Togo Economics

Togo Lemonade 10 Cents

Togo Lemonade 10 Cents
Lome, Togo West Africa

I wish to drink more fruit juices, I am trying to healthier. This young man is selling me real squeezed lemon juice for 10 cents US or about 50 CFA. I am not positive, they say they add some sugar and some water, but it appears to about 75 percent lemon juice and a proper balance. They speak Mina mostly and some French.

It is interesting to observe the world, as marketing of products is pushed, then price somehow starts to say what is good and bad. The real 100 percent apple juice, the only one I can buy in the store here, that says 100 percent is about 850 CFA for a larger container. I am not happy, it is not even sold cold, I can only buy beer, and total sugar drinks cold in the store. Here this boy sells me semi-frozen real lemon juice for 10 cents, while the store wants me to pay 2 dollars for something I do not trust.
I could care less whether organic grown, grown by hippies, grown by liars, grown to put a label on it, I just want something that is close to being real juice and does not need a loan from the bank to buy. There seems to be three major forms or economies here in West Africa.

1. The French Economy of sales.

2. The Lebanese Economy of sales.

3. The Mina or Normal locals ethnic group.

I am able to purchase in the Mina groups, sometimes, if not in a package foods for about 1/10 the price of the French or Lebanese economy. What happens though is they variety of foods is limited. I must purchase from the Lebanese Groceries to buy the most variety.

The French seem to run the restaurant businesses, and I almost never eat there because the prices seem to be priced in a country club manner. I came to live in Africa, not a French club in Africa with no French girls.

The culture is wonderful here, the boy smile, I give him 500 CFA one-time and he has trouble making change. If he is not there, I can put a 50 CFA coin under the cooler. When he is out of business, or playing I must walk to his home down the small lane, knock on the gate and ask for Citron. I get to enter the small grouping of apartments, have them holler.
- Yaboo -
- Yaboo -

And sing the little, song, mothers come out to look at me, and small children touch me, all to have a nice cold bottle of Lemon juice, I suppose it is not purified, who knows how they cleaned the bottle, I am sure it has been used many times. They give me a straw, making sure they do not touch it.

Life is simpler when one does not live in terror of normal life, normal people and when we are truly organic or normal. I eat what is around me, I eat what I enjoy, I try to do my best, but if not, then so be it. The labels, the terms, the jargon can help me or it can hurt me, I can become aware of how to be healthy, or I can buy some fantasy, scare me to death marketing program that sells me nothing.

I remember an organic mango farmer in Brazil. He had about 5 trees of organically grown and naturally grown mangos. If anyone came, he would take them there, and when he sold mangos, he would go to the field of pesticides, herbicide, and all the other chemicals to harvest a good fruit free from problems, that looked good and sell as organically grown, he was not stupid. A German man in Brazil, go figure…

Togo Lemonade 10 Cents

Togo Phosphate

Togo Phosphate
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Monday, March 19, 2007

I am about 50 miles north of Lome, Togo, or maybe 80 kilometers. I am becoming increasing interested in some type of mineral, rock, or something I am seeing here.

A Lady in Kpalime, working on rocks or making pellets.

There is this gray colored, chalk like substance they are molding into large round pellets.

In the Encarta Encyclopedia it says,
- Togo is a leading producer of phosphates, which are by far the country’s most significant mineral product. In 2004, 400,000 metric tons of phosphate rock were mined. -

I was told this man from Italia was buying something for matches. I have read a lot of information now about Phosphorous and Phosphate, not easy to understand. Last time I was in Africa, I seen the same substance, they called it Cal or Koala or something like that, I am hoping this time around I can do better at understanding what these pellets of chalk rock substance are and why they are making pellets. I cannot think of a reason for the pellets, I can see a reason for phosphate or phosphorous, however more of a industrial commercial product and not something I would think people would sit around working with hammers and other tools.

As I walk down the hill from my Hotel towards the market, there are about five different smaller building where they are banging away at this substance.

It is sometimes almost beyond my ability to bear, how to satisfy my curiosity and learn. This is something important I believe to Togo, I will slowly try to unravel this mystery.
How long?

I think it will take me close to five days, and maybe longer to learn what this substance maybe is, and then I cannot be sure. It can be tiresome to ask again and again in different manners and ways. People do not like to answer questions when the person listening cannot understand. The workers probably speak Mina or Ewe or whatever the local language is that dominates Kpalime. This means I need to find a person who speaks exceptional French, or English and for some reason knows about this substance.

Just because something I minded, produced, used in an area does not mean anyone truly understand. People often know less about their own backyards, then the mans across the street.
My French / English dictionary in the computer does not have a translation for Phosphate or Phosphorous.

The say, when I asked
- Calibah or Argil -

I have no idea if French, Mina, Ewe or Ashanti language. My guess is Phosphate

Togo Phosphate

Kpalime Auberge

Kpalime Auberge
Kpalime, Lome West Africa
Friday, March 23, 2007

I have made another Auberge change here in Kpalime, Togo. I am now in a Hotel for 3000 CFA or about 6 U.S. Dollar. I am still debating, I think it is much better, however, I need to wait for the night, when people from the night come out, to make sure the noise levels is ok.

There is competition between continents for the cheap backpacker, I do not think the backpacker or the continents know this, however to me there is a competition.

Yes, it is the next morning, Friday night passed and no swarms of drunks settled into the Hotel and all was good. I am about one block closer to the large noisy discotheques now; I can hear them in the distance. This Auberge is much better as a whole experience for me, not for everyone…

The young backpackers, the University Students, the Gap Girls and all the miscellaneous groups of trendy, fashionable groups of persons who say,
- I am going traveling. -

The world is competing for this group of travelers, if they had a clue that is they would know they should be competing for them. This is a competition for tourism and whole countries are clueless on how to market tourism. (First comes the young backpackers, later comes the fat tourist dollars.)

The guidebooks do not seem to see the big picture, I have a choice, and I can go to Southeast Asia, Central or South America and call it an adventure for less than 10 dollars per night for a hotel. I can many travelers or tourist comments, explain, or talk about how much fun they had and it was cheap. There is a need for a list of cheap hotels in Africa, the Rough Guide is doing twice as good as the Lonely Planet, however, I am cheap, really cheap, and I want value for my dollars.

