A-Plus A Line at the Centre Songhai in Porto-Novo

taline01Here I am! On a daytrip out to Porto-Novo to visit Centre Songhai, a training and research center for sustainable agricultural practices. And what better place to debut a new skirt I made, the A-Plus A Line by Twinkle by Wenlan, next to a field of corn?

taline02Printed from Burda Style, the beginnings of this skirt were cut out and assembled with a headlamp and scissors one evening.

taline03And once it was completed, out for a daytrip it went. Except now I realize I need to tuck my shirts in better.

taline06Centre Songhai was founded in 1985 by Father Godfrey Nzamujo from Nigeria as a place to pull Africa out from poverty by teaching people how to integrate crop production, livestock raising, and fish farming together with the waste from each part going into another.

taline07People come here to learn it all – the agriculture side as well as the entrepreneur side, and when they leave, they leave with the knowledge of how they can recreate their own successful farms in their own village or town.

taline05Moringa (top left), the green gold of Africa, is a tree that needs very little water, grows quickly, and its leaves are full of protein and vitamins. Raising awareness of Moringa means decreasing malnutriton rates. I was also surprised to see where palm oil (bottom right) comes from – I had no idea the fruit was that colorful and large.

taline04I was on a guided tour (500CFA) but the guide spoke very softly and I couldn’t resist having a mini photo shoot with my new skirt. It was a quick “in between” project as I didn’t feel like starting another big project right away after making the Peony dress.

taline08I’ll remember to remove the backpack next time. But if you can notice, there are no pleats in the back.

taline09The drive back to Ouidah from Porto-Novo kills my lungs as the roads are under construction (dust and sandpits) and because I have to pass through Cotonou, the fumes from the thousands of motorcycles are unavoidable.

taline10But as I neared Ouidah, I was treated to a sunset.

taline11Sunsets like this make me forget the fatigue of traveling in Benin. Most of all, sunsets do one major thing for me: inspire. Whether it’s for sewing, for my job, or for just exploring Benin, I need to see a good sunset occasionally.

Pattern: A-Plus A Line by Twinkle by Wenlan
Fabric: Apptex Print
Outfit Photos: Rob H.

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