I can’t live without coffee. More precisely, my family doesn’t want to live WITH me, if I can’t have coffee in the mornings. And good coffee is hard to get in a lot of places in the world. Like a rest stop in London. WTH? How is it that hotels in London only offer… Read More What’s the ONE thing you always pack in your suitcase when PCSing?
Last day in Seattle. It feels like it should have been a whirlwind trip, but getting two extra days here really made a difference in how relaxed we are. Case in point, I am at a cafe this morning, drinking a delicious latte and typing this blog post. I have been surprised at what an… Read More Good-bye, Seattle
Election night indeed. When informed that the Ambassador would be throwing an election night party at his house from 10:30 at night to 3:00 in the morning, I cheerfully told the CLO exactly what I thought of that idea. Boy was I wrong. My “job” during the party was to explain the electoral college. I… Read More On election night parties.
Every eight weeks or so, I get a barrage of emails about raising small children in Freetown. I suspect that it’s closely linked to how often Freetown shows up on A-100 bid lists. In any case, I brought Freetown’s youngest baby since kids were allowed to come back in 2010. Jasmine came over at 10… Read More Rants and raves about raising a baby in Freetown
Allada is famous for its escargot (snails). Every well to do traveler stops there on their way up North. Only an hour outside of Cotonou, it’s an ideal place to buy food for the rest of the trip. Or, if you’re Jean Marc, Helene, Bertrand, and myself, an ideal place to waste an hour drinking… Read More I like snails. Eating them, that is.
Ah, cheese. The one thing every expat in West Africa misses. Luckily, Benin has a local cheese that’s excellent, both as a cheese, fried, and as a tofu subsitute. Known commonly as wagasi, from Dendi, it goes by many names: amo in Fon, wara in Nagot, and gasaru in Bariba. The French simply call it… Read More Cutting the cheese in Benin
PINK BENIN is a big fan of International Women’s Day. Breast cancer is a marginalized illness in Benin, like many places in the world, because it’s something that primarily affects women. So it’s nice to do work on a day where we don’t have to defend ourselves for primarily working with women (What? We don’t… Read More PINK goes to Zagnanado for breast cancer screening
Six months ago, rumors began circulating about an orphan who could heal, raise the dead, and perform exorcisms. And what better place for a second coming than a region plagued by sorcery, witches, and the devil himself? Thousands of pilgrims came to weekly masses in a tiny village with no water and no electricity, in… Read More I’m in love with the idea that the second coming could be a 17-year-old African woman
Freedom of the press and the right to say what I want, when I want, is something I take for granted. Despite the many problems that plague American media, our right to free speech is well protected. The press, while beholden to its corporate interests, does not fear jail or sanctions for telling the truth,… Read More On Freedom of the Press in Benin, and the New Lack Thereof