Togo Travel Stories, Page 53

Mopping the Shower

Mopping the Shower
Lome, Togo West Africa
Monday, February 26, 2007

The floor to my shower was too much, I have not had to do this in a long time. I used to perform this task regularly in the Hotel rooms in India. I took some laundry detergent, sprinkled it over the floor to the shower and then happened to find a short brush broom, I then scrubbed down the floor and walls to the shower.

I do not know, I think it normal, I see many Hotels use the same mop over and over and never rinse. The idea of a good scrub and rinse is something that evade them.

In the end this is the owner of the Hotel who sets the standards or lack of standards. I am not in the cheap Hotel, I am in one owned by a French Foreigner.

This is not a Togo problem, it is a problem in the majority of family run hotels in the world.

Mopping the Shower


Sound Pollution

Sound Pollution
Lome Togo West Africa
Sunday, February 25, 2007

Measuring the sound to know how much of my brain resources are being used by the background noise levels.

Lome is not a noisy place for the most part, yet I have a new Sound Meter I purchased at Radio Shack and now I am playing.

I was reading in the Encarta Encyclopedia and trying to read the instructions that came with the meter.

Sound Intensity or about Noise Pollution:
- Sound intensity is measured in units called decibels. The decibel scale is logarithmic and climbs steeply: An increase of about three decibels is a doubling of sound volume. In the wilderness, a typical sound level would be 35 decibels. Speech runs 65 to 70 decibels; heavy traffic generates 90 decibels. By 140 decibels, sound becomes painful to the human ear, but ill effects, including hearing loss, set in at much lower levels.

I am hoping to set some standards, then measure the noise level in my Hotel rooms. I was surprised or not surprised in Delhi when I measure about 80 Decibel while laying in my bed.

I will work out a common way to measuring sound, as example it could or maybe be in a few areas:

FIRST
1. 12 Noon
2. Lying in my bed
SECOND
1. 12 Noon
2. Entrance to my Hotel

THIRD
1. 12 Noon
2. Center of Backpacker Universe for city.

I may or may not be a sensitive person, however, for sure I am curious, I am slowly understanding a type of stress that is ever present, yet I cannot just define and name.

This is background noise levels or maybe the term is Ambient.

AMBIENT:
in surrounding area: in the immediately surrounding area. (2)

Yes, but this is not so easy to define, there is some type of base level or average amount of noise in any location on the planet. I know that even though I may be able to sleep, talk, and function well, there is often enough sounds at different levels or my ability to perceive or hear the sounds.

I suppose there is something about what I am conscious of and what I am not conscious of, in Katmandu, the beeping horns of motorcycles demanded my conscious level to respond.

I think I am more worried about the sub-conscious of background noise I have in my hotels that is still very loud.

There is a cluttering of the brain, a using of resource of my brain that is annoying.

My room is presently about average 62 decibels and in Delhi it was closer to 72. Maybe, I can develop a strategy of choosing rooms that helps me to choose the optimal room for peace and quiet, or control of the noise that enters my brain.

Concrete wall echo and do not absorb well the sounds, etc.

Sound Pollution


2007 February 25 Enter Togo

2007 February 25 Enter Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, February 25, 2007

I have made it to my room in Lome, Togo so life is good.

There was a very different type of Visa process to enter Togo by Airplane. I got a 7-day Visa on arrival, it cost 15,000 CFA or about 30 US dollars. It was rather harmless, except the many want the Togo money and wanted me enter through the check in area and go to get money, then return. This means, I entered through all the checkpoints without a passport of Visa, went to Money Changer, change money and returned.

I did not get a receipt, but I think he wrote it in my passport. If I understand correct, I can now get either 28 days or one year for free, nothing is clear, but it works.

I will not need to go to the Togo Embassy and extend or go to Benin and leave the country. I guess first I also need to get a Visa to Benin.

