Niger Journals

Visiting a PCV in Niger

An October 2006 trip to Niger by j.adams

Quote: A two week trip to visit a friend in the Peace Corps and see a cross-section of Niger: from the capital city (where there's ice cream!) to a tiny village 16 hours away!

Visiting a PCV in Niger

Overview

Quote:
Niger's not exactly on the beaten travel path, but I had a wonderful, wonderful time. I think it's fair to guess that most people who visit know someone who's living and working in Niger, but even if you don't, try to spend some time getting to know the Nigeriens you meet. Be prepared for some travel conditions that are somewhat uncomfortable, but I suspect that you're expecting that if you visit Niger. And have a wonderful trip!Quick Tips: As far as I know, the Brandt Guide to Niger is the only English-language guide and is really quite new (published within the last year or so). Apply for your Visa with plenty of time to spare; mine took a lot longer than expected, because of a shipping mix...Read More
Quote:
There are two main markets in Niamey, the Petit and Grande (big and little), but each has its special charms. The Grande Marche sells a lot of Western clothing and a lot of fabric for making func suits, boubous, comples, and pangnes. You can bargain for some great deals and have clothing custom made in Niger, if you've got the time. These were really the best souvenirs I could have purchased. (Pagne-spotting is great for passing the time. Think 'slugbug,' but with severed finger pagne, alka-seltzer pagne, spraypaint pagne, etc.) There are also loads of scarves for purchase, the kind that Nigerien women use to cover their heads. You can also buy all sorts of traditional Nigerien household items (loads ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 28, 2007

Shopping

Attraction

Quote:
Score is the Western-style grocery store that's just across the street from the Petit Marche. It's an amazing place, especially if you've been in the bush for awhile. Highlights: ice cream and bacon (which all the PCVs seem to crave in this refrigeration-challenged Muslim country).

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 28, 2007

Niger Pange Shop

Attraction

Quote:
My favourite shop was near the Petit Marche and was the retail outlet for Niger's only Pagne Company. The prices are in line with the prices we paid in the markets (after haggling), the print quality is superior to anything that's imported, and the patterns are really beautiful (and very different from the imported ones). Plus, you get to support Niger's economic development (instead of Nigeria's)! Ask around and hopefully you'll be able to find it!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 28, 2007

Quote:
Set up by an NGO, this Centre provides a place for traditional crafts to be taught and for these artists to both create and sell their wares. When we went, a lot of the shops weren't open, but there was still a ton to choose from. Niger has always been famous for its silver work, especially that done by the nomadic Tuaregs. Today, that traditional, chunky silver work is also being made in ways that preserve the old techniques and designs, but are more suited to Western tastes. For women earrings, bracelets, and necklaces are beautiful. There are also lots of beautifully carved silver knives, swords, small boxes and bookmarks. And the leatherwork reflects typical Tuareg style with lots of decoration! A...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 28, 2007

About the Writer

j.adams

j.adams
London, United Kingdom

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