Calm of the Niger: A Peaceful River Winding Through the Storm of Africa
Calm of the Niger: A Peaceful River Winding Through the Storm of Africa recounts an eight-week journey through Senegal and Mali. During these two months, the amazing lives of kind people throughout these two West African countries is interspersed with the demanding bureaucracies and tyrannical behaviors of those with power. The Niger River itself is a perfect metaphor for this contrast, as it flows through the region in an almost boring manner, perfectly ignorant of all the troubles and hardships that flank both its banks. The author's journey starts and ends in Dakar, the westernmost city of mainland Africa, a turbulent crashing of poverty and riches. From here he works his way over potholed roads and what used to be roads, through Senegal's center and east, and most of Mali, both by boat down the Niger and buses through the desert and sahel. The hardships that follow are at times enough to cause hallucination, but the positive memories of the people of both countries will always surpass any trouble.