Yes, I’m counting down to leaving Cotonou. You may be asking – what’s the problem? Don’t you enjoy Benin?
1. Benin is just fine…but it’s not home
Home is home. Home is where family is. Home is where my house is. Home is where friends I mostly haven’t seen in a long time are.
2. Benin is just fine, but it’s not the United States
I like living in the United States. This is not (apparently) universal in the Foreign Service. Many FS folks like the lifestyle overseas, which often involves large houses, inexpensive “help” and being “special”. I like living in the U.S. I like living in my house. I like good roads and traffic laws that are (mostly) obeyed. I like 24 hour supermarkets and restaurants. I like going out for breakfast on the weekend and spending time with my mom and sisters. I like going to baseball games. I like four seasons. I’m an American, it’s how I was raised.
3. Benin is just fine, but I’ve been here two years
And I’m excited to try someplace new. I’m already reading Ottawa websites and checking out neighborhoods (since I need to find my own place to live there). I’m looking forward to new restaurants, to skating on the canal, to curling, to snow and real snowmen, not just this one:
Yes, I’m driving to Ottawa.