I never thought I would be invited to eat dinner with a president. As unreal as it sounds, last Tuesday, the president of Benin invited the entire crew of Mercy Ships to a banquet at his palace! He wanted to honor Don Stephens, the founder of Mercy Ships, and several other leaders within the organization by knighting them into the National Order of Benin. Amazingly enough, he graciously extended the dinner invitation to all 400 crew members!
Here we are all dressed up in our African best. I was so upset with myself for not having an African dress made yet, but by the end of the night, I had forgotten about what I was wearing.
Kelly, me, and Jamie
the banquet hall
Don Stephens (founder of Mercy Ships) with President Yayi Boni
President Yayi Boni and his wife
the newly knighted Mercy Ship staff
Don Stephens presented the president with a gift from us as well: a picture of the ship, created with tiny pictures of people from Benin.
After dinner, we were entertained by traditional African dancers.
I guess that's a story for the grandchildren, huh! :)