Time to Leave Kpalime

Time to Leave Kpalime
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 5, 2007

It is time to leave Kpalime, Togo West Africa, I hear the road a callin.

Friends are habitual, or habit forming, they make life comfortable and routine, the may even make life boring in some ways, but I do not feel or believe friends are boring. I see them a small treasures, however difficult to keep close as they learn to ignore me or others.

I tell my new friends in cities, I enter,
- I am a traveler, I am leaving. -

In West Africa the idea of travel or tourism is difficult for a person to conceptualize and understand for the locals. The assumption is, I am a white ma working on a project here in West Africa or Togo and I live here in Kpalime now. This is why white people come to Togo to work on projects. A project is something like AIDS - SIDA or orphans, or sanitation or the plethora of save the planet ideas done by the business of save the planet people.

These people do not talk tourism, they talk projects, however they are tourist for the most part and travel short distance with a base. The base or returning to the location confuses the West Africa people and they do see the project workers as living here, and they do, when they are not being tourist.

The idea of drifting from city to city to look at Togo is difficult for them to understand. I am not sure and I continually ask for them to explain a tourist to me. They assume I am returning to the city.

I think the problem also this, there is this ingrained belief, that there is no reason to be in Togo, that the best idea is to leave. More or less they think,
- Why do you want to see Togo. -

This is a statement, not as a question, this is not a question, it is a statement, there is more or less in their mind no reason to see Togo. However, a lot of this is financial or lack of extra money, Tourist use luxury money to travel I am guessing the that more free or unused money would first be first used to buy a cell phone or a motorcycle, that would give them higher social status. Or for he men, they may buy Cadeau or Gifts for women in an effort to keep the women and gain favor and extra favors.

To court a women here towards the idea of marriage, a person must prove he can support the women. The highest or best person to support the woman often wins. This is why foreigners can easily give the impression they can do this, the men are not jealous or do not fight for this idea, they more or less appear to accept they can only afford this women, and if a person has more, they get the women. Funny way of seeing things.

Well, I will miss my friend Michael and all the small and big friends around the Mandela Hotel, as they have become part of my daily routine. I can get water fast by calling on the children to run for cold water, I can buy hot bread in the morning on the days Ester makes bread, she calls me over. Andre, the bread is hot.. (In French, you think my English spelling is bad, you do not want to see French.)

The Pygmalion song, this I have become accustom to your way, it’s a shame and sad, I cannot find the words to this song, I was hoping to have a few seconds of a fond memory.

I think, and I did find the book or free e-book on My Fair Lady or Pygmalion, I have been downloading many e-books as my fear of loneliness or lack of entertainment looms. There is always two extra hours in the day for a traveler.

The Gutenberg site has a lot of books to read for free and download, I can put on my computer, however mostly older and the words and way of using words is trying.

Well, in the movie, I think a man by the name of Higgins, sings this song about being in love with the way the girl is, he is instructing he, and she does things that annoy him, yet endears her to him. More or less he has grown accustomed to her way, to her movements, to the idiosyncrasies that make us love one another, a fine line between love and annoyances.

I have become accustom to the ways of Kpalime and now I am leaving, as this is what I do, I leave, I do not stay. It is confusing for my new friends and for the children as there is feeling of eternal never ending sharing of smiles and laughter, which is not reality.

I discussed the shining on of the white people in Africa that happens, there is this coming to Africa, big promise, stories of relieving Africa from some not-so-real suffering, however if you are told you suffer and are hungry, you somehow begin to believe.

The White people come and promise some paradise on earth, and one day leave, there is this vacuum as if a lie happened. I thought you was bringing Jesus here, what no Jesus.

My friend Michael enjoys my blunt nature, I just say, no and yes, and do not sit around making people happy promise-them-lies or shining them on. A girl was trying to work me over, and to gain favor with me by being too friendly and too this, and that, she in my opinion, just wanted money, she calls it a Cadeau and I call it the oldest business on the planet.

