Sunday, January 22, 2006

Maraoua and Mindif

On our first full day in Maroua, we had a nice petite dejuener (breakfast with bread and coffee) from what would become our favorite restaurant in Maraoua, the Artisant Restaurant. After breakfast, we did a lot of bargaining at the artistant market and took a stroll through the central market. The following day we decided to set off on moto taxi for the 25km ride to Mindif. Darrell and I rode one moto taxi with the driver, it took us almost an hour to arrive. Our legs were so cramped afterwards!

The village sits at the base of la dent de Mindif (a mountain said to look like a tooth). Luckily for us, we arrived on market day! We shopped for fabric, greeted the warm and welcoming locals, and saw many interesting foods being sold. On the way back to Maraoua, the moto taxi driver repaired a hole that he had in his front tire. As he repaired the tire, we tried talking with some of elderly men who were sitting down next close by. They were extremely happy when we gave them a taste of our fruit snacks! The men were so thrilled and delighted by the cadeaux (gift).

We had such a wonderful day, we were all smiles when we traveled back to Maraoua. However, our trip back was worse than the trip there because ten minutes after setting off, the tire blew again! And, it blew halfway between Mindif and Maraoua. In the middle of nowhere. So, the driver drove his bike back to Mindif to repair the tire while Darrell and I took off on foot towards Maraoua. It was so, so hot with the sun beating on our necks. Everyone from market day passed us. People carried wood, women carried food on their heads, and even cars passed us as we hiked towards Maraoua. Our driver eventually caught up with us with a repaired tire.

NOt more than five minutes later, a police officer pulled us over. What’s worse is that the driver had no documents for the vehicle or his personal ID card! The police officer wanted Darrell and I to catch a ride back to the city with a man who had stopped along with us while he took the driver and his bike. All of us (the driver, policeofficer, the man with the truck, and Darrell and I) debated the issue. The moto driver eventually had to pay the police officer in order to leave. So, we finally made it back and were very tired.

IN the picture of Darrell and I, I know I totally look awful. But, I thought it was a fun picture of us on the Moto Taxi.



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