I am in a 6-dollar Hotel, and the room is excellent, makes all of South America look like the cockroach Hotels of the planet.

The price of hotels in West Africa can be horrendous, the cost of a Tourist Fare restaurant is worst, I have sworn off going anywhere the silly white people are going, they really are ridiculous, the must be very afraid of African people to pay that much money to have bad food.

However, there is a on a shoe string path, there is a rough guide path, there is a way through West Africa I believe that could be traveling on the cheap. The big problem is the other travelers, they buy a 4-wheel drive SUV, then spend a lives saving, live like king, then try to make you think they are roughing it. It is confusing to listen to other travelers, they try to convince you need a motorcycle Helmut for Africa and in Asia, they tell you to rent a motorcycle that are extremely dangerous, here it is mildly dangerous, there is a lot less people and cars here in Africa so safer.

I just went to visit Craig’s site of and he is getting on a bus for over 36 hours in South America. Then for some reason getting in a Peugeot Station wagon with a bunch of cows for three hours is supposed to be bad. Three hours is nothing, West Africa transportation is great, get on a bus with a bunch of India people that have maybe never showered, then life is miserable or can be miserable.

I got some shower here with so much pressure it will not stay in the holder, weird, why?

I am trying to look for rooms or hotel that have screens on the windows while in Southeast Asia and South America they do not know what a screen is….?

I would like just a few more travelers here, so I can have a conversation occasionally in English. I would like to take the ONG-NGO out behind the shed and whip them until they bleed, do anything to encourage them to leave.

I am probably going to make a list of hotels that are cheap for this trip around in West Africa. If there is a problem in West Africa, the problem can be the owners or managers of hotels. When they are lazy, they are extremely lazy, they can be some of he worlds greediest, give me nothing for my money, taker on the planet. It is not the hotels that can be a problem; it is the owners of hotels. This is the problem on the whole planet, it is people.

My idea is this, I will take a photo of the managers, and I will say, this hotel is ok, if this person is not there, then all bets are off, the hotel may be a problem. I will also say, this is the price, if this price has changed then maybe not good.

Kpalime Auberge

More or less, I can say, if this person is working and the price is this, then I am recommending this Hotel, if the person and the price is missing, then Caveat Emptor.

I am hoping the guidebooks belly up to the bar.

Kametonou Togo

Kametonou Togo
Kametonou Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 14, 2007

It is 5:23 am, and the sun is trying to break over the small mountains of Kametonou, Togo. This Togo - Ghana Border village is awakening. I hear the sounds of too loud roosters crowing; strangely, they are sweeping the courtyard concrete outside my door; sweeping is a priority.

Michael told me they would wake and go to the fields to work from 4:00 am to about 9 or 10 am, then return from the fields to the village and shower and spend the rest of the day doing what they do.

I am on the employer’s watchful eye, to do the employers evaluation of how man real hours are working and how many hours are thinking about work or trying to prepare for work. I think they will not leave for the fields in reality until the sun is up and they have eaten, approximately 6:30 in my guessing. I may leave to see if the noise is men or women doing the moving, I think women..

The world whether in the USA or Europe or anywhere, highly over-exaggerates the time they spend working in life. There is hard-core time and there is thinking I am working time, whereby I am doing some thinking, about working, but in realty, I stopped to do nothing, and spend many hours per day talking.

I am in maximum use of battery mode. I want to type, blast out a couple of post, download my photos and get off this computer. I have no electricity in the battery. I am extremely high effective person, I do the work, I then stop, no pretending to work.

Ok the sounds are increasing, outside my door, as the roof is not impervious to noise, and I have a window that allows the noise to enter.

We rented a room from a woman by the name of Ami; maybe every seventh person has this name that is a girl, but I do not understand the name of people clearly. She does well for herself, a couple of extremely bright eyed girls, and a boy, and a husband, or mate that I am trying to understand that works in the medical field in KPALIME, try to thing, and focus on the idea that he is not here in Kametonou Togo, this is a common relationship where the man is not around.

The lodging is costing 3 US dollar or 1500 per night, and it is easier to sleep here than in Kpalime. The room cooled off and for the first time, I can say, it was cool. It is becoming cooler because of the rains, but the combination of rain, mountains and altitude created a great sleeping night.

The sleeping is good; there is no electricity, not a problem except for the batteries for computer and camera. I will continue to remember India taking my 16 rechargeable batteries and making me in a tough position with only four now.

I am going to stop typing; I do hope the chicken have went into retirement. I have not seen a dog; this is excellent, as dogs in small villages do their security work too well. If there are no dogs, and there is few, this means a low crime rate, in a place where nobody but yourself is going to protect your self.

I have taken GPS reading of the rooms, I am trying to figure out how to tell a person how to find a room. This does not qualify as a Chambre de Passage or Auberge or a Backpacker accommodation, although acceptable and safe, and the room is the same, not a made to rent room. More an opportunity to rent a room, I vacate and you can use it for 1500 CFA per night, after negotiated down from 2500 to this price.

Kametonou Togo

Africa Traders

Africa Traders
Kametonou Togo West Africa
Sunday, April 15, 2007

In the quest to find cheap lodging in West Africa, I am learning many new terms. Michael the Fixer speaks a form of subtle blunt good English. His English is excellent, for a second language person, but the use of words can be mind stopping.

He is talking with the other people around in Mina, sometimes a pigeon French, then explains a revised second edition in English. Sort of a telephone game, and what is entered at the beginning, changes and filtered through two language and the thinking in two languages.

Today, the lady that rented us rooms in Kametonou, Togo said something to me in English and I did not understand. I was thinking in French, the words were not French, I did not understand English. Then again, she speak about 99 percent of the time in French - Mina mixed, so why would I have my ears tuned into English thoughts.

There was a trader women who came in the compound home set up in Kametonou and stayed a night. I discovered she was a reluctant resource of information on hotels, room, and passable roads in the area. We found a path from the Konda village north, that if we wished was suppose to be passable and she explained how to find transportation.

