Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Adventure #2: KPALIME {pal-ih-may}

This weekend was my first getaway since arriving in Togo!! Eight other crew members and I piled in a van with two translators for a 2-day trip to Kpalime---a town about 3 hours north. Kpalime is a popular weekend destination for many Mercy Shipers.
We were well represented on this trip: 2 Brits, 1 German, 1 Swiss, 1 Northern Irish, 1 Canadian, 1 American (from Rhode Island) and a fellow East Texan!!

The group!

It’s a good thing that we left at 6am on Saturday because our bus broke down, leaving us stranded by the side of the road for a few hours. We made it to our lovely hotel in Kpalime by about noon and trekked off to find lunch. I enjoyed an ice cold Castel and it was one of the best things I’ve tasted in a while—nice to be on vacation!!

Logan (from Bullard) and I with verrrry cheap beer :)

This is where we were stranded on the side of the road for a few hours :)

That afternoon we went to see an amazing waterfall. Most of the group jumped in, but I politely declined and took pics instead. It was truly a sight to see---in the depths of a valley amongst plush green trees and bushes. Pretty breathtaking.

That night I stepped out of my comfort zone and had Fufu for dinner. Fufu is a very inexpensive yet popular dish that has the consistency of mashed potatoes. You are supposed to eat it with your hands and dip it in a red sauce and then add some fish. It wasn’t too bad! I wouldn’t eat it everynight, but I’m glad I tried it.

Sunday brought a whole new day of adventure. Fabrice, one of our translators, grew up in a village near Kpalime and his father is the Chief of the village. We went to visit his father and it was quite an experience! We sat on his porch and were served Palm Oil, a native beverage. Fabrice’s sister poured it into our glass from a Diesel Engine Oil container. Classic. Funny thing was is it sorta tasted like engine oil as well. {gulp}

The Chief on the left and Fabrice and Eva on the Right

Toasting with the Palm Oil

After we spoke to the Chief through his “translators” (no one can speak directly to the Chief) we visited a sacred rock in the village. There is an entire legend behind the rock and the tribe believes that is protects them from all enemies in war. Pretty fascinating stuff….

The last excurision was going to the top of Mt. Agou, the highest point in Togo. The initial plan of hiking to the top was nixed after the bus breakdown, so we drove to the top. Inwardly, I was stoked to not have to hike—They say it takes about 5 hours, and anyone who is willing to do that in this African heat is mental.

After snapping a few photos from the top, we headed down the mountain and back to LomĂ©. I was so ready for a shower and my bed!!! Here are a few pics…we had so many good ones it was hard to narrow down!!

Reading to a super cute child...he wasn't as into The Glass Castle as I was.

Kids who live in the mountains: No cars, all farmers. Thinking about their lives is truly unbelievable. 

At the top of Mt. Agou!

My stamp on africa: teaching as many kids as I can the fist dap. Its been bridging the gap between western cultures and 3rd world countries since the early 90's.


  1. Claire -- way to spread the "dap"! Togo looks like a beautiful country -- dont drink too much palm oil

  2. Claire--go easy on the FuFu! Your sense of adventure is infectious! Africa has much to offer....thanks for showing us. And thanks to Mercy Ships for allowing all this good stuff to happen!


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