Kids are everywhere in Niger! Over half the population of Niger is under 15!
Kids are so willing to pose for photos. They love our digital cameras and crowd around after each photo yelling, "Ey ma di!" Which actually sounds like, "M di! M di!" "Let me see! Let me see!" Here are some of my favorite kid photos that I've taken in recent months.
This little guy was eating candy I had given him. His nose is just a little disgusting! He tries so hard to be funny...his version of funny is just spouting nonsense. And doing stuff like showing everybody the green candy in his mouth!
This little boy ALWAYS has a dirty nose. The first thing I say everytime I see him is, "Go blow your nose." He's so naughty, but so cute! He lives next door and all day long I hear his mom calling his name. Jeremy calls him Genghis Khan. But the other kids think he's saying "Genji Kaan" which would mean a good crazy person. Either way, the name seems to fit! See the string around his neck? Tied to the string is a leather pouch with some sort of verses from the Koran wrapped up inside. It is a charm.
This boy's name is....no kidding....Saddam-Hussein. He's very rough, almost like he's trying to live up to his name. But I've discovered if you give him a job to do, he's happy and is very willing to please.
These two are neighbors. The one on the left lives right beside us in a grass hut. She is so adorable, but so mischevious. She really can't sit still and loves to talk. The other one lives two doors down and her mom works in my house for me. She is generally pretty cute and likes to cuddle. But, maybe because she is the youngest of 11, she can sure pitch a fit! She just throws herself on the ground and screams and screams. Maybe because she's the youngest of 11, she is usually ignored when she has a fit!
This is one of the older brothers of the little girl that pitches fits. I don't think the stuff on his face is food or snot. They had been fixing up their house by dabbing liquidy mud on the walls and it had splatted all over him. Well, ok, maybe there is some snot there.
This girl is a relative of my house lady. Her family lives in Coutounou (or somewhere) and they left her here to live with her aunt (my house lady). She is about 15 and has quit school. She pretty much does all the house work at their house. She is a hard worker. The little boy is not her child. He is the grandson of my house worker's co-wife (their husband has three wives).
This is a picture Joni Byker took of three girls in the village of D____. Aren't they adorable? I don't really know them, but I loved this picture. Check out Joni's website at www.bykerwoman.com.
It is not unusual....in fact, it is the norm, to have children peeking in our windows. They love to come to the kitchen window or door and talk to me while I'm cooking. They especially like to peek in the dining room window while we're eating. What's up with these strange white people? Why is Yaaye eating with his wife? Who does she think she is, acting equal with him? And what is that junk they're eating, anyway? And look at those pretty plates. John says it's like they're watching Little House on the Edge of the Desert. That's why we have curtains! One thing for sure....we never get lonely with this many kids around!
Next post.....what do we do with all these kids!?