Our garden plot is next to a dry river bed where water flows for a short time each year, but is accessible only a few feet from the surface. Agriculture is becoming a profitable venture for the Air region.We had time for one more visit to our garden to see the new plantings and get […]
We returned to Agadez to finish up the office. The military required that we leave a week earlier that I wanted to we had to go before the office was ready, but our new secretary Ramatou will finish up and move in. And it should all be ready when we return in September.
We not only had 20 special forces of the Nigerian army, but our own Tuareg drivers/body guards. Alhassane and Abunguel were best friends and comrades during the rebellion. They provided another level of security for us …we called them Delta Force.
After all the hard work of the past six weeks we took two days to relax in the dunes about an hours drive outside of Agadez in Tiguidit. Alhassane played the guitar and the girls sang under a full moon.
We gathered all the Foundation vehicles together and went in convoy to Agadez.Mission accomplished…almost.
In our time visiting communities in the bush we were also letting them know that our medical mission was about to start. Unfortunately, Dr. Bob Skankey, his wife Louine and Rachel Phillips a volunteer, had to cancel because of passport/visa problems, but we decided to go ahead with a local staff. After leaving Foudouk we […]
The wodaabe women of Foudouk are the master embroiderers. They gathered to show me their latest work which I could not buy since there are few sales in America at the moment. I told them that we had to figure out what they could sell here in Niger. We purchased them a sewing machine a […]
I have not visited our little community of Ojai for some time. We named it Ojai when Peroji and his family moved there because we built a well for them. The wives were there, but Peroji and his grown son were not. Peroji’s family used to be all girls, but they are all married now… […]
Through the pasture rich north, which suffered a catastrophic drought last year. I have seen more cattle than ever before. They are apparently owned by rich Arab businessmen, but not by nomads unfortunately. But there are still camels We stop to talk and listen to all the communities…Figure out what what their problems and tell […]
The America defense attaché in Niamey gave us 1,000 T shirts to distribute on our travels. They are to encourage the population to vote in this election.
We headed out to visit some camps of our friends to see how things are going and inform people the clinic was to happen in a couple of days.Alow’s camp at Doli was first. Sol made a conquest, or I should say Alow made a conquest when she gave him this beautiful bag.Who is that […]
We arrived at the Tamesna Clinic and started running at full speed — the first day spent stocking, counting and organizing medecine. Here is our new major (nurse) Ali Hamada working at the medical cabinet. He is rapidly becoming a fixture in health care in the north. People come to see him from as far […]
Miracles do happen. We actually got out of Niamey and headed north with our rather cumbersome detail of military. Sunrise en route…Sol takes part in the detail..
We saw Rich Komp off almost a week ago and have been in a state of agitation, shock, frustration and misery for the entire week. We were forced to come back to the capital, Niamey, by our military escort who would not let us stay at home in my house in Agadez. So we dutifully […]
The proud group after installing a battery, charge controller and…Voila-electricity…
Back at the house in Agadez…the military took up residence on the roof terrace.
We had time to visit the garden which is just starting to produce onions, fennel and moringa.Below is the onion “nursery” which will be transplanted soon. We hope for a harvest in April.
Sol climbed to the edge of the cemented well to lower the pump into the 15 m deep well. We then all waited breathlessly for just a minute or two and VOILA–WATER! It was a hot day–hot work but the rewards–a hair wash…
Last trip, since we could not actually go to our garden, we found an alternative well to test our solar panels and pump. This time we finished up the two extra panels needed and went out to install the system in the garden at Indoudou, where it was originally intended. We had a stand made […]
The program took place at our property in the heart of Agadez across from the historic 15th century mosque. Since this is the most touristic site in Agadez and there are absolutely no tourists the many desperate vendors installed a shop on our front porch within minutes of our arrival.
The nomads got in to work the day we got back from our speedy visit to the center and the cows. They started right in making panels. Thirteen students showed up. The plan is to finish panels to install a solar pump at our garden in Indoudou. Install a small electrical system in the office […]
We arrived with our escort to my house in Agadez and then made a quick one day visit to the clinic to meet the new nurse and to see our herd of cows. We made a quick inspection of the center, met the new nurse, who was very good, and has a real rapport with […]
We have been in country for two weeks and each step has been a monumental struggle. When I say we, I mean myself, Rich Komp our solar energy expert and Sol de la Torre Bueno who has come as a volunteer to help us organize our projects. The first week was spent seeing authorities and […]
Charlene Pidgeon has been a good traveling buddy in West Africa for over 10 years. She and I shop together for our respective African Art businesses. She has been actively raising money for Nomad Foundation projects that she manages for much of this time. They include a major goat purchasing program which has served especially […]
While I was in Niger the connection was so slow I could not post this little film of the arrival of the first water from the well where the nomadic students installed their first panels and tested the pump.
I have just gotten back to the US, but before I close out the blog for this trip I have to express the Nomad Foundation’s thanks to Susan Rosenfeld. Without her generosity the project would never have gone forward. She had invited Dr. Komp and me to stay at her house for the two days […]
Eighteen students received certificates.Then we all posed with the finished products.We then did a drawing for each community (there were eight) to take home one of the products we made–solar chargers for cel phones, or batteries.Ahar was praying he’d win a cel phone charger… and he did! They were all getting anxious to get back […]
When all the classes were done and the panels made, we all signed the FIRST SOLAR PANEL EVER BUILT IN NIGER!
Dr. Komp showed a film of his Malian project which was very popular since much of it was in French and they could understand it.He wanted them to understand theory, which was somewhat difficult to communicate. Especially since I had to figure it out first and then communicate it to them. When he got into […]
Every one got a chance at every task. The most difficult was getting angles precise to make mitered edges. They cut and recut, filed and trimmed and everything always had a curve–how did they do it? But they kept trying and there was always time for a tea break.
With all the gang assembled, there were 18 students, Dr. Komp, Sidi, Aboli (our cook) and me. Plus the family who had rented us the house decided to stay since it was so lively and fun! Oh well it is Africa after all and things are more relaxed. This was a rather small three bedroom […]
Sidi was due to arrive in our new car the day after the others came down on the bus. He stayed to do the second distribution of millet for the Niger Food Relief campaign of the Boston University Niger Program Alumni. He was to arrive with our cook, Aboli who would handle feeding the whole […]
Here the whole class proudly displays the first solar panel ever built in Niger. It is a 54 watt designed to power the pump at our garden in Indoudou.
Here the group has put heavy bricks on the glass as it floats on the silicone to adhere the glass to the backing with the photovoltaic cells sandwiched in the silicone.
We had to take a large panel of cells out to the street to test it since it was early morning and not enough sunshine in the courtyard. As we were testing, a man came by and asked to buy it. Our first customer? We are confident there will be a big demand. We will […]
The nomads themselves see that everyone has a chance to try every task.
The next step is to mix a silicone material with its catalyst (this came very easily since it is like mixing tea and sugar)The next step is to spread the silicone to seal the fragile cells and adhere them to the glass
One of the most difficult things for these nomads was not understanding voltage and amperes, positive and negative, series and parallel, that came easily to them. What was most difficult was learning cutting and drilling and filing vertically or horizontally. Precision and right angles are not part of their world.