This Blog serves as two things: a photo-diary of our lives between 2007 and mid 2011, when we saw some incredible things and met some amazing people; and a reflection of our more normal lives since then.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Alive

That's what I feel. Ever so. To be honest, the last 2 years in Benin and Togo have been a challenge for me: different languages, different foods, different markets, different police, different cultures, different sea, even a different sky. Now we're back, and I feel immediately at home again. Sally, Anna and I went for a walk through the local market outside the port - how I had missed the sounds and smells: stinking fish, crabs, shrimp, and chicken all crawling in flies; kids selling rice, maize, flour and sugar from enamelled trays balanced on their heads; yams and potatoes and cassava roots and onions; over-ripe bananas and tomatoes; piles of greens; chilled bags of water and orange drink; trays of groundnuts; bowls of garlic; piles of herbs and spices; and the constant clatter of generators. The people chatted in a language we understood; the police were charming and proudly showed us their tear gas guns and canisters. Shouts of "Mercy Ship" again and again. Everywhere sand, rubble, broken concrete, boarded up windows, walls worn black and shiny by dirty hands, open sewers filled to the brim with stinking garbage, and people trying to make enough money to survive. We are back amongst the poorest of the poor. Just our presence here brings them hope. And demons flee. Olly

1 comment:

The Harris' said...

I remember my wife making a very similar comment to me when we were in the DR for the Gateway. Of course, it was the people that made it feel like home, not the garbage :) I'm sure it's that way with you. Blessings, Byron