I would say she is sort of a traveling sale person, but in Michaels mind, she is called a trader. I normally think these are ladies that carry too many banana, avocados and smell up the car as they travel to the next city to go to the markets. I am realizing, there is a sub-set of people that do trade, or buy, maybe sell specific types of products.

Michael somewhat says, Ghana has more industry, therefore the people cross into Ghana to buy the steel or aluminums tubs they use to carry water or cook. We saw avocado trees starts leaving Togo and entering Ghana. We was at a border, this is the interface or area where what I have, and what you have is traded.

Thinking of a trading post is a good way to do, I give some furs and you give me rifles. I give what I have and I get what you have. These traders are knowledgeable, smart, and live by their business aptitudes. This does create another resource for hints as to what is over the next hill.

Africa Traders

Togo Teak Mahogany

Togo Teak Mahogany
Kametonou Togo West Africa
April 2007

What is this wood, there is no way to be sure, except to ask an expert, and then try to hope the expert is an expert.

This is a photo of wood along side the road that leads up the small village at the Togo - Ghana Border. I am on the Togo side in the small village of Kametonou Togo West Africa

There were regular, maybe 2 x 14 inch rough-cut planks, and then this rectangular block cut style wood chunks. Michael offered a couple of names for them, I semi-refused the answers as I had already said the word Mahogany before he used the word.

Learning is so incredibly frustrating; it takes the 99 percent frustration and the one-person inspiration to learn accurately. I get a hint on something, and then I need to follow up on the hints.

I can give many examples of data or information that is inherently troublesome and fraught with problems.

The ethnic groups is maybe Ewe and the language is Mina, however if you ask a person what group they are part of, I have never hear them say Ewe, I hear them say Mina. Therefore if most or the extreme majority of people say they are Mina, can we call them Ewe.

Large amounts of Teak, Mahogany and other valuable woods were harvested and taken out of Africa; therefore, there is the perception that these forests have these trees. However, if they did a very good job, then what are left may be other varieties of trees. I made the mistake of asking Michael,
- Are these mahogany trees? -

He then says later, when he fully understood my question and said,
- Mahogany.-

His first answer was something in Mina, and like Oawa. The truth is, Michaels sells clothing to women, and he may know some information about the clothing industry. I need to find the proverbial horse’s mouth to find the truth and everyone knows the answers, however I am 99 percent sure, and they do not.

I read, maybe that Teak and Mahogany grow here, my map, the one I purchased in Kpalime has small symbols that indicated that teak is grown in those areas.

Everyone is an expert on everything on the planet, and I am positive there are very few experts on issues.

In this village, I counted 8 large piles of wood, about 5 x 5 x 20 Foot in size, this is a large amount of wood in a village where all the home are made of clay adobe or concrete. It does appear they was harvesting the wood. The lumber people of Africa seem to have came and took what was easy to find and cut.

Togo Teak Mahogany

Incredibly Rich West Africa

Incredibly Rich West Africa
Amlame, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 23, 2007

I have traveled too much, I have seen to many versions of poor. I ain’t buying it, West Africa is rich.

West Africa
The subsistence farming here in West Africa has an over-abundance of flat land and water and sparsely populated. It seems to me, to be the perma-culture, self staining, and no need for the outside world, insulated, separated like the USA. The land gives what the people needs and more.

If this area the planet could find a way to have solar electricity for less than 20 U.S. dollars per family, they would almost not need anyone. Sadly, the more they strive for cell phones, cars, televisons and fashion, I suspect the more problems they will have, not less. The danger lies in want of luxury jobs, that provide non-essential trades ike the tissage or tress, and even the moto taxi.

The cost of living here is nothing and life is easy.

However, what is killing me is how they grow food in West Africa; I would guess they farm less than 15-20 percent of the land. Then after they plant something, they just hope it grows.

This means in a way, they have the worlds easiest farming to do, they can just plant something and hope, they do not even need to weed, and they have enough food to get fat. I was thinking, I do not see tractors, or oxen pulling plows, I seen one in Kpalime, however for the part, they just walk out and hack up the ground, make into these special anti-rain mounds, plant and hope it grows, no special work, easy, anyone can do it, and most do in a way, but not much.

I was thinking, the beef here is somewhat difficult, I do not see many cows, or cattle, however there are groups they call the cattle people. They grow goats here, and goats take very small amounts of care, then there are few chickens.

There is nothing grown in surplus except these stupid little peppers called Pims and they are everywhere, I think they grow in surplus because they cannot stop them from growing.

There is no BACKUP.

If they had a water problem in the middle of this rainy area, it is not a rainforest, as best I can tell, and for sure not a cloud forest, but it is very wet, I believe. How can they have a water problem?

There is no extra food, the risk here is a bad crop, if they have a crop problem, then no food, they need to learn how to can foods.

There are no cash crops grown that makes any sense, no mass-produced cash crops or animal husbandry. The only raise what they need.

They have no money. They make the homes out of clay, wood, and materials close to their home. The water cost, but they have the money to buy it, and it is clean, I drink it every day.

What happens of my feeling is this, I think when a person needs money, they become somewhat ridiculously easy to negotiate with, and they will not lose the deal under any condition.

I think money is just an extra, good if they have it, but then who cares really. The life is easy, too easy, they can grow food too easy, there is no striving or working for the food. There is no motivation to strive to better yourself. There seems not desire to fight for a job.

There are some indicators of need.

1. Number of beggars.
2. The amount of theft.
3. How much land is farmed.
4. How dirty are people clothes.
5. How much they will negotiate and still sell you an item or services.
6. How hard is it to steal available food that is growing.

I had a friend try to tell me the price of a Bungalow in Indonesia, I thought he was going to say 300 US or something. I can rent good room in Bangkok for 40 US per month, with AC. I rent a room here in Lome, Togo for 20 US per month, no AC.

The cost of renting a room on the planet starts about always at one-fourth the monthly wages or less. The people of Togo earn abut 30 as base pay and this would mean a room should start at 10 or something like that, and I believe I can rent a room for that.

All six of these items above are at an incredible low.

I sort of feel like I am in the lower part of Brazil, or the upper part of Argentina and there is no cattle, and no farming.

