Little Father Christmas

A friend and I spent Christmas 2007 in Benin.  We travelled from Ghana, passed Togo within a few hours (that’s how small the country was) and headed for Porto Novo, which is the official capital of Benin.  My friend and I didn’t speak a word of French apart from the usual merci, s’il vows plait and combien?

In spite the language barrier, I loved Benin.  I loved the colours, the rich history, the old buildings, and the culture, although unlike the Ghanaians who are known to be friendly, the Beninese on the other hand were, let’s just say the opposite.  But of course, that could just be a simple case of lost in translation.

I took loads of photos of course.  But a few months after we arrived in England, I dropped my external hard-drive where all my photos were saved, and alas, it stopped working –  I lost all my photographs 🙁

The good news is that I managed to upload some of the hundreds of photos on my Flickr account which I haven’t used in ages.  Here’s one of my faves:

beninese kid with mask

My friend and I were doing the usual touristy-stuff when we heard giggles, the sound of a tambourine and Christmas carols in French!  We were being serenaded by these cute Beninese boys aged around 9-10.  When I pointed to my camera, the other boys fled, but only this one little boy stayed and posed in front of me.  Do you think he had a big smile behind his Father Christmas mask?  I bet he did!

This post is linked-up with PODcast’s What’s the Story.

And The Olivers Madhouse

Christmas is definitely just around the corner, hope you guys are doing your Christmas shopping early to avoid the maddening Christmas rush.  Believe it or not, we have ours done! 🙂  Yay!

Hope everyone has a great week ahead of them!


  1. Wow what an incredible story! I love this photo, must have been the weirdest sight. Memorable though. Thanks for sharing #whatsthestory

  2. That’s such a memorable image! It makes me wonder too why he chose the hooped paper skirt with the Santa mask… Definitely an interesting part of Africa to travel around too.

    • The hooped skirt was probably part of his Christmas outfit 😉 Yes, West Africa definitely has interesting countries to visit. Would so love to go again.

  3. Pingback: PODcast | What's The Story? | 2nd December 2013

  4. You know what caught my attention? This kid doesn’t seem to have two shoes.:( Made me sad. He’s a complete juxtaposition of happiness and desperation in this photo. Are there many kids like this one there?

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