Three Showers A Day and Nems

Out at the Pizzaria (us on the left)
So, I was thinking about what to write about our time in Niger next and I couldn’t help but think that people will start thinking that our lifestyle there was all adventure and excitement. We were there for a year and in that time we taught at the school, we did all the normal things such as shopping, eating, socialising and the like. So what was our normal day like and what was it like socialising in Niger?
Michael’s 26th Birthday

Our normal routine went something like this:

Michael – up early, down at the school oval (field) by 7.20am for the school day to start at 7.30am for PE. Me – up not long after and down in time for preparation and my first classes depending on the day.

The day went along as a usual school day does, classes, morning tea recess, more classes, lunch, more classes, and then home again. The main differences beign that the school day started earlier at 7.30am and finished earlier at 2.30pm due to the extreme temperatures and the lack of air conditioned classrooms (try teaching history in 40C degree heat!!).

Me teaching art to the year 7/8 class
(by the way, that’s Keziah, our daughter’s namesake)
Another big difference was that we usually had three showers a day because it was so hot and as soon as I walked in the door around 3pm I always seemed to fall asleep on the lounge.

There is a lot of spare time when you’re a short termer. There’s no TV, no cinema and if you can’t speak the local language you’re limited in the area of local papers etc.. I’ve never been a big reader and in my year in Niger I read 52 books which is good for me.

Socialising usually revolved around eating. Whether this was at one of the many restaruants in Niamey or at someone’s house didn’t matter as long as there was food involved. Niamey has every restaraunt under the sun including Lebanese, Chinese, Italian, French and traditional African (and more) and we tried a lot of them. Our favourite though was at a place called four corners (literally a cross road with four corners!) where the little food place called ‘Idrisi’s’ was found. This was our fast food place where we bought ‘nems’ which are a lot like spring rolls and come with a salty sauce.

We also spent time at the Plateau, a large treeless, shrubless area which was surprisingly…..a plateau! We would go there for bonfires and BBQ’s. The guys would let off somre fireworks there occassionally too.

Making a bonfire at the Plateau
Anyway, as I’ve said, there was the exciting part to being a short-termer and there was the normal, everyday life and the quiet times. I’ve included a few photos of the socialising we did too and you might even agree that it looks a lot like somewhere in your own town.

Part 1 – Position Available
Part 2 – The Year was 1999
Part 3 – Red Dirt or Green Grass
Part 4 – Preparations and Going the UK
Part 5 – But I’s Dark and it’s only 4.30pm!
Part 6 – Laying Out the Fleece
Part 7 – Oh, That’s Why We’re Here!
Part 8 – Shakin in my long skirt and sandals
Part 9 – You won’t mind teaching history will you?
Part 10 – Gas Canisters on the Roof
Part 11 – The Tree Attack
Part 12 – Galmi and the Toebiters
Part 13 – Say (sigh)

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