2007 February 25 Enter Togo


Escape From India

Escape From India
Mumbai - Bombay, India
Saturday, February 24, 2007

I met with my techie or coder from India, and now I escape to Africa. I do not wish to return, I have had enough of India. On the way through security of Delhi Airport they took 10 rechargeable batteries, however to me to do the impossible and go back to check in and check the batteries. I screamed at the security check person.
- Why do you tell me something that is impossible. -

The lines, the queue, the procedure to board Spicejet.com was impossible, then they had already shipped my bag down the line towards the plane.

However, telling me advice that is a dead end sums up India.

I am not sure how they do it, but the India culture is constantly annoying on all levels to me, I have no part of it I enjoy and dream of return for, just think avoidance.

Escape From India


Go Ahead and Jump

Go Ahead and Jump
Airplane Flight above Norwegian Sea
Friday, February 23, 2007

I am on a plane flying from Chicago, USA, to Delhi, India, I can feel it, I am making a jump. I prepared too much this time, I took packing too serious, I know I was leaving home for a long time.

However, I am going home, this journey ends inTogo, Africa. I will be in a country that does not speak English, and a place full of Black people and a few remnants of French men, who forgot to go home.

There is something different, maybe a new life, a new way, a new type of travel is evolving. I am growing older, I have traveled for 10 years, I know I am not a boy, hard to even see the boy. However, my Peter Pan obsession has lead me away from home and to a place I believe is more secure. I earn enough money to go to anywhere and to do anything, the good Gods have not argued with me.

As I was home, I realized I did indeed escape from my Home 10 years ago, there was just too much trash in water to ever purify it again.

I tried my new idea of how to explain to people what I do for work, as a girl with green glasses, going to study Yoga in India, and for sure lost.

I will pass on India, I am going to avoid India, I do no leave happy or a better person, too much of everything, too much of a cluttered life. When I get to Delhi, I will fly quickly to Mumbai, (Bombay) and then after sleeping too many times in Airports, I will fly to Togo.

Leaving the USA as night it falling and entering Togo in midday.

The planning, I know I planned this trip. I do not plan, I needed to leave without excess baggage. French, they speak French or some local language.

Togo is a place I know, it has a large beach, and all the streets seem to be sand, truly a city plopped onto a beach. Walking and talking, and walking and talking. I think the reason I have been dreaming of Africa is because there is no backpackers, or tourist.

Go Ahead and Jump
Maybe this is the new trip, the new jump, to go completely outside the safety and protection of the travelers and tourist life.


2007 Feb 22 Leave USA Enter Togo

2007 Feb 22 Leave USA Enter Togo
USA

I will leave the USA today February 22, 2007 and fly with American Airlines to Delhi, India and enter on the 23rd of February. I will switch to the low cost carrier Spice Jet and fly to Mumbai, India. Then later in the night on the 24th, I will fly from Mumbai to Togo, Africa.

It is not that simple, yet more or less that, I am guessing I will fly around 13,000 miles and in and out of airplanes and airports for 48 hours.

This is the longest groups of flights I think I have ever done in one stint.

Fort Wayne to Chicago to Delhi, Delhi to Mumbai, Mumbai to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, then to Lome, Togo.

I will fall asleep at the wrong time, at every airport I will have my foot through the straps of my backpack or chain it to my body.

2007 Feb 22 Leave USA Enter Togo


Togo Water Research

Togo Water Research
Togoville Togo
Friday, September 8, 2006

I received an email requesting the right to use my photos:

THE LETTER

I am doing a presentation on some research I did in Hyderabad, India regarding drinking water quality in slum areas. I did not take many pictures and now regret ut very much. Would you allow me to use some of your pictures i my presentation? Do you have any more pictures that you think may be applicable about how people store water in their homes?

