Monday, October 06, 2008

The 7th good thing about Northern Nigeria: Interesting sights on a drive into the country

Sunday morning we drove out of Kano to visit some villages. Along the way we drove over a narrow, rickety old bridge, alongside the construction site of the new bridge which Paulette said has been unfinished for years.

We passed carts of jerry cans for the water...

and water sellers pushing carts with jerry cans filled with water from tanker trucks into town.

We met up with lots of horses and riders going into town to prepare for the Durbar festival that week.

We stopped for gas and the bus was encircled by boys holding begging bowls. Paulette said that they wouldn't personally be able to keep any money or food that we would put in the bowls. They beg for the Koranic schools and everything they receive from their begging goes to the school.

The rate of adult illiteracy in Nigeria in 2006 was estimated to be 48% and it is widely believed that much of the illiteracy is in the North. The Koranic schools are often the only option for children from poor families, as (I understand) it is usually the only free education available. In rural areas, there is often no option for schooling at all for children.

We passed many rural market areas.

And lots of motorbikes. Paulette said that the biggest noticeable difference in the lives of people here between now and when she lived here in the 1980's is that now they are motorbikes instead of "push-bikes," and now many people have cell-phones. Though she said that not many of the people in the rural villages we would visit this day have access to either one.

Sorry, some of these are blurry, as I was taking pictures as we drove along the road. We passed a lot of grain sorting and selling areas, where there were tarps spread along the road and people measuring and bagging a variety of grains.

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