Benin Travel Stories, Page 4

Boukombe Benin Tomorrow

Boukombe Benin Tomorrow
Natitingou Benin West Africa
Friday, September 29, 2006

I am learning that leaving cities in Africa can be difficult for me; it is not the same as Thailand where I feel like a number. I am making friends, about three Chandras, couple of Delphis, Aeshedi, Sophi, Alice and other female name, most I cannot pronounce and for sure cannot spell.

The names repeat of women, however the men, they are missing, I am trying to introspect on why. I meet men; mostly they sit and drink in the hotel bars. There are many taxi drivers I am starting to figure out and recognize, they are all men. 95 percent of my interaction, except maybe in the management of hotels is with women. They sell the yogurt, they run the grocery, they sell the peanuts, and they run the whole market and I am amiss, what do the men do? They go to Mosque, set their mats in the streets, put there head down. The bunch in religious areas, taxi areas, bars, they group together sometimes talking, however they are not working.

The easy way to meet people is when you are doing commerce, purchasing or just window-shopping. There are plenty of excuses to open up a conversation.

I just thought, no this is not so simple, there is a walk path in front of the hotel or Auberge USA, and it leads to many homes. There is about 10 women for every man walking by, however the men are the ones driving all the motorcycles, it could be they return home on motorcycles and do not walk.

Religion
Drinking
Groups of Men, NOT working

These are dangerous groups to meet, the bully is prevalent, and they are obnoxious and of little value.

These are good groups:
Taxi Drivers
Students, yes I do meet students. The student, alone, is carrying some book bag of sorts.

Oh well, I do not care, the men of the world seem to be on the lazy too much side and not contributing much to society. Taking yes, giving no, this is normal in most 80 percent of the planet. Women just do not know it, but they have the power control switch of the planet, if they take it and use it.

Islamic Mosque is full of men, and the Catholic Church is full of women, I do not understand.

I am making friends here, however time to go; I think I need a fresh set of ethic people to brighten up my day. I am doing exceptionally well at learning how to adapt and enter the cultures here. The coast of West Africa is full of people trained and socialized to ask for money 24/7, up here in the north they have calmed down, I do not think they know or have as many foreigners. Who can say, maybe they do not watch TV as much and do not learn from the world. Ask, ask, give me, take and take, the United Nations doctrines of take from the rich and give to the poor.

I believe that Boukombe is a tourist city in a way, so is Natitingou and this is ok here. I am the only tourist, there are no tourist type temptations and the travelers or whoever stops that is white, never stays more than one day.

I am excited to go to Boukombe, I think or feel going toward Togo more as I am traveling west towards the Togo border will lead to more interesting types of cultures. I will only know as I know, the fear I had as I came north is I would go into an Islamic area where they suddenly separated all the men from the women, and kept the women hidden. I am trying to recall Niger last year, I met many men, but I also met some women, no I could not speak enough French to even say hello, I just got by, not really entering the cultures.

Cities are different from villages, in a village they are practical, all the wanna be and gotta do is gone. They need to work, they to not need to look like they are working, however they are drinking.

Pretentious get nothing done is normal, look busy, but really, give me a break, hard to find anyone but small children actually busy working, like the good workers of the family. Women are the boss, the children are the work staff, and the men, and they seem to stay out of the way. I do not know, I never see them with the working women, only if they are coming into look as if they are checking something.

Photos, I took 48 photos in the last 24 hours, this is a lot of photos. This is not a good sign, this means, I am still interested in looking at this city. The move though to the Auberge USA was a cultural bonanza, I have hit gold here, I can observe, interact, and socially become part of the typical fun to talk with part of Benin. I really cannot be bothered to talk with the elitist bunch, they seem like they missed the boat, was standing in the wrong line. I do enjoy some of the male student types, they are smart, trying to study their way out of the some unknown hole they think they are in.


Boukombe Benin Tomorrow


Yon Ethnic Benin

Yon Ethnic Benin
Natitingou Benin West Africa
Friday, September 29, 2006

Yon Girl in Benin with Scarification.



This girls says,
- Non Fon, Yon… -

Aagh, another and another some name to figure out.

I am in the Auberge USA in Natitingou Benin, amazing, I can sit on the uncomfortable, however shady front area in front of the Hotel and slowly look at the Ethnic groups of Benin as they stroll by and say hello. The must all live down the hill away from the market from me.

The man went to USA, made some money, came back and built the Auberge or Hotel.


