Benin has several religions living side by side. In the small village of 500 they are Catholic, protestant and a mosque is beeing built bext door. Vodoo is not mentioned by my host. I get the impression from a couple of people I have talked to that they don’t really want to talk about Voodoo.
Church was warm, concrete blocks a metall roof, some decorative open stones for light and ventiaon, no decotarion, simple wooden furniture yet colorful with the peoples way to dress and some singing and dancing as I hoped. I was of course oblieged to come up front and say something, as french wasn’t difficult, when not on stage. In the end we give to the collect, then another collect and a third one in case you forgot to put it the first two times.
After two hours of beeing urged on by my host to constantly take photos I am happy to get ready and leave. But glad I joined, after all it’s christmas. I go back to where I spent the night. A hot concrete shed with tin roof and a lot of dust from big sacks of corn in thesame room. A simple light for two rooms up in the ceiling with a dividing wall invetween. I ask to get water and I wash my clothes under the tree between the houses. Me and Monsieur Guilbert share rice and sauce before I am off. It is now allmost 14 and very hot as I go with a clear sky. I pass Savalou where I was suppose to stay. It looks beautiful set by some hills. Soon after I need to stop. It is so hot. I have allready stoped twice to discover the great...”yogurt!!!” Wow! Love it! My favourite dish all times!!
I stop again in the shadow by a well. I drink and rest. So hot. Children constantly watching. I take of my shirt and soak it. Put it on and leave. Feels so nice for 10 minutes.
Now I see a sign and some strange black pile with tall wooden sticks in and white flags on. This is Voodoo. I get stoped and talked in to buying two botles for 7 kr by some 20 year old guys. There are others more families around so it feels more ok. I buy the bottles. One palm oil, one local spirits. They allmost forcefully remove my shoes. I can take photos after, so I kind of do take some videos placing my phone in my shirtpocket. We go closer to the big black stack. Looks like a big burnt out fire. Its about a meter and a half tall and 2 m wide. Suddenly a rooster or chicken or one of each has been killed recently or is beeing killed. A strong fist grabs heaps of feathers from the headles rooster. Feathers are all over the place. Blood shoots like ketchup on the pile. My feet slip in the dark, dirty, oily, pile. There is a foot long wooden pole with blood on. Another piece of wood serves as a hammer and they want me to shout something and hit three times. This is something about my enemies. I should also call out my name. I don’t get half of this, why or what is happening. French language, vodoo, questions about what I want in life and about my enemies?! It is also silly as I cant hit hard with my right hand. I fell on the bicle yesterday and I have a bad scar. In the end they help me banging it in all the way. Then we poor some oil on this and bang in the rest until the pool has dissapeared in to the oily filthy feathery, bloddy slippery stack.
Now it is the feminine stack this is something you wish for. We poor some of that orange mustard like palm oil sauce and bang in another bloddy wooden pole. They kill an other chicken, is it my ceremony or some others I dont know. It is not a good time to get uppset. Just get this over with. Now they want me to climb the super nasty stack bare foot and put 150 kr on top. Then spit three big blows of the local spirit/liquer on it. No way I put 150 kr on this. They say if you do you will get it all back and much more or something. In the end I put 60 kr. And then 30 kr on the feminine pile. God help me...
As we leave the are other piles to put the rest of your money, three new stacks...😅😅😅 now I give some few coins.
I take some photos with them before I quickly say goodbye and pedal fast away.
It is hot. I plan to go until 17.30 or 18 but I am so tired so I except a room at a place I see when passing a bigger village at 16.30. I have an early dinner spoiling myself with two fish on my plate and popcorn and peanuts before going to bed. I find out that it was 38 degrees today.