But all is well, I spent over a month in the bush. Of course I went to market every week and visited with other PCV's, but stayed out of Niamey. I think 2-3 weeks is my limit. I went over a week without seeing any Americans at one point and was about to go nuts. Luckily Cathy is only 15 Km up the road, which is no biggy on the bike (as long as the wind is kind). I did flip the bike though, that was fun. The road past Damana is crap and I was looking off to the side and ran into a hole. Both the bike and I were unscathed, thankfully, and I went on about my way.
I came into Niamey on Sunday on the post car, have had a good time. A lot of PCV's were here 'cause some were leaving for the states, some for vacation, some were done here, etc. Most have filtered back out now. I got to do some shopping in the Grand Marche, I got some incense and an incense pot, as well as a new bubu. I'll try to get some pics soon. I did find out that I had Giardia, so now I've had that, amoebas, and bacteria, the big three common causes of the runs. I think we need to make up some merit badges for that sort of thing. I'm going back out to the bush on friday, and have a lot to do tomorrow. I have to get a sink, exchange some gas cylinders, maybe buy some cases of canned goods, and write a report. I'm the new Balleyara hostel manager, which may turn out to be a headache, I think I've got most things straightened out, or will have soon.
The rains have started, but the heat hasn't gone down much, still gets to 100 degrees pretty regularly, and now it's muggier. The millet is planted in the village, and we've intercropped it with beans. Now we're in the middle of cultivating. All the men spend all day hoeing the fields by hand in the heat. I can only do it for a few hours in the morning, but I'm able to do more every day.
I'm probably going to be back in Niamey around August 3, that's SeaBass's Birthday. Then we have newbies visiting about a week after, so that will be fun. They come in in a few weeks, so I won't be one of the new people anymore, they'll actually think I know what's going on around here, HA!
I'm taking money back to the bush to buy a camel, finally. Djibo says I can go 40+ Km/day on it, which will be decent for trekking about. Probably just to market and visiting for a while, but eventually I'd like to do some long distance treks. Hopefully I can get some other PCV's to caravan with me. That's a ways off though, and first I have to learn how to drive the thing.
Well, that's all I can come up with for now, I might add some tomorrow night, so check back.