Porto Novo

It only takes an hour to get to Benin's capital city of Porto Novo. Kate and I got invited to visit one of our translators: Boris and his family. We took a motorcycle ride to the bus stop and were directed by our vigilant drivers to get into a shared taxi that would take us to the station in Porto Novo. 

Cassava root, plucked straight from the yard next door.  

Cassava root, plucked straight from the yard next door.  

Boris and his daddy picked us up on their motorbikes (yes, Boris calls his dad Daddy so we did too!). They took us to the agricultural center to tour the farm and grounds.  

Boris, me, Arince, Kate, and Daddy

Boris, me, Arince, Kate, and Daddy

Boris' older brother Arince joined us there. He also works as translator on Mercy Ship.  

Daddy and his youngest son's son, Eme.  

Daddy and his youngest son's son, Eme.  

After a quick and dirty ride through the city's well-known market (I was quick to point out that Kate and I are NOT market people and we need only drive through), we came to Boris' family home.  

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Their home did not have running water, but they did have electricity. We each took a turn pulling up a bucket of water from the well, like any curious Westerner.  

Kate is meeting the neighbors. 

Kate is meeting the neighbors. 

Boris and Daddy are both competitive bowlers. Bowling in Africa is more like Bochi ball. Boris plays on the national team and decided not to go to the World Cup in Madagascar so that he could work on the ship. 

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Kate and I get lessons on bowling (she was much better than I), but it was very fascinating to watch Boris and Daddy play each other. 

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Nothing like some refreshment to rehydrate after the profuse sweating that is taking place!  

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Boris' mum, Gabriella, cooked us cassava. It is a root vegetable that tastes like a dry yam but it's white in color.  

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On the way back to the bus station, we stopped by the statue of King Toffi in the city center.  

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Boris and Daddy put us in another taxi back to Cotonou and look who was our seat mate! He made us laugh all the way home.  

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Adventure can be really scary. This day had a lot of unknowns, but with a good friend and SIM card,  bravery is easy to find.