snippets of my trip to agadez and konni

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Africa » Niger
October 21st 2005
Published: October 21st 2005
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we went to Agadez and Konni a couple of weeks ago now and i was hoping that i would have a big blog, or lots of little ones of what i saw, but school and homestay and just living here has taken more time than i thought making it difficult to fill y'all in, but here are some images that will hopefully give you an inkling/preview of what i (hopefully) will elaborate on soon...

Agadez is in the north of niger, a 14 hour drive that we did in two days on terrible roads in our sweltering hot van, the floor of which was dangerously hot all the time. no air conditioning, windows open, unfriendly hot wind most of the time.
moving out of the "arable/platable/cultivated" part of the country felt more like "africa" to us; foreverandever scrub land with scraggly trees with lots of thorns
herds of cows with huge horns being herded by tuareg people who constantly roam the hinter lands, up into the actual desert where no trees are and the last one there was got run over by some jerk in a jeep who then relocated it to the museum here in niamey...
watering holes
turbaned tuaregs
tuareg girls selling choucou, a hard cheese on the side of the road
giraffes at the beginning of the trip on this mysterious tower of stairs in the middle of a sort of wildlife reserve, they were lighter colors than i would expect...
the mosque in agadez is mud, a tower
we were there on a friday, hanberri, to see the big prayer in the middle of the day when everyone(men) try to make it to the mosque
we climbed the mosque, and two bats ran into farida...
i watched farida bargain like a mad woman with a hoard of artisans, she came away with a lot of jewelry for a good price...
after agadez we stayed in a peace corps village
just like you might expect
mud structures, again in the middle of nowhere
i harvested millet
pounding millet
ate millet
saw millet being beaten and sifted and stored
saw a baby goat being born
slep outside everynight
saw orion's belt again
rode on a bush taxi with 42 other people and 25 huge sacks of rice millet sorgum, clutching on to the bed of a truck, bumping along the back road, getting my skirt snagged by passing thorns, precariously clutching on...when we got to the main paved road people piled off so i had a better seat
next to a goat
and at one stop a woman handed me her tiny, maybe three month old baby while she jumped off, i almost didn't give it back, but considering she trusted me enough in the first place to thrust this sleeping thing with a winter hat on in 100 degree heat, i figured i should return it...
market day
like any market day
but unlike any market day
they're great
we had to walk a ways away to find the "bathroom" a spot in the bushes marked by a huge turd...
i brought a deck of cards and the villagers didn't know what they were...
i saw a huge semi truck tipped over, i don't know how they get them out here...
people just pass on the road, no middle divider line
no curves to really worry about actually...
pit stops are just on the side of the road cause it's better to pee in the bush than in a sketchy roadside town hole
but make sure you pick up your skirt cause the burrs hurt...
in agadez we had posh accomodations; air conditioning, comfy beds flush toilets and a hot water option in the shower
we went back a day early, driving in the night which is terrifying; because there are no divider lines or reflectors on the side of the road, cars busses, monster semis just drift...and the same rules don't apply for passing, if you pass someone they will most likely pass you 5 minutes later...
we were all really glad to get back, dirty, crazily giggly and so tired
and our regular group of friends were waiting, not necessarily for us cause they didn't know we were coming back early, but it was so good to have familiar faces, profiles in the night lights of the CFCA
it feels like home


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