Netiva's travel journal to Africa-before leaving
picture from Benin

Netiva's travel journal to Benin, Africa


17-year-old Beninese mother

More recent journal entries August 2003:

31st: Am in Porto Novo!! Heart breaking missing my family, but the whole experience is so far worthwhile. My villa is spacious and nice. Was given a guardian and a cook by the Institute. So am spoiled from the start. The house is surrounded by mango trees, Dates, cocnu trees, etc. very tropical indeed. In the compound there are other villas all with French gendarms.
Am making friends. Tomorrow am starting work at the Institute. I thought I was starting Oct 1st! I understand I only have a dozen students.
The course is an introductory course and will last only 2 weeks.

Am leaving for London on Aug. 26th, and for Benin on Aug. 29th passing by Paris. I have only one hour in Paris, and wonder what if my plane is late and I miss my connection. The next plane to Benin is 2 days later, on the 31st. It won't be so bad to spend 2 days in Paris with all the tourists.

Found out that since stopping in London for 2 days, I am acquiring the weight limitation on my luggage by Air France. It will cost me about 25$ (yes) for each additional pound over 50 pounds of luggage weight. I am down to bare necessities.

at Ariela's     Some heart breaking farewell parties given in my honor.

      Many thanks to the hostesses:
      Ariella, Barbara, Kamla, Marilyn

I'm so touched, and already missing my friends and family.
It is getting to be very hard to say goodbye.
    I will carry with me your well wishes. Many thanks. Bye-bye love
With my temple friends Some songs sung for me on Aug. 1st:

Bye bye love       Seal with a kiss     Leaving on a Jet set

      More farewell pictures

I will miss my volunteer activities in Chicago like the Breast-cancer walks, the temple play, etc.     With my crew friends

July 2003:

Am in Israel and continuing my efforts with Benin through emails.

June 2003:

Orientation Conference in Washington, DC

It was a very good experience for me. I felt as if I was in Africa already. We were received very warmly and given important information with plenty of occasions to ask questions and interact. I created a few contacts and hope to have some of them visit me in Benin and participate in the colloquium I'm planning on for the week on January 19th, 2004. Its title is so far: Mathematics, Science, and ociety with special interest to Africa.

We got the chance to visit the Benin embassy to get our visas and meet the ambassador who was dressed in his Beninese outfit. He greeted us warmly and we felt very welcomed.

We also saw the African art museum besides the National art museum. I purchased a few books about Africa and its culture.

May 2003:

My preparation for this voyage

The following is pretty boring but was asked to do it by a friend. So bear with me. Just skip it...:)
Am corresponding a lot with some scientists from Benin with whom I'll be working.
Am waiting for approval from the State department about my itinirary to Benin. So far I have a reservation on United to Paris and then Air France to Benin, but that may change. The price is high as have to leave on an US airline and none goes directly to Benin.
So far packed one box of books to be shipped. Am allowed 4 or 5 boxes of up to 40 lbs each.
Maybe I should get on the phone and get many questions answered faster than wait for emails back.
In 10 days I'll participate in an orientation conference in washington, DC. I just don't want to wait till then to find all my answers.
Besides DC I'll spend a month in Israel this summer and a week in Kawaii. Maybe too many trips.

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Last updated 10/6/03

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