Today we had a nice picnic lunch with several other people who will be in Benin while we are there. One will be arriving there next month while another won’t be there until after us, if you can believe it. We all talked about a lot of questions and issues such as what kind of car to get, the best way to ship boxes of wine and how to con Peace Corps volunteers into pet-sitting for you. It is good to know that when we finally, finally get to Cotonou, there will be some familiar faces.
When I got home I was cleaning and found a notebook that had some of my initial notes from the days after we got our bid list. With the benefit of hindsight, it was interesting to see what I was thinking about when we began the process that will eventually lead us to a city on the mouth of the river of death.
For example, some of the things that seemed important to us when creating our bid list were the speed of internet, number of R&Rs and housing. How did we end up doing? Well, the internet is slow, we only get one R&R and, unlike most Africa posts, we don’t get a pool.
But Cotonou stacks up well in the categories we decided really matter (and even in those we didn’t think about that probably matter a lot – like high morale) so we can’t complain. Although when it comes time to bid on a second tour, we might research the swimming pool situation a little more carefully.