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.