Yesterday (Friday) we drove from Maradi to the capitol of Niger, Niamey, stopping twice to visit Madaoua Primary School and the Galmi Missionary Hospital. This was an unplanned adventure, as we were originally supposed to drive until Galmi, then catch a propeller plane to Niamey. However, as with many situations we have come across in Niger, this did not go as planned! A dust storm began yesterday morning (and is, at this time, still occurring in full force), preventing flight. Therefore, we had, overall, a 13 hour road-trip along the southern border of Niger!
Although I am the only one of the 9 travelers to have this opinion, the trip was fascinating and I am SO excited that we were able to have it! No, we had no air conditioning, no, we had no cellular data, and yes, there were millions of potholes, but we drove through at least 50 small villages, encountered numerous animals (including camels), observed people of all ages, and even saw dozens and dozens of mosques. We experienced bustling towns as well as small and slow moving villages. This trip (or safari?) though very long and hot, gave us (or maybe just me?) a much more in-depth understanding of culture and lifestyle of the country of Niger as an entirety.