do not want volunteers using this as a way of entering the country and staying.
Some volunteer organisations make the volunteers pay to work with them

The UN pays a stipend. They get thousands of applications. Based on your skills, education etc and what they need you have a better chance of getting chosen. Also you are more likely to be accepted if you are willing to go to places that lack the amenities you may be accustomed to. Most of the other organizations require you to pay room and board, airfare, medical insurance. Some of the organizations are religious and in my opinion charge more. Of course one of their needs is money to fund hospitals, schools, orphannages etc. I don't know how important it is to you but you can go online and see actually how much of the money goes to the charity and how much for salaries. Some organizations are "top heavy".

#26 05 August 2014 06:06:16

suefrankdahl

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

srws wrote:

Dear Suefrankdahl,

  From your info I saw that you retired from nursing. There is always a need for nurses here and I have heard of a few Americans that did come here to work at local hospitals. If you are not wanting to go back into nursing there are a few other options you can check out. There are a couple companies that are looking for English speakers to help in business matters. There are a couple English speaking schools looking for teachers or help at the school. The school TLC International may be looking for a school nurse. I am sure once you come here the French will come back to you quickly. My mother is actually retiring early and moving here in a month or so. We have some ideas on how to keep her busy but still give her time to relax. There are definite opportunities for people like you. I have seen people do quite well in just offering English classes. If you are computer literate you can help out by offering basic computer services like teaching Microsoft and formats that they could use in getting better jobs.

The exchange rate is about 300 MRO to $1.00 USD. When I said "rush" I was speaking about the begging population. I have gotten out of my car at a store or other place and then immediately I have been surrounded by 3 - 5 people asking for money. If this happens just keep walking, do not be rude, politely put your hand over your heart and ask forgiveness "simah" in Arabic. Do not look at them for too long because they can sometimes be persistent. I do not mean to sound rude or uncaring but honestly you can give only so much. Do not give more than 50 MRO at a time to a single person. Giving 100 or much to one person is too much. It will add up and since you are on limited funds you will need to be careful.

Divorce is very common here so this is not an issue. Being American you might run into people that have the "old view" of if you are American then you are rich. People may try to charge you more than what something actually cost or they will automatically think you can give them money because they feel you should have plenty. Don't be offended, it is just what they see more often than not. Being an American "woman" might be harder for you than them. I have dealt with what I perceive as chauvinistic views but it is not necessarily seen the same by local women. I deal better with men who have been educated outside than those who did not.

Women are given certain offerings that we would never receive in the US. The first time I went to pay my electric bill I started out being frustrated when I saw this horrible long line of about 30 people "men". I saw only one woman and she was at the counter paying her bill. My first thought was that it was considered the mans job to pay the bills and gave a little laugh in my head and got in the back of the line. When the men noticed me they immediately stepped to the side and everyone encouraged me immediately to the front. I became the first customer after the woman I saw. After I paid the bill and left I spoke with one of my male staff members and he explained that women come first here. The men will usually step out of "line" to allow the women ahead of them, even in such large numbers. This doesn't always occur but it does happen quite often.

You do not have to wear the local garb (melafa) or a scarf to cover your hair. Wear what is comfortable to you. Now that being said locals are very appreciative of foreign women who wear the melafa. Don't knock it until you try it. I do wear it sometimes and it can actually be quite convenient. Basically, you will receive what you give out. Be kind, be understanding, be respectful, and be patient.

Dear SRWS,

The issue of being an American woman is probably not the problem but being a single American woman in Ecuador  and perhaps all of Latin America is. The only ones that seemed to have adjusted well lived in gated communities with guards. I am well aware of the perception that we are all rich and by comparison to the local population we are. Perhaps it is the male Latin American mentality but women from  twenty five to sixty five write about how men are constantly hitting on them. You know the, Latin lover. The guy who cut my grass was Mexican and it took a concerted effort to get him to keep his hands off me when I paid him.I think it would get old and besides why should I have to learn Spanish? Do you have any thoughts on this? It must be different in a Muslim country?

