Members Fly to Europe for $150 Dollars

Buying Candles in Niger

2005-09-04 03:50:00

Buying Candles in Niger
Note: There is no problem that is obvious for Electricity in Niamey, Niger, I am going to the countryside and like to read at night. I am being prepared.
8:53 September 4, 2005 Sunday

I went out early today and walked around as the key was on the table and I could leave easily, I am sure Melanie did not like me waking her up yesterday at 10:00 AM so I could go to the internet café. She has been sleeping to about two or 3:00 PM so far every day, however she does stay up late and should be on Canada time.

I had a great time walking around and found the office on or near Maurice Delens Street, this is not a travel by the map city, it is travel or know the Landmarks city. I do think walking is almost easier than taking a taxi as they are annoyingly difficult to take because they cannot read and do not know the names of the street. Maybe the best say to get around is landmark to landmark. For example, I am the Pharmacie du Point D and I can go to the Hotel Gawaye quickly, that is right in the center and next to the John F K Bridge. I have been trying to find the Mission Catholique Hotel or it could just be a Church, however they have rooms there and I would like to move where there more people. Actually as soon as I find some way to change money, I will leave for maybe Maradi, or some city. I am not sure because Maradi is full of the NGO, and even my two your old guidebook says,

- … more than the usual quota of international aid organizations. -
Page 298 Lonely Planet Africa - Niger Section
This is just across the border from Nigeria and an easy jump for truck, it is also considered the - … commercial and industrial capital of Niger. - (Lonely Planet)

This is always a problem with groups of Foreigners in a country they come in and congregate where it is easy to travel or visit, they also are close or grouped together and have this womb need that make them not separate. I am not sure what to do as for sure I am told this city has a problem however when and in print Lonely Planet Guidebook for Africa is saying they have too many or over their quota of International Aid Organizations then you already know or hope this is not a problem area still.

I suppose all of this has to do with being effective or efficient, I am amazed at the pure numbers of Aid Organizations that are here and how it would appear impossible to get to a level of people dying; this is difficult and makes me angry. These buildings and signs have been here for a lot longer than one month; they I would guess took years or at least two years to establish this infrastructure of offices and facilities, buy them big Land Cruisers and such.

Two young girls maybe almost 14 or 15 years old walking directly in front of me, the girl almost caught me taking the photo or if she did me having a funky looking camera and not paying attention to her made her not jump.

Niger people are touchy about the photos and it seems like I could pay to take a photo of things quicker, I am getting to the point of expediency and the desire to explain. The problem with paying is these people put their hands out in second for anything, so if I offer to pay then I got a whole other set of problems. I will be surrounded by beggars or people trying to get into my pocket. Right now I have trained the people in my area that I will say hello, however if they think I am going to come over because they gave me an order to come over they are crazy. They have the somewhat Arab like gesture of demanding you come over and talk. It is great to now really understand their French because now I do not have to pretend I do not understand, I really do not understand what they are saying because they speak French.

This is a wood gathering nation and I am in the direct center of the largest city in the country across from the office, I do not think this country has the trees to spare; they need them to keep the sand in place. They sell gas or propane so this is not needed.

This is a roadside Mosque a stop and pray as you go Mosque, not that is a touch and go picture, I did not just stop, take my time and photograph this… hehehe

I was told my Melanie the Oxfam person that the normal price of Rice is 10,000; however, the price of rice is now 30-40,000 Niger Francs. I went and checked and it is now 17,000. I doubt that she has ever purchased a large economy size bag of rice so she is just making it up as she goes, very common and SAP - Standard Operating Procedure in a developing, poor, or underdeveloped country. Rich or poor the culture will make up and answer to questions that they do not know or you ask, the need to save face or not admit you know is bigger than the idea of saying, I do not know or am not sure.

They sell candles for 500 Niger Francs for that pack and I decided I needed them to go to these out of the way places, I really need some entertainment and I have one book. I am going to start reading the books I have on my computer in PDF files and save the actually regular book for when I read by candlelight.

670 Niger Francs equals one Euro
One Euro equals 1.22 Dollars more or less.

A good rule of thumb would be 500 Franc is one dollars U.S.A.

PDF DEFINED - I do not know the acronym meaning.
- A type of file that is easy to read the computer, it is created by the program Adobe Acrobat and is more or less a standard for Corporations. The Microsoft Word program is also a standard. The value of PDF file is that it does not scramble of change from computer to computer and stays the same to read.