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A Study in Contrasts

I've been thinking about some of the contrasts between Niger and Pennsylvania.

NIGER: Trees are few and far between in Niger. It is simply too hot and dry for them to thrive.

PENNSYLVANIA: Trees are everywhere here in Pennsylvania. I am really enjoying looking out my living room window right into the woods!

NIGER: Hard, rocky soil abounds. Wide open spaces are everywhere. There seems to be a total lack of color. Well, brown IS a color....but it's rather monochromatic. Believe it or not, Niger does turn green between June and October!

PENNSYLVANIA: There are so many different shades of green with surprising bursts of color. There are trees and hills rather than wide open spaces.

NIGER: We have absolutely no grass in our yard. It is all sand. We do have some flowering bushes, though!

PENNSYLVANIA: Grass and flowers are everywhere. I love sitting or lying in the grass! Flowers abound here at for the eyes!

NIGER: Somebody planted this millet in our yard last year. They waited too late and it wasn't a very good rainy season, anyway. But isn't it pitiful looking?!

PENNSYLVANIA: A farmer's field of corn. What a contrast!

You may think a person would love the prettiest place most, wouldn't you? But it's not true! Niger, in spite of all it's monotonous brown and stark scenery is beautiful to me! Why? Because it's home!

And we do have some beauty! Here is one of the flowering bushes in our yard. We also have pink and yellow bushes like this (bouganvilla).

Most of all, we have learned to love Niger's people, people who survive in spite of the harshness and lack of beauty. That's what makes it home to us.