Benin Travel Stories, Page 2

Africa Effective Time Management

Africa Effective Time Management
Natitingou Benin West Africa
Tuesday, October 3, 2006

I was a business person in the USA, I had many employees in my life, having six of them being paid 10-20 dollars per hour sitting around talking for one half hour would cost me about 40 US, dollars.

If I paid myself say 20 dollars per hour, it cost me I would have to pay myself 40 dollars per day to go to the internet café.

HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE

EFFECTIVE
1. producing a result: causing a result, especially the desired or intended result
an effective remedy for headaches
2. having a striking result: successful, especially in producing a strong or favorable impression on people
The painting had the characteristics of a winner, including effective color use.

EFFICIENT
1. well-organized: performing tasks in an organized and capable way
2. able to function without waste: able to function well or achieve a desired result without waste
an efficient use of fuel
3. philosophy acting directly to produce an effect: acting directly to bring something into being or produce changes in it
efficient cause.

I have watch people travel outside their home country for 10 years; they are very good at moving from place to place and going to tourist attractions. They will sacrifice the shower, clean clothes, often even a good bed for the goal of going from place to place and seeing tourist attractions.

They will work very hard for 2 months and go home to show the photos, this is huge sacrifice and painful, not my idea of fun and I do not do this.

I presently have only five shirts, this is huge problem in place where I can make 2 of them stink per day. I must continually wash my clothes and dry them, the hard part is drying. I wish to go back up to the normal ten; however, I cannot find acceptable shirts to buy. Therefore, I must very effectively wash clothes.

The normal traveler method is to NOT wash their clothes and wear the clothes until the stink worst than the locals. When easy to wash, they wash, not being effective, but opting for easy. If you get some cultures, they will be very big pigs.

LEAVING BOUKOMBE

I was told by a moto taxi he would pick me up at 6:00 so I could catch a car to Natitingou easy. I told Sara of the Peace Corps this and she looked at me astounded.
- You are leaving at six. -

Translated, you will wake up that early and you will do this. I did not see waking at 4:00 or leaving at five, or 6:00 as a problem. If it is the effective use of time, then why not.
I have never been close to Peace Corps persons, I do know they sometimes will go the same party city every weekend, and live and return to the village during the week. I saw this in Managua Nicaragua as they came in big groups to the hotel. Peace Corps is always having a meeting.

I do see Peace Corps as being effective, not because they are effective or efficient people, because they have to commit to two years in one place. Hard to spend two years and not do something, although really I do not care if they do anything. I think what happens is they become two years educated about Benin and can return, the best of the best can work for the US Government and advise on Benin. What they do in Benin to me is not important; one person cannot normally change a village. UNLESS…

He or She is a highly effective person.

Effectiveness comes or learning to be efficient is learned or can be learned by need. Peace Corps and NGO have no need to produce, nobody is looking over their shoulder, they have every excuse on the planet on why they did nothing and I think they use it.

I try to communicate with people in the USA on a regular basis, the problem is NOT on my end, and the problem is with the lack of effectiveness of the people in the USA. I need highly effective people in the USA to deal with or full time workers sitting waiting for me write.

Kevin Sites I understand has a team of three people in the USA as support staff so he can get the story done.

My goal is to do the same as Kevin Sites, with normal toys, and not having three workers working days. Then I wish to take my skills, simplify them, put them in a box, packaged and easy, and allow others to do the same, effectively and not have to know how it works, just that it works

I could go into detail right now, about how the Peace Corps works or does not work. It is a good organization, it accomplishes my wanted goal. I do not think it accomplishes the goals they may list, but they do my goal so I support them. I see almost zero, maybe Red Cross accomplish goal as big organizations.

I would not care how much money NGO’s spent and could care less if some stupid person in the USA donates thousands of dollars to a worthless NGO to do nothing.

Except, they are hurting Africa, and probably more than they are helping. I am praying and hoping Bill Gates, with an extra amount of help from Warren Buffet, two highly effective people will change Africa.

I was called and Idealist by Sara the Peace Corps person, for coming up with what I thought was a very simple thing to do in Africa. She saw it as impossible, I am thinking about doing it in my part time. She is devoting two years of her life and could do it with no problem; however, she is not idealistic enough to even try.

