Please meet Heini, standing in front of her squatter home off of the third laterite in Niamey. Heini is Arouna and Hassana’s mother. She and I communicate with smiles, hugs, and laughter because I embarassingly do not speak Djerma, and she does not know Hausa or French. Despite not speaking a common language, I feel close to her. I enjoy spending time hanging out at her huts, watching her chop up cabbage or sift corn. She prepares these foods to sell as snacks to passers by. Her most reliable clientelle is hungry school children seeking a mid morning or afternoon snack. As I sit on her sturdy wooden stool while our children play together, she looks up to glance at me and chuckle before returning to her work. I think she laughs at the unlikeliness of our friendship, and yet at the ease with which we spend precious time together. Heini’s life is not easy. She and her husband, Abdoulkarim, harldy make ends meet. Between the both of them, they earn no more than 50 to 70 dollars a month. This does not fully cover school fees and food for the month, yet somehow they get by… like so many Nigeriens do with so little, they make it from one month to the next. And also like so many Nigeriens, she hides her anxiety concerning the future with a glamorous smile and wholehearted kindness.