Since Short-Story-Long Girl will no doubt strike again, let me hit some of the more I'm-Enjoying-This-Because-I'm-Still-Fresh-Off-The-Boat stories.
|The view from my car window for about 85% of the drive.|
Not to far into our drive we crossed the regional line out of Tillaberi into Dosso, which required stopping at a check point and greeting a gendarme. Our CMO was driving, and he went through all the appropriate greetings in Hausa. Now, these can go on for a little bit with a lot of back and forth: how'd you sleep? how's work? how's the family? how's your health? But this time, things went a little longer than usual. After a few minutes of chatter, we were back on our way. "What was that about?" I asked. "Oh, he has athletes foot and asks that the next time I drive through here if I'd bring him a tube of cream."
|A dried up river bed.|
|Here, this is normal.|
(NO! Those are not ALL mine!)
Turns out, we went out the in. He made us turn around and go back where we came from. While C. was off taking care of this, L. and I stayed with the car. New white faces in town always draw a crowd and before we knew it, we were greeting and being greeted. Everything seemed pretty typical, until a shady-looking young guy wearing an Obama t-shirt with a button down on top and more rings than he has fingers showed up carrying two walking sticks, both wrapped in brightly patterned fabric. 'Bonjour, madame.' he said to me. 'Bonjour' I responded. He asked how I was, I asked him the same. After the course of greetings, he informed me that I was in need of a souvenir, and he proceeded to take off one of his many rings. I told him no thank you, I in fact did not need a souvenir, and politely declined his offer. He persisted. I got out of the car and joined L., who was now chatting with some older women selling a couscous type grain. He began speaking to L. and only left when she insisted that I was not in need of any of his souvenirs.
|Two boys selling water in a small town.|
|The other type of 'gas station' . . . those gin bottles are full of car fuel.|
|A kid pours us tea in Koni.|
(notice the 'objects in the mirror are closer than they appear')
So there you have it. Just another Nigérien road trip. But I'm safe and sound at the hospital. Trying to unpack and organize as best as I can.
Here are few shots of some of the passersby while we were getting the car fixed:
|What a gorgeous smile!|
They were two of the few that didn't run
away when I picked up my camera.