Greetings from Niger!
I’m happy to report that we have arrived safely in Niamey. We settled into a nice two bedroom apartment on a large compound in Niamey, the capital. We were given a spacious apartment because the guesthouse was full. This is my first time staying in this apartment and so far I’m very impressed. We even have a view of the Niger River!
Despite the few necessary arrival errands we have had the opportunity to see some of the capital. We stopped into the women’s artisanal center this morning and perused the local artistic talent and trade. While driving around town we saw some of the major sites such as the important Nigerien government and ministry buildings which seem to extend for over a mile. We also caught glimpses of the various markets, food sellers, and the frequently-photographed Grand Mosque.
Niger, being the impressionable country that it is, has already left quite a few:
– Rae Ann was immediately “struck” by the driving rules, or lack thereof (which it seems). Driving is fast, cars are close, and horns honk loudly and frequently. Often, drivers are dodging goats in the road and other moving roadblocks. Also, the bags are not birds.
– Karissa notes the hustle of life – the streets are packed with people and animals. It’s striking that most of the people are doing something or going somewhere. There are many, many vendors on the side of the road selling everything from shoes to medicine and food.
The photo below is of Rae Ann, Karissa and Alice in front of our apartment.