Thanks,
Ajay

ANSWER:

Hello
Hello, Yes you can use the PHOTOS, However you must say.
Got from HoboTraveler.com and credits to HoboTraveler.com
MY site if FULL of water photos. Tons, Sewers. Etc.
Look at the recent newsletter full of photos.
Work on previous, HUNDREDES
Tanks on top is the big one, cisterns, and well with pull buckets.
Black Tanks

READ EASY ONLINE:
http://www.hobotraveler.com/newsletter-hobo-201-lome-togo.shtml

Well, obviously, I did not take much care in spelling; however, I know how people wait until the last moment to ask for this, they are never prepared. I got this email the day I was leaving Togo, sending my newsletter and leaving the hotel by noon, many needs before I left Togo to complete. I am writing this in Togoville, no internet, no connection, who knows when I will publish. However, the person may be doing the presentation the next day.

I have receive enough request to know they normally are not fast on the draw, then forget the persons they ask, I have two reasons I wish to share my photos.
1. I think research needs photo examples
2. It is an extreme effective way to promote.

I suspect 95 percent of researchers steal the photos and say they took them, ego is s big problem with researchers, and they do not like to admit they failed to gather complete overall information.

RESEARCH

To do research it needs collected, then categorized, and analyzed and written about while in the country. The person then can easily return to continue to collect photos, and document information.

The fudge factor is probably in my guesstimate used about 85 percent and actual clean data about 15 percent.
This means that 85 percent of all research done it just opinions and not research in my opinion, however, represented as core research with great methodology.

I collect information for the HoboTraveler.com web site, or this blog.

I collect photos.

I collect facts.

I do NOT try to put together into a completely accurate and 100 percent factual, if you read the top of this page you will see, I continually say these are opinions. I strive for facts, however the fact either do not exist, or are so laboriously difficult to learn.

Togo Water Research
I am in Togoville, on three occasions in either Cote d-Ivoire, Ghana or Togo I have purchase a BAD Tasting plastic sack of water, I am not going to say purified, as it does not say purified, however cleaner than normal water.

There are two types, one with a label, and the homegrown version just in a clear plastic bag.

THREE BAD BAGS
I do not drink water that taste bad, however, in reality it went down my throat for me to know it tasted bad.

I have had symptoms of fever or sluggishness, whom can say why, the variables, is too high to point the fingers, however it is possible and reasonable, my body does not like the two whiskeys shot size water I drank.

The body then spends the next day cleaning itself by having a fight inside the body.

I am sure my immune system will adapt and fight these problems inside the water, providing I am not undernourished or physically weak from improper food or other illness.
ISOLATION OF PROBLEMS

Using myself as the test subject or in colloquial terms, I am the Guinea Pig; I can slowly methodically isolate food and drink variables.

DO NOT DRINK THE WATER

I believe this is impossible, or almost impossible task, I believe everyone who travels anywhere whether the wish to or not drinks the water.

Brushing you teeth
Purified water that is not purified
Dishes washed in normal water
Foods cooked with normal water.
Any non-cooked foods cleaned in normal water.

Maybe there is an amount of water the body can deal with, adapt and not have problems, maybe it is just drops. I am more or less positive everyone is different; some are hypersensitive to new bacteria of an area.

HOW TO NOT DRINK THE WATER

I carry a large, I guess about 2.5 gallon or 10 liter buckets of sorts, it the bottom of a new plastic gas can, cut off at about 12 inches high and now carried for about five years in the bottom of my bag. It has many functions.
http://www.hobotraveler.com/newsletterhobo090.php

I NEED RESERVOIR OF WATER

I need a tank of boiled water; the only water I would come close to really trusting is water I have boiled with my one-cup water cooker. I would need to clean the backpack bucket with boiled water.

This whole process is fraught with problems.

The most difficult is to how to boil one container until it is disinfected, I need a large container, then a smaller container. For enough water or a reservoir of sufficient water to keep 95 percent free from drinking the water or having normal water enter my body, I need probably 2-3 gallons per day or about 6-9 liters.

