Hosting Update

In International Development, Niger on April 21, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Things were getting a little dicey at home with our Nigerien students.  Now that their program ended, while they wait for their flight they’re eating.  Voraciously.  And, since they have been lukewarm on our food we’ve been letting them cook, and they’re making a huge mess.  In Niger, even in city homes, there are ways excess scraps get taken care of – chickens, goats, tons of hungry little kids (sad but true).

Fortunately, the NGO they’re here with is chipping in for some food for the extra 10 days of waiting.  That helped us a great deal.  There’s a reason you have kids while you’re a little younger – it’s cheaper to feed them!  My 6 and 3 yr old girls eat 1/3 of what these 15 yr old Nigerien girls eat.  I can’t believe how much milk we’ve gone through.  They also used up all the Maggi cubes I bought in Niger 9 years ago that I’ve used only when I make peanut sauce, and even then I only put in like 1/3 of the cube.

OK – enough venting on that.  Messy teenagers.

Interesting cross cultural moment – last night I asked them if they would like to come visit the NGO where I work.  I mentioned that my boss is “une Gambienne” and their eyes lit up and they laughed in denial, like I said something totally weird.  They were actually very pleasantly surprised that my boss is an African woman.

This, of course, was my goal – the girls have been to a lot of museums and hung out at American high schools, but I get the feeling that they’ve missed out on some mentoring to some extent.  I also have another boss who is a Cameroonian woman.  I’m hoping I can get the girls to come in and meet with them, to see how far you can go if you look beyond your Nigerien opportunities and social circles.  We’ll see.


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