Benin Condoms for Cash Natitingou Benin West Africa Monday, September 25, 2006
I am going to go and price the cost of Condoms, I am annoyed by the anti SIDA signs, and SIDA is the acronym for AIDS in French of Spanish. There are many signs along the road now, we are in a tourist type area, this area serves two major tourist attractions of Benin, there is the Somba people with funky homes, and the park with Hippos and Elephants. Therefore more NGOs as they are always in the best tourist areas. (Read about my Cusco Volunteer blogs with BrucePeru.com mad at me.)
This is the buzzwords of the save the world, government, NGO, Ecotourism and every other illogical agency on the planet. It is the decade of sustainable crap.
Sustainable Defined: 1. able to be maintained: able to be maintained 2. environment maintaining an ecological balance: exploiting natural resources without destroying the ecological balance of a particular area.
I need to continually look up this word, it is always missing in my mind, and it just does not mean what it means to me, it is missing a piece of the puzzle.
Somehow, this world must mean also the step-by-step, algorithmic, causal relations that are needed to make something sustainable. The word is used as an intellectual dogma, which speaks aptly to the give me money people.
A group says, we are doing a sustainable project, and a person thinks, this is good. A project being maintained and will continue through time. This sounds great, but how can a project be maintained when the people have no money.
Cash for condoms. Condom for cash.
Here is sign in Bassila, Benin, I was laughing, it is to buy condoms for men and women. I was wondering, maybe for the goats… Hehehe. Note, there are arranged marriages, complicated social networks here, and everyone knows everyone, not an easy thing for 16 years old boy to manage that wants to do boom boom with his girl down by the river. One thing that is totally myth to me is that people wait for marriage before having sex, on some other planet.
A person needs CFA or Dollars to buy condoms, how many Pima or Citron, how many Peppers or Oranges does a person have to sell per day to have normal sex with someone. It is not feasible, there is no way the group, under 25 that needs the condoms have the cash, they will not take good money and pay for condoms when they want to buy music or a portable phone. I just do not see it, not sustainable in the least.
There either needs to be a 5 CFA Condom or much better business practices. Everyone is rushing to enter into business that makes a couple of dollars per day if they are lucky. Everyone is in business and no just easy, normal, factory type jobs to create the consumer. I cannot believe one Orange sales person goes over to another and buys an orange.
There is a vicious circle of nonsensical business, everyone starts the same business to make money, and however there is nobody making any money to be a consumer of the products being sold. No diversity of products or food, it is as if all the geese are flying the wrong direction.
Sustainable what? A marketing program is about from A to Z and there is no free money, a marketing program must make money to survive. A business must be profitable, an NGO wants to say sustainable, however it may be sustainable, however they will never leave because they do not get to the real problem. This place needs the solution of business to thrive. I see the micro-finance idea here everywhere, but what are they going to finance, another grain machine, or another orange stand. There is no ideas being manufactured, all the geese are flying the same direction.
What is needed is idea for business that could thrive in Benin or Africa or West Africa.
NOTE: As a side note, this is added later. I have discovered the company of Prudence sells condoms here 4 for 100 Fran or about 20 cents for 4, this is an exceptional value. This is an uncommonly low price for condoms on the planet. Thailand the price about one dollars for 3, so this is cheaper in Benin.
Benin is the only country though where I have found them in substantial numbers, however as always, anyone can make bad observations.