In July 1994, my parents bought me a one-way plane ticket to Niamey, Niger. I returned home (Abidjan, RCI) overland via Burkina Faso. In Niger I visited the hospital compound at Galmi and caught bush taxis up to Tahoua where I stayed with our old friends the Bédous.

In Niamey, I stayed with the Issa family and visited Phil Maxwell who gave me the grand tour of Sahel Academy. I had lived on the Bible school compound with my family from 1982 to 1984, so the visit brought back many fond memories.

Here’s a postcard from that trip.

Iférouane - Fête du Mouloud, July 1994

I went to the Consulat today to get my visa for Burkina Faso. The visa was only 10,000cfa, but I had forgotten to take pictures along. So I had to have them done — 3500cfa for instant ones.

I’ve bought some nice things for myself and for presents. The pagnas here are really beautiful. I found one for my mum in yellow and red with gold Tuareg crosses on it. I hope she’ll like it. It’s definitely Nigerien. [She did. She had it made into a shirt and skirt.]

Right now I’m writing this postcard by a hotel’s pool. It’s great to cool off in between writing and reading.

What I miss most in Niger is the grass. There just doesn’t seem to be any grass anywhere!

I visited the zoo with Jono. We were just in time to see two lions copulating. Quite embarrassing.

It’s lonely here because I don’t have anyone to really talk to.