Tag Archives: miscellanea

First King of Porto Novo

First King of Porto Novo

This 25 foot tall statue of Porto Novo’s first king dominates a plaza near the National Assembly, the Grand Marche and other important spots in the capital.



Fishing Nets Hauled In

Photo by Lynsey McGarry

Photo by Lynsey McGarry

Long fishing nets are set in the morning and hauled in, by many hands, in the afternoon. Pulling in the nets takes more than a dozen strong people more than an hour.

Give Me the Obama Cut

Barber Poster

The “VIP Cuts” poster hanging in my barber’s shop features President Obama, Jay Z, LeBron James and other famous Americans. The bottom left corner is too torn to be certain but I think it’s a photo of Nelson Mandela.

Baobab Processing

Baobab Processing

Started about three years ago by a Peace Corps volunteer, Atacora Essential processes baobab fruit into powder and oil sold nationally and internationally. Visit their website to buy one of the products: www.atacoraessential.com The picture above shows three of the company’s products: (from the left) sesame oil, baobab powder, baobab oil. In the picture below, the current volunteer working with Atacora Essential, Steve Smith, stands with the machine used to press the sesame and baobab oil.



ANTS! (again)


This is a common sight, especially after a rain storm. Though it’s the dry season now and this is less common, this line of ants was on a path near our house on a recent morning bike ride. As I stopped to take pictures, the ants that’d strayed from the main ant highway began crawling over my feet and up my legs. As I ant-danced away as quickly as possible, several bit me. Their bite is not insignificant considering their size. I was still picking off strays several minutes later after I’d continued my ride.

I’ve come across lines of ants like these while biking and jogging in addition to streaming out of our garden and out of a garbage can in our shared yard. Jen had a fun encounter with a similar line of ants in our shower.

Funeral Procession Begins with Driverless Car

Ghost Riding Benin  While this is pretty tame and safe, I have seen cars speeding down the main road going at least 35 mph with the driver doing a handstand on the roof. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera at the moment. I have only seen this in relation to funeral processions.

Click on the link above to see a more safe and tame version. This was shot a couple of months ago when Jen and I passed the start of a funeral procession. We were standing at the biggest intersection in the middle of our town (though the paved main road is not visible in the background). Talking to some other Peace Corps volunteers, I found out that ghost riding is not just a local phenomenon but also done in the US, specifically in Oakland. Who knew?  There are some good local dance moves at about four minutes into the video.