As the sky darkens, we drive past several villagers using handmade machetes called coup-coups to cut dried millet stalks. A father and son lead two bulls pulling a cart laden with straw bales along rough track in the bush. Now the royal blue sky is streaked with orange and violet from the setting sun, and the moon shimmers. Nearby, a group of foraging giraffes adds a calm majesty to the landscape these animals have so long inhabited.
Jennifer Margulis lived in Niger for more than two years and now writes about travel and culture from Ashland, Oregon.