Yon Ethnic Benin


Sustainable Poverty with NGOs

Sustainable
Natitingou Benin West Africa
Friday, September 29, 2006

I am also angry with the word or use of the word, frustrated would be good also, however also spurred on to action… hehehe

Sustainable Poverty is what I think the NGO want, then need good, never ending, never changing poverty with extreme problems, a.k.a. death at the end to help them collect donation. There has to be some real deaths to collect money, they need BBC and CNN to back them up with some controversial film footage.

Most NGO must have a SUSTAINABLE PROBLEM, one that cannot be inspected, one that cannot be expected to end; it must pull at the heart finding the donations, however never solving the problem, whereby the self-created need for them would end.

There are,
- Sustainable

Sustainable Agriculture
Sustainable Communities
Sustainable Examples
Sustainable Development
Sustainable Conservation Methods
Sustainable Farm
Sustainable Yield
Sustainable Rural Development - Referencing AIDS
Sustainable Design
Sustainable Economic Alternatives
Sustainable Rain Forest Loggin Operations
Sustainable Economic Growth
Sustainable Yield Forestry
Sustainable Fish Populations
Sustainable Exploitation of Natural Resources
Sustainable Growth
Sustainable Resource Use
Sustainable Fisheries
Sustainable Development - UNICEF focuses on Sustainable Development
Sustainable Market Niche
Ecologically Sustainable
Sustainable Model for National Success - George W. Bush
Sustainable Population
Sustainable Regrowth
Sustainable Management
Sustainable Health-Care System
Sales Trends would not be Sustainable
Sustainable by the Sea - Colombia
Sustainable Production Limits
Sustainable End to Hunger... Obasanjo, Olusegun
Sustainable Living
Sustainable Water Use

QUOTES:

- The policy challenge of sustainable development consists of finding a path towards a positive social and ecological coevolution. -
Richard Norgaard (1943 - )
U.S. author.

- Economic activity should not only be efficient in its use of resources but should also be socially just, and environmentally and ecologically sustainable.- (2)
Warren Bennis (1925 - )
U.S. educationalist and writer.
Beyond Leadership: Balancing Economics, Ethics and Ecology (co-written with Jagdish Parikh and Ronnie Lessem) (2)

I have just collected and peruse many concepts on the word Sustainable, helping myself by context of use to understand the world and the implications.

I think what is missing in this idea of the word Sustainable is the A-Z process that makes something Sustainable.

The word Sustainable deems that completion is required, demanded and inherent in the projects or programs.

Here in Natitangou, Benin the big issue-du-jour is SIDA in French and AIDS in English.

Ok, they come up with all these ideas… hehehe.



Abstinence Jusqu Au Mariage - Abstinance before Marriage
Bonne Fidelite Reciproque - Fidelity Reciprocated
Condoms ou Preservatifs - Condoms or Preservatives
Depistage Volontaire - Voluntary Discover

This is the over-intellectualized marketing plan, forgot to give some photos, marketing plans is off the wall bad. Totally missed the target market…. Hehehe, too stupid to believe by me..



Yes, great idea, but…

- Who can afford Condoms… ? -

I only earn one dollar per day, and I want to buy something I need, not something that I do not need. I want, but think about it, do I need it, if I needed it, I would be buying it.
Sustainable has to be economically feasible, or the NGO is feasible and the persons continue to have problems.

The sad part to me is AIDS or SIDA can be eradicated easy, test for free everyone on the planet. Tattoo, mark, scar mark them, someone mark everyone that has AIDS or SIDA, this will stop AIDS…
Hmmm let me see your scar or tattoo, or prove to me, you have been tested clean.

Sustainable means to me, that a person sat down, goes throw all the deterministic causal relationships between the start to the end.

Boy wants to have sex.
Girl agrees
They go behind jungle to avoid parents.
Have sex

How do the boy and girl buy condoms?
Money..?
How does this boy and girl buy condom whereby the whole village does not know they are having sex?
Where does the boy and girl buy Condoms?

STEP by STEP
Algorithm analysis
The chain of events.

What stopped them from using a condom?
Cultural, social, too fast, too expensive, not fun, ignorance.

Contrary to some myths perpetuated, people do know about condoms and AIDS, SIDA, it not new. In addition, either are photos, mostly myth perpetuation for benefits of mythmakers.

What are the stoppers, what stops this from working?

