Niger’s rank & file get a raise, to 3,000 cfa per day

That’s the new salary of lowest-ranking soldiers and police, just announced. Apparently it used to be 1,500 – which is about 45,000 (or about $90) per month. Now they’re up to 90,000 ($180) per month. The teachers, who mostly signed endless 2-year contracts and never became full civil servants, made about 40-50,000 a month I believe – perhaps it’s a little more now. And while life has fewer bells & whistles to pay for there, the basics are not that much cheaper.

As a Peace Corps Volunteer I made more than that. Even volunteers in the most rural towns made more.* Plus – and this is a big plus – we got free housing and health care. And I didn’t have a family to feed, clothe, house, educate, etc on my salary. If I ever claimed to be poor there, I owe somebody an apology..

For me, this is a good example of being present in a place – judge my well-being by local standards, and be honest with myself about my relative wealth.

* (Rural volunteers made a little less than city PCVs, which never made sense to me.)

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About developingnathan
I am a reflective person. I am an introvert, a friend, a brother and a son. I appreciate a well-crafted glass of beer, piece of music and turn of phrase. I am a professional of international development, a good pianist and a Green Bay Packers fan.

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