Ok, so I know I said I was staying here until the end of March but plans have changed…..again. I will be leaving Benin next Friday. Yup, Friday March 18, 2011 I will be on my way back to Europe, I will be flying into Rome to be specific. Why the early departure you ask? Well i have a lot of personal business that I need to handle in the US which is absolutely impossible to do here. I also need to get home to see my family. I couldn’t be more happy about leaving even though I don’t know what my next move is.
Some of you are now wondering to yourself, is it really that bad there. Let me clarify some things. I have had some fun times in Benin. I enjoy hanging out at the beach when I am in Cotonou and have met some cool expats. Beyond that, here in Dassa I have learned a lot from a work perspective as well as about people who are living in extreme poverty and what they need to improve their day-to-day life. But I think the biggest thing to remember when I have sad stories or complain a lot about where I am living, is that I currently live in an area that represents one of the poorest areas in the world. The villages that I work in do not have electricity or running water and most of people live on less than a dollar a day. So those stats that you read in these campaigns to end global poverty, I look at them in the face nearly everyday, and that unfortunately is not always a fun experience. It is a very humbling experience but many times it simply results in a heavy heart and a feeling that I will never be able to do anything to improve the lives of all the people here.
Though I cannot help everyone, I leave here confident knowing that the impact that I made in the NGO that I work for has been significant and will truly improve the lives of the children that are a part of our program. I also improved the prospect of long term sustainability for this NGO’s work here in Dassa.
So with that said, Benin its been real! Deuces!