Adventure in Benin – Day 4

Tuesday morning we woke up snuggled in a blanket.  It was crispy cold!  Now that’s what I call AC!  Our room was part of a 2-story building – on each floor there were 5 rooms facing the ocean, both floors having their own common balcony.  We were on the 2nd floor.  I got up and went outside to warm up.  There were chairs and small tables outside of each room on the balcony.  I brought homeade granola from home for breakfast.  My plan worked pretty well.  I had disposable cups and spoons and powdered milk (all we use is powdered milk).  Each person poured the of water he/she wanted that would eventually become milk for the granola.  This sounds easy but one has to consider that milk powder has mass, as does the granola.  Pouring too much water to start could have undesired consequences.  We got the process down pretty well and enjoyed granola out of a cup each morning.  I’ve never really been able to enjoy cereal with warm milk, but at the beach somehow it was doable.  I might add though, that the bottled water in our air conditioned rooms was close to chilled.  The previous morning, in our steamy rooms, it was downright warm. 

With breakfast out of the way, we hit the beach for some family devos, and then made our way to the waves.  What a day it was!  This beach wasn’t at all rocky, but very steep.  We were able to go out some when the tide was out.  Other than that, we stayed near the shore and played frisbee, football, and games like ‘let’s see who can stand best under the force of a crashing wave’.  There were too many wipeouts to count, so I’m not sure who won.  Tanika, Tobi and I took a walk down the beach.  There were fishing boats on either end of the hotel property.  African fishing boats.  Large dugout canoe type things that actually went out into the ocean.  We’d see them out there early in the morning.  They fish with nets.  Just like the disciples.  At this point they had already come in for the day.  We stopped along the way to pick up shells or to play ‘see how close you can get to the wave without it touching you’.  At one point, I’m not sure why we weren’t paying attention, we got hammered.  It all happened so fast I can’t really put it all back together.  I was standing in one spot, Tobi in front of me a few steps, and Tanika in front and to the left I think.  When this wave hit, it was like someone pulled both of my feet out from under me at the same time.  I dropped straight down while Tobi and Tanika were both slammed back into me.  We’re not sure who hit what, or what hit who, but Tanika had a big scrape/bruise behind her knee and I got pummled with something on the back of my neck.  It may have been Tobi’s head.  As we were trying to figure out what happened we started to get pulled back out because of the steepness and force of the water.  We grabbed onto each other and the sand and waited for the wave to wash back over us.  Tobi jumped up and started saying “I’m sorry Mom, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.  Are you ok?  I’m sorry.”  As if it was his fault.  We’re moaning and groaning as I’m telling him we’re fine.  I wasn’t sure at that point, considering the instant headache, but I wanted to reassure him.   We stood still for a couple of minutes to regroup, then I guess all was well, because Tobi wanted to race.  This attempt at running was a reality check as to how out of shape I am.  (In my defense I was running in thick sand on a very steep plane). 

We had been told about another hotel restaurant in the town we were nearby.  We decided to try that for lunch.  It was very enjoyable.  Right on the beach.  We thought we were pretty clever to bring a deck of cards (considering our lunch the day before), but when we sat down we realized it was way to windy to play.  No matter though, the food was ready in short order.  It was quite good.  Fish.  Then we split a fruit kabob for dessert.  Grilled fruit – quite tasty! 

We returned to our part of the beach and we were back at it.  Fighting those wonderful waves.  Neal and Trae developed an interesting game.  “See who can throw the football promptly so it will be caught at the exact time the ‘catchee’ gets pounded with a wave”.  A water version of tackle football, only the other team is the ocean.  The ‘winner’ was the one that got less banged up.  Males!  I spent my time taking pictures & video, reading, collecting shells, walking, and I even did my share of fighting the waves.  I was determined to get out past the breakers to enjoy some rolling waves.  I managed to get out there but the side tow was so strong that even though I was swimming west with all I had, I was still being pulled east.  So as not to end up at the place we had lunch, I decided to exit the water.  Easier said then done.  Getting back through the breakers was not easy.  I had been swimming out there with Trae and told him I needed to get in – I was so tired.  Another reality check as to my cardiovascular fitness – or lack thereof.  From there, we again relocated to the pool for several games of ‘Statue Marco Polo’.  The statue part was for Tobi’s sake.  He was a riot.  We enjoyed the pool right up until the time we had to get ready for dinner.

Dinner again was at 8:30 and we pre-ordered so not a whole lot of waiting would be required.  The previous night I ate baracuda in cream sauce.  It was wonderful.  So much so, that everyone wanted to order it for tonight.  I had an interesting version of beef stroganoff – it  was a yummy version!  Majority rule decided that we all still had enough umphhh left to be able to watch a DVD.  Since we had a king size bed in our room we were all able to pile on it to see the portable DVD player screen.  First, an episode of the Brady Bunch.  Tobi’s vote.  Then it was off to bed for Tobi.  No complaints from him.  He was ready to sleep.  And he had no qualms about being alone in the room next door to us.  What a guy.  We then watched an episode of Lost – 3rd season.   We all managed to stay awake to the end, but were then ready to saw logs.  There’s nothing like the kind of tired you feel when you’ve spent the day on a beautiful beach with people you love! 

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