We got our Nigerien driver’s licenses a couple days ago! It was actually a simple process. We didn’t have to take any tests to get licensed. All we had to do was trade in our foreign ones for Nigerien ones. (Next time we leave the country, we go to the department of motor vehicles and swap them again). We did this only a day or two after we got here, but you know, things take time.
So now we have been driving for a couple of days, and we are starting to get our bearings. Its like an obstacle course, you have to watch out for other cars, but also camels, goats, children, bicycles, and crazy taxi drivers. We drove through the Grande Marché, got lost, and even got pulled over and almost got a ticket on our very first day behind the wheel! Well, obviously we weren’t both behind the wheel… so you might be wondering who I’m referring to. Yeah, I’m telling on Josh! I love that it happened too! Josh is constantly getting on my case about my driving. He is the worst back-seat (or passenger seat) driver.
But to his credit, it would have been easy to make the mistake he made, which caused him to get pulled over. It’s not the easiest to decipher when one lane becomes two, or whose right of way is whose, or when there is, in fact, a roundabout in the middle of the road. The policeman pulled us over, and said that we didn’t put our blinker on as we entered the roundabout. Josh apologized, and said (to me) “I didn’t even know we were in a roundabout.” The officer said he was going to take his driver’s license away (which means you have to go to the police station and pay a fine in order to get it back). But then his commander came over, and after they talked it over for a bit, he let Josh go with a verbal warning.
To tell the truth, I’m also not completely innocent. When I was driving last night I almost hit a donkey cart full of hay. But it wasn’t my fault! There are no streetlights, and he didn’t have his lights on. 😉