I couldn't send out the post yesterday because we had a small lightning storm and the internet was not dealing well with that. It should have been the start of the thunder showers that were forecasted for the week, but a lase today we woke up to another beautiful day. I hope it lastes this way because the rain will not assit our 3 hour drive in each direction, so we will see.
Yesterday we had a quieter day, mostly preparing for the village trip today, I am not mentioning the name of the village due to security concerns, we are trying to take measured precautions.
So today, in addition to the local costume which I will be wearing, (made from Bazan material, a traditionally used material in West-Africa which is a shiny, stiff, starched and beaten cotton fabric and extremely colourful), upon the recommendation of Mahamad we will present the chief with a sheep or goat, (seriously, i am not joking) in the beginning we thought about brining it with us in the car, but luckily Mahamad arranged to buy it near the village.
All about this specific issue – later tonight if weather permits!
In addition we met with Mr. Saidou Abdoussalam from ICRISAT, from whom we have learnt so much. ICRISAT is the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, http://www.icrisat.org/ they have much experience with agricultural in arid land and we can apply their research in our project. The introduction to Mr. Abdoussalam, was made by prof. Dov Pasternak, an arid land agricultural expert from Israel, who was a consultant for ICRISAT and envisioned and introduced some innovative and appropriate techniques for the institue to introduce to and assist local farmers.
Another project which Mr. Abdoussalam told us proudly about was “Farmers of the Future” a schooling program for children that will enable them to become more innovative, sustainable and business minded farmers. We have all agreed at the table that the main change that farmers need to undertake is from an existential mind frame of growing produce for immediate consumption to market oriented mind frame in which you grow to earn for long term. This is part of the social methodology which we will introduce.
Sustainability we believe can be achieved when taking into account 3 factors:
Lastly, we found some time to go to the Grand Museum, a large museum which includes a zoo, and pavilions of art, a dinosaur skeleton, agricultural finding and the uranium pavilion. It could have been fun if we weren’t pressured every minute to buy something, on the one hand we were happy to contribute to Niger’s economy and buy some souvenirs, on the other hand there was so much pressure there that we decided not to buy anything and leave quite quickly. The terrible heat and the fact that we were drenched with sweat, (when I came back to the hotel, my pants and shirt were actually wet, I don’t usually sweat, nit even in Tel-Aviv), this was quite an experience.
getting ready for the big day a head updates later.........