YovoTogo Diary 2018 (Episode 6)

Wednesday October 1.

Today we journey to Lomé, from where Isabelle, Françoise, Clémence and Jean Marie will fly back to France Friday evening. Claude and Marie-Paule will stay here during another month to finalize various projects outside the Don Orione Center. This includes taking receipt and delivering the material currently waiting in the Lomé harbor, in order to achieve several computer rooms, a sewing and a documentation workshops within the Dapaong FabLab with our JUMP Lab’Orione partners etc.

We leave Bombouaka at 6:30 PM, riding a bus of the E.tra.B company, which offers a questionable comfort, and it takes us more than 10 hours to cross the whole country, happy viewers of the diverse Togo landscapes.

Our friend Kossivi is waiting for us at the bus station, with 2 cabs to drive us to our lodging located in the Tokoin-Witti area.

Thursday November 2.

A relaxing day at Agbodrafo, a village hemmed between the road and the lake Togo. In the morning we boarded a dugout canoe for a round trip to Togoville, sailing through the fishermen nets, and crossing the road of the gasoline traffickers coming from the Nigeria. We navigated along side the “holly wood”, which is banned to strangers. This wood is a area reserved to the animists. We had lunch, our feet almost in the water, in the shade of palm trees, and in the company of our guides and friends Elias and Kossivi.

In the afternoon we visit The Slaves House – Wells of the chained people“, called Agbodrafo or Porto Seguro, which was at the heart of the slave trade raging all along the Benin bay from the 17th to the 19th century.

In the evening we went to the Lomé beach to have a dinner surrounded by the African music beat.

Friday November 3.

Walk trough the Lomé market in the morning, lunch at noon with Father Alain KINI, manager of the Don Orione Center who stops over in Lomé returning from a seminar in Ivory Coast. Together we communicate our feelings about our journey, and our findings and upon his own request, we made some suggestions to potentially improve the Center organization. One last fresh drink on the beach in the afternoon, and this is the end of the journey for Isabelle, Françoise, Clémence and Jean Marie. Well this is what they thought, until they reach the airport where they learned that their flight was canceled due to some technical issues. They are then transferred to one of the best hotels of Lomé, with all costs covered – as usual – by the airline company. They shall take off tomorrow Saturday, in the evening.

Bye-bye Togo

This very Saturday, Marie_Paule and Claude go back to the North in the car of Father Alain Kini, who will leave them in Sokodé, at the home of their friends Yobé and Madeleine, where they are going to spend several days before going back to Dapaong. This is where they have to organize the transfer and the reception of 7 m3 (about 250 cubic feet) of sent equipments : computers, copy machines, leather, various collections of donation, etc. We forecast three official openings of training rooms, each equipped with 20 computers, as well as the startup of the sewing and embroidery workshop together with the documentation workshop. Marie_Paule and Claude will report their next actions of the News page of the YovoTogo site.

All the participants felt a lot of sharing during this solidarity journey, the Togolese people being very friendly, full of hospitality, open minded and spontaneous.

Some food purchases on our way back to Bombouaka

Life is a journey by itself, and as wrote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe :

“Do you want to be happy? Travel with 2 bags,
one to give, the other one to receive”

Extracts from : Voyage de solidarité 2018 de nos amis de YovoTogo

Image Source : YovoTogo