West Africa is really in great shape, they have all the natural resources and the can do most anything they wish. The essential problem is the leadership is corrupt, greedy and violent. If they were not violent, the other problems would not stop investment.

As I see myself as a highly effective person, I then ask daily and myself continually. How could I do X here? This is the socialization I receive here in Africa; there is no socialization on how to become a tourist and to take photos. Anything I read, hear or see is about how to be an NGO or ONG, volunteer or in the end, how be a highly ineffective volunteer in Africa.

Effectiveness is not easy, it take brains, not money. Nevertheless, an overwhelming amount of people and money like the US military can change the world. NGO need to go fish, take a card.

I collect large amounts of what may be called Cultural data or information. People are increasingly starting to request photos and information on subjects. I am in Africa; they are studying Africa, and want this photo or this information collected. Of they want to use these photos in their presentation and want permission.

Films are much better at telling a story than photos, I am go through a market every day, I would like to film this market safely and easy. I am trying to find a way to film it without changing it.

Culture, you point a camera and the culture changes. The topless women smiles and arranges her clothes. The person banging away at the food stops.

Effectiveness, I have a small need, not a big need. I am not going to make a lot of money if I film the market. It is going to cost me more money than I make. I mostly would do so I can show my family, friends, mother and father.

TIME
I have studied this, thought about, and dwelled for a few years. I now know I have the backup hardware, the computer, the storage, the ability to send it to the USA. This has only been possible in the last year or two. Gigs of memory are cheaper.

I have devoted the time, now the cost is becoming feasible as GIGS of memory become cheaper.

Effective filming
How to film and environment that is dangerous, or highly offensive to the people, and if I tell them, the whole cultural experience is change and what I films becomes a culturally inaccurate representation. It needs filmed natural and effective.

I am studying how to effectively do this; I study how to be an effective person in Africa, as it is a great place to get nothing done… hehehe

I need a pair of glasses with a camera inside, a button that I can press easily that I can put in my hand and start and stop. I think the lens would attach to the glasses and the actual recording device would be in a backpack. I dream a lot about toys.


Africa Effective Time Management


Ginger Gingembre

Ginger Gingembre
Natitingou Benin West Africa
Monday, October 2, 2006
I am back in Natitingou, therefore I decided to stop to see the Ginger girls and buy some Ginger drink. I nice place to stop and listen or try to converse in French.

The say Gingembre, not Ginger, because that it the French word for is, however to me it sounds like Ging Gem and I can say, and they can understand.

This drink is strong, maybe bitter; I think the quantity of water needs to be diluted to sometime be better. I am yet to find some sugar to try to lighten it up.



This is the ground, yet raw ginger waiting to be mixed.



The take the ginger and put in the round sifting device to the left, I suppose they shake it and powered ginger drops. I have not seen this process so not clear on the hows and whys.



The process of making this ginger drink is.

1. Grind up the ginger, maybe let it dry, I am not sure.
2. Sift it through the very fine mesh into a certain amount of water, I can almost promise you they were not careful with this.
3. They retrieve coke, Fanta, and kind of drink bottle they can find and clean them with soapy water, shaking and then rinsing.
4. The put the bottles in the ginger water, fill them up.
5. A person cleans the ginger off the outside or rinses.
6. They may distribute, I do not know, there are two sizes.

The small one cost 175 Franc, but if I give her 200, she likes me so she keeps my change.

So the small bottle cost about 40 cent US, this is not a bargain drink, but unique and special, and authentic.

How to find in Natitingou, the million-dollar question. Find a statue of the man using a stone to grind pima or peppers, it is a statue. The good Super Marche is next to this, if you cross the street from the march on the corner of the street, they seem to be doing this process of making ginger daily.

Say Hi from Andre.

This to me is one of the essential reasons to travel, does not make it in the guidebook, only if it is alcoholic, but does make it on my list. Gingersnap, Ginger in the Caribbean to stop seasickness, and memories of my grandmother giving me Gingersnap cookies, this is a grand memory.

