A gentle complaint from my friends and family while I was in Niger is that I didn’t post any photos. The Internet, if it happened to work the weekends I was in Zinder, was usually not strong enough for downloading photos. “Sometime,” I promised.
Now that I’ve been back in South Dakota two weeks I decided it was time to get photos up and I posted five albums on Facebook and a the video below this post. I was in iPhoto and iMovie most of the day but the photos are up.
It’s nice to be able to share these pictures with friends and family, but they are reminder of what is no longer. Looking through them today, I remembered a joke Mustapha and I had and he’d bring it up each time we talked, including last week when he called me on my American phone. As I was reminiscing at the sweet memory I remembered that I may never see him again. It’s too hard for me to admit that fact. Also, that there isn’t one photo of him in those five albums.
At home, I am making more of these small realizations — things I knew but are now hitting me. It could be why I seem to be walking through life in this dark haze, not knowing what is real or not anymore. I suppose this is the part where I process what happened last month.
These photos do make me sad, but also happy. They are portraits of the people I come to know as family and they represent those bonds. They are small moments caught forever and no terrorism group can take that away fro me.