Sunday, October 10, 2010

One Night in Cotonou (mostly reminiscing about food)

Saturday, September 4th

Thursday night I was shuttled to Peace Corps headquarters in Cotonou because I needed my 2nd post exposure rabies shot on Friday morning. This meant that I got to stay overnight in the medical ward where there is air conditioning!! I was freezing; it was so glorious; I slept with a sheet and a blanket! I also took two hot showers. I’m going to buy the puppy something really delicious because it was the best way to celebrate my 50th day in Benin!

Thursday Night
- Beachside bar right on the water with eight other volunteers.
- Watching the sunset from said bar
- Having a Pepsi, even though I prefer Coke, it reminded me of America and family hahah (Cotonou is the only place where they have anything besides Coke).
- Buying a delicious plate of food for 1500F ($3) at the restaurant called Plate of Food. It included a heaping pile of freshly made fries, fried chicken and a huge green romaine-like salad with real salad dressing –not mayonnaise - and tons of fresh veggies!
- Ice Cream at Baguette Dorr, one scoop chocolate, one scoop vanilla/chocolate in a bowl with a cone (1000F - $2). Best ice cream in Benin, according to every PC person, and I concur, it was amazing.
- Seriously considering buying a 2nd dinner at Baguette Dorr when two other volunteers bought double cheeseburgers, including AMERICAN CHEESE and french fries on the burger….next time
- Watching the newish Leonardo DiCaprio movie, Inception, which was FANTASTIC.
- Hanging out with volunteers, exploring the bureau (headquarters), free internet

- Waking up freezing
- Missing the 7:30am shuttle back to Porto Novo (not my fault!)
- Free oatmeal for breakfast
- Watching a movie so painfully bad it was funny, with PCV Kara (2nd Sex and the City movie).
- Lunch at Mandarin: BEST FOOD ever! I got “Mandarin Maniceesh (spelling?). Everyone got a Maniceesh, Erik and I got the Mandarin one which includes chicken, diced tomatoes and onion and delicious cheese (2500F, $5). They’re basically pizzas, but the pizza dough reminds me of naan (Indian bread). Erin and Colleen got Formage Maniceesh (1500F, $3) which is cheese, but the waiter brings out fresh veggies to eat with them. It was also delicious. Oh, and Erik got meat hummus (hummus with a pile of ground meat in the middle), it was served with small bread rounds (like naan as well), and was surprisingly tasty as well. I dreamt about Mandarin last night, it was that good. When you all visit me I will take you there.
- Watching Inception again (AND, Erik is going to put it on my external hard drive, yay!!)
- Napping in a freezing, air conditioned room
- Free, PC, air conditioned shuttle back to Porto Novo with four other volunteers, one other stagiaire (trainee like me), and two facilitators

And, here I am. Back in Porto Novo….back to stage. I cannot wait to be sworn in and get to post and have freedom, privacy and hopefully sleep! Also, next time I go to Cotonou I will bring more money so I can gorge more. 

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