Welcome to Ms. R's Blog!

A big shout out to my old students from Savannah and from Duluth! I miss you guys, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to travel and see a very different part of the world.

The teacher in me can never resist a teachable moment. So, as you read my blog about living and teaching in Liberia, I hope you absorb some new knowledge. Please comment on my posts; feel free to ask me questions and to answer the ones I’ve posed. I want this blog to be a place of dialogue!

I’ve got a list already started of things to write about, but I would love your input. What do you want to hear about?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Money. Cash. Moo-lah. Payola.

Liberia has two forms of currency, or money.  First, US bills are accepted everywhere.  Coins, however, are not.  Second, Liberia has its own form of money called LD (Liberian Dollars).  They are available in increments of $5, $10, $25, $50, and $100.  Famous Liberians (William R. Tolbert, Jr.; Samuel K. Doe; William V. S. Tubman; Joseph J. Roberts; Edward J. Roye) are on the money.  I haven’t done much research on these people yet, but I have recognized their names in the form of street names and holidays.

All of the money is old and dirty.  It gives me the willies just to handle the bills, and I find myself constantly reaching for the instant hand sanitizer after I pay for something or receive change.

Roughly, the conversion rate between US and LD is 70 to 1.  Meaning that $1 US is equal to $70 LD.  (Sometimes you can get a rate of $72 LD per dollar, but that only helps if you are exchanging values of $5 US or more.

QUESTION: If I have $770 LD, how many US dollars do I have?

Some street vendors will not accept US dollar bills at face value because they are often counterfeited.  If you pay in US dollar bills, your money may only be worth 50 LD per dollar.

Some grocery stores list their prices in US money and others in LD.  Imagine how shocked I was at first to see a can of Raid bug spray for $195.00!  I did a double-take before I realized that this price tag was in LD.

QUESTION: At Green Land I bought bug spray for $195 LD.  At Abi Jaodi, I bought the same size and type of bug spray for $2.50 US.  Which store offers the better deal on bug spray?

Note: The pictures below show the $100 and $50 in Liberian bills.  I chose the cleanest bills I could find to photograph.  However, the murky, gray $5 LD is more typically what is given as change.


  1. Dear Ms. R,

    I hope you're having a great time. The money looks so cool! It's so weird not seeing you in the halls anymore. I miss you and everyone else does too!!!!
    You're most faithful student, Sydney

    P.S.-- I wanted to be the first to comment. Miss you again!! TTYL BYE

  2. Also, your answer to question 1 is $11 and the second one is Abi Jaodi.

    Love, Sydney

  3. Sydney has the right answers! Bravo, Sydney, on the fine math skills.
    Can anyone else explain how Sydney got those answers?

  4. Dear Ms. Romero,

    If the exchange rate is 70 LD to 1 US$ you need to divide the amount of LD$ by 70 to know how many US$ you have.

    So, if you have 770 LD$ the answer is 770/70 = 11.

    The bug spray at Green Land cost $195 LD$ which is 195/70 = more than 2.5 so you should buy at Abi Jaodi.

    I miss you.

    Love Rosie