Failed to See Cacao
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I believe 80 percent that Cacao is not on the trees and they are not harvesting any at this time, and 20 percent maybe they are harvesting somewhere. I still do not know, after one day of trying to know.
Quoting myself from this link:
- Any way you do it you pay, the luck is to accidentally take a tour, and not even be on a tour. If I happened upon the Cacao, it would be nicer and easier and I would have less temptation to club people on the head. -
Richard Trillo said...
Hi Andy, sounds a bit complicated. Couldn't you just rent a bicycle or moto and go a couple of miles out of town to the nearest cacao plantation?
(SEO wise, that is not good. ... hehehe)
This BLOG is the problem!
- I have about a 90 percent chance, assuming there is Cacao there today. I can get the last with the number 3 below. -
The blog is the problem, we have 20/20 hindsight, and if I go and document something and it works, and come back and report, then there is not a problem. However, if I talk about the future and it does not work, then crash and burn as they say in the movie Top Gun. I like to tell and explain how I feel think and how I make decisions, this is the Art of Travel, and not explaining what worked and shows the photos.
The luck is to accidentally take an Agro-Tourism Tour. I accidentally went on a Palm Oil tour.
Palm Oil Tour
I now have 106 photos of Palm Oil being made, from what they call a Palm Nut, and there is two type of oil and maybe three made. The 106 photos include the break to take pictures of a girl with an attitude that came into the game.
Photo taken in the Red Nut processing area of Palm Oil - One of Three Areas.
Photo of foods are a pain, this is why I am explaining in a very complicated fashion. Easier to just take a couple of photos and say, I saw some Cacao, and in if you do not make a plan then it looks like you knew what you was doing, I never know, until I am done.
I often think, walking across the world and I would see the world. When I am in one of the Peugeot Station wagons, I can or man now call a Kittle Car thanks to a Ghana pronunciation of Cattle, it become very complicated to get them to stop and see the Cacao Plantation, I need to say,
- Please crazy driver, drop me off in the middle of nowhere here, so I can go and see the Cacao Plantation. -
Richard said correctly, to rent a bike or moto and go see a Plantation outside of town. I do not know about the bike, if he meant a bicycle, which could take more work than I am willing to do, I would rather walk and take a moto back, when I do not find a plantation.
Step one of my three part self-constructed tour was aborted before it stared. I found out that we was NOT taking a 300 CFA Moto Trip, we was getting in a car and going the distance of 300 CFA. A car for 300 CFA is a good distance, on a Moto not so far.
Well, to get a car that can hold 3 people is an act of God, being that I am not God, I am not going to search for a Car and pay white man fees. Finding three Motorcycle taxis is easy. The volunteer guide for the Cacao, the manager of the Mandela came late and wanted to wait for this and wait for that, long story, but I said,
- I will give you 5000 CFA, however we are not waiting. Goodbye. -
Therefore, the first option failed.
Second choice was to go and have Michael talk a person on a Moto and take us to a Cacao Plantation, more or less the recommendation of Richard, but with a Ghana English speaking a little, and Mina translator. Michael has a friend he lives with that is working in his home on some clothes Mike makes. We go a long way to Mike house, not towards the Cacao, walk a long way, and look at the Cacao trees. I say to Mike this is not the process of Harvesting Cacao.
When we first mentioned this, he was bound and determined to take me across the Ghana border illegally and show me where they process Cacao into something. Now, I get to look at a Cacao tree, with no Fruit as they call it. This is just a tree, not the process of making Chocolate.
I have a man on the Meter walking through the brush, it cost me 1000 CFA to see a tree that does not have the Cacao fruit on it and does not show anything but a tree that looks like Frog but is a Toad to me, all the same to me in a way.
I start to get more specific with Michael, I want to see some trees with the Cacao fruit on it, and people puling the fruit off the tree, putting in a basket, and taking to some bigger container and doing what they do, being that I have never seen, I am guessing.
I had about three days of conversation with the manager, and he assured me, I could see the Cacao being harvested or in the process. I know, I can go to the market and find some Cacao fruit for sale. I am not worried about the seeing, I can see one, and I can get on my own pages and see photos of Cacao.
The process of harvesting Cacao, with Michael and the Manager of the Mandela, I was continually assure we was going to see the step-by-step process. I pantomimed, I explained, in French, Michael sat for one-half hours talking with me in English and then talking in Mina to the manager.
I get to see one tree, I did not club them, but I wanted too.
One taxi driver, about the fifth set told Michael about a Cacao Farm, we went to this farm, I see no Cacao Fruit, my camera is full now, from the Palm Oil spontaneous tour photos and I have no space to take photos of anything else. However, I do NOT see Cacao fruit, just a lot of trees that look like trees.
I went on a planned tour to learn and document the plant called Cacao, the fruit from a tree that is utilized to make Chocolate, and came home knowing every step and completely understanding the process of making Palm Oil with 106 photos that include a girl.
Photos of Black Nut processing area, 2 of 3 areas we visited to see the Palm Oil. The cook the paste and the oil rise to the top. There are two type of oil, from the husk part of the red palm nut and then the actual nut inside.
Photo in the nut cleaning area, 3 of 3 areas of visited to see them doing a process to make two or three type of palm oil. I think I should say in the separation of the nut from the shell area, as they put sand in the water, the nut comes to the top and the shells go to the bottom. Michael said washing, on hindsight this is a separation process.
This is the girl with an attitude that came to visit at the end in the washing phase of the nut process.
I went to find Chocolate and I got Palm Oil. In Thailand they would say, same same, but different. I am saying, the Africa Almost, almost what I wanted, but not really. I wanted to see a systematic process of the making of Chocolate; instead, I got the 106 photos including the girl with an attitude and a very good education about the process of making Palm Oil. I will send all those photos and you can see all the photos when I send a newsletter, not that I have been good at that lately.
This tour turned out great, and if I had not said, I am going to go and take photos of Cacao. I would be able to show you a great set of photos explaining in great detail the step-by-step process of making palm oil. I could pretend I went on a trip to discover this, I did well and I took all the photos. The truth is and I will say this again, travel is about answering questions you did not know you should ask.
I hope to put up an explanation on the making of palm oil here, but then again, who knows, this is almost Africa, and I almost want to write a book, but not really. It could take up to five hours to explain what I saw today about Palm Oil, not Cacao.
I am always glad I do not tell the whole stories of Afria, I think about this, but there are so many small soap operas in the day how could I write them as fast as they happened. I learned today, Cadeau could mean, a tip, and better thought of a Tip for some service, but really a tip for no service. I am learning about the Cadeau, I think.
I should learn to not look foolish and tell stories in real time. I am often annoyed at blogger, thinking you just have a fancy way to write, nothing to do about real life, it is not a log of your trip, just a complicated to make a webpage because the not not want to learn to make a webpage.
I have the GPS locations of the three areas of Palm oil making.
Failed to See Cacao