There are so many differences between Niamey or Niger than any city in the US. It is easy to start comparing, but differences cannot be classified by “good” or “bad.” They are just different!
For example, the roads here in Niger are largely unpaved. What I have seen, which is a very small part, are the wide roads of sand and clay lined by homes or buildings behind clay walls. The roads become more challenging to navigate after it rains because large puddles of standing water or mud must be avoided. But to pave a road has its own challenges and costs. These streets work for Niger, and they do have their own road construction projects.
Progress in Niger, like roads follows its own path. I have gotten a glimpse of this even in the few days I’ve been here. People are very optimistic and want to help their country develop. Kara and I had a great conversation with some people who live in Niamey, who work with Nigeriens that are actively engaged in development projects both large and small.
Our EERN partners are a great example of this as well. We have often mentioned that the vision they have is what we support, and we hope to learn from them what works best for their schools.
I am eager to see the schools for myself this coming week.