If I hear, read, or smell the world sustainable, it better be followed with examples whereby a person making 1 dollar per day can buy and afford. Otherwise I think it is just a self-preservation, self-proportioning never ending fund raising, make a job for ME program by someone driving a Toyota Land Cruiser.


Sustainable


Daily While Traveling Projects

Daily While Traveling Projects
Natitingou Benin West Africa
Friday, September 29, 2006

One new project, spins, whips around and creates a few other idea and more project. Voila, life full of projects to complete, small goals to accomplish and the all-important completion high. I love being the master, the person that finished a project.

Big project never get finished it seems, however I have these little small projects.

Today’s Projects
1. Pillow, make a foam pillow to go with my new set of pillowcases, but a lot smaller. I want a pillow about the size of a sheet of paper or my laptop computer.

That is it, no use working, I am on permanent vacation. The project today was not completed; the man did not open his shop that sells the foam I need. I will re-up the project when I find a shop that seems to be open regularly or I sew myself.

Call Audible Project.
I accident-ed up on a project, I was in the Super-Marche here, looking at everything, trying to discover some new food to eat. I am very bored with the selection in West Africa. I happened up some vegetable seeds in the store; I do not, or have not seen seeds often for sale. Not saying you cannot use a bean sold to grow bean. However, seeds are sometime different. I was thinking about carrots the other day, I purchase four for one dollar. That is about one days work to eat some carrots if you are a local, of course they may have tripled the price. Nonetheless, I do not see many carrots sold here. I am seeing more String beans, however, the PIMA or too hot to eat peppers are king, and not much good for you in my mind.

I see the Carrot Seeds. I think, is that a one or a seven, the decision comes down to this, to be sure, I must buy. I thought it was a one, found out it was a 7, or 750 CFA, this about 1.50 US Dollars or about one and one-half days work here. Management of house does not seem to think this is a cost beneficial purpose, and who is used to eating carrots anyway.

I purchased the package of Carrot Seeds.



Tropica is the Brand name, so I am making progress. I am trying to collect existing names and addresses of company already selling or working in West Africa that could help Niger with malnutrition or all of Africa with the malnutrition problems.

Research in a store is difficult, I could take note, write down everything or I can just take some photos, enlarge them, and do it later.



This is the package, now I can zoom in on the package with my Paint Shop Pro program and copy the big, flip the baby and get it down on papers or in a photo.



Technisem 7 AV. Dd Gariguano. 91601 Savigny Sur Orge. France

I made larger, now I can read the directions. I also can do all sorts of filing away in folders for later if I wish.

TROPICA
Technisem 7 AV. Dd Gariguano. 91601 Savigny Sur Orge. France….

This is now collect by me, and I can file away with other photos I have collected. I am somewhat obsessing on the word,
- Sustainable -

I see Sustainable Research needed research on these social issues that is profitable, does not need paid for by the public.


Daily While Traveling Projects


Natitingou to Boukombe Benin Trip

Natitingou to Boukombe Benin Trip
Natitingou Benin West Africa
Friday, September 29, 2006

I believe I will leave on Saturday, from Natitingou, Benin and go to Boukombe, Benin; the distance is not far, I do not think it will take more than two hours by Cattle Car or Bush Taxi.

As the crow flies only about 21 miles, however this is jagged line trip and will be closer to 35 miles, I would guess. There is no easy to understand information on how to leave Natitingou to Boukombe. I spoke with Richard at the Peace Corps office, but he has never been there. I met a girl, I think Laura from Peace Corps in the middle of the day, and she said she was leaving that day. I think she is probably in a Peace Corps vehicle and not Cattle Car.

I think to make any trip to places or destination in West Africa or Benin by normal transport or Cattle Car; I need to leave the room no later than 7:30 in the morning. I will take the motorcycle taxi, tell him the city of Boukombe, if I can get him to understand me, then he will take me to some Peugeot Cattle Car and I will wait until it is full, they we leave. If I am unlucky, it will take more than two cars to go there, or I will have trouble finding the right pickup place for cars. The other problem is to not accidentally get into the wrong car. I now wait until I can see that one is loading faster than the other is, before I say or commit to join the group car or collective type vehicle.


Natitingou to Boukombe Benin Trip


Trip Morocco to Egypt by Land

Trip Morocco to Egypt by Land
Natitingou Benin West Africa
Friday, September 29, 2006

I am getting positive this trip is possible, as I have a person by the name of Stellan from Sweden outlining the paths, I have yet to confirm or collaborate that he or anyone has done it, I am sure people are in all these countries…. hehehe.
http://www.sandstorm.se

VISA MANAGEMENT
Visas is the problem?



