another excerpt from an email...

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Africa » Niger
September 3rd 2005
Published: September 6th 2005
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so, the other day we went to rissa's house
rissa is a tuareg
one of the nomadic tribes of niger
he is an artist, he lives in niamey
we hung out under his front yard canopy thing
he has a bunch of wives and apprentices that learn tamasheck, their language, and instruments and painting
he's eccentric
he looks like a darker einstien, kind of
he yelled at us for not writing tamasheck letters correctly after only looking at the handout for a couple seconds
it was funny
we had super strong shots of tea
it started to rain, but the over hang was reinforced with plastic bags
they sang us songs and banged on a calabash floating in an orange bucket of water with a blue flip flop
he made us try this instrument that was curved like a bow with a string stretched between. you strum it with one finger and pluck with your other hand and then flip and hit it with the back of your hand so it's kind of a syncopated plinking
i was the best
his family danced for us
it was a random experience

and then, to totally contrast that, we went to the american embassy the other day
they suggest we not ride in cabs at all
oops, already have
they suggest we not fraternize with nigeriens
oops, already have
they suggest calling the marine house if we can't get a hold of anyone else
no way
the marines are so crazily intense!
they do "react" drills every week to simulate someone busting into the embassy and they were wondering if we would like to volunteer to pretend to be the ambassador and be thrown off the roof in rappelling gear
they have a 50/50 rule when they're drinking, but there's only 6 so three are sober...but the seargent assured us that he trusts all of his marines enough even if they've been drinking to hand them a weapon and they would be able to preform a task...
and then this woman who's job it is to make a weekly news letter of what's going on around niamey basically
"this is everything you'll ever need to know about, if it's happening, it's in here!"
it's all stuff at the rec center right next door or around town but with english speakers...whoooo
we're going to the orphanage today
and then out to dinner tonight to celebrate school starting


6th September 2005

YOu better stay safe over there!! Where are the pics? i haven't figured out the site yet. hehe. I'm glad to see that you are on top of breaking the rules of survival already, just don't have too much fun with that. ;)

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