This could be the next Brazil farming boom, and the trees are already cut down. Note, I think one of the number one businesses in Togo or West Africa is the making of Charcoal. Charcoal is a luxury, as best I can determine, not a need.

Malnutrition, and badly balanced diets, overweight, etc is probably everywhere, I do believe the introduction of large amounts of vegetable seeds would alter their diets. They do not have the grub-stake to just start luxury crops, and do not see the need, they are farming thes same they have since the days of colonization, the eat Baguettes.

Togo Food, Food, West Africa Food, Africa Burning, Togo Economics, West Africa Economic, Farming, Animals Domestic, Perma-Culture

Incredibly Rich West Africa

I Have a Bigger Car

I Have a Bigger Car
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I have some observations and questions for why.

Why did the Spanish conquer most of Central and South America and now the Latino culture seems in nothing? Why did the Romans advance and then decline? Why did Egypt advance and decline?
Why is Norway, Sweden, Denmark now highly educated and expensive? What happened to the Mayans, this was a powerful and important culture? Who cares about Babylon and why should I care about Babylon, nothing there and but hot nothings, I saw it. Why does India have so many people? Why does Asia have so many people? Why does West Africa have so few people?

(Note.. Hehehe I just realized each of the lines above is not the start of a new paragraph and a separate idea; they are related, but different. I can combine all of them and not be grammatically wrong. This principle will dramatically decrease the line space of my writing.)

Is the life in America or Europe better than the life in Africa? Arrogance, lack of introspection, and failure to focus on the goals of work, would say life in America is better but it Americas goal of work correct?

I have always used my brain to conquer my world. Then I started to compete with other men and women in my society. I wanted a car. I went from about age 20 to age 35 into focusing my majority of efforts on level four of Mallow’s hierarchy of need and motivations. (See Below)

At age 17, maybe it is was 18, my Economics teacher assigned us the book Walden by Henry David Thoreau, who the Author I would now say and think of as one of my Mentors in life, along with my one Grandfather Fleck, and a Farmer Buster Spade. My parents became Mentors after age 30 and continue to this day to be my mentors. My Grandfather and Buster were mentors in working on level four of Maslow’s hierarchy and now I ask for instructions from my parents on step 5 of the hierarchy of needs.

I now see that at age 17 upon reading Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden I understood his experiment on Walden Pond whereby he proved a person could work about five weeks per year and live well.

I went and disobeyed the Mentor Henry David Thoreau because I needed to go and compete, to see if maybe I was ok.

The logic stuck though, the common sense has always held, I have never stopped believing his theory of economics was brilliance. I see and continue to see or believe, this man understood how things work. His theories of Economics enveloped in writing and surrounded by an annoying preoccupation to talk about the beauty of nature is confusing, hard to understand, and why his chapter is named Economics when he talks about so many other topics is difficult. And the book Walden seems to be more about his love of nature, than about the simple economics of life and the theory of Civil Disobedience.

I often wander, and I do think, Thoreau understood Civil Disobedience ten times better than Ghandi or Martin Luther King, in a way, I think both of those two just wanted power, and they found the power of Civil Disobedience not the profound nature of it to use against power, and in many ways just elevate themselves to higher social status and dominance, to become the big cheese or boss. They accomplished a lot, and not as simple as it seems,

Civil Disobedience is:
I will try; the idea is you cannot ague with a person that does not talk back or argue back. To do nothing is sometimes more powerful than to do something. I protest by not obeying, passive not active.

Military might is the ability of the Army to feed itself, and to exchange natural resources and information resources for the best weapons, hmm, that made Sadaam very dangerous, he could buy the best weapons, if he was smart enough, however he was too dumb maybe.

The bigger the physical power, the more a person or culture is capable of dominating another by violence, the more they are considered advanced. The USA because of extreme security and safety, just forget to see that it is not safe, it does not thanks its leaders for taking great care of the people.

All this aside, the idea is for one person can and should be independent, as Thoreau pointed out in simple and complex ways, a person owes society a debt, however an individual also owes themselves the right to enjoy their life the way they wish. After you die, there will be no refunds because you squandered your life.

- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. -
Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)

I think the number one reason people want to travel is to play, to disobey society, to go into a hedonistic pleasure filled existence of mental and physical masturbation. They want to go on an endless party. What is crazy, is the party people can see that they can work say maybe two months per year and play the rest of the time, and the economics majors think you need to work 12 months. Fools

The Western Economics now enables a person born in Western country, to travel to the West, earn the money in two months, and go live where the cost of living and more correctly, the competition for step 4 of Maslows is not enforced or developed acutely and thrive.

Providing, they do not need to prove to their fellow man they are someone, they are something, or they are better than their neighbors are. The competition to prove ones self is more capable or better in money, cars, wealth and affluence is staggeringly stupid. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet do not work for money; they work for ideas, the game of ideas.

I say, have said on many occasions,
- It does not take a genius to make a million dollars working 16 hours per day; however, it does take a genius to make a million working 2 hours per day. -

I truly believe time spent spinning time at work or employment is a severe hindrance to the accumulation of extreme wealth. An extravagantly good idea creates extreme wealth. Conquering the ability to survive earns enough money to live was done with social security act and pension plans. An accumulation of cash is winning if you have the need to prove you are competent, this is an emotional need, not maybe a want.

Economical is making great sense to work where the pay is highest and to live where the pay is lowest. This give a person the optimal quality of life for the least amount of money.

The cost of living normally stays at the same level as wages. The cost to live in luxury is 10 percent here in the cost compared to the the USA. I can have a cleaning lady for 1 dollar per day here. The competition with peers is still here, and who has the most money, but a Western person competes too well in this area of the world, and too easily dominates, in the game of bragging who can prove they have more money, this is a no need to go.

Many Travelers love to feel rich one time in their life; some love travel to India where for one brief journey or period of time, they are competent. They are complete failures in the modern world, in India they are Gods, and held in high esteem by the India people because they have the passport and the money. However, when the go home, they are constantly reminded, they are a nobody. They have trouble leaving India, they love to be a somebody… hehehe Clueless Travelers.