I just escorted her to the street and said good bye in French, Michael was very bewildered and looked at me, laughing. He says in his Ghana English, you see through her, she is not good, so you just say bye, no talking. I do not clutter my life with the takers and the teller of stupid stories I do not believe.

There is a listening thing that happens in West Africa, the people have become accustom to listening to the musical stories told by their leaders, friends, white people, of this and that, and even though when they know all is a lie, they try to believe.

Like listening to your son or daughter give a good reason why the did not go to school. Sometimes we want to believe when we know it is not true. Africa is trying to believe, they are the true believers.

Waiting for Godot, and it is not the French, although the play, - Waiting for Godot - does seem French in culture.

Time to Leave Kpalime

Highly Ineffective People

Highly Ineffective People
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 7, 2007

We need a fun book on this.

No high powered, effective businessperson is going to very happy working for a save-the-planet, do everything wrong NGO or ONG. The Non Governmental Organizations and the United Nations and such are so full of highly ineffective and non-solution producing individuals that not self-respecting producing person would be associated.

There is a book called,
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Personal Workbook
- By: Covey, Stephen R.

There is also a book called the - One Minute Manager, by someone, and somewhere, but more or less about effective and quick goal setting for workers.

I have read both, and now think we need the opposite books, how to do the opposite for good fun, with cartoons, graphics and fun laugh at ourselves, and cry explanations.

- The 7 Habits of Highly In-Effective People
or maybe.
- The 7 Habits of Highly NON-Effective People

The One Minute Mis-Manager.
(It may already exist.)

Ok, I am one of the worst motivators and managers, I know this, I micromanage every worker, and then moralize until they quit, I need a book on how to effectively ignore and over-look, not see any problems by workers.

However, the telling a person how to be effective can sometimes be achieve by telling them in a book, non-threatening, not pointing the finger way, you are doing this.

I cannot find the list of the 7 habits of effective people now, easy and quickly, or I would list them, however, the concepts of books are simple and as is common with good solutions, the are common sense and easy to understand and evade 99 percent of people, so they need books to read and not internalize. We put on a shelf and pretend this is us.

I have been musing and laughing, there is a good case study to done in Africa, and easy to accomplish because of the high ratio of ONG-NGO people in the White Population here. I can find a project worker with extreme ease that is highly ineffective.

Therefore to study and muse about how to be in-effective is easy to study.

How to do every-thing wrong, I can write a book, because the people who demonstrate how to be highly ineffective are here. Then I have to do this big search to find who has already written the book.

Somewhere, I wish to be more effective at having all the answers to my questions readily available. I think a highly effective person can collect, find, and retrieve notes, ideas an answers at warp speed.

(Note - think, try to really think, I am in Africa, and I am doing this, I write in riddles.)

While for a high ineffective person, they do not even get close to the root problems of a complicated question.

To solve AIDS, we need to test all the people, to discover first who has, there has never been a problem that is so easy to solve. If it were really an epidemic or pandemic, we would be testing everyone.

Highly ineffective people give complicated solutions… Hehehe

Like anything I, type above was simple.

Note, Hotels need maintenance people; the simple solution to effectively managing a Hotel is to focus on maintenance, and the cleaning of the toilet become easy because they have water to clean.

This is to focus on the root problem and be effective, or you can bring in carry water around the hotel, and the water is dirty because of the extremely ineffective work methods.

The job of management is not to manage people, it is to remove the obstacle of production. To Ease on down the road, not to push on down the road.

Highly Ineffective People

Militant Geography

Militant Geography
Kpalime, Togo West Africa

I just read an article by Joseph Conrad, the writer of the book Lord Jim.
“Geography and Some Explorers.” National Geographic, March 1924.

I would say this man has a grasp of
- How things work. -
I read this in the Encyclopedia Encarta on my computer.

I download the ebook Lord Jim from the Gutenberg.org site, and seems I should try attain all his work.

