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December 27, 1997

After breakfast the next morning, we started on the road to Filingue. There was a small market there, but the market day was Sunday so there wasn’t much going on. On the way to Filingue, we saw two dogs along side the road and at Filingue, there was quite a nice gray dog.

After Filingue, the asphalt road ended. To my way of thinking, the road ended too. Many times we couldn’t see the track (pist) for it was obliterated by flood, erosion, animal tracks and blowing sand. Mostly, it was an animal trail and sometimes Reinhard drove cross country navigating by computer. Pretty neat! We landed exactly where we wanted to be. Along the way, Reinhard stopped to talk to a family of Tuaregs. They were very friendly with him. At the evening, we stopped and were visited by a group of boys and a young red male Azawakh. I was able to get close enough to make a few pictures. He didn’t let us touch but he was not aggressive and very friendly with the boys.

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Along the way today, the country was covered with large termite mountains. Some were enormous, at least 6 feet tall. Most were dead having been flooded out or damaged during the rainy season, but they stand like monuments. The buildings we saw are mostly made of millet straw, some clay bricks. As we go farther north, the houses are more clay and less straw. They are round. The clothes worn by the people are very interesting, a mix of eastern and western. An authentic robe covered by a suit jacket. The children are ragged but mostly dressed in western clothing. Reinhard said that the Europeans donate clothes and the Africans sell them at the markets. The country is lots wetter than I imagined. Uschi and Reinhard say that it is not normal, but the rainy season this year had been very wet.

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