We just arrived in Niger safely after a bit of a detour. As I mentioned earlier, we decided to fly from Bamako to Niamey for about the same cost as what it would have been to buy a visa for Burkina Faso and spend time there. Our Air Mali flight was ahead of schedule when the red hardpan I remember so well from my first flight to Africa seven years ago came into view. We flew over the stadium and saw the old Peace Corps office nearby.
Unfortunately, we also were watching a wall of dust descend on the area at the same time. After circling around for 15 minutes – you could feel the pilot’s hesitation – they finally decided to go on to Ouagadougou, the closest airport and where most of the plane’s passengers were headed anyway. Fortunately, when we landed, they found us a flight on a new African airline called Asky, and we eventually did make it to Niger, just a few hours late.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of the storm, but I did get the river after what was a massive storm. The temperature dropped to around 75 degrees F, which for Niger is right around freezing.
I’m also posting a few other amusing pictures. The first is the bush taxi apprentice, who, like the guard at the gates of Oz, popped his head back to collect our money.
The second – well, I’m not one to criticize anyone trying to speak or write in a foreign language. But I also know that the best way to learn is with a good sense of humor. This placard was on our Air Mali flight. Number 4 is particularly good.