There is something you like, some food, some product, something that is part of your day. Somewhere on the planet is the origin of what is part of you, a memory you have, a sense of what you like.


Ginger Gingembre


I am OK you are not OK Travel

I am OK you are not OK Travel
Dosso Niger West Africa
Friday, October 6, 2006

I remember traveling in Central and South America 7-10 years ago and there was this traveler camaraderie, I was excited to meet other travelers in strange places. We would instantly walk up, ask, where have you been, what have done, where do you go.

This was before they traveled with Cell Phone and Chatted on the internet with their friends and mothers. There was a need for friendship; the sense of traveling alone was present.

What made me think of this is the lack of desire on the Peace Corps persons to talk. I have only met one, or now two, both Mexican heritage and actually can speak Spanish that desired to talk. All the others are hermits in characters, or I cannot be bothered to be personal in nature.

Yesterday, in the market of Dosso, I said hello, to the only white man in the market, he looked at me and did not say or acknowledge, I do respect a small amount the privacy, not a large amount, but I do leave people to their depression.

He had Peace Corps stamped on his head, young, dazed and looking classless, so I said,
- Peace Corps. -

No reaction, I think brain dead, not eye movement, not in the full on position. I used to in West Africa say hello, the French men are drunks and smokers, not normally worth a darn, the French girls are probably ok, to talk with, however few to be found. Germans are always good for a conversation. When I met Stellan from Sweden, he was like a good traveler, open to talk, curious, and exploring questions.

Yesterday, I had enough of Peace Corps, I decided to do the,
- You are not ok, dysfunctional hook thing. -

Ignore them, who cares and move on down the line. There is maybe 5 white people in the city, this city is not on the map of anyone, it is not even a big NGO city, it is lost in world, nowhere but for a Nigerian person.

Therefore, to ignore a person seems silly, but then again, who does really care, I am leaving tomorrow and these people will have nobody to talk with in normal English for two years.

I laughed, he came and talked later, too stupid, a good English conversation is the secret cure for isolation. To talk normal, to be normal, to sound and socialize in normal English.

I travel, I leave, I can go find my intimacy in the market, I am friends with any creed, religion or tribal wear, I do not care, I was in the process of having the peanut butter hand language conversation when he came up.

I am wondering if it is me, or am I just to extrovert, the introverts really should stay home, I wonder if the Peace Corps even test, or they just take anyone, to travel to foreign lands and do any good, you need some type A, extroverts, I have not yet seen this.

I will always be OK, and if not, I am still OK, I am not worried about me, but are you ok, talk, you have two years of being in the insane asylum, I suppose they are a special bunch, put in two years, and be hermits, or.. It would be better with extroverts.


I am OK you are not OK Travel


Dosso Niger Hotels

Dosso Niger Hotels
Dosso Niger West Africa
Friday, October 6, 2006

I am in some hotel called the Au Zenith Hotel in Dosso, something about the Kilamjaro Group and next to the Auberge Carrefour, however I am not sure if that is even open. I am paying 5500 CFA and too much for one of the poorest countries on the planet. I am leaning though how to find or get to a hotel. I am paying about one dollars in Taxis until I get the tour. There was no taxi when I arrived; I think they were too lazy to meet the cars. I saw some later, I walked from the car stop to the bigger bus area with some man who I gave the dollar to, and he was more than willing to walk me with my 40-50 kilos of weight around in the 40-Centigrade heat. They are not quick on their feet and I was really pushing him to make sure his brain was in the on position. Many are not, have to be very careful when you go to the bottom of the HDI index, there is a reason.

I met him, when I walked out and found this Hotel Djerma, for 16,000 CFA that looked like it got bombed, the swimming pool needed a picture and the bar looked like the saloon in the hot dusty cowboy town. Not a warm and friendly, we love you place for 35 Dollars. I did not even look in the room; I would just as soon get on a bus as pay that much.

The man then took me to the Carrefour, I just looked it up, it means Crossroads in French, but I see this sign, then we past the Carrefour. The Djerma and the Carrefour are in the guide; however, the man says there are many hotels here. I am not going to walk the whole city with 40 kilos in the heat of the day.

