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The Tuareg are a nomadic people living in the Sahel region of Africa. They dwell principally in Mali and Niger, West Africa. They spend much of their time in the desert, but during the dry season, they travel south. To avoid conflict with farmers, they move north again with their camels and goats each rainy season.

While walking through a wadi or dried river bed outside the village of Illela, Niger, where I was working in a women’s health clinic as a Peace Corps Volunteer, I met a man who needed medical treatment, but was reluctant to come to the hospital. I convinced him to come, and from that time forward, we were friends.

I spent much of my spare time visiting with his extended family, a Tuareg tribe.

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Seeing the world through the lens of a camera provides both distance and intimacy. I have been interested in photography ever since my mother gave me my first SLR, a Topcon, four decades ago. I began writing poetry at about the same time. Both have made my life a richer experience.

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