The bottom line is this, no traveler, not tourist I have ever encountered purchase 9 Dollars or 9 Bottles of purified water per day. Therefore, everyone drinks the water.

The also must cook all their own food, 99 percent are too lazy to cook their own food, it is just too encumber some to figure out how to cook, where to cook, etc, it is a major problem to do so, then the kitchens provide sometimes are a disaster for health. No cleaning of dishes, common plates, any hot water, etc.

For research I should go to a five star hotel, walk in, and sell myself as a travel guide writer, I can then get a tour, inspect the dishwashing facilities and see how well the wash dishes or disinfect.

The average Joe Blow travelers or tourist does not know how to purify or clean water to an extreme level of safe.

I personally do not care; I drink the water, seeing as one of the least dangerous of problems. I see walking as the most dangerous thing I do, the cars of the planet are large rockets wanting to hit me.

However, I do not encounter bad tasting water in bottles or bags of what is suppose to be cleaner water. I have, however not very often, if the local tap water taste bad, I do not drink it, if the water is very cheap, then I drink the bag water.

Here in Togoville, I do not think you can buy bottled water, if you can it is ridiculously price for the delusion of not drinking the water.

I suppose there is an argument about the idea, if I only drink small portions of bad water, like when I brush my teeth, it is not enough to cause a problem.

I do not know how much is needed. How much bad water is needed to infect me, it like the AIDS or SIDA question, how much blood must pass from one body to another to become infected? Is it simple or a complex number of times needed, with a bloody intercourse needed?

On the door of the Hotel is a graphic sign saying how to use a Condom, it is funny and good idea. However, I think if they said, or showed the sperm sitting in the body can kill you graphics, the Condom would be used more.

In the end, the cost of Condoms is too high for Africa; sustainable use has to be so cheap nobody even cares. The cost of a sack of water here is .25 or one-forth a 100 Franc coin. This is too much for most. .25 Franc is.. hmm?

It is about 5 cents U.S. per half pint of water. 5 cents U.S. is too much, and people drink the water rather than buying water.

A Condom cost probably about 50 Cents U.S, or maybe three for one Dollar. The average price in 80 percent of the planet is probably about three for a dollar.

One dollar is the number the United Nations uses for what is poverty, below one dollar per day is poverty, and above is not poverty.

I can hear a couple saying, let pool our money take half of it and buy some condoms, we can have a party.

People couple of have S E X, nothing in Gods world can stop it; it is the most guaranteed thing on the planet, maybe after drinking water.

Cost of water Research.

In the end there, is a long list of Variables that need adjusted to provide clean drinking water to the world?

Traveling fast and quick is not conducive to me boiling water. I have a great laugh at the Camel Back Reservoirs of trend now in Travel Gear, how in the world do I clean the inside of one of them? I just see this as a ludicrous way to carry water, except for a trekker or biker. However, I do not believe they are drinking pure water; it is always a little bad.

I am not carrying a bottle here, water is too plentiful, there is a little bag of water stand, complete with insulated cooler on every corner, not a problem to find cold sacks of what may be cleaner water, but my guess is no, and now that I have drank three bags, spit it out, threw it on the ground, practiced being a litterbug, I know, the bags are not safe or I think the are not safe.

Public shaming or world shaming to me is a big solution, we have checked this company’s water and it has shown to be lousy, it is not pure water. The leader of the country owns the company and he is a jerk. Said by the no balls United Nations.

Stopping the bad is more of a solution than showing the good, what is left over is good, after you stop the bad. I believe most water ventures are owned by governments, and the money is sacked by the leaders, this is a money making venture, they do not fix the problem.

In conclusion, to do research on water is a long-term complex problem, not simple, takes extremely ridge controls by the scientist. The wanna be scientist, maybe someone like me, starts to know. I am writing a joke, it is not correct, and a real scientist would become increasingly frustrated until they see, this is no-win situation.