My new strategy is to day, I will pay 5000 CFA, that get them very real and two times what or three times what I would say in South America or Asia for prices. I would say 3 dollars there, I am saying about 10-12 dollars, and hitting bottom. The bottom is probably 1500, if you stayed a few days and pushed, they need to have two hotels to negotiate.

If my French was better, I would think about walking up to someone in the market and saying, I need a room, I am sure the service would be better with an interested family than a Buvette Boom Boom Hotel.

Buvette Boom Boom Hotel

Buvette is the word, the buzz, the networking, know you French word for a place to drink in these wanna speak French, the only ones that come wanna be cool and speak French countries. Buvette is a refreshment bar in my dictionary. I would call them boom boom bars, or sneak and pay too much with a girls bars. I have yet to see any normal girls go in these bars, only girls on leashes. There are too many men, and like a corner bar in the USA, only for the hard core, I will drink, I want to drink. Not a place to meet nice women by a long shot, or any women, I suppose if a man wants to meet a man, then probably a great places, hmm, I wonder, maybe the people that do learn French want the scarf around their necks.

Well, I am for sure in a Buvette Boom Boom Hotel, I think I have a 95-98 percent chance in West Africa of being in either a working class, the better type or the Mercedes Benz, SUV-NGO-TOYOTA boom boom hotels

Either way, they give you beer, if you bring the women, you can drink, and drink, talk and drink with the girl and pay to much for a room and go boom boom. Pronounced Broom Broom by Sophi in my favorite boom boom bar hotel in Natitingou, Benin.

The Boom Boom is good, without a few patrons these place would be bigger dumps than they are, the Buvette Boom Boom makes them at least have one drunken patron.

One person is safer and better than zero persons.

I was telling the two Peace Corps persons, how I left the 50-50 channel and went to the 99 percent channel on Islamic noise. Benin was maybe a neutral, we are, but we do not care, here, they are, some care, but the girls are not going to talk, unless you take too much time and hang around too late in the boom boom Buvettes. I am too lazy to stay up late in a country with zero interest in anything.

All the action to me in West Africa is around the Marches, if you are at a Marche or Market, there is always something happening. On the way back form the market, I had 5 girls tagging me, they had on their customary hats of pans, and the colors of clothes has in improved in Niger. This to me is more colorful than Benin, or maybe it helps, the girls are skinnier. I say Sa Va, comment sa va and all the French I could throw, I could not lose them, they was on my tale, yet no talking. One girl goes into a big conversation in French as she decides to split a run off, something memory. I need to upgrade about two notches in French, and I will be there to understand people who do not speak good French, they probably speak Hausa, Dendi, or something.

Covered or not covered, there is a weaving process here on Islamic, you have some girls with the long too long headpiece that covers and waves in the wind. The obviously Islamic, then you have the we work in the market, cannot be bothered to be too much girls. They look somewhat normal, and if pushed, they probably would go into the proper dress for who is watching. A lot has to do with who is watching, like if an important person is watching. Outside of the cities it can break down to who knows what happening clothing is.

People are practical; they wear clothes that they want. There is an I-Am-Special group in Niger; they are men who have these tacky, no shirts under them, leisure suits. Too many clothes and they probably stink clothing. Strange how a bunch of cultures who probably one hundred years ago would walk around in loin cloths in the home can suddenly get the word and put on ridiculous amounts of clothing to be in fashion for the current Gods as secularized or fashioned.

Who knows how they dressed 200 years ago, everyone is guessing, I seen them in the bush, it is not full on, where something to look special, it is their tribe, plus a stick, plus a desert wrapping.

Fashion is why people in even the poorest cultures wear clothing, the need for fashion and the look never ends, even at the bottom of the HDI Index. Why they are in fashion is then real question and a great way to really piss off the politically correct police.

Ok, the hotel is ok, the room is big, no toilet to be found, there is a shower and I think everyone in this town drinks the water, unless they want cold in the little plastic bags.

I am right next to the bus, that will go from Dosso to Zinder for 9100 CFA and I am happy. The location is perfect for a real backpacker, without a car. I am wondering, am I the ONLY ONE?

