There are fires in Houegbo. Fires along the streets, fires in people’s yards. Fire is all over the place and with it a thick, black toxic smoke because these are no ordinary fires… these are trash fires. There are no Garbage men (or women) in my town. There are really no trash cans. People throw their trash onto the street or into the fields. Then occaisionally they sweep the trash into one big pile and set it a light. Usually it is young children that are in charge of manning the flames. You’ll seriously see seven year olds out there burning the trash. If they didn’t burn it the trash would just sit there and the pile would grow. I don’t like the smell of the smoke and it can make it difficult to breathe, but I don’t like piles of trash either. The Beninese need to get rid of their garbage and this seems to be the method of choice.