I’m going to Niger in one week, and it’s finally official. I already had flights booked, lodging worked out, vaccinations, malaria medication, and a great deal of emotional investment, but today, I got a visa!
The Nigerien embassy is nothing like the other embassies I’ve been to, those of France and the United States. The biggest differences are size and security. Namely, Niger has a much, much smaller building, with no “compound” to speak of, and absolutely no security. One of the few benefits of being such a small player on the international scene is that your representation in Paris barely needs to lock the doors at night.
I dropped off my visa application a week ago, having to fill out two forms by hand because the one I brought was no longer valid (all but one question were exactly the same). I paid my money and was given an appointment time in exactly one week. When I arrived today for my “appointment,” the woman from last week simply handed me my passport, and I left. It’s funny to think I had any concerns about being late or not getting the visa.
I’m really going to miss Paris, especially as I find myself constantly finding new things to love about this city and this country. On the other hand, I’m content to be embarking on a journey that I’ve dreamed of taking since I was little.