Monday, March 23, 2009
Mikaylah and I got to do some touristy things here in Niamey. We have not had the opportunity or the energy to go out and do a bunch of stuff like all the short term people here. With two little ones plus the high heat, it doesn't add up to a ton of fun. But, we have enjoyed some things together, like the zoo, the dunes and now...hippo hunting! Janice really wanted to go as well, but we were a little leary of taking Jayson out on one of these boats/canoes without a lifejacket. He would want to go in with the hippos.
It was a rather hot day, well over 100 degrees F, and there was no wind. The boat had a little cover on it, but that actually made sitting watching the hippos very hot. We came across this whole family of hippos all in one place. I took some pics with my digital, but the zoom isn't good enough. I got some great shots with my old film camera which I will post once I get those on a cd, if that is possible here. This family has 2 little ones and some great big pappa sized hippos, as Mikaylah would say.
As they sat there kind of being boring with only their snouts out of the water, the pappa hippo raised up as if we was going to go someplace. Man, was he huge! But, as quick as he came up, he sat back down. But then momma and poppa must have gotten bored because they kept yawning. Now, to watch a hippo yawn is kind of entertaining. You can always tell when a big one is coming because they open their mouths a little once, then close. Then open it again a little more, then close it. What a tease these guys were! But then they would open wide, as hippos do and hold it there as if pausing. I was actually able to get 3 or 4 pictures of one yawn with an old manual wind camera.
We were able to go with a couple who are engaged to be married soon. Daniel Meade is our math teacher here at Sahel Academy. He came out for 8 months to fill in for this year. His fiancee, Victoria Chick(yes, Vic Chick) was able to come out for a little while during her break at Moody to see where her man has been working. Mikaylah took a great liking to Victoria, as you can see from the photo. Victoria only got nervous once when the little hippo went under water and she wanted to know where it was going. Of course, you always hear of stories of hippo attacks. The mommy hippo kept a sharp eye on us, snorted a few times, but was content to stay put.
When I am able to get better photos of the hippos, I will share them with you. Really, those are hippos in the water there!