These are such great places for the over 50 over 60 group to roam around culturally, and explore, I do not understand, are all person in need of a flush toilet to travel. If a person knows what a John is or an outhouse, they can travel in Niger in and West Africa in Extreme comfort, there is only this 1 in 10 chance of bad, hotels often are excellent in and overpriced for the poorest countries on the planet priding.

I think all the NGOs have left, I see very few so far, Zinder will tell the story, and it is where there is action for NGO’s. They can set up offices and make and I need donation video and story.

I am glad I am carrying a Mosquito Net; the Au Zenith has plenty and no net in this room. The fan is heavy duty and blows most mosquitoes far away; I guess a fan can serve as a mosquito net, but not the best. I am having problems; I need to find a way to use a mosquito net when there are not hooks to tie it to. Amazing how little hotels care about their client happiness in the world, give me the money and who cares is standard operating procedure on the planet. Price does not matter; you can pay a fortune and still have problems with mosquitoes.


Dosso Niger Hotels


Micro Entrepreneurs for West Africa

Micro Entrepreneurs
Natitingou Benin West Africa
Monday, October 2, 2006

I am bugged about something, there is something trying to eat it way out of my head, except I cannot find the clarity. There is a clear thought arising out of my confusion. I think journalizing or writing in a diary helps take them abstract haphazard thought mulling around and hatches them into swans.

Africa is a vast wasteland of empty ideas, the food is French, where are the original, I be Africa, American ingenuity thoughts? I be Africa is not the best examples…

I have started four for sure businesses, and put my fingers in many a dike.
1. Internet one… HoboTraveler.com
2. Real Estate investor - Broker
3. Wood Bed Manufacturer.
4. Rented Bunk Beds to Dorm Students.

I can real off a new idea for a business faster than I can explain them, but so what, does not matter what I think, it is what I do, and complete that helps me along they way.

Mining idea is difficult, how to take a good idea, mix it up with the right and left-brains, feed it some motivations, lead it to the water, and let it fly away is not a science. Business is an abstract, I do it until I succeed or else art, essentially founded on or in a person who says, I will never give up.

A business is easy, do everything, try everything, stick with it, after 3-5 years you will know everything that can go wrong, will have done all of them, and when you are there, you know, you will do what is correct and succeed. Paying the price of 3-5 years of starving is not what people are willing to do though, therein lies the problem.

A franchise is buying success, and not having to know what does not work, you just perform what works and who cares for the why.

I was listening to Sara explain how she talked business or was helping a man who wanted to maybe buy the local distributorship for a semi-soft drinking acting like a miracle cure of what ails you. It took me a long time to suss out from her, is it real help or just snake oil. A good business gives something of value in exchange for money. To sell snake oil that will cure anything loses in the long run or they through you in jail or run you out the city on a rail, not a long-term -…. Hehehe sustainable business, I like to use that word in a sarcastic way. The word is good, how people use it for marketing is bad.

A nice and enjoyable, thriving business can grow, expand and does not really understand how to recede or have itself a recession. I could start many businesses in Africa, the fear for me, is I do well, and then the corrupt city officials take the money or the business and out goes the lights. A business needs a good social contract intact to survive and prosper. The oil business can pay many soft-bribes, a small hotel cannot. Therefore you almost need hit and run business, that cannot be nailed down to one location… hehehe

Micro Entrepreneurs
Sort of a silly phrase, but gives the small person the idea he can do it, and if he gets big, so what, he was not a micro, all businesses venture start out with a small idea. Bill Gates was a garage, it he a Micro Entrepreneur or a Macro; however this give hope in this phrase.

I am thinking, the good businesses are in Africa all ready, the appropriate, good idea are probably already underway, hard to invent or come up with the Bill Gate type of ideas. However, good expanding, never receding ideas can always be found.

I saw this potato chip making machine in Pasto, Colombia, I love these homemade, made in front of you, potato chips. Hmm good, I like them too much; everywhere in Pasto, I could buy these chips. I stayed maybe two days, thinking, I am going to get to eat these all through Colombia, it is some Colombia type thing. I restrained myself, only ate them one time. I traveled north and never saw this machine, cooking, slice, dice, cut chips and fry them thing again. It was a street kiosk, wheel around the city job. They were everywhere, but not seen again in Colombia, maybe they have spread around the country.

