Highlights from Benin


This is one of those times you get to ask yourself “How does time manage to run this fast?”  I spent an incredibly beautiful time here. Everyday meant discovering new people, new places, new sorts of lifestyle, but most importantly touching stories. Here are some of the highlights that marked my 3 weeks time here in Benin:

  1. Meeting Laina

A woman who has gone through a hardships since she was young, full of abuse and rejection, but again a woman who has never given up and is making a new life for herself and her 5 children. That is who Laina is. I still remember every detail about the time she was  telling me her story, which was a very touching moment for me. To read more about Laina, check out her article.

 

  1. Cities, vilages and “floating” villages

I have enjoyed staying in vibrant cities of Benin, especially the commercial capital of Cotonou. I enjoyed the possibility of literally finding food  everywhere (just stand anywhere and look on the sides of the street) and of course  the cheap moto around the city. But being honest, I enjoyed more while spending time in remote villages of this country. I loved the way people, despite the fact that they seem to have little, have a heart full of love and their arms always open to warmly welcome you. In every village I visited, I always received gifts, (food, homemade gin…this is another story 😁).

Floating village of Ganvié

 

A warm welcome in a village
  1. Visiting Ouidah

As a documentary photographer, I had always seen photo series about Voodoo (Vodu), which is a old religion, spread around the world, but that was born here in Benin. I always wanted to document that myself. Ouidah, being sort of the voodoo “capital”, was the right place to go. I was not only amazed by how strongly this is practiced here, but the way it is perfectly balanced with other forms or religion. Right opposite of the main temple of python in Ouidah is a catholic church.

Right opposite of the main temple of python (part of voodoo) in Ouidah is a catholic church.
And I did this…but my fingers are still shaking 😁

Briefly, that is a little bit of what my days in Benin have been about. I am heading to Cameroon in just a few days, my last country for this adventure. I still can’t believe how fast time has gone, but yet, I am very grateful for the amazing experience this has been so far, and I am really looking forward to what Cameroon has to offer.

 

Leave a Reply