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Africa » Niger » Niamey
February 7th 2006
Published: February 27th 2006
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2/7/06
Cataco
four light bulbs 1,000
three tomatoes 50
pumice foot stone 25
metal scrubby 75
bag of henna 100
small pepper 25
½ kilo bag of sugar 250
½ bag of flour 75
paint brush 750
little sack of ginger 25
jar of peanut butter 600
pasta 300
6 nails 100
1/4 ground meat 300
water 10
taxi 400
onion 50
total 3,735
$7.47

2/5/06
the funny thing about money in a poor country is you can never use big bills. It sucks to have a 10,000 denomination bill, the equivalent of twenty dollars; no one can or wants to change it for you. Even a 5,000 bill is difficult even if you’re going to buy something a little bigger, because chances are you will have to take a taxi to where you’re buying the larger thing and taxis are only 200 francs a person. And street food is ridiculously cheap and never a good way to break big bills. A heaping bowl of beans, rice and spicy sauce is 100 francs, 150 if it’s expensive or has meat. Yesterday, in the petite marche, for 10 dollars or 5,000 fracs, I bought; a metal teapot, a rock looking chunk of spices which makes beans cook quicker, tall bottle of cooking oil, 2 kilos of potatoes, 5 fresh tomatoes, bag of beans, an onion, a mini bag of peppers, and a big pink bag with a scowling bald eagle on it that says “See the world.” My rent is 28,000 a month; thinking that about 500 francs is one dollar so about 30,000 would be sixty dollars. It was a flushing toilet, indoor shower and sink, kitchen with sink, fridge, camp stove, my room has a fan, a two doored bureau, and a terribly dirty, terribly uncomfortable mattress. It has a guardian it’s in the same compound I was in before. Quite the deal.

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27th February 2006

Good deals but....
The finances sound great, the other... well challenges and life's learnings for sure. I applaud you for taking a step into the unknown (or perhaps known yet full of wonder). Be safe, stay cool... : O Uncle Robert

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