I finally got my mail, one card from August 2nd.
I've been in my town for 17 days and its still weird. I don't know >1/2 of what anyone is saying to me. I live in a fenced area the size of a normal yard in town. There are about 10 houses (including mine) and about 30 people. I have 3 "moms", Amina, Tini & Hawa and 1 dad, Mati and a ton of little kids and babies that I don't know who goes with whom. I also live with goats, sheep and a loud cow, a mom chicken with a limp and her 20+chicks and a rooster that goes from 5:30a-7. There are about a thousand lizards in my concession who love to eat the trees my "uncle" Ali keeps planting for me. Now I cover it with my wash bucket when I leave my concession.
For the most part my days follow this pattern:
- Wake up from prayer call 4am
- wake up from rooster & women pounding(millet into flour) 5:30a
- Get out of bed because people keep knocking and asking how I slept 6:30/7 make oatmeal (or eat granola bar now, thanks!)
- read some English books 7-8a
- Sit on mat in family's yard and talk to little kids or boy who's trying to learn English or go to doctor and sit and talk to the doctor and nurse who are trying to learn English 8:30-11/12
- Come home eat,read,relax 12-2p
- Go to my new Hausa tutor's house 2-?
- Come home talk to family a bit go wash and relax and in bed by 7:30p.
The people in Niger never sleep and the women pound from 5:30-11P. The sun goes down around 7P & I lay in bed a lot but don't sleep much.
I walked to my market town alone last week & it was very scary. 2 hours wandering in sand and millet, but I got there. Once harvest season ends & the millet is gone, it will be all sand and way harder.
I generally walk to market but get an amalanke (ox cart) back because it is very hard & far and hot!
I talked on the radio in Mayahi with Allie Lachlan & Will about diarrhea & how to make salt/sugar/water to help the kids and it was scary. Men told us we sounded like little kids talking, but since I hate people hearing me, I was proud of myself. I would have never even talked on the radio in English, before.
I've only cried twice so far. The 2nd day here & today because I miss you all & your letters and packages were so nice.