Saturday, 13 February 2010

first impressions of Togo

Today was another blackout day. A dark, hot ship lacking sucking toilets didn't appeal too much so we, and most of the rest of the crew headed out. We really appreciate those people who stayed and worked hard to clean the engine coolers in the heat, it means that hopefully we won't need another blackout until we are ready to leave Togo and the patients are not on board.

We went out, on the road back to Benin in search of somewhere to swim. In some ways Togo is similar to Benin, but thankfully there are far less motorbikes as taxis here are cars. Still some zemis though and most did not seem to have much sense of what is safe as they drove on the wrong side of the road and down pavements with no helmets. The road was not in bad condition, although the drivers still see it as optional- if traffic slows they try and jump the queue by driving on the sand next to the road and then push their way back in. It is strange how normal that all is now.

We saw very similar looking market stalls with bread and fruit, but much more evidence of small scale market gardening with people growing things in very neat rows and watering them as we passed by. Maybe it was just where we didn't see it in Benin as we are a little more out of the city here.

We were really pleased to discover that there are hotels here, mostly on the beach with pools that you can pay to swim at. We went to one with 8 or so other families today which had a play area as well! Seriously exciting stuff - a playground in Africa! And soap in the bathroom :-) It was a slight shame that the water has turned all our swim wear green. I am waiting for the laundry to to see if green swim wear is a permanent feature.

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