Independence from the need to compete, and independence from social controls, to have the introspection capacity to see that the rules of global life has changed, and a person needs to grab the advantage while they know this, or eventually the wages and cost of living will all be the same everywhere.

I have a friend, who is in the epiphany phase of travel thinking. He has returned to the USA and now has to put back on his boxing gloves and compete with people in the USA for social status. It is amazing how when I return to the USA, they also or think, I want to compete or stay with them in the game. I wonder if my other traveler friend in the USA, also now in the USA can see, paying the same amount of money as an American in a restaurant is silly and a competition of sorts. When I return to the USA, I do not pay the same as the people around me, I have left the game. I think to myself, why I would spend 10 dollars per meal. I think that here in Africa, there is this Brag by having money group, why would anybody pay 10 dollar for a plate of rice with a scrawny chicken when it cost the person outside the hotel less than one or two dollars. Unless they want to brag to the Cadeau girl, I am somebody.

The USA pays a lot for convenience, they work 8 hours per day so the four hours after work are easy, or busy and not convenient. This is 8 hours of work to have convenience, that is not convenient.

The goal of work is to give ourselves and family enough food, shelter and safety to be ok. Then to allow ourselves free time to enjoy our lives. Now the modern world spends 50 percent of their time working and 50 percent playing.

Africa spends 95 percent of their time playing and 5 percent working.

How things work, the ideas on how things work is amazing, I keep dwelling on the explanations of the world, I keep seeing and become more capable of seeing the way things work on the planet.

Did you know Fat, to be fat is to say to your peers, I am so rich, I can eat all day. To be Fat is a sign of rich in many cultures. I had a girl in Africa tell me to stop losing weight, I am looking poor.

The amount of water, food, the need to fight the cold determines how much work a person must do to survive, once survival is easy, the average person takes a coffee break from life. They only wanted to get fat and prove they had a bigger car and bigger house than their neighbors and to not lose their wife because the man down the street was willing to give here more money and fun.

Note, Michael Crighton alludes many times to the idea that subsistence farming may be a better form of life, on the other hand, I think he may work all the time, I do not know, I am speculating, there is a different from fun work and working for money, the fun work is not work it is getting paid to play.

Interesting read:
Principle of Population By Thomas Malthus

Maslow has hierarchy of needs or motivations of people.

(1) physiological; (2) security and safety; (3) love and feelings of belonging; (4) competence, prestige, and esteem; (5) self-fulfillment; and (6) curiosity and the need to understand.

Henry David Thoreau, Mentors, Togo, Togo Economics, West Africa Economic, Togo Economics, Jobs on Trip,

I Have a Bigger Car

The Business of Togo

The Business of Togo
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Saturday, May 12, 2007

A friend wrote and asked, what is the business of Togo?
Before, I thought about it, I said,
- Firewood or Charcoal. -
I was I thought kidding, and the more I think about it, maybe I was right, maybe this is the big business of normal people of Togo.

Firewood is collected and I think here is being taken to be converted or burned and made into Charcoal to be use to cook food, iron clothes etc.

There is this truck stop close to my Hotel, here in Atakpame, Togo West Africa, it is not really a truck stop, but it is where the large good or semi truck can pull over, repair and park. I never thought much about the comment on Firewood until I started noticing, there are big trucks loaded with Firewood and Charcoal.

This is a truck full of bags of Charcoal.

I was reading about Culture in my Encarta Encyclopedia program on my computer, it was interesting and there was a distinction made I never thought much about until yesterday. Under the idea of Agricultural or Sub-sistence farming societies or in that, area of cultural concepts was the idea how much the need the outside world. Subsistence farming means not so much they farm, as they do not need the outside world.

I cannot see why Togo needs any other country on the planet, the country lives off the food is produces, and most items in this country were made in Togo. They have not developed an inter-dependence on other countries, no country can hold them hostage. The USA need oil, we would fight for oil.

The country does need help protecting itself and I would almost guarantee the sale of Potassium or Minerals pays a large sum of the taxes in the country. Then a few large companies, Beer, Fanmilk, and Cell Phone probably pay the rest and the government lives on how much money they can zap on import or export and how much they can gouge this form of income. There is also the pay to enter and leave the city tax.

The Togo government provide very few services the people need, other than the water and roads, I would not say the people need their government, it is not like there are police around here protect them, more the people need protected from their government.

However, in reality, Togo does not need other countries, it exist or appears to subsist without the help of others.

The only product that may be in short supply and needed it firewood and charcoal, they will slowly burn Africa.

The more a society needs another country for special luxury need, the more time is needed to spend working. I was really laughing at the cultural definitions of band or small tribal groups where they was more or less glamorizing the idea of the family. Tribal or bands, or the more primitive groups are violent and aggressive, there is not this love you, I love other, everybody better work or they will get put outside to be eaten by the animals. If you do not clean my clothes, I find wife number three. Loyalty is from need, not from love.

Tribal, Togo Economics, Togo, Firewood,

The Business of Togo

Earning Money in a Tribal Culture

Earning Money in a Tribal Culture
Tribes of the Planet
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Sunday, May 13, 2007

In the USA we ignore Kings, Queens, caste systems, chiefs, tribes and racism, we tend to be too Noble or politically correct and above this type of behavior. The reality is we are naïve and insulated from this by the oceans and our desire to ignore or overlook the sad and tribal culture of Mexico. Plus, it is hard to see the tribes of the USA, under all the consumer goods.

Africa is Tribal without the cover of consumer goods.

A tribe enforces the rules of the culture with violence or force.

Here is my opinion of degrees of enforcement of Tribal Rules on the planet earth.

MOST to LEAST enforced:

Middle East - Most
Africa - Less
Russia - I am guessing, I do not know.
Central America
South America
USA and Australia - Least

I am going to ignore Canada just to annoy them. (Same culture as the USA.)

Tribal customs and rituals are difficult to see, and the pure culture with all the rules and regulation are all masked and hidden under modern consumerism and objects. Hard to see a person is acting like a primitive person when they are driving a Mercedes and has a Cell phone in their hands.

