Blogs from Niger, Africa


Africa » Niger May 22nd 2018

”All you need to know is that it’s possible.” -Wolf, Appalachian Leader Last... dead last. This is the position that Niger almost always occupies when ranking how well countries are doing. Niger had until recently the unenviable position of 188th out of 188 countries in the Human development index (its now 187th). This is the index which measures things like health, education, equality and productivity. It therefore has a brutal combination of the lowest reading rates, health rates, income equality, gender equality and GDP. You name the stat it is a nation that’s at the bottom of it (or at the top of it when considering birth rates: Niger women have the highest in the world, a staggering 7 children per female). It has also been a place that has intrigued me deeply. There is something ... read more
Map of Niger
The Niger River at dusk
Lounging by the Niger River

Africa » Niger » Niamey March 21st 2011

28 février : Aujourd’hui, petite pluie matinale sur Dosso. Visite des communes de Dan Kassari et de Doutchi. Déjeuner avec Lukas, le Polonais, 1 thé, 1 café et un morceau de pain, environ 0,60 $ dans une cabane en tôle en face de l’hôtel. 1 mars : Pour le déjeuner, retour au super resto en face de l’hôtel avec Lukas. Visite des communes de Garan Kedey, de Sakadamna et de Kiéché. Anniversaire de Laura, l’Italienne, petit gâteau d’anniversaire fait avec des frites et des carottes ! Pas super bon. 2 mars : Visite des communes de Kasera et Tessa ainsi que du village de Koptitanda. Un autre anniversaire, celui de Lukas, ce qui me donne droit a quelques shot de vodka ! 3 mars : visite des communes de Doumega et de Guéchémé. 4 mars : ... read more
groupe en habit
deux rivals

Africa » Niger February 27th 2011

17 février : Départ pour Paris. Vol de 17 :15. Dans l’avion regarder le film « Le réseau social ». J’ai trouve cela vraiment intéressant, la création de Face-de-bouc par un nerd de Harvard avec un nom à coucher dehors ! 18 février : Arrive à CDG à 6 :00. Il est vrai que certains endroits de ce grand aéroport font un peu durs. Je retrouve mon collègue Abdoulaye, qui lui revient du Tchad. Une petite soupe et un genre de sandwich 11.50 Euros. J’ai dormi un peu parterre dans un coin. Vol de 11 :00 avec tous les autres collègues pour Niamey. J’ai pas mal dormi pendant le vol. Arrive à Niamey, grève des bagagistes. J’ai vraiment été très chanceux. Il y en a eu 5 qui ont reçus leurs bagages, dont moi ! Le ... read more

Africa » Niger February 10th 2011

17 janvier : Arrivée finalement à Niamey vers 5:00 AM. Arrivée à l'hotel vers 6:00. Dodo vers 7:00, totalement claquer ! Déjeunre/diner un spaghetti vers 12:30, mon premier repas en terre nigérienne. On assiste à un briefing de 14:00 à 19:00 : finance, docteur, sécurité, IT, etc. Souper : sandwich jambon/fromage. Première douche froide du voyage. On est confiné à nos hotel, pas le droit de sortir pour visiter la ville de Niamey. L'hotel devait être très bien dans les années 60-70, maintenant, c'est un peu défraichit ! A part l'équipe de l'UE il y a quelques militaires français qui y logent. Mes premières impressions du pays : il fait chaud et c'est très poussièreux. 18 janvier : Dernière journée de briefing à Niamey : analyse juridique, analyse politique, cadre électoral, contexte politique, relation avec la ... read more
paysage 1
la vie de couple

Africa » Niger December 10th 2010

“Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.” -Joseph Campbell Ghana Ghana Ghana! Home to the Black Stars, Kofi Anan, Kwame Nkrumah, the golden Ashanti Empire, beautiful tropical beaches in the south and elephant-filled high plains in the north. From the horrors of colonization and slavery that played out on Ghana’s gold coast to its role as an African leader of freedom - becoming the first sub-Saharan country to gain independence and more recently moving to the top of the continent’s economic growth charts, Ghana is a country that even the least educated westerners have heard of. Personally, getting to Ghana was an especially welcome change because the language was finally English again – the pocket French dictionary could take ... read more
Gold mining
Colonial memories

Africa » Niger » Niamey August 17th 2010

This update encompasses nearly two years of effort in Niger and at the village of Handaga, Tera region. I have now made some six separate trips to the village initially to visit my sponsored child and then followed by humanitarian trips. Thes trips have taken place in October 2008, December 2008 / January 2009, May 2009, September/October 2009,February 2010, June 2010 and now August 2010. Each trip made gradual progress instilling confidence in the village Chief, his elders and the villagers of some 750. Inevitably we found evidence of malnutrition, hunger and abject poverty. However, what shines through is that these beautiful people deserve our help in providing a sustainable future together with educational assistance. In the village school we are providing new desks ,equipment, books and facelifts to the classrooms. This August trip is timed ... read more

Africa » Niger » Niamey December 19th 2009

Niger is often referenced as the poorest country in the world, with a large portion of its land consisting of or threatened by the encroaching Sahara. My time spent there was, however, refreshing and a welcome respite from the overwhelming 3 days in norther Nigeria. Other than the excessive cost of our visas, we had very little problems getting into Niger. The landscape maintained its level dryness and fewer trees dotted the lanscape than on the Nigerian side. Houses and rounded food storage containers were made of mud and thatch and surrounded by smooth mud walls. Herds of sheep and occasional donkeys pulling various necessities flanked the road. We traveled along the southern road, staying in Maradi, the third largest city and the groundnut capitol of Niger. The people here spoke Hausa, like in northern Nigeria ... read more

Africa » Niger March 29th 2009

Here is a nice mobile pharmacy in Dosso...anything and everything you could possibly need! Jaundice, gonorrhea, diarrhea, stomach problems, diabetes, fever and much, much more! Doesn't it make you feel better already to see your potential treatments being served out of old trash cans, gas cans, plastic bags, and dirty water bottles?... read more

Africa » Niger » Niamey March 29th 2009

So, I had to stay an extra three days in Niamey because the airport staff are on strike. I went out to find some soap and the only thing I could find was this "Lendemain Difficile" or, "The Next Day is Difficult"...Anti-hangover soap. I haven't been drunk in well over 20 years, but where was this stuff when I was 15? Notice the back side, soap+man=woman to the second power (or squared)...what does that mean? Anyway, it promises to save your morning and bring you back to life after a short and restless night! Maybe Peace Corps should purchase this in bulk! It smells like lemons by the way...... read more
What kind of promise is this?

Africa » Niger » Niamey November 9th 2008

When I crossed the border by buss I was really positive and meditative. The hot wind blowing furiously in my face, as the bleached scenery rushed by, drenched in the strongest Sahelian sun. It was a pleasure to see slight hills, and eventually a valley in which the Niger flowed, as we drove into Niamey, the capital. This is Niger, remember, not Nigeria! This is a country of some 14 million people, considered to be the poorest country in the world for third consecutive year, and there were no severe droughts those years, so one can see the state of things thought that fact alone. It seems to be holding on to democracy tough, just, and that will be put to the test in the next few months as the next election comes up, and we ... read more
Douglas with a giraffe!!!!
Cute Giraffe.
Agadez, sweet suffering Agadez.

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