Thanks,

Sue

#27 05 August 2014 15:49:02

Sotiria Nice Mauritania

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Thank  you  and   if   someone  want   to  live    there      for   ever  ?    Can  she  ?
To  move   there     and  if  there  are   senior   people ?

#28 06 August 2014 16:41:12

srws
srws
Nouakchott

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Dear Suefrankdahl,

  I have to laugh at this now that I understand where you were going with that question. Honestly, I was flirted with quite a bit and many times. Many times when I refused their requests for my number or just politely decline saying I have a husband they would respond with a basic "So what". I stick out like a sore thumb (blonde, blue-eyed) so I get stared at and approached quite a bit. Some are very respectful and just want to tell me I am beautiful and others are more aggressive BUT I do not think in the same way I have heard Latin mean were.

The one time my mother came (in her late 50's) I had her put on a local melafa and we went to a cafe. As soon as we walked in two older gentlemen sitting having coffee looked up and saw her. They each stood up and approached her, very respectfully telling her she was beautiful flirted with her a bit then stepped away. Nothing overwhelming or aggressive about it. It definitely put a blush to my mom's cheeks as she has been on her own for a long time.

You have many men who will approach with the excuse of wanting to learn English but we both know better than that.  You might just have to be careful with accepting affection. Sometimes, because you are a westerner they may think they can get away with some touching. The touching is simple to us such as hug, touching of arms and hands, or a kiss on the cheek but honestly they would NEVER do that to someone local. If you let them do these things it just opens the door for them to go further because they think you are accepting their advances. I unfortunately learned this personally. I didn't believe it before but after a guard I had tried to kiss me I learned. Previous contact was only a hand on my shoulder or forearm.

#30 07 August 2014 09:28:43

suefrankdahl

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Sotiria Nice Mauritania wrote:

Thank  you  and   if   someone  want   to  live    there      for   ever  ?    Can  she  ?
To  move   there     and  if  there  are   senior   people ?

no

#31 07 August 2014 10:09:06

suefrankdahl

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Dear SRWS

Like your mom I am in my late 50's and have been on my own for some time. I suppose I would be flattered .
I think I made the "mistake" of always having a glass of ice water for him when he had finished. Sometimes just being friendly is misinterperted even with American men. I guess, like yourself, you just learn how to deal with things like being rushed and having strange men walk up to you and tell you how beautiful you are. I suppose men are men the world over. Don't know why I thought it would be any different.

Sue

#32 08 August 2014 00:37:24

bechirou
bechirou
kaedi

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

hello i hope that i dont disturb you i m a  student in university i was asking if you a job for me during my vacancy any job   my  number   47577778

#33 08 August 2014 05:03:12

stumpy
stumpy
Vientiane

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

bechirou wrote:

hello i hope that i dont disturb you i m a  student in university i was asking if you a job for me during my vacancy any job   my  number   47577778

Welcome to the forum
Please introduce yourself to the forum with a little information about yourself. For safety reasons do not put personal contact details like email addresses and phone numbers on a public forum. Thank you.

#34 02 September 2014 14:54:57

viethongpham
viethongpham
Nouakchott

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Dear SRWS,
Many thanks for your valuable information and advise. I regret that I learn about your writing on this topic only now, after we have rented a house with the guard. I think we pay everything more expensive than what it should be:( but we have quite a good feeling about Nouakchott. I hope we will have a good time here.
Thanks again and I look forward to receive more experience sharing from you.
VH

#36 06 September 2014 13:37:47

runningmom

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Hello VH,

Just go to any hospital. The best thing is to arrest any illness as soon as possible. Many illnesses present in a similar manner but have very different end results. Please go to the hospital now!! Good luck and keep us informed!