What is fun here in Africa is because there is very little of the modern conveniences, like dishes, books, Chinese goods; I can see the tribal behavior and not have it hidden by a car or consumer goods. Africa is less violent than the Middle East or India, the women are safer then say the Arabic…

More or less this is freedom of religions in a nutshell, the more the freedom of all religions the less tribal.

What is great is the business of a tribe; a tribe is dysfunctional in their ability to compete with the culture of a non-tribal business. Unless, the tribe has slavery, or a dictator with forced labor.

In a tribe, the King or Chief does not work. In a non-tribal culture, the King or Chief works, prepares the way for the braves, and growth continues.

Fun to watch the failure or stagnation of an Africa business, when the person become the primary boss or owner, they just stop working because a boss does not work in West Africa, thereby guaranteeing the growth stops and a life of living in constant recession. It is like watching a comedy of errors. It would be more also fun to watch in India is not so cluttered and the Middle East if a person was not killed while watching, one bad comment they could kidnap you like the BBC reporter in Palestine, and you do not even have to talk bad, just be there.

Tribal, West Africa Economic, Togo Economics, Togo Economics, Togo,

Earning Money in a Tribal Culture

Togo Teak Lumber

Togo Teak Lumber
Akloa Water Falls Badou Africa
May 2007

Maybe this is Teak, maybe it is not, I was thinking, how normal in the world, I pay a fee to go see the Waterfalls or Cascade d Akloa near the small village of Badou in Western Middle Togo and what do I see. The locals cutting down the Jungle, I came to see. The girl I was with called this - Ati or Atee -

Africa is falling…

Cascade de Alkoa, Togo

Men with chainsaws cutting into planks, at the Cascade de Alkoa, Togo.

Cascade de Alkoa, Togo

Cascade de Alkoa, Togo, the in focus and out of focus of Photography.

This is the wood grain of the wood, I asked many time, what is this, and one says a Planche... Cascade de Alkoa, Togo

Hmmm... This is not a secret project, just normal work, I am not sure what. Near the village of Badou, Togo in the West of Togo and middle.

Lumber, Wood, Nature, Trees, Togo Economics, Togo,

Togo Teak Lumber

Come To Togo Ghana Benin for Free

Come To Togo Ghana Benin for Free
Lome Togo, West Africa
Thursday, May 17, 2007

I could give a person the money for a one-way ticket to Ghana, Togo, Benin, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, or Cameroon.

A plane ticket from Chicago to Accra, Ghana is about 550 US dollars one way. The cost to ship a package from the USA to Lome, Togo with DHL is…


I asked a man from France, the owner of a Hotel here in Togo, how difficult to receive a package from the USA. He says, the problem is customs,
he said,

- I had one small pack of CD Room shipped, the lady said, 5000 CFA, then I said, how do you figure this, and she scratch the paper, and then said 13,000 CFA.. I gave the money. -

Something to do with value, 13,000 CFA is about 25 US Dollars. Say the price of the CD Rom was 50 US, then I ship 400, that is 8 time 13,000 of about 200 US for custom.

382.04 for Shipping
200.00 for Customs

582.04 Enough to pay a person to come to Lome one-way.

448.50 is the value of what is in the bag, and insure only does 250.

The problem here is not the money; the problem is the scratch, the unknown amount of money to pay. A bribe, funky, no law, no rules life is difficult, how much before I desert the box at DHL, and say too much. How much is this worth to me? Any way I do it, they say I have to go to the Airport to Customs in Togo to pay.

The value of the package is 400, this is reaching for 1000 US, I can fly to Europe and fly back, maybe for 400? Oversimplified, I need to sleep, room, etc, buy, wait and it is Europe, and I may want to talk French French.

I am in Lome, Togo, I think it may behoove me to have the package sent to Gabon, Cameroon or Equatorial Guinea where I will need the package. There is one thing I do not do though in this process, I do not force the play, and I will allow my sense of instinct to guide me. When the time is right, the correct decision will appear.

Ever wonder why these countries have no money, there is no way for the person in the country to buy or sell, the country is held hostage by the import - export on a made-to-help-them scale of payments. On the other hand, I doubt they pay any person tax.

Now, it comes down this, in the not so straight countries, do we know a friend of a friend, which works in customs in Togo?

The idea of a courier is to bring in a package and get it through customs with the least amount of hassle. I need to think… I keep thinking I will see a Peace Corps and ask, I have not seen one person from Peace Corps for a month.

This is crazy, a person can fly a body, a live person and easier than shipping a package, this is the world, this is not the USA.

Shipping, DHL Shipping, Export Import, Togo Economics, Togo,

Come To Togo Ghana Benin for Free

African Independence from French Expats

African Independence from French Expats
Lome, Togo West Africa
May 19, 2007

As I travel around in Africa, I slowly drift in and out of what I call Expat Colonies. Expat colonies are located all over the planet and for many reasons. Togo has an older French man Colony, a remnant of colonization. The Bahamas, Caribbean, Costa Rica and Panama are full of Americans hiding money. Thailand and Cambodia are Boom Boom Colonies, while Hong Kong and Singapore are the Import - Export to China colonies, the back door to China. There are many of these Expat Colonies on the planet that the reasons are fun to learn.


32 African Countries became Independent between the years of 1960-1970, it was the decade of Independence for Africa from their both their benefactors and their transgressors.

It is narrow minded, damaging, and just plain stupid to think that Colonization of the planet was all bad. In my opinion, it was about 60 percent good and 40 percent bad, if you accept the premise that development is a good idea. Without the colonization of the planet, the world outside of Europe would be 100-200 years behind Europe today and not just the normal 50-70 years lag. I believe in the next 10 years this gap will be reduced to 0-25 years behind Europe, the USA needs left out of this, because of insulated reason, and probably so does Australia and New Zealand, both are colonies that maybe are ahead of Europe, more likely you could say, they did not bring their dirty laundry with them to the new countries, and started Europe over, however on a clean piece of land, but in the USA, Aussie and with not Dictators, a.k.a Kings.

French Sphere of Influence

What happens is this, you have a mess in Africa, many Races, Ethnics, Kingdoms, and Religions and a few businesses like Rhodes who fought, and continue to fight for control of Africa. Most have rather decide, I do not want a welfare child, so I am washing my hands and leaving.

