One Year in Niger

Today marks one year since we arrived in Niger for the first time. It is hard to believe that a whole year has gone by, especially since so many things have happened. So we decided to interview ourselves as a way of looking back over the last 12 months. Enjoy!

What were some of your highs this past year?

Josh – brochettes, francais, going to Kenya, going to Zinder, going to Jessi’s wedding, surgical camps, giraffes, HIPPOS!!!, Park W, raindrops on roses, cool days, friendly smiles, daily greetings ritual (“et la famille”), Indian food, lots of reading, lots of writing, fufu, spicy food, being back in the Motherland!

Julie – mango season, mom and dad’s visit, morning walks, ridiculously adorable kids, starting art therapy program, trip to Kenya, seeing family and friends this summer (on both continents), shaving my head!, sugar cane, amazing community of new friends, cast painting, sweet packages from friends and family, growing our own vegetables, Mikael’s visit, trip to Maradi, and of course: hippos and giraffes.

What were some of your lows?

Josh – malaria, dysentery, Julie leaving for a month, really really hot days, really really hot nights, power cuts that last longer than 2 hours, being far away from family, fixing things that break, calling Sonitel, having Sonitel on speed dial, etc.

Julie – Dalia’s cancer, malaria, parasites, very slow and sporadic internet, broken washing machine, missing home, the 5th time our phone charger blew out, locking the keys in the car when we were 600 kilometers away from home.

Memorable moment(s)?

Josh – Getting my own office. That was a first for me. It even has a plaque with my name on it!

Julie – Killing a scorpion on one of our walks, wild red sandstorms.

What have you learned about yourself in the past year?

Josh – I learned that I like things to be planned out ahead of time. No surprises. And that life really doesn’t work that way.

Julie – That whenever I start to think that I might run out of ideas to do with the kids at the hospital, I realize that they are the ones who inspire all the creativity.

What would your Nigerien name be?

Josh – Issoufou Garba. Or Hamani Harouna Hassane.

Julie – Jalayha (because it’s close to Julie, but sounds a lot cooler).

What are you looking forward to in the upcoming year?

Josh – More of the same!

Julie – Understanding more about the kid’s needs, fears, hopes, and desires and being sensitive to bring out the best in them.

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12 Responses to One Year in Niger

  1. So thrilled to be part of your first year highlights and looking forward to being part of many more!! MOM/LIZ

  2. Chuck Kopp says:

    The concept of interviewing yourself is really cool. My sense is that you were very candid and transparent. All the best on your second year. See if you can make another interview at the end of your second year and then I would like to compare the two. I am sure it will be just as fruitful as the last, if not more so.


  3. dania says:

    awww.. love and miss you guys. ready for ‘kenya, round 2’? =)

  4. Very nice post, one gets a real feel for how the year was. All the best and God bless for the next year.

  5. Lindell and Kay says:

    Wow, do we ever love and miss you guys. Thanks for being such good friends to our kids and even to us old people.

  6. Rebekah Kosinski says:

    You guys rock! Keep up the amazing work…. 🙂 x

  7. Sarah Owen says:

    I really respect the fact of you both being there – Julie, you being away from your loving home + family + friends that you grew up with, there in a foreign country with your husband. I have some understanding of that. I’m glad you are doing what you are doing. Keep up the loving work you both do there! Enjoyed reading your summary of the year!

  8. adele says:

    Great way to let everyone know more about your amazing time there. Keep up the wonderful work – and keep smiling!

  9. Kay Borwning says:


  10. Joe Korn says:

    Can’t believe that its been a year already! Definitely a full one. Your summary captured the essence of your experience. I love you and am so proud of you. (et la famille). La ma nang a po!

  11. Pam Telman says:

    You aren’t even my children, but I am so proud and excited to be part of your loving circle. Keep up the wonderful work.

  12. Pingback: Year Two in Niger | joshjulieblog

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