Where is Togo?
A question I get very, very often. The easy answer: it’s the little sliver of red on the map down below in the center of West Africa. It’s usually never that easy though, and Togo deserves a whole bunch more than that.
Ahhh, Togo is much more than just a little sliver of red though!!! Just fly into the heaving capital of Lome and I can almost guarantee you will never forget Togo again. Just about right in the middle of the area most often associated with voodoo, Togo is the epicenter. Fetish markets all around, witch doctors and fetishes everywhere. If you wanna shop for dried lizards, monkey skulls, amulets or “magical powders”, you would be quite happy with Togo. It’s not all magic, dark and mysterious though.
Head to Agbodrafo, on the shores of Lake Togo, right across from Togoville and you will find some of the biggest, nicest, most endearing people you will ever meet. The little guy here followed me for quite some time, but was also quite nervous, shying away everytime I turned to acknowledge him (eventually got a shot though). We played a game of soccer with a couple kids there …my God. So much energy. One of my favorite bars in the world was there. No name. Just a local bar. A bunch of elders who wanted to talk …and believe me, talking to the elders from a village in Togo is much more interesting than your average bar talk. Bottle of African whisky: $3.00 US. Gotta love that. Agbodrafo was almost like a village lost in time. Some people did have running water, but didn’t use it. Bucket showers from the well is what they liked. I left the village calling it Michael Clarke Duncanville …because the men there were just huge. Most probably from the manual labor they have done generation after generation. Still, hearts of solid gold. Not to forget the women: some of the hardest working people I have ever seen. Sometimes I think they are the glue that keeps the economy there going, as they are definitely the backbone. I wish I had more time there, but I’m glad for the time I did spend. Hopefully one day I’ll go back to this little land of huge hearts. Nothing like it. …and PS: if you think you have had good fruit here in the states, you have no idea. I would actually, truly, equate the bananas to more along the lines of a snickers bar there …and they go good with the three dollar bottles of Whisky!!!
A few more from Togo – not too good in the technical photography sense of the word, but hey, I was 5 months into a drive across the Middle East and Africa, and I actually was there, so Ha!:
Goin’ HomeFebruary 14, 2008
February 13, 2008
Still Smilin’ …Always Smilin’February 14, 2008
Misty Voodoo MorningFebruary 14, 2008
The Day’s ChoresFebruary 14, 2008
…and that last one, yes, her days chores were fetching water from the well. She would carry that “bucket” back full to brim with water and wouldn’t spill a drop. Skill…
More of my Togo photos here.