i think i figured it out


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Africa » Niger
September 6th 2005
Published: September 6th 2005
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ok
so i found fast email with and american keyboard and i discovered the "publish" button on this website and i have a lot of time so i will divulge as much as i can...
where to start
i have a new nigerien name
tammafa
pronounced
tammaHA
no f sound
we, the seven girls in our group, got our names in a naming ceremony/baptism our second night here with a hundred in attendance and dancing and sodas in bottles
my name means 'belief' or 'expectations
i'm at the internet cafe with farida from washington d.c. who goes to barnard. her name means 'the light of the moon'

classes just started yesterday, i've had two weeks of orientation and i feel soundly well-adjusted
we've been to the markets in town, one out of town that sold a lot of livestock, we all rode on a camel there, we went to a soap factory, unilever, the same company that makes dove. we met with a lot of organizations that we might want to work with for our community placement; global 2000, they're trying to eradicate guinea worm, they come out of your skin and breed in still water
valpro: they're working on getting legitimate papers, food and pyscological help for street kids(boys) that leave they're families in the villages and come to niamey, the capital, to find food and live on the streets and sell cell phone calling cards. the orphanage run by french catholic nuns, although the day we went there all the big kids were on a field trip so we hung out with the babies for a bit
i want to work at valpro and a school for tuareg kids, school doesn't start til oct thought, so we'll see

this is scattered, it's how my mind is working these days, well actually before too...😊
i'm taking zarma, a local language that is spoken mostly in this part of niger, i've taken 5 classes(four during orientation) and 2 of those alone have been devoted to salutations
saying hi takes a long time
people are pleased when we whip out "fofo!" instead of "bonjour", especially the old traditional ladies, they squeal and giggle

what other preliminary, pre-story information?
it's hot
but it rained today and relieved us a little
the nigerien boys are age that we've met, and been 'pursued' by are really smart
they know at least three languages
hausa, zarma and french
they are so eager to learn and excel and talk to us
you can tell what religion people are by they're names
lots of mohameds
not many mathieus
except this go-for guy here in the comp. place, his name is being thrown around, he just ran another errand...

we draw a lot of stares in our big group, or alone
and some people call us 'ana sara' 'white foreigner' endearingly...
s'all for now
je pense
kala ton ton!
(see you later)
lil
tamaffa


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