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Return to the Continent

Well I have no photo’s to show you but thought I’d just give you a little blog on my return to Africa. It’s been 37 years since I was last on the continent and I have been looking forward to this for quite some time. I finally made it back and landed at Niamey today, Air France has a nose camera that you can see from your seat, and to watch the approach and landing is a very unique experience.  Let alone to see the topography of red earth, shrubs, boulders and this one single runway way off in the distance just get closer and closer.

As we landed I thought HKI really, really likes me. There was a band playing, a lot of military personnel, and there must have been three runways of red carpet. Well HKI doesn’t like me quite that much. It turned out the president of Niger was on our flight and go figure, it was for him.

The rest of us did have to wait awhile to deplane, I think we would have interfered with the ceremony.  So we finally get off and go inside to get our luggage. I wait and wait and wait . . . Air France, maybe Continental, left my bag in Paris. I hand-carry all the photo gear and chargers, but for some unknown reason, I put all the 110/220 volt adapters in the suitcase.  Not good in this day and age when everything runs off of batteries.

The next plane to arrive isn’t for 2 days, so what would that do to all our scheduling and plans? We were to leave for Zinder tomorrow morning. Tschoulou, who will be traveling with me, or I most likely will be traveling with him, took me out at 7 pm tonight to a roadside shack on some road and we bought an adaptor that would work. So we’re off tomorrow morning as scheduled. I can shoot, I can recharge everything, but I’ll be wearing the same pair of socks, jeans, t-shirt and shirt I left New York City in, for quite a few days. I just didn’t want all their hard work in scheduling the field trip out to Zinder and Diffa to get all screwed up.

I did tell Tschoulou that if he didn’t mind the smell of me, I didn’t mind. The plan is to have someone at HKI in Niamey go to the airport this coming Tuesday when the next Air France flight arrives in Niamey, and hopefully my bag will be there. Then they’ll put it on the next UN flight and send it out to Diffa. CLEAN CLOTHES!

So, it’s a one and a half day drive to Zinder tomorrow morning. We’re shooting for a couple of days there and then flying to Diffa on Thursday. Shooting there for a couple of days before returning to Niamey. I do not know what internet access I will have out there, so it may be next weekend before I can get back to you. If I can get back while out in Zinder or Diffa I will.

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