Benin is a country of wonder and mystery, fitting all levels of adventure and comfort. Its unique mixture of culture, history, geography, and wildlife provides the ultimate West African experience. From thrilling zemidjan moped rides to spotting hippos from dugout canoes, traveling across Benin will surely stimulate visitors' senses and broaden their horizons. Erika and Felicie, the authors, lived, worked, and played in Benin for over two years while attached to the Peace Corps. They experienced this fascinating country like few outsiders have before and created a national network of locals who all contributed their own specialty and unique insight for this book. To see the real Benin and to travel like a local, this book is a must. - Discover Cotonou's lively markets and nightlife. - Explore the settlements along the mighty Mono River and hike in the picturesque granite hills of the central Collines region. - Lounge on the sunny, palm-fringed beaches of Grand Popo before exploring the historical cities of Ouidah and Abomey. - Embark on a veritable wildlife safari in the national parks of the north, and marvel at the vast plains of the Sahel in the upper Atakora and Alibori regions. - Enjoy the resilient spirit, charm, and vitality of the Beninese people who will captivate visitors and keep them coming back for more.
I was very eager to publish a guide book on the Republic of Benin after having lived there for three years as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer. I co-authored the book with a fellow Volunteer, and between us, we shared everything we know about the country. Benin is vibrant, greatly diverse in languages and cultures. Although I had studied French and Biology in college as an undergraduate, it wasn't until I was well into my sojourn in Benin that I had learned many practical application of my education, such as speaking French fluently and working in a tree nursery. I also learned some of the native language, called Mina.
I recently finished teaching my third semester of beginning-level French at my alma mater, where I also assisted in the biology laboratories. I will be a beginning student of Arabic from June to August, and then in an African Studies master's program in the fall. I intend to apply the studies for further work in Benin and throughout West Africa. I am most interested in the sacred forests and botanical gardens which the native healers and religious leaders use in traditional medicine. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, I coordinated a reforestation project in sacred forests. The sacred forests are used in vodoun worship, and are slender remains of what was once a vast forest. The forests have suffered and shrunk due mostly to pressure and demands from human population. I was impressed by the leaders' knowledge of the the plants and their many uses to soothe gastrointestinal illnesses, headaches, stop bleeding, and many other ailments.
My plans as an author are ambitious, yet so far not well formed. I write regularly and eagerly, though, and tentatively assemble a book based on blogs I wrote while living abroad. We'll see how that goes...
Thank you for your time! Please leave a note.