Day Fifty-Three; Sunday, April 27 '08


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Africa » Benin » South » Ouidah
April 27th 2008
Published: May 1st 2008
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Woke up thinking it was 10:00 when it was actually 11:00 because of the time change. Weird to think there's a time change when Benin is only 90 miles from the Ghanian border. We headed off to the Python Temple which is the voodoo place of worship.

When we arrived there was a morning service taking place which was completely unexpected as we were informed the temple was more of a museum than anything else. It was really awkward walking in and I thought they would be osmewhat annoyed with us, however, they offered us chairs to sit down and observe the worship service.

Voodoo worship even sounds different than any other African worship music. It's enchanting and feels like it's casting a spell on you. After the service we were escorted into a private room to meet the priest. He was dressed in head to toe sequins. They gave us fish and rice which I stuffed in a plastic bag and stuck it in my purse.

We were able to view the shrines and "sacred" place which was actually pretty interesting. They stripped us of our tops and we had to use sheets to drape us.

When we left the temple there was a very rare ceremony going on in town involving different voodoo characters. Anythign that anybody would think of when thinking about voodoo rituals actually did happen. The guys performing the ceremony are in their costumes almost 24/7...the only people allowed to see them out of costume are their wives. They touched our heads and read our fortunes which we couldn't understand (they speak French in Benin.)

Because we were running late we had to rush to the Benin/Togo border to make it before the border was closed. We crossed the border and had to get yet another cab. The driver of our new cab got in a huge argument with the toll man so they weren't going to let us finish through customs. He stopped and basically got a tune up in Togo; stopped twice for air, once for gas, and then to check his oil and brake fluid.

We got to the next border and got on a tro-tro going to Hohoe. I yelled over and over again like I was a driver and the Ghanians all thought it was hilarious. On the way home Jahwill started freaking out in the tro-tro. I asked him what was going on and he informed me that their driver was letting a 'teef' on the tro-tro. Three men got in and one had his hand on another's shoulder. After a couple of minutes I figured out that "teef" meant 'thief.' Apparently it's okay for those who are going to jail for armed robbery and rape to ride the public tro-tro to the police station. The criminal was caught stealing from and raping a woman who was going back to her house with her goods from market. Jahwill taunted him the entire ride and we dropped him off at the police station. If charged we were informed he'll go to jail for three years and be severely beaten.

FUN WEEKEND!!!

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