I got to Niger a week ago and have been doing all the very uninteresting things that need to be done in order to get out to do the interesting things. Translation–I have been organizing the trip, car and house maintenance, security, repairing equipment, making reservations, meetings and running around. I’ve had fun creating a new garden and shade shelter at the house and painting tables–which seems to be the only painting I get done here. Since I am not encouraged to be too visible in the downtown area for security reasons I get my jeweler friends to come to the house. It is much easier to shop from the comfort of your own living room. I guess you’d call it the Agadez version of online shopping–oncouch shopping. Here are Moumouni and Boubacar–never smiling as usual. But I have lots of new jewelry to bring back to the gallery.
Tomorrow we leave to inspect Tamesna Education Center and Clinic. Then we will go to the Cure Salee, which is expected to be very good this year–Sidi is in the organization of the fantasia–meaning camel races, dances, singing, beauty and dress competitions. The bad news is my Sat modem does not work (yet) with my new computer–its always scary to get a new computer for reasons like this. So I won’t be able to blog until next week when I get back from two big nomadic festivals–starting the building of a new well, school and preparing for the next midwife training in November.
Last night I had a dinner party for some old friends. I had invited three, but people kept coming by and we ended up feeding 8 hungry guys. (The invited girls did not show). It was a great conversation since everybody is so interested in the security of the region–and I want to know all I can.
The most numerous guests, however were the locusts. With the huge rains this year I have never seen so many insects. It is taking your life in your hands to be near a light at night. I tremble to think what the bush is going to be like–I will have to take an iron mosquito net. Oh well the nomads are really happy this year because the pasture is very good. Wish we had some of that in California.