Difference #2: In Benin, people don't take dogs for walks.
Our neighbours recently returned from 2 years away in Ghana, West Africa. They brought their big poodle dog along with them, and they said that it was difficult for people to understand how they treated their pet - a mocha-colored dog named Chai who slept in their bed and was part of the family. For people there, dogs were for 2 things: security or supper.
We didn't see any dogs on the menu in Benin, but one of the things we noticed upon arriving in Paris, and then home, was the plethora of pooches on leashes being walked here and there. I'm not anti-dog - we always had dogs growing up - just noticing a big difference from there to here.
People don't take dogs for walks in Benin. In fact, I didn't really see people take anything for a walk. Including themselves. Walks were generally for a purpose - to go to the market, to go to the miller, to go to the tailor. Giving animals their exercise is pretty low priority, it seems.
I've been away for awhile. Summer sabbatical, I'll call it. But I miss this space and what it does to free up my mind, so I'm sporadically back. To write about important things like dogs in Benin. Because the world doesn't have enough people writing about dogs in Benin. Also, our family is speaking this Sunday about our Benin experience, so that has me coming back to this blog and what we wrote during that time.