The North African Flip-flop Tree


Exactly how sparse a landscape can support life? The Sahel and early Sahara Desert regions are about as bleak as it comes on planet earth. People survive here, and I am still at a loss to know how they do it. I see it, they are alive, they are moving, but I do not know how they get enough to eat each day.

I received a note from an international family doing some research all over West Africa in 2011. They spent a year on the road as a family. While out in Niger, West Africa my friends spoke with a man who’s ethnic group lives way out in the isolated desert of Niger. My friend Daniel ask him what life was like where he grew up. He answered, 

“If you stick your flip flop in the sand, toes toward the sky, it will be the tallest thing (other than people) for MILES!”


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