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September, 11:  
I landed in Accra at 8 PM, and finally got to my hotel in the Osu district of Accra at 10:30… exhausted and starved.  Riad, the Ghanain-born Lebanese proprietor was very glad to see me!  It was his birthday, and he was feasting with his family.  He bought me a couple of drinks and served me up a sumptuous plate of homemade Lebanese food!  Talked with his US educated nephew for a while and hit the hay.
African Baobab
 
September, 13:  
I flew out of Accra at noon on a rickety prop plane, landed in Lomé, Togo, changed to another old plane and on to Cotonou, Benin by 3 PM local time (GMT +1).  Jacob and Abalo met me, and we went straight to “Very Nice Hotel” where I always stay.  Lots of catching up regarding 2013
baobab production, planning for my 2 month visit, and strategizing about our next organic
baobab certification over beers and fish with rice and Moyo (tomatoes, onions and peppers with red palm oil). Yum!
Rhylwann joined us and we went over our
Palm oil fiasco and how to proceed. Shared some smoked salmon I had brought to everyone’s delight.  
 
September, 14:
I was interrupted by a phone call at midnight and could not go back to sleep until 5 AM.  Slept ’til 10:30! Ate some eggs and bread and drank Nescafé, and here I am. We are going to buy fabric later, then go to cousin Gildas’ house for yummy chow with dried fish and beef skin!  Off to Boukombé tomorrow!
benin
September, 15:
Holy bus ride!  Jacob and I got on the bus at 7:30 AM. Utter disorder. Mamas and wild children, luggage tires, animals were all stuffed below, with plenty remaining to be stacked in the aisle. Difficult to move around.  Jacob and I did allot of talking about identifying the challenges we face and strategies to increase and improve
baobab production.  Once in a while, we stopped to let everyone pee by the side of the road, men and women alike.  
Stopped in Bohicon at about 11:00 to quickly grab some street food.  I got a bunch of little bananas and a big hunk of spicy bush rat (agouti) with hot pepper. Complete with paw, liver, kidneys and heart.  Yum (really)!  
Stopped in Pira about 2:30 to grab food in a little roadside restaurant. Rice with spicy tomato sauce, fried, then stewed wagasi cheese and a hunk of antelope.  
The entire ride they played DVDs of some terrible Beninese soap opera at high volume.  Every episode was pretty much the same…Lots of shouting and wild gesticulating, a good dose of domestic violence, somebody gets dramatically ill…tears and hand wringing…they die…SOBBING…funeral, followed by drumming and dancing. Repeat….repeat…repeat.  ARGH!  
Got to Natitingou at 6:00.  Had a beer with Clémence while Jacob and our driver, M’po changed the tires on our beat-up truck.  
Arrived in Boukombé at 9:30, dropped my gear, ate some plate with yummy dried gumbo and fish sauce, had a drink and lights out!  Glad to be home.  My dog, Atacora, is wicked fat!
 
That’s it for now and more to come soon!
 

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