Morocco
Mauritania
Mali
Niger
Chad
Cameroon
Gabon
Congo one
Congo two
Uganda
Kenya
Ethiopia
From Ethiopia to Egypt by flight. You can't get the visa to Sudan in Ethiopia...

I am trying to write Stellan to see if he did this trip, then I need to know why he did not go from Chad to Sudan by land. Danger, no road, Visa problem.

I can get on the Lonely Planet Thorntree and quiz and do this, however I am not able to get on the Lonely Plant Thorntree as a real traveler, the time is too much and the internet is too slow here in West Africa. It would take to long waiting for answers or finding the right pages. Then I cannot get the truth from people, they will lie or pretend they did the trip.

This page is also a collection point for information on this subject.
http://www.hobotraveler.com/de3howtotravelfrommoroccotoegyptoverland.php

Trip Morocco to Egypt by Land


Travel Pillow

Travel Pillow
Natitingou Benin West Africa
Thursday, September 28, 2006

I can deal with most beds; there is seldom in my world a bed so bad, that it is ridiculous, some in India, but who goes to India. The pillow though has after nine going on ten years finally started to annoy me. If I get annoyed enough, I start searching for solutions. This is not easy, a pillow is big, not something, I want to carry, or do I?

Yes, in the Galion Hotel in Lome, Togo, it has these small, soft, midget pillows. I am trying to remember where I first encountered the pillows. I have been in many hotels with many type of pillows. Amazing how the hotel just does not care, they will buy these rocks, lumps that sit in the bed and can be used to kill cockroaches because they are so hard.

In Lome they sold these pillows, soft, small, made to squeeze, I am not sure, the older pillow may be softer. I took apart the pillow in the Galion and gazed for a while at the pillow. Trying to learn how it was made.

I found the pillow to buy there, but I could not find the pillowcase. Yesterday in Natitingou, Benin, I found the pillowcase, or cases. Two for 600 Fran or about one dollar US. I kept trying to say, I only need one, but the young fun loving slap me if I do not take two forced me to take the two. She demanded I use a plastic bag; I could not put in my cargo pants pockets. It was fun, but I found the person to buy a pillowcase. Now, I can carry a pillowcase easy enough, now I can look for the pillow.

FOAM
There is this normal business in Africa; it sells foam, the foam that would be inside a couch, or a funky cheap mattress, the foam of the cushion inside a couch. I am confused why there is this store everywhere, but they exist. It may be because West Africa is big on making furniture, and stuffed chairs are common. Nonetheless, I also found a man, speak more than two words of English, good manners and want to please. A rare person in West Africa. I have the whole team, the store with pillowcases and the store to make a pillow.

The man was slow on the soft idea, however I will buy the materials, and he sells them. I think I know exactly how to make an ultra soft roll up or fold over pillow.

Spending a lot of time in Hotel room means the pillow starts to make my neck hurt. A bad pillow and I want to leave the hotel, the proper bed and I am comfortable. The Auberge USA has a good combination, better than most. I want my own pillow though and think it is time to start carrying a super soft pillow.

I do think I can find down here, impossible to find, but layers of foam, can make a soft pillow.

My friend Justin has insomnia; he would walk around to all the hotels in a city of Ecuador and find the perfect bed. He could tell you every bed in the city and the pros and cons. I wonder if he thought also of the pillow, I am sure he did. Many travelers, on short-term will carry a pillow, I see the tourist with pillows all the time, like a pacifier for the kids.

I want to combine the U-shape, bus or plane pillow with the bed pillow, not so easy and takes up space, but I know it will eventually work.


Travel Pillow


Natitingou Benin Culture Hotel

Natitingou Benin Culture Hotel
Natitingou Benin West Africa
Thursday, September 28, 2006

I can hear the Islamic morning call to prayer, I am happy I moved farther away, I can now enjoy the prayer in a peaceful way, and not in a jam box in my ear level.

I am adding a new type of hotel to my knowledge base of hotels, the,
- Culturally Immersed Hotel. -
And also I add,
- Living in USA Hotel in Another Country -

Living in a Hotel is an abstract set of feelings. How the hotel feels is to take all the services, benefits, people, friends, staff, problems, and tally them up, this is how the hotel feels. I feel a hotel daily, I have a home, that is a hotel, yes, sometimes called a Guesthouse, an Auberge, a Hostel, in the end, who cares what you call it, it is a room where I sleep, sometime flop.

