Newly Wed to Absent Husbands

july29NEWLY WED TO ABSENT HUSBANDS:  I met this young bride in a small village near the Timia cascade.  We spent the night with her and her husband, and the next morning walked along a river oued surrounded by cave paintings of giraffes and prehistoric men.  We ended the evening with a refreshing bath in the Timia cascade.  As we walked, I spoke with her husband, who told me that he had just returned from battles on the Touareg rebel front against the Niger government. The Touaregs of northern Niger historically have periodically been in conflict with the Niger government because they feel disenfranchised. Continue reading “Newly Wed to Absent Husbands”


Beautiful Despite Harsh Environments

july 28BEAUTIFUL DESPITE HARSH ENVIRONMENTS:  This is the third sister of Aouderas that visited Ahoudan, Aghali, and me.  She is with her son.  I have had several people comment on how beautiful these three sisters and their clothing are.  One thing that has never ceased to amaze me is that, no matter how harsh the environment, women of Niger are coquettish, and make it a point to adorn themselves in colorful jewelery and intricately designed clothing. The sisters’ embroidered black tunics are the traditional clothing for women in the Ayr.  The embroidery design changes from shirt to shirt.  Continue reading “Beautiful Despite Harsh Environments”

The Man In The Red Light

july 27THE MAN IN THE RED LIGHT: During our conversation with the three sisters of Aouderas, Ahoudan’s son, Aghali, surprised me: “So, Ariane, when I went to Niamey, I saw red lights everywhere.  They changed from red to green.  But I was wondering… how do they find someone small enough to fit into those light posts to change the color of the lights?” I did a doubletake. I remained somber despite an impending desire to keel over from laughter.  Just to make sure I had properly understood Aghali’s question, I asked, “so you think that there is a person inside the light post turning the switches to change the light?” Continue reading “The Man In The Red Light”

The Room That Moves

july 22 -2.jpgTHE ROOM THAT MOVES: Here are two of the three sisters that visited Ahoudan, me and Ahoudan’s son, Aghali in the village of Aouderas of Niger.  We enjoyed discussing the differences that exist in the more modern world, and the world that they know living in the Ayr… the Ayr has changed little for the past centuries.  Except that motorcycles have replaced camels, and everyone owns a cell phone.  Continue reading “The Room That Moves”

How Could Anyone Fit into A Plane?

july 22.jpgHOW COULD ANYONE FIT INTO A PLANE? This is one of three sisters that visited us during our stay in the village of Aouderas.  I cannot remember her name, but I will never forget her beauty (much commented on by Ahoudan, who I think would have happily married all three sisters). They were outgoing and full of curiosity about life in the Western world.  One of the questions that I rember being asked: “planes are so small.  How in the world does a human being enter a plane?  Continue reading “How Could Anyone Fit into A Plane?”

Ahoudan At the Timia Cascade

july 19-2.jpgAHOUDAN AT THE TIMIA CASCADE:  I know I recently posted this photo, but since this is one of my favorite photos of Ahoudan, I felt it belonged in this Ahoudan series.  It is of Ahoudan walking toward me at the cascade of Timia, Niger.  Ahoudan often travelled to this cascade with my family when I was a child.  I have fond memories swimming in the cool pool with my parents and racing up to the different levels of the falls with my brother, Tercelin.  He always won.  Continue reading “Ahoudan At the Timia Cascade”

Ahoudan And His Glasses

july 19-1.jpgAHOUDAN AND HIS GLASSES: For days I watched Ahoudan with this sticker on his glasses, until I finally took pity and suggested he might see better without the sticker. He was very grateful when he realized he could take it off. He has such a great sense of humor that he laughed and laughed, and stuck the sticker on his forehead. (sorry to those of you who already read this yesterday!!) I could write an entire book on Ahoudan and his glasses. Up until about six years ago, he would use just about anything to see better, such as a magnifying glass, glass bottles, and who knows what. Continue reading “Ahoudan And His Glasses”