Friday, February 4, 2011

Micah's First Trip to the Zoo

...And Mom's last day in Niger :(

It was a day for the baby book! I'd been thinking for months that it would be cool for mom to be in on his first trip to the zoo, so before we put her on the plane heading back to America we made a trip to the Zoo and National Museum. It's a bit of a sad looking zoo, but a zoo nontheless.

We got to see baboons.

And a civet cat.

And porcupines.

And hippos!

One of the zoo keepers was actually really cool. He was a younger guy. He was watching us watch the hippos and telling us a bit about them. He then directed us to move over a bit and he jumped down into the pen and with some bunches of grass enticed the bigger hippo to come out of the water.
Look at those teeth!

He then arranged for Micah to get up close and personal with the littlest hippo :)

This little guy is nine months old. He still doesn't have any teeth and won't have any until well after a year old. He drinks like 20 liters of milk a day. His mother attacked a fishing boat on the river and killed someone so then she was killed and her baby was brought to the zoo. Kind of sad.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the dinosaur bones!

Playing Ball with Grandma

This kid's got a pretty good arm :)

Bush Trip

We haven't been out to the bush in AGES...whenever we did that food distribution, I think it was sometime this summer, I can't remember. It seems like whenever we have a trip planned there is another "incident" just before our planned trip and then we're grounded in Abalak. Well, a few weeks had passed after the most recent kidnappings in Niamey and we were allowed to go out, but with armed guards, of course, and just for the day. Still, we were thrilled for the chance to go and to show my mom a bit of the bush.
It turned into a really windy day. This picture was taken shortly after our arrival, it was pretty windy already but the landscape had yet to be covered in dust.
About half-way through our visit one of the men brought in a baby goat for Micah to pet. And then he says, "It's for Micah." Oh my! He looks really young, I thought to myself. Turns out the baby's mother had died a week ago and sure enough, he was not yet weaned. And just days before we were leaving for Niamey. Luckily, I have a friend whose mom has some goats with babies so I sent it home with him until we get back and I can buy him a new mama.

As it was super windy, and there weren't actually too many people living at the actual site, we ended up spending much of the day in this little one room building drinking tea and eating dates. Later in the day the wind let up a little and we walked to the seasonal lake (rain runoff from the rainy season) where the people get their drinking water, water their animals, catfish. Crazy, I know, catfish in the middle of the desert. Donnie was very excited. He actually bought some and went home and fried them up. One happy cajun that night, he was.

Playing with Grandma's Glasses


Here's a couple pics of me and my mom visiting my friend Rokaya and her mom and some of her cousins.

Abalak Sunset

Story Time with Grandma

One of Micah's Christmas presents from folks back home was the Owl Babies book. It's a story about three baby owls--Sarah, Percy, and Bill, who wake up one night to find that their mother is gone. As they wait Sarah is pretty sure that she'll come back soon and bring them food to eat, but all Bill can say is, "I want my mommy!" Micah is my little Bill, he is very attached. Here he is reading the story with Grandma...after having some raviolis for lunch.

Pea Freely

Fun with Water

Yeah, I know, we live in the middle of the desert and there's sand everywhere, but once we move to the new house (more on that later) I want Micah to have a nice sand box to play in so for Christmas we got him a set of sand toys. Until we get the sandbox, though, they make nice water toys in the meantime.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was pretty chill at our house this year. I was just overjoyed that my mom could be with us. Here's our pretty tree with all the presents (mostly Micah's) waiting to be opened.

Here's Micah waiting for dinner. He had found Grandma Linda's slippers and was traipsing about the house in them. This kid love shoes.

We had eggplant parmeseana with zucchini for dinner.

A rare family photo.