Born to Play Productions presents a film about the adventures of the filmmakers in a country as far from home as imaginable, to discover the nomadic tribes of Niger, the vast, unforgiving and breathtaking Sahara desert, and the work of the Nomad Foundation.
Film, music, appetizers, no host bar & silent auction to benefit the Nomad Foundation.
Special Tuareg guests from Niger:
Boucha Mohamed, Nigers minister of livestock & Sidi Mamane, Niger rep of the Nomad Foundation, & mayor of Ingall
And a live sampler of music from the film singer/songwriter, Ned Clark and guitarist, Bob Wright.
Memorial Day is about remembering those who have sacrificed their lives in service of this country. Let’s not forget that there is another kind of service for our country, and take a moment to remember the nearly 300 Peace Corps Volunteers who lost their lives during their time abroad: the Fallen Peace Corps Volunteers.
Fallen Peace Corps Volunteers is a web site dedicated to these volunteers, with the ultimate goal of honoring their memory with a memorial in Washington, DC. Take a moment to read about these individuals who gave it all:
Several years ago we told you the story of five RPCVs who traveled back to Niger in 2008 to create a documentary capturing the experiences of the entire group of 65 idealistic volunteers who landed in Niger in 1966.
Fortunately they completed their documentary, and the entire 75-minute production is available on YouTube for you to enjoy.
Former PC Niger staffer (and Togo RPCV) Mark Wentling has just released the second book in his African Trilogy.
Published by Peace Corps Writers, Africa’s Releaseis available at Amazon.com. It will be made available as a Kindle e-book in the coming weeks.
Journey to another time and place in Mark Wentling’s magical new novel, Africa’s Release.
The residents of Gemini, Kansas, have grown used to the odd man who goes by the name of JB and roams their neighborhood in a befuddled state. But when he abruptly disappears one night, the townspeople find themselves facing uncomfortable questions, as JB’s life and the dark discoveries in his ramshackle home are made public.
Little do they know that JB’s ramblings have all been for a purpose: to transport him back to the African village he left many years before. Now he has returned to the old baobab tree that had years ago swallowed him up—an event that elevated him to the level of demigod in the eyes of the remaining villagers.
This sequel to the popular Africa’s Embrace, and the second book in Wentling’s trilogy, is sure to enchant readers once more.
PBS is currently airing an intriguing new documentary about one of the largest prehistoric human burial grounds found in the Sahara. As with many of these discoveries, this one is located in the remote deserts of Niger.
From the show:
Over 10 years and five expeditions, Sereno has found more than 200 burial plots, each more intriguing than the last: a man buried with his head in a pot; another buried sitting in a turtle shell; a girl with a bracelet carved from hippo bone; and most striking of all, a woman embracing two children, hands entwined in a triple burial.
Adding to the intrigue is the fact that the bones are from two separate civilizations, Kiffian and Tenerian, thousands of years apart, yet the dead are buried side by side. Scattered throughout the site, artifacts offer clues to the lives they led – arrowheads, intricate jewelry and, perhaps most surprising of all, harpoons carved from bone.
Who were the Kiffians and Tenerians? How did they live? How did they die?
Niger RPCV Guy Immega has released a new e-book, Ancient Egypt’s Lost Legacy? The Buduma Culture of Lake Chad, featuring much detailed information about the culture of the very remote, eastern parts of Niger. Guy has generously shared his book with us as a PDF file, that you can download and read here (PDF, 7.2 MB).
You can also get a special version of the e-book on the Apple iBooks store. The e-book edition, designed for the Apple iPad, provides high resolution images, Buduma music files, and hyperlinks for $1.99. It may be the last (and only) record of the Buduma people who lived on Lake Chad.
Look for Guy’s other Peace Corps e-book, Smallpox, Slavery and Toubou Warriors, in the Apple iBook store.
This Associated Press story provides a chilling look into the reality facing many nomads in the face of famine and drought.
From the article:
In markets all over Niger, hungry people are selling hungry animals for half their normal value, giving up on the milk and money of tomorrow so that their children can eat today. Their plight is a sign of how far the economy of the desert has broken down, leaving its people unable to feed themselves in drought after drought.
This is a community so tied to its animals that children play with miniature camels or cows cut from rock. It’s in livestock that a man settles disputes, pays the dowry for his future bride and leaves an inheritance to his sons.
So to see a nomad sell his last camel is like watching someone sell their house and car, liquidate their 401(k) and empty their bank account all at once, just to buy groceries.