Sylvie and Georgette discussing September 2011After a long silence that prevailed due to annual holidays and repairs, daily operations of Finnish-African Cultural Centre is due to resume very soon.

A lot had gone under the bridge related to commercial activities in Grand-popo with those who do business with the centre. Hotels, Restaurants, supermarkets, guides & zemidjans all complain of our long holiday. One can hardly get potato on the stalls due to the absence of stipendiates and the kitchen of Villa karo who patronize all these places to buy water, wine, bread, fruits. Even the lady next to Villa karo who sells cooked rice and beans personally complained by stopping me on my way home one evening. In her words “ quand est-ce que les Yovos vont arriver” she even mentioned names like Miikka , Joona, Valteri, Johanna Salo & Katia, Anna Ovaska who were regular costumers. In short the whole Grand-popo is longing to see Finns back to business.

Inside the premises of CCFA, the whole staff timidly resumed essentially taking stock of equipments that need upgrading and maintenance like fridges that work ten months non-stop, washing machine and other electrical appliances. Edoh, Papa, Bonaventure full of enthusiasm led by in fatigable Boniface try to comb every sector in the whole house under the keen eyes of the Chief operating Officer just to make sure nothing is left unchecked. Ladies at the administration, Georgette Museum caretaker, Yvette responsible for kitchen, and Agathe cleaning lady, regrouped themselves under the supervision of Syvie Ahouangassi to access the situation concerning their respective sectors. I counted ten dogs that regularly come to Villa karo, turn over baskets and dustbins in search for leftovers. Alphonse the transport manager is timing his turn to meet stipendiates in Cotonou via Aeroport Bernadin Gantin on the 30th of august and Richard the bookkeeper waiting his turn to bill them for services like laundry, excursions and drinks. Aboudoulai and Boube are expecting to make new friends.

Come the 1st of September, the first stipendiates will be privileged to receive all the good energies stored for the past two months via sodabi fish soup and fufu. Adieu les Vacances.