|Waiting for the ferry|
We left early in the morning on market day, crossing the river at the ferry. In rural areas, many people leave the towns during the rainy season and go live in their fields. Their fields can be 5-10 miles from the town, so many of them will have a little hut in their field where they live during the rainy season, eliminating the long commute they would normally have.
|On the way to market|
The first thing we noticed when we drove into town that more permanent shelters had been built in the market and that one of the roads going around the market was now paved, making two paved roads through the market area! When we had last visited there were reports that there would be a paved road put in that would go all the way to Burkina Faso. Sure enough....the paved road now no longer ends in Our Town, but goes all the way from Niamey to Burkina!
|The new road|
We first went to my friend H's house. I guessed she wouldn't be there as she always moves to the bush in the rainy season. Sure enough, the house was all locked up. So we went to M's house next. She had been my house-worker and friend and teacher-of-culture for the entire 16 years we lived in Our Town.
|My friend "M" and me|
From there, we went over to my friend, H's, house. In a land of poverty, they are even poorer than everybody else. They squat on a piece of land, living in a grass hut without even a latrine for a bathroom.
|"H" and me|
|Theo has the great ability to make friends with kids wherever he goes. Language doesn't stop him!|
Next stop was to visit Suzanne's friend, S. She is married and has a child. She married well and lives in a pretty nice house with real furniture, a TV, etc.
|Suz and "S" grew up together|
|John's Nigerien brother, "A"|
By then we were really hungry, so we headed to the other side of the stream that runs through town and found a nice deserted spot for a picnic lunch.
|Trying to toss peanuts in Theo's mouth|
As soon as we were finished eating we went to the market. There we ran into my friend H again and she took me to find her mother. We also saw a lot of friends from the nearby village of D. It was very hot in the market, so we ready to leave by 3 p.m.
The millet in the area looks terrible. It is not an exaggeration to say it is one of the worst years we have ever seen.
|The millet should have been about chest high at that time.|