French have held out, the control the banks, and the right to own land in their former colonies. The have their hands up the skirts of Africa, still playing.

1960 - If a French Administrators in one of the 32 colonies was of the age of 35 in the year 1960 or the mode year of independence. This person would now be in the year 2007, the age of 82

Depending on the age of the French people living in Africa in the 1960s, they would now be between the ages of 67-82.

Africa is easy to fall in love with, and never want to leave, so the did not leave, or they came back.

If you walked into some of the Frenchie Hotels in Togo, Cote d Ivoire, Niger, or Burkina Faso, Senegal, etc, I suspect you would find a group of men between the ages of 67 and 82 sitting on the corner of the bar. mixed with a few Germans, Dutch, and on more rare occasions the Brits. An American or Australian is hard to find, but some in the British Colonies.

This Expat Colonies of Africa and their Sphere of Influence will all be dead by the year 2020.

It appears to me from 2007 to the year 2020 there is an unbelievable opportunity for the Chinese, Europeans and Americans to be tourist, then investors, first comes tourist, and then comes investments. The colony converted to long-term investment methods of Singapore and Hong Kong just did not work so well in Africa.

I would guess it would be Tourist converted to investor that will leave the next 50-100 years of Africa.

Sort of the Caribbean, Costa Rica methodology, a person goes on Vacation and returns later to start a business.

This is all fun and speculation, but it seems to me, that between today and 2020, Africa is the land of opportunity, as the young French have wiped their hands of Africa.


There are major Ethnic groups

Ashanti Kingdom
Kingdom of Dahomey
Ethiopia Ancient

Dutch Kingdom




BEFORE 1970 - 8 Colonies became Impendent

Ethiopia Ancient
Liberia July 26, 1847
South Africa May 31, 1910 Britain
Egypt February 2, 1922 Britain
Libya December 24, 1951 Italy
Sudan January 1, 1956 Britain; Egypt
Morocco March 2, 1956 France
Tunisia March 20, 1956 France
Ghana March 6, 1957 Britain
Guinea February 10, 1958 France

1960-1970 - 32 Colonies became Impendent

Cameroon January 1, 1960 France
Togo April 27, 1960 France
Senegal June 20, 1960 France
Mali June 20, 1960 France
Madagascar June 26, 1960 France
Congo, Democratic Republic of the June 30, 1960 Belgium
Somalia July 1, 1960 Italy; Britain
Benin August 1, 1960 France
Niger August 3, 1960 France
Burkina Faso August 5, 1960 France
Côte d'Ivoire August 7, 1960 France
Chad August 11, 1960 France
Central African Republic August 13, 1960 France
Congo, Republic of the August 15, 1960 France
Gabon August 17, 1960 France
Nigeria October 1, 1960 Britain
Mauritania November 28, 1960 France
Sierra Leone April 24, 1961 Britain
Tanzania September 12, 1961 Britain
Burundi July 1, 1962 Belgium
Rwanda July 1, 1962 Belgium
Algeria July 3, 1962 France
Uganda October 9, 1962 Britain
Kenya December 12, 1963 Britain
Malawi July 6, 1964 Britain
Zambia October 25, 1964 Britain
The Gambia February 18, 1965 Britain
Botswana September 30, 1966 Britain
Lesotho October 4, 1966 Britain
Mauritius March 12, 1968 Britain
Swaziland September 6, 1968 Britain
Equatorial Guinea October 12, 1968 Spain

1970 until 2000 - 11 Colonies became Impendent

Guinea-Bissau September 10, 1974 Portugal
Mozambique June 25, 1975 Portugal
Cape Verde July 5, 1975 Portugal
Comoros July 6, 1975 France
São Tomé and Príncipe July 12, 1975 Portugal
Angola November 11, 1975 Portugal
Seychelles June 26, 1976 Britain
Djibouti June 27, 1977 France
Zimbabwe April 18, 1980 Britain
Namibia March 21, 1990 South Africa
Eritrea May 24, 1993 Ethiopia

Expatriate, Expat Colonies, Colonies, Francophone, Anglophone, West Africa Economic, Togo Economics, Togo,

African Independence from French Expats

Rain Defeats Togo Business

Rain Defeats Togo Business
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, May 20, 2007

Monday morning here in Lome, Togo, a cooling heavy rain started about 7:00 am and has dwindled to a light sprinkle at 10:07 am.

The rain has destroyed all but the essential business, the stay open rain or shine, sleet or dark of night types.

95 percent of business is at a standstill, they did not open in the capital of Lome, Togo.

Rain, work called off on the count of rain…

I am in the Garden of Eden, and work is just a hobby, something to do like a wife who married a rich husband and decides to work for something to do.

I am traveler, a tourist, and I take all rain days off, just not possible, and of no fun, to walk around in the rain in other countries. I normally hang around the room and type on this silly computer while it rains or read a book; it does not rain all day, even in the so-called-monsoon countries.

However, this morning, I got hungry, so I left the room, thinking, I will just step out with my umbrella and get a quick snack. I took a left out of the hotel, and then took another hard left. I will go to Belindas place and get four of them hard biscuit cookies. Nope closed, therefore I backed up, and I decided to walk North and then take a left and pass all the small shops, yes, the popcorn, peanut, sowing place is open. No food for sale and none of the workers are there, except for my one friend. I start weaving though the neighborhood, stopping at every food stop I know, none are open, finally I make it 6 blocks away from the hotel, and to the first major street, I think it is name Duisburg, well, the one major bread shop is open, and the not friendly, but cheap and efficient food shop is open. There was no way to get a quick snack, the city is closed.

This really is the Garden of Eden; only in the Garden of Eden would all the business stop because of rain, the funny part, it they normally live in the same place as their shop. This is how they seem to be continually open, they open a front door to leave and the business is open, therefore to open during the rain is, not a problem.

I wish I could feel a little sorry for these people, the more I am here, the more I realize this is a paradise, and working is a hobby and option, not a need. I use to watch a men in Mexico, they would work labor until they had beer money, then stop.