This is the nature of small city business; one person sells orange, then everyone copies in that city.

Now, in Africa, there are many small on the corner business ventures, almost void of real good ideas, it is like the copied the French and were caught in the vise, never expanded. There is all this Micro Finance money around, but let us be real, we need some good ideas for the money.

What the idea to me is this, why not collect all the photos of good ideas, and put them together as like an entrepreneur seminar brochure invest in this and get rich book on the internet.

How to motivate people to take photos, send to me, a.k.a, Andy, and I will gladly post them all on the internet. Then when some Sara, has no experience in business wants to show this man how to do business, at least she can pull out the manual of good Africa based ideas. People could drive around Africa and take photos of all the small Micro Entrepreneur ideas and send to me.


Micro Entrepreneurs


Parasites in Africa

Parasites in Africa
Natitingou Benin West Africa
Monday, October 2, 2006

I have returned form Boukombe to Natitingou, on the cattle car was Sara from the Peace Corps. They have a lot of training and I asked a question before we left about a small naked boy with a large protruding belly.

What do you think, why does that boy have a belly like that? She says, very conclusively Parasites.

The last girl in Apam, the volunteer said hunger.

Well, parasites sound better, I do not see them being hungry in Boukombe; however, I also think the big butts of Africa couple with no muscles in the belly of the child, offsets to make a naked childes belly look bigger than a white baby does.

I really do not know what or how I would travel the planet without a computer for a friend and resource of answers to this question. I have the Encyclopedia Encarta on my computer, therefore went back to the room and read about parasites or parasitology the study of parasites.

Malaria, Ticks, Worms, Waterborne, viruses, anything under the sun is a parasite a good cover all your bases that explains the types of animals or entities that causes problems for travelers.

I suppose a good way to diet, get a good worm in Africa and allow it to rob me of my entire calorie intake. I see many fat people in Africa, they need more parasites.

I will take another dose of kill all the parasites medicine when I return to Thailand; the cure is easier than the diagnosis.

However, fear is what the people sell, malaria; I am annoyed at how often I hear about Malaria, I wish I would get it so I could talk more about it. I listen to many people talk or take Malaria medicine and duh, do you have a mosquito net, do you have repellent, do you leave or stop the mosquitoes, nope, and come in out of the rain idiot.

They will take expensive medicine but not prevent the cause. I am working on the idea of walking barefoot and how many parasites can I get… hehehe. I should have parasites from walking barefoot, I have gone as long as one month of my life with never putting on a shoe. However, how or where do I catch parasites. Talk, talk and talk, but not as simple as it is to say.

Ok, water, soils, other people. In Arabic countries, they want me to put on the sandals they give me to walk to the shower. I am not crazy, they are not clean, and I could get a fungus. Nonetheless, many a girl you see in Asia or Africa must have on sandals to walk around in a room.

What is up with that? There is this preoccupation with keeping their feet off the toilet floor and in Asia or some areas there is a preoccupation with not walking in a room with your shoes on. I cannot win, shoe on or shoes off, how to I catch, or how can I stop these parasites and fungus.

I truly believe what I am doing as I type stops 90 percent of problems. I am cooking up some hot hot water to bath with and will slowly scrub my body with some real hot water.

Parasites, a new thing to dwell on or obsess on today.


Parasites in Africa


Boukombe Benin

Boukombe Benin
Boukoumbe Boukoumbe Benin
Monday, October 2, 2006

DANGER
Man picked up a rock to throw at me in Boukombe, Benin

There is many NGO and ONG in Boukombe, Benin. I walked to the main crossroads from my Hotel Yatti across from the market on Sunday morning at about 8:30 in the morning.

I was asked for money more times in one hour than I was the how 7 days in Natitingou Benin.

Then coming back, a man that I collaborated with the French, by having two girls explain to Sara the Peace Corps girls what happened.

