Thursday, May 12, 2005



Just realized that the CD I burned with all the pictures on it is still sitting in the CD burner. Crap, but I'll get to it tonight or tomorrow, if I call BellSouth and get them to help me fix my DSL modem. The ready light is blinking and no amount of powering off/on or reseting has helped. So time to bring in the "professionals".

I did not get a haircut last night, forgot mostly, but I did clean our bathroom floor, swept the kittens', and did the dishes. I'm trying to score lots of Joan points because I'm leaving her and the cats alone this weekend while I go home to the 'Ham. My brother is going to Niger next Thursday and wanted to say hey and give him a hug, just in case. And to see his messed up face. I know I'm tempting fate (or karma for Jack who doesn't believe in fate) but A*ron (trying to avoid searches, that asterisk is an a) is always the one who has the major medical fiascoes. Almost bit through his tongue while riding his scooter, check, and now he fractured his cheekbone. Granted that isn't a whole lot of stuff, but the most that happened to me is an ingrown toenail, during high school, and a horrific scraping of the knee around the age of 6. We're a relatively accident free family. No broken bones or major surgeries. Okay, my dad did have his gallbladder taken out, but it was laproscopic and 3 tiny holes and a weekend recovery, do not a major surgery make. Oh, and I no longer have my wisdom teeth.

But he's going to Africa, so let's learn a little about his destination

Population (2005 est.): 11,665,937 (growth rate: 2.6%); birth rate: 48.3/1000; infant mortality rate: 121.7/1000; life expectancy: 42.1; density per sq mi: 24

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Niamey, 748,600

Languages: French (official), Hausa, Djerma (He does speak French)

Ethnicity/race: Hausa 56%, Djerma 22%, Fula 8.5%, Tuareg 8%, Beri Beri (Kanouri) 4.3%, Arab, Toubou, and Gourmantche 1.2%, about 1,200 French expatriates

Religions: Islam 80%, indigenous beliefs and Christian 20%

Literacy rate: 18% (2003 est.)

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 20,000 (2001); mobile cellular: 6,700 (2002). Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM 6, shortwave 4 (2001). Radios: 680,000 (1997). Television broadcast stations: 3 (plus seven low-power repeaters) (2002). Televisions: 125,000 (1997). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2002). Internet users: 12,000 (2002).

Transportation: Railways: 0 km. Highways: total: 10,100 km; paved: 798 km; unpaved: 9,302 km (1999 est.). Waterways: the Niger is navigable 300 km from Niamey to Gaya on the Benin frontier from mid-December through March. Ports and harbors: none. Airports: 27 (2002).

Wow, 1 ISP and 12,000 users? 0 railways? So I'm guessing camel is the main form of transportation, or plane.

Here is where it is in Africa

Here is a linky to the CIA factbook

The degree of risk for a nasty disease is very high. I talked to Brother Mon. and he said that he already has gotten the Hepatitis A vaccine, yellow fever and typhoid fever shots. He said the yellow fever is so bad that they can give you the shot at the airport if you don't have it.

Welcome to Niger! *Jab*


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