Free refills, getting change without a verbal skirmish, fixed prices, and having everything on the menu. Recycling, clean streets, and temperate climates. Free, fast wireless, unlimited nights and weekends, a post office that won’t loose/steal my mail. America, I am coming home!
I have just finished the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life. I lived in an impoverished but wonderful rural African village, I worked hand-in-hand with members of my community to make our lives better, and I learned and gained more than I could have possibly have taught or helped. Peace Corps volunteers say this all the time. Filled with the fresh euphoria of having completed my obligation I am proud and pleased with the work I have done and the life I have lived.
I’m going to miss speaking French and Franglais. I’ll miss beans and gari, people selling whatever I need off of their head while wandering around, overloaded taxis and most of all I am going miss Zems! There aren’t many other experiences that allow the freedom of Zemidjan riding. These guys will take you anywhere you want whenever you want, as long as you are willing to discuss the price for the same amount of time as it takes to travel to your destination. While they may be frustrating a t times, they are probably the most fun-loving and happy group of people in Benin. Their lust for life seems to influence me almost every time I climb on the moto and say “Ça y est!” (“That’s it!” in French).
You can take the hillbilly out of Africa, but you can’t take the Africa out of the hillbilly. So I say to Benin, Peace Corps and the last two years, Ça y est!
I’m on to the next arena (as of yet undefined). Be sure I’ll be writing about it. For now, my only goal is to make it to Dakar before September 3rd and have as many outstanding experiences as I can along the way.