Benin Blog 2

by evanrosefowler

These are things I really like about being here:

  1. There are babies everywhere. They are all cute and I am allowed to hold them even if I don’t know the parents well.
  2. Everything is brightly colored. Especially the clothes. People in the US wear too much black.
  3. I can dance any time I want to and it is not weird. Other people are not too self-conscious to dance with me
  4. We recently had a little exposition of women’s groupments and young entrepreneurs selling their wares. A middle-aged woman walked in with a basin on her head. I assumed it was full of vegetables. I asked her if she needed help getting it down and she said yes. I started to take it off of her head and there was something moving inside. Tried to keep my cool while thinking AHHH THIS IS SOMETHING ALIVE!!!! While bringing whatever it was down to the ground, I got splashed in the face. It was, in fact, a basin full of catfish. About 10 catfish. And this woman had probably taken a moto to the expo with that basin full of water and catfish on her head without spilling it. I was in awe.
  5. You can find tapioca just about anywhere which is bittersweet because it makes me think of home and of my grandmother and makes me miss everyone but also tastes really good and reminds me how lucky I am to have so many people I love.
  6. People are expert greeters here. This can get a little overwhelming—How are you? And the fatigue from yesterday? And the family? And your house? Are you in good form? And your work? Etc. For some Americans this gets really old, but I love it. Even if there are prescribed questions and answers, there’s a little moment of bonding and acknowledgement each time you encounter someone.