Tis the breezy season! Things are cooling off, at times it gets as low as 18 degrees with the harmattan wind coming south from the Sahara, prompting many to wear winter coats and toques at all points in the day. This is also a dusty, dry wind… since many windows are covered with screen (if anything), a layer of dust easily covers everything inside and outside. Ive also noticed that it provides me with this multi function tan/sunscreen combo as my body always seems to be covered with brown sand.

Our NGO is again featured on the CIAMO blog at http://ciamobenin.blogspot.com/ . Did a great mother/daughter/son craft session last weekend with one of their volunteers! We made accordion books with blank pages in them tor the teams to fill in as they please. There was a pregnant pause between creating the books (no problem) and filling them… seemed like a daunting task. Art was a first for most of the participants: many had to learn how to work with paints or how to draw a scene. A lot drew isolated things, for example a flag on one page, with no sky behind it, no sun or tree. Next page may have the market, but no context. We’ll do another session this wednesday to finish the books and perhaps make a christmas card. It was great to see how focussed everyone was!

Many things are up in the air at the moment, including Christmas plans. But the weekend coming up is the beginning of Kaleta, the mask festival where all the kids disguise themselves and go door to door singing and dancing and acting. I dont quite understand it yet, but apparently continues until the new year! Im considering heading out of town for a few days near the end of the month to go to Abomey, which is four hours north of Ouidah, my furthest trip yet in Benin and one of the last to tick off my Benin bucket list. Ill have one destination left; a safari in Parc Pendjari!

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