Every year about this time boatloads of squash come floating up the river on giant pirogues. I always think to myself, "I should go by there and get some pictures." But of course, it never happens partly because that area has been a bear to park in and partly because I'm usually tired and on my way home so my desire to get home outweighs my desire for pictures of squash on giant pirogues. However, now there is an easily accessible area in which one can park so when I drove by this morning and saw this view as I crossed the bridge...
I decided it was worth the effort to go back because of the cool reflections. After parking my car, I walked across the road and not unexpectedly, a man quickly offered to be my "guide" to the squash experience.
These pirogues come up the river from Benin (if I'm not mistaken) and they pull up as close as possible to the bank. The squash is then thrown overboard and floated to shore which you can see in the right hand corner of this picture.
My squash guide informed me that on shore they are placed into piles of 100.
Then the piles are sold. With two boats having been unloaded and another one in process, you can imagine that the squash business was hopping on this particular day. There were people buying and selling everywhere.
Once the piles of squash have been purchased they are carried up the side of the bridge and placed on trucks which will take them to markets and other places to be distributed and resold.
My squash guide took me to his pirogue which he said was broken and taking on water. He felt I needed my picture taken in the pirogue and assured me that he had experience with a camera. He then proceeded to move the camera about wildly searching for me in the view finder and this was what his first try produced.
Excellent! I think he might have just pressed the button the minute he located a part of me. Second attempt was better. (Please excuse the dirty work clothes.)
Then he insisted on taking my picture next to the very picturesque water pumps. I'll be treasuring this one for a long time to come!
Later I posed with the squash.
I insisted that my self-appointed guide also have his picture taken with the squash.
Don't think that you can't be cool and love your squash too!
It goes without saying my guide pretty much made this spontaneous trip to the squash patch everything that it was.