I cannot imagine why anyone would send this country money; it just seems like naïve thing to do.

Rain Defeats Togo Business

West Africa Resource Curse

West Africa Resource Curse
Lome, Togo West Africa

Eureka, I have found the pivotal concept, the missing piece of the puzzle, the explanation for the rampant crazy NGO - ONG, Bono U2, not me, nuts behavior and give money where none is needed explanation for Africa. It is called the Resource Curse.

Thank You, Monsieur Eric, the teacher has arrived…

When the student is ready, the teacher arrives.


Resource Curse Thesis

The term 'resource curse thesis' was first used by Richard Auty in 1993 to describe how countries rich in natural resources were not able to use that wealth to boost their economies and how, counter-intuitively, these countries had lower economic growth than countries without an abundance of natural resources.[1] However, the idea that natural resources might be more a curse than a blessing began to emerge in the 1980's. Numerous studies, including a notable one by Jeffrey Sachs and Andrew Warner, have shown a link between natural resource abundance and poor economic growth.[2] This disconnect between natural resource wealth and economic growth can be seen clearly by looking at an example from the oil-producing countries. From 1965-1998, in the OPEC countries, gross national product per capita growth decreased on average by 1.3%, while in the rest of the developing world, per capita growth was on average 2.2%.[3] Some argue that financial flows from Foreign Aid can provoke effects that are similar to the Resource Curse.[4]


Any person that does not understand how business works, would be tempted to say they are poor in West Africa, or maybe any corrupt person would go along for profit Then we just have the save the world, granola for lunch bunch, who are too stupid for the planet. Need to move to the next planet, and go into the ether, excuse me, they need slapped.

Note, I think Bill Gates knows the game, read his requirements.

Bottom line in business, I am in the land of unlimited opportunity.

NGO, Togo Economics, Togo Economics, West Africa Economic, Wealth, Togo,

West Africa Resource Curse

African Siesta Economy

African Siesta Economy
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, June 9, 2007

I believe the job of management is not to manage people, however to remove the obstacle that are stopping them from working.

I am in Togo, the Siesta Economy here, they stop work from Noon until three, this almost brings the country to a halt, for sure the economy is sleeping. Hot countries live life slowly and this is good and a benefit, however the will and minds of people slows down and the desire to work is close to full stop.

I think the only solution to have a contiguous work force that actually is effective and does work it to start at 4:00 AM and work only to 12 Noon and call it quits for the day.

The ones that will not come to work at 4:00 can live how they live and have all the financial gain it allows.

The other alternative is just to work from 8 to 12 and forget the rest of spinning their wheels time.

African Siesta Economy

Togo Supermarket and Food Cost

Togo Supermarket and Food Cost
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, June 14, 2007

A big supermarket is expensive and the smaller Togo neighborhood ones are cheaper.

I took a taxi to the Palm Beach Hotel, then went to the ATM machine around the corner, went into a large Grocery I think the name is Leader Price. Well, I am trying to buy a light bulb, and they seem to all be about 500-700 CFA. I buy a lot of canned vegetables, peas, kidney beans, string beans and Haricot Blancs, etc.

I have gone to the larger stores many times, Ramco is a big chain here, however I have only seen in Lome. It has continually confused me, as I finally am learning the best food prices.

I swear, I am almost positive the bigger the store, the more I pay, just opposite of what I would anticipate. I tend still go to the bigger stores because there is a bigger selection, however for any normal staples like Laundry soap or Insect sprays, I go to the small Togo owned stores.

The same insecticide is 2000 in the big store and 1000 in the corner store here in the neighborhood.

It is hard to understand, I think there is an European cultural variance here in operation. I remember in Belgium, I could buy bread from the Turkey people for half the price of the Belgium people and the Belgium people would still pay double.

Often price is not a sales point, there is some other economic variance here that is hard for me to understand.

Togo Supermarket and Food Cost

Two Economies of Togo

Two Economies of Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, June 16, 2007

Togo is may be one of them countries where 1 percent of the people have 99 percent of the money. I ask myself,
- Do I support the rich getting richer, or the poor getting poorer? -
I make the vote with my dollars.

950 CFA or 2 US Dollars to purchase, and is good shampoo.

99 percent of the people buy cheap shampoo, 1 percent buy expensive, this is a bottle of cheap Egg Shampoo here in Togo.

This in my opinion is part of the Togolese economy.

I went to the large supermarket called Leader Price, on the shelf is a medium size bottle of Pantene Shampoo for 5900 CFA. This is about 12 US dollars per bottle, I normally pay around 3-4 US Dollars outside the USA, and I do not know the present USA price, as I have not lived there for 10 years.

Togo Price 2 Dollars
Pantene Price 12 Dollars

When the average person earns between 500-1500 CFA here in Togo, to purchase the Togo priced shampoo is one days work.

This sounds a lot worst than reality, the Togo people have a very comfortable life. However, if they want to venture out into the world, if they wish to one time try the Pantene shampoo, how do they do it.

Fortunately and unfortunately the Togo peoples hair does not grow long, the average length of hair is between nothing and three inches. The hair I believe falls out after it gets longer, somewhat like the hair on your arms, there is a limit the growth. The business of adding on braids, tresses is a thriving business in Togo.

I try to buy Togolese priced products, and try to help the poor get richer side of life. Note that it is easier to find in a Togolese owned store.

Togo Economics, West Africa Economic, Togo Budget, Togo, Shampoo

Two Economies of Togo

Togo Africa Girl Hoe Farming

Togo Africa Girl Hoe Farming
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
July 29, 2007

This girl or woman wanted me to take her photo, she was using this Hoe to clean the front of her home in Kpalime, Togo. There is a photo showing the use of this Hoe here in Togo.

Hoe Farming is maybe the step in a the development of a culture just above Hunters and Gatherer societies. This video is not about farming, it about a common tool made in Togo on small forges and sold in all the local markets. This is a tool of the Togo culture.

The girls are cleaning the land in front of their homes, there is a daily tending to the front of the homes. The normal process is to sweep the sand clean of debris, today they decide to weed the front yard and make free of any plants.

Togo Africa Girl Hoe Farming

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