CHOOSING A HOTEL
I am learning a different strategy of choosing a hotel here in Africa, normally I go for the,
- Backpacker, older part of town Hotel. -

However, the Backpacker Older Part of Town Hotel does not exist, there is the older part of town hotel, but there are no backpackers, at least no groups of backpackers collected in one place. The best I can find is a Peace Corp Hotel where they come and go and there are groups of younger people.

I go for the hotels where I can find a conversation, some travel gossip, help in figuring out the country, city or place. In West Africa there is no conversation, therefore I have finally given up looking for backpackers or other tourist, travellers, etc. I now am looking or searching only for the hotel.

This is a unique time in my travels; I have never chosen a hotel, only on the location, services and benefits of the hotel. It has always been related to the people I may meet in the hotel. Ok, I am wrong now, I am choosing the hotels in Africa according to the locals and nothing to do with the White People or Tourist, and there are almost zero travelers, only tourist.

I am taking the motorcycle taxis to all the Natitingou, Benin Hotels and checking them out, I went down a longer road the other day to the Tata Somba or something like that named Hotel. The Zim or Moto Taxi was confused as I instantly started to say things in French.

- Turn Around. Go back. -
- It is a Living in USA, but here Hotel. -
- Too far to walk hotel. -
- Tourist Hotel. -

I am an independent traveler, this is different from a two-week tourist, and a tourist comes with a goal and itinerary checklist. I see this, I see that, we go here, and we go there, then we go home. An independent traveler normally does the same, however the independent traveler normally is a little more flexible and hopefully longer than two weeks. All these definitions overlap, combine, bleed together, and this is the problem. How to choose a hotel that fits me, not you, but me, and then I am happy.

I was laughing, people will often write and say and one did the other day and said,
- I want to travel to Africa; however, I will not live on a dime. -
Or they say,
- I will visit the country; however, I will stay a little better. -

I laugh to myself every time I read these comments on the blog, by email, often written in the elitist, I am special, I have the money to pay for a good room denigration way. They do not know it, but they are says,
- Andy, I am not like you, I can live nice. -

Everything I ever write, any comment I ever make on hotels, a reference to money, the comments I make, all 100 percent have to do with how to choose a great hotel.

The worst hotel in Natitingou, Benin may be the Tata Somba for me, or it could be the best hotel for me.

I often ask myself,
- If I could convince my Mother and Father to come here, which hotel would I put them in? -

This is difficult; I would probably go looking for the one-floor, on the first level living, few steps and a hot water shower hotel. The Tata Somba has about 20 steps and a hill leading up to the hotel, I think after they go in the hotel it would maybe be ok, I did not enter.

The Bologna Hotel for lack of spelling is a good choice, but still has some steps and I do not think hot water showers.

My parents would never complain, however if I am going to pay the buck and not the dime, I will make a hoop and a holler; I would demand some service for my parents. The money would not matter; they would be on a two week and out vacation.

Sum up the pros and cons.
Make a list and add them up.
What are the benefits and problems?

Yuk, Yuk, Yuk, I am laughing…

All this comes down to the fact; my parents need transportation to and from the hotel daily. They are not going to get on the back of a motorcycle and ride somewhere like me. They need a taxi; however what do I see for the tourist. I see these made to look Africa 4-wheel drive something’s. They are not the NGO White Toyota Land Cruisers, they are the brown, look like Africa Jeep, square, I am Tarzan jeep.

It is the same as a van; a vehicle that is difficult to climb in and out of, it is high up, not the best for my parents. The need the Mercedes Benz hanging around to drive them around in.

They need the Mercedes Benz around the villages and outside they may be able to get by with the SUV, Toyota Land Cruiser, NGO design, I think it is wider and more comfortable than the Tarzan, out of Africa brown jeep design and quieter.

What happens to my parents when the driver turns the music up too loud, in the self-centered, I am Africa Jerk, I never once think about anyone mode, and I take, and do not care mode. My parents say nothing and hate the trip, only say good things, never complain, I am going to strangle the driver and throw him out the window, and hit him with a big rock.

