Benin Culture Exchange

Benin Culture Exchange
Natitingou Benin West Africa
Monday, September 25, 2006

I am now a well-known person in the streets of Natitingou Benin, I have probably walked up and down the long stretch of four-lane with a medium about 20 times in the last two days. I found a market behind the big Super Marche, and it is nice. However, what has me going is the group of about five different girls in town.

I am not sure what they are up to, I stopped one, tried my best to inquire as to the name of her village. I am living in an information vacuum, I have less information here than if I was in the Library in the USA looking at photos. The time it takes to jiggle the brain here to put together a connection. I say something like,
- Fon ?

Which means, are you Fon, or the local people, I know the are not, but I want them to say,
- No, I am … blah blah blah -

The girls are interesting, quick eyed, and fast, they caught me when I took this photo, and instantly was walking behind me saying something about Largent or money in French. I just said,
- Le Deux Jolie. -

The two pretty, I am glad I do not really comprehend what they are saying or I would get serious. I have vowed to not give any people money and more, it is ended, no more heart tugs for me, I am off the give money kick. These girls are nice, I am thinking maybe they are the Somba people, however no way to figure this out. Normally, I would inquire or push around in the hotel, but I would do better trying to learn Fon or the Somba language. Not up to snuff in the hotel on daily vitamins.

I am going towards what is Somba country in Benin or a people that live in strange house and maybe walk around naked… hehehe

I am in Natitingou Benin; I will go in a couple of days to Boukombe, then north to Batia or something. There is park with hippos, I want to see, however it may be closed and difficult without a car.

Boukombe and the Park are the two reasons for any excitement in the city of Natitingou, both are tourist attractions, and the biggest city close is Natitingou, I guess, the park I am not sure. This is not a big city; it is long stretch of highway infiltrated by sightseeing NGO groups. May Toyota Land Cruisers here, the car of all respectable and rich NGO sightseeing groups.

I am excited, there is an independent feeling about these girls with the silver or aluminum bangle, they are decked and working the world. Energy and not just lazy dog style of Africa.

Somba (also known as Bataba and Temberma), ethnic group of West Africa.
- The Somba primarily inhabit northwestern Benin and northern Togo. They speak a Niger-Congo language (see Languages, African: An Overview: The Niger-Congo Family). About 300,000 people consider themselves Somba.-

300,000 that is a lot, I am going to figure out this more, the guidebook made to see them is the city of Boukombe, impossible to believe there are 300,000 people in the speck of a city on the map. I will try to find some other small villages or do the cattle cars run around, I am sure I can figure out what and where they are located. I would go back into Togo, but the Visa is not possible this way easy.

Benin Culture Exchange


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