List of resources for Benin

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We offer a list of websites for you to search for additional information about the Peace Corps and Benin, or to connect you to returned Volunteers and other invitees. It is difficult to track information as it is moved around on the Web, so please keep in mind that we try to make sure all these links are active and current, but we cannot guarantee it.

A note of caution: As you surf these sites, please also remember that you will find bulletin boards and chat rooms in which people are free to give opinions and advice based on their own experiences. The opinions expressed are neither those of the Peace Corps or the United States government. You may find opinions of people who were happy or unhappy with their choice to serve in the Peace Corps. As you read these comments, we hope you will keep in mind that the Peace Corps is not for everyone, and no two people experience their service in the same way.

Contents

[edit] General Information About Benin

http://www.countrywatch.com
On this site, you can learn anything from what time it is in Tashkent to information about converting currency from the dollar to the ruble. Just click on your country of service and go from there.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations
Visit this site to learn all you need to know about any country in the world from the viewpoint of Lonely Planet authors.

http://www.state.gov
This is part of the U.S. State Department website, which issues background notes about countries around the world. Find your country of service and learn more about the social and political history.

http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/official.htm
This site includes links to all the official sites for governments of countries around the world.

http://www.geography.about.com/library/maps/
This online world atlas includes maps and geographical information about countries around the world. Each country page contains links to other sites, such as the Library of Congress, that contain comprehensive historical, social, and political backgrounds.

http://www.un.org/pubs/cyberschoolbus/infonation/e_glance.htm
This United Nations site allows you to search for statistical information for member states.

http://www.worldinformation.com
This site provides an additional source of current and historical information about countries worldwide.

http://www.benintourism.com
The Government of Benin’s Ministry of Tourism and Peace Corps Volunteers serving in the small enterprise development program developed this site jointly. It is the official tourism website of Benin and is maintained by the Ministry.

http://cotonou.usembassy.gov/
U.S. embassy in Benin.

[edit] Connect With Returned Volunteers and Other Invitees:

http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/peacecorps
This Yahoo site hosts a bulletin board where prospective Volunteers and returned Volunteers can come together.

http://www.rpcv.org
This is the site of the National Peace Corps Association, made up of returned Volunteers. On this site you can find links to all the Web pages of the "friends of" groups for most countries of service, made up of former Volunteers who served in those countries. There are also regional groups who frequently get together for social events and local volunteer activities.

Or skip straight to the Friends of Benin site http://www.friends-of-benin.org/.

http://www.peacecorpswriters.org
This site is hosted by a group of returned Volunteer writers. It is a monthly online publication of essays and Volunteer accounts from countries around the world.

[edit] Online Articles/Current News Sites About Benin:

http://www.npr.org
Go to National Public Radio’s website and type “Benin” into the search window. There are several audio and video links there containing cultural programs about Benin.

http://allafrica.com/benin/
Benin news articles

[edit] International Aid Organizational Sites About Benin:

http://www.worldbank.org/benin
Information on the World Bank’s projects in Benin

http://www.gouv.bj/
Republic of Benin government website (French)

http://www.usaid.gov/locations/sub-saharan_africa/countries/benin/index.html
U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) work in Benin

http://www.ndi.org/worldwide/cewa/benin/benin.asp
National Democratic Institute for International Affairs

http://www.afdb.org/
African Development Bank

http://www.undp.org.bj/
United Nations Development Programme in Benin (French):

[edit] French Language Websites

It is a good idea to practice French as much as possible before your departure. Local language instruction will be extremely important when you begin your training, and it can only begin when your French level is sufficiently advanced. These websites may be useful:

http://www.jump-gate.com/languages/french/
http://www.languageguide.org/francais/
http://www.wordprof.com/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french/index.shtml
http://www.livelingua.com/peace-corps-french-course.php

[edit] Recommended Books:

  1. Ben-Amos, Paula. Art, Innovation, and Politics in Eighteenth Century Benin. Bloomington, Indiana.: Indiana University Press, 1999
  2. French, Howard W. Benin’s Cultural Bounty. Africa Report, 57. January/February, 1993
  3. Kane, Hamidou. Ambiguous Adventure. 1969 This novel is set in Guinea but is recommended by in-country staff for its handling of West African cross-cultural issues and Muslim culture.

Check one of the popular online book stores and do a search for Benin. You will discover hundreds of entries. Search by genre (travel, art, Peace Corps authors, religion, development, politics, etc.) and read the reviews. You are sure to find a book that looks interesting to you and suits your interests!

[edit] Books About the History of the Peace Corps

  1. Hoffman, Elizabeth Cobbs. All You Need is Love: The Peace Corps and the Spirit of the 1960’s. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000.
  2. Rice, Gerald T. The Bold Experiment: JFK’s Peace Corps. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1985.
  3. Stossel, Scott. Sarge: The Life and Times of Sargent Shriver. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2004.

[edit] Books on the Volunteer Experience

  1. Banerjee, Dillon. So You Want to Join the Peace Corps: What to Know Before You Go. Berkeley, Calif.: Ten Speed Press, 2000.
  2. Casebolt, Marjorie DeMoss. Margarita: A Guatemalan Peace Corps Experience. Gig Harbor, Wash.: Red Apple Publishing, 2000.
  3. Dirlam, Sharon. Beyond Siberia: Two Years in a Forgotten Place. Santa Barbara, Calif.: McSeas Books, 2004.
  4. Erdman, Sarah. Nine Hills to Nambonkaha: Two Years in the Heart of an African Village. New York, N.Y.: Picador, 2003.
  5. Herrera, Susana. Mango Elephants in the Sun: How Life in an African Village Let Me Be in My Skin. Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1999
  6. Hessler, Peter. River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze. New York, N.Y.: Perennial, 2001.
  7. Kennedy, Geraldine ed. From the Center of the Earth: Stories out of the Peace Corps. Santa Monica, Calif.: Clover Park Press, 1991.
  8. Thompsen, Moritz. Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle. Seattle, Wash.: University of Washington Press, 1997 (reprint).
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