This is the problem, no matter how much you pay, no matter how hard you work, there is going to be some huge problems. This is Africa, the people here will drive their car over you, they will turn up the music so loud, and they just are under-developed on the caring for people idea. The manners are primitive; this is 80 percent of the planet. Only with a five star hotel, I am living in the USA, I never saw Africa can maybe you buy some manners. But then you go drive around town and the taxi has no manners, my parents have too many manners, they will not tell the taxi driver to turn down the noise, it is his taxi, they do not feel they have the right to tell a person how to behave.

My parents would love to walk around in the Marche here; they would love to see the path down behind the Auberge USA that leads to many homes and families. They would say, hmm, very different, but just like us Dear, talking to my Dad, my mother would relate. This woman is watching her children and cooking dinner for them and her husband. Look, they have a garden, it has some sweet corn, remember on your father house dear how we would walk out the door and go across the road and pick sweet corn. They have it growing around their home.

Culturally Immersed Hotel
I am not sure anywhere but home is good for anyone, I feel the goal of 90 percent of travelers it to take some good photos, live at home, and then tell all their friends. I went to Africa. The goal is sadly to me, not to feel Africa, not to empathize with Africa. For sure the NGO’s are not trying to feel Africa to empathize with the people when they drive around in a Toyota Land Rover, 4-wheel drive, Air Conditioned cost more than the village vehicle. Elitist yes, empathy no, thug, tyrant yes, living with the locals no.

The Peace Corps is the closest I have seen to even getting close to empathizing with the locals, with learning about the people of Africa, then they may have a chance to assist Africa in getting a better life, not that I think the life is bad here, I think it is darn good. They need to live on top of a mountain in Peru, cold, wet, and farming the side of a mountain. I sure they have it, but West Africa has water and is flat, farming is very easy, if you work.

Ok, as I type, I become clear, I understand how to choose hotels in cities. When I see the barricade, compound walled areas with the homes in the center, I am in the new part of the city. If I see a line of women carrying something on their head walking like ducks in a row, I am in the older part. There is a direction out of the city, which leads to Joe Blow, normal, I have a sheet for bottom, and a shirt, and I do not look color coordinated pants suits style. I am round thingie on top of my head style, ready to put my stuff up there…

The ones with things on their head are more typical, not rich, the Africa I came to visit. The ones with the Aunt Jamima, color coordinate too fat to believe is not what I came to see. (Aunt Jamima is some Maple Syrup or something in USA.)

I am still asking myself, I am aware now, I know the million dollars question is how to explain to someone how to find a hotel near or immersed in culture. I know 100 percent, the Five Stars will say or explain how it has Africa or it is Africa, The Tata Somba is named Africa, it is the name of the reason people are coming to this area, they come to see what I think is called a TATA, the home of the Somba people of Benin and Togo.

I would go ahead of my parent, arrange to rent a nice car in Cotonou, and then drive to maybe here or if possible to Boukombe in the Mercedes and get a hotel or a house. Renting a couple of rooms in a nice house would be best.

Then drive up north to see the Hippos in the park, drive back to Cotonou and fly out. Maybe I need to find a Four-Wheel Drive tour company to go to the villages. Normally a Four-Wheel Drive company did not need the Four-Wheel-Drive, they just looked the part. My parents would not be impressed with the SUV or 4-wheel drive, they live in the country, these are for the working people, not for the normal people, no need to work, we are on vacation.

I just realized, that is my farm logic, I do not want to ride in some big noisy four-wheel drive. It is when I was working concrete, or on the farm, big noisy, uncomfortable rides. Not that a SUV is a four wheel drive, I am not going to take a 30-50,000 Dollars vehicle out and bang it up on a construction site or in the back 40 of the plowed field.

COMFORT
There is a difference between real comfort and perceived comfort; there is a difference between looking clean and being clean. To choose a hotel is to know yourself, and what you like. I do not like taxi driver sitting in front of a Five Star hotel sucking up treating me as if I am a US Dollar, greed personified, not nice.

In the end, it is always the people; the hotels never seem to want to talk about the people. It is the people you live with, the people you meet. I am meeting some wonderful people walking around in the Marche above me, and that walk to and home from the Marche daily. I am in the Auberge USA, it for sure is not for 99 percent of the people, but it is perfect for me, I am immersed in the Benin African culture, it is as close as I can get to living in the typical market here, then going home with the workers.

I know what I do; I take any room, and turn it into a great room. I set up the mosquito net, I made my hot shower, I installed a reading light, and I am in the process of purchasing a pillow that would be perfect. Hmm, new blog post, time to change.


Natitingou Benin Culture Hotel