Saturday, January 22, 2011

No Food For Lazy Man

I am currently just outside Lome, Togo. Staying near the beach in a Swiss owned campground called Chez Alice. The owner has lived in Togo, since the 1950's and must have seen every up and down,that the country has gone through, since she arrived here. While just a small country, it is supposed to be a photographers paradise,except for large mammals, with lush rain forest, waterfalls, and lots of culture. The larges mammals have been shot or scared out of the country.

Togo and Benin, are home to the voodoo culture, that was brought over to the Caribbean Islands with slavery. We have a few days in Lome, hopefully getting our Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon Visa's, so I look forward to experiencing this voodoo culture. Togo was not long ago controlled by the french. The capital of Togo, used to be called the "Paris of west Africa," but like most of Africa, when the Europeans pulled out, so did the money that built these cities and the lifestyle that could afford to maintain it. Traveling through town you see the French influence with it's grand avenues, cobble stone roads, and luxurious hotels, abandoned and starting to be reclaimed by nature.

After a week in Accra,is was nice to move on to another country but already missing, Ghana because of the language barrier. If you travel through Accra, you need to spend a few nights at least,at a place called Big Milly's Backyard, just outside Accra in Kokrobite. It's a good place to get away from the large city. It's a popular place for westerners to stay, that are volunteering in Ghana,and on a break. The compound is run by a British woman, has a local vibe, a few bars, some huts to stay in, a rastafarian culture hanging around, and drumming and dance performances on the weekends.

Ghana was my favorite country to visit so far, since I learned more about western Africa then I did,in non English speaking countries. It was fun to communicate with the fisherman and locals. Most were curious about how we got our truck from Europe to Ghana, and how we would get it to South Africa. They couldn't understand how we drove to Ghana from Europe, because it wasn't connected. We showed them pictures of the ferries that can carry 20-50 vehicles our size, across the Mediterranean and they were surprised. Other locals didn't understand, why we didn't just fly to South Africa. While others, shook their head and didn't see why we would want to drive a truck that far. To most,Cape Town was like the end of the world.

The beaches that stretch along the Ghana and Togo coastline, have the ability to become some of the most beautiful in the world. But because they are scattered with villages,this means they are still occupied by the subsistence lifestyle, with survival being the main priority. The beaches are littered with plastic bags, used as the village toilet, and are dangerous to walk down, for westerners. Developers for resorts, would die to have such beautiful beaches,to build their next mega hotel.

You hear the Ghanaians use the saying, "no food for lazy man," all the time. Since they work so hard, and make fun of those who don't. As western Africa becomes more advanced, someday these hardworking locals will be able to sit back and relax on their own beaches, enjoy a sunset, by ordering a meal instead of preparing it. Then they might understand, why westerners, do stupid things like travel overland across Africa, when they could just fly.

No comments:

Post a Comment