I was talking with these two girls, this man, I thought was drunk came up and started hollering. The two girls were nice, but I decided to let them off the hook and walk away. Later they said to Sara that and collaborated what I thought, he wanted a drink.

The drink this homemade brew, and even Sara promotes it, there is an extreme amount of drinking in Boukombe and this man followed me. He was maybe 55, and frail. He stops and pick up a rock. Now, I really wanted to beat him senseless, but be real.

He is older, he has a rock, I could take away the rock, but he will lose his pride. The guys a drunk, dangerous to travelers and tourist. I can buy my way out of the situation. He asked for 100, I gave him 500 as an insult, as if you are so cheap and stupid, I will give you too much. A good way to insult, he did not like this, but that was the goal.

He sits next to the Sobrebre beer depot or storage building and must drink all day. Sara said and translated what the two girls explained, as he wanted me to come and drink the sook or whatever.

I see the NGO as making this a NGO Disaster Area.

They sit around drinking and encouraging drinking, and the locals learn to ask for money. Sara asks me five times if I wanted to stop and drink some sook or whatever. I finally had to say to the Peace Corps girl, I am an Alcoholic, I do not care if mild or what, I do not drink.

Strange this girl has to wear a helmet to get on a moto taxi as a rule of Peace Corps, but can drink homemade moonshine; there was an instance recently in the news of many people dying of this.

I do not hang around in Buvettes in West Africa and recommend nobody hang around alone. Especially a woman, I believe the rape here is probably higher than anyone will admit.

Boukombe is a NGO or ONG disaster zone. The city should be off the list of anyone for years, until they stop asking for money. I on other hand know, nobody cares, they want to drink, and if they destroy a culture so what…

I go where I want and do, as I want. However, I am strong, six foot, and do not give to beggars. I on the other hand, have a limit; this was the second time in 10 years of travel where I can say the person was willing to do violence. Both were old men, the other was with me and Jeff in Ulam Bataar Mongolia, probably spelled wrong.

Drinking leads to violence and groups of African men can be very violent. Last night, to even further confirm the drinking problem in Boukombe a lady came stumbling into the restaurant bar of Chez Yatti where I live.

Africa is not big on being drunk; I do not think they can afford to drink. Nevertheless, when you make your own alcohol it becomes a problem. Sara of the Peace Corps is here to help promote tourism. It is humorous and somewhat ludicrous.


Boukombe Benin


Benin How Quick to Marry

Benin How Quick to Marry
Boukombe Benin West Africa
Sunday, October 1, 2006

A girl I barely know says she will marry me and leave tomorrow with me. Eloise is her, name, she is 11 months pregnant and I think 23 years old. Very pretty, intelligent and quick eyes, speaks good French and seems to be able to take care of herself.

I have not kissed, touched or sat with her alone; she is part of this big nuclear family here at the Chez Yatti.

There is a constant joking with Benin or West Africa mothers or girls. That always is something like,
- Marry me and take to America. -

The mother, the brother, the girl seems to have the last say in the matter. The mother wanted a yes or no, I was trying to be polite and say the girl had to ask. She say, Demaine partir.

Or something in French that means, tomorrow we leave. I sit, I looked in her eyes, I thought. I consider myself a professional negotiator; I have sold as many as 90 pieces of real estate in one year. I am good at reading people. She meant it, my gut says, she would leave with me tomorrow, almost sight unseen, knows very little of me other than what she senses and I sense. She is Somba I guess.

The thing here is truth has many layers in 90 percent of the planet; commitment and follow through are convoluted. Strange as it sounds, I do not think I could do business with an African; I most likely would shoot them, then back up and shoot them again. They are like a slow talking Mexican and not really up to speed. I on the other hand could make a deal for a wife in a few days, and I think the transaction would be good as gold, it would be very functional. A normal business deal would be with men, that are always a problem, I do not know, I think the women should and need to run Africa.

All this is conjecture, would she marry me, I could say yes and try, the problem is this is a very cruel test, I will not play with a person this way, joking, talking, but to bring it to real commitment levels and not marry her would be cruel. I am not sure the actual marry is needed; I think you can mate and that is done, and marry later.


Benin How Quick to Marry