Xeni: on the road in West Africa for a few weeks.

Ouidah, Benin: Temple of the Pythons

Hey there Boingdom -- I'm en route to Cotonou, Benin as I type this, and will be meandering around several countries in West Africa for a few weeks. I hope to capture some special things to share with you. In my not-very-connected absence, my Boing Boing Video colleagues Jolon Bankey, Derek Bledsoe, and Wesly Varghese will keep our daily original video programming rockin', and we're planning some super rad new stuff for later in the month, together with all the Boingers. More on that soon, in another post. Producer Derek Bledsoe will be blogging each day's BBV episode while I'm on the road, and today's ep is a very interesting feature about Darfur. Hope you enjoy all they're going to publish while I'm traveling, and if you have any recommendations, questions, or thoughts to share on what I ought to be paying attention to (or pointing camera/microphone at) in the region where I'll be, please share in the comments!

Above, a snapshot I took of the door at the Temple of Pythons, in Ouidah, Benin, back in 2007. Ouidah is the spiritual heart of Benin, and is considered an important historical center of Voudun ("voodoo") tradition.


  1. What about a story on deforestation? What are some economically viable alternatives? Are there wildlife preserves that protect habitat? What are the economics of habitat preservation. Oh, and textile factories would be cool. Are there industries that westerners could support or do tarrif issues make these things non-starters? Anyway, have a good, safe trip and we’ll look forward to the stories you bring back.

  2. Great news Xeni!

    This could redefine the expression ‘wonderful things': the African continent is more foreign, surprising even astonishing at time than any other at the present for a Westerner, especially since we don’t hear about the life there very much.

    The best for you on that occasion.

  3. While enjoying yourself, coverage of soukous (sp.?) and other up-beat West African music would be fun, too!

  4. Green with envy, color me. I hope Angelique Kidjo is in Benin whilst you’re there, you can catch her awesome, multilingual concert act. She may even do a song in Fon, her native tongue, or her Swahili version of African-standard: Malika. And if you hit Burkhina Faso, you can peruse Africa’s best tribal mask market and pick out a few oldies with patina for your walls. A purification rite mask perhaps. I’m sure you’ve got Mali, the Dogan and the army of West African musicians and Griots that practice their art in the region on your list. We’re expecting fabulous pics and wonderful stories. Don’t let us down. My own post on African music is here: http://popimpulse.blogspot.com/2007/07/afropop-music-from-mother-africa.html

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