A Travellerspoint blog

Christmas in July

Sort of...

sunny 32 °C

Hello again!

It is Christmas here in Africa, and it feels more like July than it does December! (Although I am not complaining about the lack of snow :))

Today's post is just a quick message (I am a bit tired from 'partying' till 4 am... Here in Africa, they go till 6 am!) (and by the way, this is not due to a hangover... just in case anyone was wondering...)

Yesterday, I wrote a poem. Much of the inspiration is from the experience of being here in Africa... It has opened up a whole new world for me!
Here it is:

The Human Element

Unlike any other, unique.
Individuality we seek.
But to deny humanity as one kind,
Is to commit the ultimate crime.

That which science cannot reinvent,
it has chosen to forget.
That which medicine cannot cure,
it has chosen to ignore.
That which war cannot understand,
it has chosen to command.
That which countries cannot respect,
they have chosen to reject.

That which cannot be erased,
It is time we embrace,
The Human Element has one fate.

Last but not least: Thanks to all of my friends and family who are reading this blog... or anyone else too! I hope you are enjoying it and that it brings you comfort to know I am safe and sound and having the time of my life!

Thanks for the support!

Till next time,

Jessica (Sena) Blank ;)

Posted by JessyB 25.12.2011 18:15 Archived in Benin Tagged christmas benin cotonou Comments (0)

A New Experience

Everyday is an adventure!

sunny 32 °C

Bonjour to all my friends and family!

Just did my laundry here... by hand! (no washing machines for those of you wondering)

We will see how it turned out later today (by the way, it is about 1:30 pm here in Benin)

Yesterday we went to Porto-novo. That's where Sandra and Arielle (my wonderful travel companions) were born. And I think their father too. We met some of their family living in the village nearby.

I found out that Cotonou (where I am staying with the amazing Sagbohan family!) is actually the economic capital and Porto-novo is the Political capital.

While in Porto-novo, we went to the palace of the last King of the country (King Tofa) who died in 1976. This country is full of such interesting history. (our tour guide was hilarious, I will try to post a video that I have of him being hilarious!)

Tonight we will be going to a party that we have been invited too, I will definitely tell you all how that went... or didn't :) (it depends on whether or not I can some how miraculously learn to dance with in the next couple of hours... fat chance... but at least I tried eh?)

I am starting to understand French a bit. Picking up on peoples conversations based on words that I already understand. It's pretty cool. And funny because I answer or respond to what they say in English... two way conversation...

And even funnier, I started my own language of sorts as an attempt to communicate on some level... Frenglish... hee hee. Although it still involves a lot of pointing at things and hand gestures. It's a start right? Works so far... sort of.

Within the next couple of days, we will be traveling to Ganvie... it's a village built on the water. I can't wait. Will definitely post a lot about that!

Don't for get to check out the pictures on facebook: Facebook Album

That's all for now!

From Africa,

Jessy Blank (or Sena if you prefer ;) )

Posted by JessyB 23.12.2011 13:49 Archived in Benin Tagged palace benin porto-novo Comments (0)

We have arrived!

The start of a great adventure!

sunny 31 °C

Hello from AFRICA!!!!!

On Sunday we finally arrived in Benin (Africa) after nearly 24 hours of travelling! [SIDE NOTE: as I am typing this, a bird just flew into the house over my head...]

Culture shock number 1: The Cotonou, Benin airport consists of one terminal (ie one gate).

Culture shock number 2: Our luggage did not arrive on Sunday... and only half arrived on Monday evening... we are still waiting for 3 more pieces of luggage and a stroller for Arielle's very cute daughter Ophelia. (I will have pictures of them up soon and others too... once the rest of the luggage arrives)

Culture shock number 3: Never, NEVER again will I EVER complain about New York drivers ever again! And anyone who does complain, I will have a picture up of why New York drivers do not compare to the craziness of drivers here. (Though I am told that it is worse in Nigeria, I am going to take their word for it rather than find out for myself)

The family I am staying with (a wonderfully kind family who welcomed me into their home with open arms, THANK YOU!) has given me an African name: Sena. It means destiny in a language called Goun.

Today I bought fabric to have an African dress made (we go tomorrow to have it made by a tailor). I'll take a picture of the finished product and post it when it is done.

Till next time! (ie later today!)

Jessy Blank

Posted by JessyB 20.12.2011 13:05 Archived in Benin Tagged adventure africa travels benin cotonou Comments (0)

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