Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

5 weeks in Africa comes to an end

So I’m using the last of my Internet minutes in Accra, back from a couple weeks bumming around Togo with JT.

JT with Togolese friends

JT with Togolese friends

Here’s JT himself with the chef and owner of Mamie’s, a little bed and breakfast in Lome, where all the new Peace Corps volunteers stay. Mamie has an interesting story, as she moved to Lome many years ago and opened her guesthouse originally as a brothel. The girls’ names are still on the guests’ doors.

Highlights of Togo (I’ll upload photos later): Visiting the Ta Tas in northern Togo; talking life at the 60-foot, spectacular waterfall in Badou; making fufu on Kosi’s farm outside Kadaousu; drinking Roquefort 6.9 (second only to Castle Milk Stout); watching a goat being slaughtered outside JT’s screen door as we played Phase 10; seeing the glowing, unreal sun set over the soccer field; hanging out with Kosi’s girls at the farm; eating brochettes and Fan Ice.

Outside the Parliament in Lome (where the gendarme yelled at me for taking a pic)

Outside the Parliament in Lome (where the gendarme yelled at me for taking a pic)

Hellish parts of Togo: traveling by bush taxi; getting a 12-hour virus; and bearing the insufferable heat. Also, trying to convert thousands of CIFA, the Togolese currency, in my head every time I wanted to buy something.

The most surprising (pleasantly) part was finding that Togo is so different from its neighbor, Ghana, and getting to experience it in a less structured way than my travels with the B.C. undergrads through Ghana. I wouldn’t trade either experience in retrospect.

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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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