Last full day in Togo

Trip Start Sep 15, 2011
1
12
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Trip End Oct 21, 2011


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Where I stayed
Hotel Cote Sud Lome
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Togo  ,
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Today was a lighter day of activities; such days are welcome when they occur on busy trips. I continued working on office work, taking time to take some laundry to a dry cleaner I have used before nearby. Then I flagged down a taxi to the Champion supermarket, also not far from this hotel, and bought a local insect repellent. The bottle I brought with me leaked itself dry in my toiletry bag, so I needed to get a replacement of some sort. Mosquitos are an unpleasant nuisance in North America and Europe, but in many places in the world they pose significant health risks, transmitting debilitating diseases like Malaria, Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever and more.

Then I continued working until 17:00 when Pierre Kloutsé came to pick me up. We drove thought the heavy rush hour traffic to Guy's home for the evening Bible Study. The sidewalks on the main streets were full of people selling all sorts of things, all trying to early their daily bread, in many cases they won’t earn more than that. The traffic was in its usual chaotic state, always on the edge of catastrophe. Motorcycle and cars pass within inches of each other as some speed. People don’t seem to think very far ahead about potential consequences. I think sometimes people are seriously injured or die from a lack of imagination.

That came more forcibly to mind when an ambulance with its siren blaring came from behind us and made its way through the traffic which parted in a haphazard way to let it through. A few minutes later we can to the scene of an accident. A motorcycle lay mangled on its side on the grass just off the street; I couldn’t see any other damaged vehicle. Through the gathered crowd, I could make out a body laid out on the ground and paramedics from the ambulance maneuvering a stretcher. That’s all I saw before we moved on. Hopefully seeing that will cause some drivers to slow down and be more careful, but probably not. Accidents happen to other people.

We began the Bible study at 18:45 and I again used a PowerPoint presentation to add interest to the interactive study on the subject of why we study the Bible, what the book itself says about why it is important to study it. I broke the members up into two groups and gave them a series of scriptures to discuss among themselves, so they could reflect on what various verses teach. It seemed to be helpful and appreciated. Several of the children were able to answer some of the questions I posed which was encouraging to see. The members here are taking seriously their responsibility to teach their children and give them a good foundation of biblical knowledge.

As I watched them work together I was struck by this picture
of faithfulness and commitment: a small group of like-minded people, who see
others that believe as they do only two or three times a year for a day or two,
yet who remain faithful to their convictions in such a difficult and
challenging environment. I know this is very precious to our Creator.



After the study was over the room was rearranged and the ladies set tables for a dinner. It was 21:00 by the time we started, so a late dinner, but they said they really wanted to share a meal with me since I would be able to be with them for the upcoming festivals.  They served a starter salad of raw vegetables with a French style vinaigrette, followed by grilled fresh fish (they weren’t able to tell me the French name for it – only the local one, so I don’t know exactly which fish it was – just that it was quite tasty), a local white yam called "igname," fried bananas with a spicy onion and tomato sauce, accompanied by soft drinks and a glass of red wine. It was quite a feast, and we enjoyed both the meal and our conversation.

I asked about what favorite meal would be for local people and several people gave their opinions. Pierre said his preferred staple was a kind corn dumpling. When I asked how it was prepared, he and Guy launched into a long explanation. Mrs. Aliagbedzi laughed and said all their knowledge of preparation is theoretical. I replied, well now that you know that they know how to make it, perhaps you can get some help. They laughed. Guy said that when they were single they had to cook their own, but now their wives shoo them out of the kitchen. They laughed again. Then the ladies explained that in their culture they would never want their husbands to be caught cooking, it would be seen as a disgrace both for the men and the women. “If my mother-in-law caught her son cooking a meal, I’d never hear the end of it” said one lady. Every culture has its strictures.

We finished eating a little after 22:00. I shook hands all around, said goodbye to everyone and wished them a very good festival season. Guy drove me back to the hotel through light traffic, one dust and smoke-filled streets. The dust and smoke is more apparent at night when caught in headlights, only then can one see how much there is in the air.

It was a very pleasant and useful day. If all goes as planned tomorrow I will continue on to my last African stop: Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast).

My Review Of The Place I Stayed



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Comments

jpvernaud
jpvernaud on

Nous vous souhaitons à tous une très belle Fête des Trompettes, nous serons 8 personnes pour la Fête à notre domicile à Trélex près de Nyon, en Suisse Romande.
Salutations fraternelles.
Famille Vernaud

hervedubois
hervedubois on

Nous sommes heureux de savoir que vous ayez pu trouver le temps de souffler un peu après ces derniers jours plutôt chargés. Merci pour tout votre travail pour le peuple de Dieu en Afrique. Passez une excellent Fête des Trompettes. Nous serons entre 15 et 20 personnes à Grand Rapids avec des services le matin et l'après midi entrecoupés d'un repas "à la fortune du pot" (mais abondant quand même) comme on dit dans la douce France !...

maryhendren
maryhendren on

Hi Joel,

Thanks for the interesting comments and great photos, especially of the group Bible Study at Guy's home. How encouraging to learn that the children took part in the discussions. I enjoyed the "favorite food" question and the humor around how to make a corn dumpling. Our prayers for your safe travel and joyous Feast of Trumpets.

Mary

Tess Washington on

Happy Feast of Trumpets Mr. Meeker and to all our African brethrens!

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