I went into town this morning with three other hospital staff members to get the ID pics taken. Two were Nigerien, the third Canadian.
We parked on the side of the road across the street from the shop, where we found the photographer sipping a Coke with some buddies. He led us through the door into a dark dirt 'hallway' that curved around into the 'studio'. It was fabulous! Hanging on all four walls were shower curtains picturing scenes of remote off-the-beaten-path far-away-from-the-tourists China: red pagodas and bamboo bridges as the foreground to jutting rock formations in calm aqua waters. For a moment I forgot the Sahara is only a few hours north.
O. our Canadian numbers man went first.
After a quick pose, there was a strong flash.
The photographer checked the back of his Nikon . . . it was white. Lots and lots of white. I'm pretty sure O.'s dark hair was the only thing visible in the picture. The photographer was a bit perplexed. Surely his white balance and flash settings were prepped for his regular customers . . . who, of course, are a few shades darker than both O. and myself.
After a few adjustments, I think he got it right. I know it frustrated him, but I couldn't help but giggle. Between the little girl trying to pick the white off my skin, the kids from out in the bush that are terrified of me, and my new reflective properties, I'm starting to feel like a freak of nature.