So, I am REALLY craving Niger (in so many ways). I miss my little village, Kollo, where each night I would go to my neighbors house to eat dinner together. Three to four girls all seated, indian style, around a platter of rice and beans, rice and sauce, or maca(roni) with sauce. Starch, starch, starch ... but I was also walking and biking more than 10km each day.
My village was so amazing. I don't miss the litter all over and the human and animal deification on all paths ... I miss the smiling faces as I passed by, surprised that I could greet them back in their native language. I miss the appreciation for being a "big girl"... man was I hot stuff? I miss the little inspection where I "worked". I miss posing three cups of tea with the men and playing cards with the younger boys. I relished my status as an honorary man. As an American I could play both traditional and non-traditional roles which would not be accepted with a Nigerien girl.
I miss my dog and hot nights under the infinitely starry sky (and mosquito net). I miss walking to the river just for fun and to watch the fishermen navigate their handmade wooden canoes with such grace that I could never muster on such an unsteady looking vessel. I miss the melody of the call to prayer and the beautiful clothes that the women going to pray each Friday wear.
I miss walking with my host sister into town, our goal to find a cold apple flavored soda and homemade beef jerky with a side of millet pancakes and charcoal roasted corn. As I speak, my husband (a Niger native) is cooking a traditional dish made of dried and pounded cassava served with onions, oil, peanut powder and a spicy tomato sauce. I'm craving it soooo bad but I am making myself "weight" until my one month mark to give myself a cheat snack, snack I repeat ... not a whole day.
I hope every is having a good week despite maybe having some hard days. Just be patient with yourself and don't get too down on yourself when you are tempted. We are human after all.
The photo is during the Muslim holiday known as Tabaski ... it is a celebration 70 days following the period of fasting (Ramadan)