saturday’s english class was in porto novo, the political capital of benin. i teach in porto novo every wednesday night and every other saturday. to get there, i flag a “bush van” (as i like to call them… like a bush taxi, but bigger), which is essentially an astro van that has been equipped with 4 bench seats. 20 people (and their stuff) fit in a bush van. this is the standard number. there are no seat belts. it’s at least an hour’s ride each way, which costs about $2 roundtrip.
though bush vans are exceedingly hot, windy and cramped, they are fun. especially if you enjoy people watching. i would describe it, but fear some of my observations would seem irreverent to someone on the outside looking in… so ask me about it next time you see me.
anyway, the school where i teach in porto novo is partly a boarding school for girls. anyone can come to my classes, it’s just that we meet at the boarding school to accommodate the girls that board and are not allowed to leave. this technicality makes it difficult to do the fun things i get to do with the students in cotonou, but we make do…
so saturday we had a dance party in class. we talked about dance vocabulary (including body parts and movements… shake, twist, etc) and listened to african music. they tried to teach me african moves. then it was time for some american dance moves… my friend sarah was visiting, and we chose the tune “get down on it.” easy enough lyrics to teach the students, catchy tune, one of the best dance songs of all times. sarah and i totally “cut a rug” (that was a difficult expression to teach), and the students mimicked our every move… meaning they looked absolutely ridiculous. it was awesome.