They would say to themselves,
- I am not going to spend 3 years in Africa to do research; I will be paid the same if I make up the figures. -

To implement the solutions is almost impossible.

Forget all the research; try to figure out a cost effective, cheaper than dirty solution to cleaning and purifying water. Scare the locals, tell them why they die.

Appeal to their vanity, you have this skin or hair problem because you drink the water, I think that would work… hehehe


Togo Water Research


Angry at CNN Wells in China

Angry at CNN Wells in China
Togoville, Togo
Thursday, September 7, 2006

I am frustrated and angry about a film segment I watched about China the other day in the Galien Hotel TV room. CNN is there, and this is a lot better than nothing to know about the world, or the cause of the day more likely.

CNN plugs in these controversial and made to order causes when they are short on daily controversial. The plug in the Famine in Niger last years, (I am a witness, there is no famine. Malnutrition yes.)

The plugged the not time sensitive drought issue in China, there is an area where they say it has not rained for a few months. Note a few months is not so severe, but at the wrong time of the life of a food crop, can be fatal.

The showed a group of Chinese people digging a well in hard what appears to be compacted very dry clay. They was using a chisel like device to cut the pieces and slowly in pans, then removed to another location. The same process used almost anywhere in 80 percent of the planet, nothing new, and nothing special.

What CNN did that made me angry was they filmed the process of digging a well.

However, CNN is:
1. Too amazingly stupid to know how a well is made.
2. Knows and wants to make a controversy depending on the viewer’s ignorance to believe the story.
3. 80 percent of the planet knows how to dig a well, understand when they will find water. 20 percent of the people think it comes from a top and never questioned or thought how do I dig or drive a well.

Everyday of my life the water came from the tap, it is supplied, but the average person does not know and cannot explain why a well works.

Ooops, they can say, the dig down until they hit water.

Which is true, but why do they hit water?

Answer, when they hit the water table, or the top of the closest pond, water, or stream, ocean etc that is close. Under the ground is water, like a sponge, that is flowing towards a body of open water.

CNN shows a few men digging, when they hit the first 2 inches of the water table CNN sell is as only having a very small amount of water.

How stupid, there should be some type of Journalism punishment for either one being stupid and no research, or two trying to mis-represent a well.

IF the would did one more inch, they would have 3 inches, if they dug 5 feet, they would have a 5 feet hole of water. The speed of the water filling the hole would depend on the packing of the ground, the porous nature.

The showed this asinine example of water, nothing to do with truth, to try to imply the person were without water to drink, therefore maybe they would die.

Give me a break, how stupid do you depend on your viewers to be, how ignorant do you think. I do not mind you calling me ignorant, I know most readers, viewers, etc are not up to par. However, there is an educational factor to journalism, however to educate wrong it to go against all tenets of education. To say, keep them ignorant, it is better.

I have little respect for my fellow tourist, they have 1 percent desire to understand, and 99 percent desire to drink beer and say they saw this, so they can tell their friends. I explain many things in detail in the hope the curious know where they can find what they are curious about. In the end, send tourist to big cities, they want to dream about being rich and winning the lottery.

I like to understand whom I am, where I came from, how I lived in Africa, Europe, etc before I became me, I like to get to the water table, and dig deeper.

I know, clearing the throat and spitting is natural. Squatting on our haunches is natural, showering daily is not natural, but a desire when water is easily available. Lying is normal when a person does not know the answer, they will make up something. To work when you have food in your stomach, a warm bed, you are fashionable above your peers is not normal.

People do not want to work, go to any tropical areas; they do not work the same, why, there is no need.

Journalist, a license to lie to make money. I personally dream of a research staff that would fill in the gaps with little information jobbies. Like a big explanation of a well, full of facts, drawing and explanations what a well is, I already know, not a need to explain, however to make money I need to explain, educate and give a person a choice.



Well in Togo, they lower the water to the top and below the water table.


Angry at CNN Wells in China