#37 06 September 2014 21:02:03

goangora

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Hello,

I read the whole blog and the information was fantastic!! I would like to know if there are many herds of goats and sheep? Also, there must be a lot of fish available as the ocean is right there? What kinds of vegetables are grown and are the local prices very reasonable? Is fruit a common item or is it more expensive?
When you said you had a washing machine, is it the Arabic kind where you put the water in by a hose and then set the timer and it agitates and then you drain the water and spin the clothes in the separate but attached bin?
How is the job situation for teaching English without a Bachelor's degree at an English institute or a high school? I read on another blog that an English teacher could make between 400 and 600 USD. Is there any truth to this and is this enough to live on for a single person, who is very frugal and loves to intigrate into society?
Is there a possibility of working as a secretary either for a school or a company?
Is it difficult to get a visa? Do you have to have a sponsor?

Thank you in advance for reading this and any input you are able to provide.

Last edited by goangora (06 September 2014 21:04:17)

#38 06 September 2014 23:41:47

srws
srws
Nouakchott

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Dear Goangora,

  You will see sheep and goats everywhere, pretty much running loose and you never know where their owners are. Right now the fish are plentiful and are a major part of people's diets. The vegetables and fruits are available seasonally. While they have most regular fruits and  vegetables there are a few that are not easily or readily available. Corn on the cob, celery, broccoli, cherries, strawberries, and pretty much any other berry. If in full season the prices are not high but if you catch them at the end of the season or right out of the season they become more expensive.

When I say washing machine I mean a "real" front loading washing machine. I am a bit spoiled. I had to hand wash everything for three years so I think that I deserved this one. You can get both here but it is definitely cheaper to get the "Arabic" kind or just hand wash.

I do not know much facts about teaching English here but I have been told that teaching privately you do not need a Bachelors and you could make enough to sustain a comfortable living here. If you choose to do this it would best if you see it as a full time job not just a hobby if you plan to make your sole living on this.

There are job opportunities here but they may not always be easily seen. You will need to go out and market your services. Customer service is a big plus and I have been hired in my jobs just based on this. With many English speaking Westerners coming here for work you could find a place in offering services to them such as buying groceries and errands. When I started doing this type of work I didn't know where anything was and just played by ear. I needed help but once I learned the ends and outs I made it through.

As for the visa I believe you must have a sponsor but I can find out more.

#39 10 September 2014 02:46:25

goangora

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Thank you very much for the great info and quick reply.

I have to work whereever I am so teaching would be nice. I have some experience teaching English in Yemen so I know what I am getting into. Another job I had was as a secretary for an NGO who was building a water and sewer system in the country.

Would it be possible to come in as a student wanting to learn Arabic and then finding a job and turning it into a work visa?

I need a more laid back place to live. The US has gone crazy and we are treated as if we are robots!!

I was asking about the goats and sheep because there should be quite a bit of meat available. It also means there is pasture for them to eat. Is this correct? So, the country isn't as dry as it may seem.

Thanks again

#40 10 September 2014 09:33:27

srws
srws
Nouakchott

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Dear Goangora,

  I am going to start first with the goat and sheep question. Here, in Noakchott, there is no real "pastures" so the animals eat the garbage that is quit literally everywhere. Outside of the city there are patches of grasses but in truth it is really dry and arid. The meat is lean and taste unlike much of what we are use to. The chickens are as small and sometimes laughable. To feed my family of 4 plus our house guard it can take up to 2 or 3 whole chickens sometimes.

You will find a variety of meat here such as sheep, goat, camel, chicken, and beef. If you like sausage then you might want to try merguez which is found locally at most butchers. To be honest I am not really sure what kind of meat it is but I do believe it is beef.

Now onto the other questions. I can understand the craziness going on in the states which is one of the reasons I left. We were living paycheck to paycheck and we could not seem to get ahead. I was also becoming uncomfortable with the closed mindedness of the people around me. People speaking as though they were experts on subjects that they truly had no real clue about.

If you are serious about coming here I would suggest that you come first as a visitor and if you like it you can try scouting for a job while you are here. If you are able to find something they may even help with your moving expenses and visa. If you are unable to fly over it might be harder to find a sponsor or a job but it is possible. If you are interested in knowing more I can get you in touch with my brother in law in DC and he may be able to help you out.

Shawnah

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