There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to what my experience will be like - but I'm very grateful for this invitation. If I could have designed my own Peace Corps invitation, it would have been this - working in French-speaking Africa, doing environment or agriculture work. Benin sounds like a great country. (Not that there are any countries that aren't great). It has a lot of diversity; the south near the coast is humid and tropical, and as you get further north there are beautiful hills. The north also has savannah-like ecosystems, with animals like elephants, lions, and antelope. There is a lot of religious diversity as well; the south is Christian and Voudou, and the north is predominantly Muslim. According to the information Peace Corps sent me, Benin is recognized as one of the more peaceful/stable democracies in the region, with multiple parties and a relatively strong civil society.
I've got a lot of time before I leave, and look forward to learning as much as I can about Benin. I'll share some of what I learn and how I prepare here!