Roch, a resident of Puerto Novo participated in a teachers’ exchange program in Vienna years ago. Only days before departing for Benin I learned about this through my friend Linde Magg, who hosted Roch during his day in Vienna. He answered my mail immediately and met me already on my first day in Cotonou. Quickly it was decided that I would welcome the New Year with his extended family in Puerto Novo.
New Year’s Eve was rather quiet. Roch’s adult children had invited friends from Nigeria and hung around the house before leaving for a club. But January 1 was an unparalleled life time experience.