Challenges, for sure,
But a unique history,
I visited Monrovia in 2012, over a weekend while I was living in neighbouring Sierra Leone. In this sense, the comparisons between these two countries, both faced with huge challenges, was interesting.
It is easy to spot the American influences, from the flag, to people's accents, to the more grid-style roads. I enjoyed going for a drink with a friend to a lively bar, and having a nice dinner from up on top of a hill with views over to the rest of the city. Monrovia didn't feel quite as safe as Freetown, but that was just my sense. People used to say that Monrovia is a bit more developed than Freetown, but rural Liberia is poorer than rural Sierra Leone. That was also my initial impression, though hard to say for sure. I got a glimpse of the rural life, as I travelled over land - and on the way back, by motorbike to the border, which was fun but exhausting!