Militant Geography

A Book Run from Togo to Ghana

A Book Run from Togo to Ghana
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I like to read books; I want to read books in English. I am not able to find enough normal fiction paperback books in Togo to satisfy my want of English books. There are math books or technical books, or some obsolete way back books of American History, and many books I would read only if I was in school and the teacher said I was going to flunk the class if I did not read. I cannot find a Grisham, Clancy, Wilbur Smith or other normal popular mainstream writers.

I came up with a bizarre solution the other day. The Hotel Galion has a couple of books in English in their book exchange, if you can really call it a book exchange, more of a shelf of unused books. Well, I did find one book I wanted. This is a book exchange, I think, no way of being sure, however to be on the moral high ground, I think I need to exchange one book for another book.

There is a problem, I feel like hoarding or keeping my English books, I may get so desperate I read a good book again. Therefore, my solution was I would go to the central market in Lome, buy a used book in French, and trade a French book for an English book.

This is a BIZARRE and CRAZY solution.

Nuts, over the edge, off my rockers solutions to a problem, this is not a solution, it is what highly ineffective people would do, some weird non-effective solution that is a patch, just spinning in air solution.

Example of similar logic:
More or less like the people that take Malaria pills and then do not carry a mosquito net or mosquito repellent, then go toxic wasted by the side effects of all the Malaria pills.

I normally carry about seven English books in my bag; this will last about 14 days on a deserted island, and would last me about 30 days in Togo.

I have been trying to read these Gutenberg books,
however this does not work, the Electricity is ofen cut or off, when I need to read a book. The time I really wish to read a book is when the electricity is off. I have a care package coming from the USA in some lifetime, not my lifetime, but in some lifetime and it may solve this problem, but today the problem is this.

Prime Directive of Travel
- To enjoy travel. -

This means, I need to enjoy being where I am located, or the trip, I need to do my trip, not your trip, I need to go and see what I like, not what you like.

I do Visa Runs, now I am going to do a Book Run, A Visa Run is when I go for the border, leave the country, then re-enter the country to get another 30 days permission to be in the country. Every weekend some Volunteers working in Ghana come to Togo to renew their Ghana Visa, or to somehow extend the time they are permitted to live in Ghana. I have a year visa to stay in Togo, so presently this is not a problem.

I have never done a book run in my travel life; however, I am thinking I need to go to Ghana to buy books. What a bizarre reason to leave a country.

Travel is about giving up what is normal and living abnormal, the farther I travel away from normal the more uncomfortable the culture clash becomes. I need to re-enter my personal space culture to relax and stop being uncomfortable. People return to their nine to five jobs because this is comfortable, the truth is a vacation is not relazing normally. It is abnormal to live in Africa or Thailand. To change every day is normal for me, however to not have books to read is uncomfortable.

I wonder how many people go home to watch TV or to use the Internet, I know the need for clean is probably reason number one.

A Book Run from Togo to Ghana

Finding English Books in Accra Ghana

Finding English Books in Accra Ghana
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Saturday, August 18, 2007

Four nights spent in Accra, and I have not found one English book to read, today I get militant, I pay taxis.
I found a couple of Christian bookstore; however, I have not found one normal bookstore. I found some how to get rich, how to better yourself, do it yourself fix yourself used books kiosk stand next to a Catholic Bookstore.

The consensus is Accra Central is where to buy books, it is humorous as somehow they tell me to go to Accra, and then finally they say Accra Central, as I a say, I am in Accra. I am not sure what Accra Central means, I think I need to go straight towards the water. I have looked in all the hotels and not found any book exchanges, even the ones with NGO written on them in the guidebooks.

Isolation is a real problem. I found Red Storm Rising, by Tom Clancy on a PDF in my computer, started to read, the electricity was off so much, I almost gave up on reading books on the computer. I need to read the books on computer when good electricity, not when I run out of books.

Finding English Books in Accra Ghana

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