my first weekend in benin… back in august… i went out with my first expat friends (i’ll confess i was a little freaked out by them at the time, not knowing how to bridge the local/expat gap, but now i’m so grateful for their friendship!) anyway, we went to some bar with live music, and about half the songs the band played were salsa, and lots of people were dancing. now, since it was my first weekend here, and i was not yet sure how dancing was culturally perceived, i just stood back and watched… but i must say, i was very excited to get a glimpse of the salsa sub-culture.
well now i think it’s safe to say i’m part of said sub-culture. (anne marie would be so proud!) after hearing a rumor about salsa lessons at hotel du port on friday nights, we got a small group together (melissa, maureen, kim, rhett, collin and me) to check it out. before heading out, i told madeleine (one of my african mamas) of our plans for the night… she smiled and said (in french), “salsa is the dance of Jesus!”
oh, yes, Jesus loves salsa.
we had a blast. it was so much fun that maureen and i hit the streets to buy shoes. i mean that pretty literally. we actually bought heels from hawkers on the streets. think goodwill times 100. i wish i had pictures.
melissa and rhett and i went back for more on sunday night. i think we’re all learning pretty fast, and everyone already knows us (we kinda stand out… and not because of our talent!)
and as if the salsa wasn’t enough of a reason to hit hotel du port on fridays and sundays, there is the added bonus that not one guy there has asked for our numbers yet. it’s the classiest place i’ve found in cotonou! i think this will be very good for my mental health. and physical health… salsa is good exercise! more thoughts on divine work outs later…
in the mean time, if you love Jesus, you might just love salsa too. and if you love salsa, you’re in good company.