2007 Feb 22 Leave USA Enter Togo

2007 Feb 22 Leave USA Enter Togo

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

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 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

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

Amazing Africa

Amazing Africa
Lome Togo West Africa
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Africa is an amazing place, the life is slow here, the pace is slow, everything is slow. I have more time alone here, but I can see the noise, the cell phone, the cars and motorcycles will increase, there will be a slow movement from peace and quiet to chaos. I think the bigger cities like Accra, Ghana and may more are already over the edge.

It will take me a week or two to adjust to the Africa lifestyle, and remember the good and bad of Africa.

I was laughing as I purchased a baguette this morning, I could not understand the French of the lady as she said 125 CFA. As, I walked away I realized every foreigner that walked up probably spoke good French, I am alone here on the French part of life, everyone speaks French and nobody speaks English. If someone does speak English it is normally one of the working girls hanging around the Hotel.

Amazing Africa

I Can Think in Togo

I Can Think in Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, March 1, 2007

I am a recovering alcoholic, I passed the 20 year mark a week or two ago.

Many alcoholics drink to avoid thinking, they wish to drink to stop thinking about life, to avoid life. They wish to hide from the world, and climb into a bottle.

I find it strange now, however, I see the whole world trying to avoid thinking. I suppose thinking can be annoying, sometimes I am very bored. I have been a little bored here in Togo, as I learn to adjust to having free time. I hid in India and Nepal from the people, they just was too much in my face, I cannot stand the constant haranguing of my day.


I see too busy as the identifier of a person who is trying to avoid thinking, or keeping too busy. It is a very good way to avoid yourself or myself. I just keep too busy doing stupid things, sometimes smart.

Not all countries are the same, I have received some nasty emails from persons who wish or think I should be in love with all countries. It is sort of funny, really is just plain stupid, why does a person read a blog and then complain to the blogger. I deleted one the other day out of the newsletter system, I hope they never notice.

I have time to think in Lome, Togo, it is sort of a mix of issue, sometimes the streets are too busy, there are a lot of motorcycles or they call them motos here, they make a lot of noise. However, on the small sand roads between the hotels here, there is a peace and quiet that is greatly appreciated.

I can now think and enjoy life, it has been a long time since I could say this completely. I really enjoy the Philippines and Thailand, however, there is too may people. West Africa has about one-fifth the number of people or concentration of people. Yes, a city, is a city, however, I have found Africa pretty much deserted.

I have time, I have a thought to myself, I can dwell on an issue, I can think clearly without the clutter accumulating in my brain of too much of everything.

When I walk outside the hotel I am presently located in, I am instantly jumped on by about 5 people to buy this or that, they are learning, I just do not say a word, I do not answer them, I do not say anything, I just keep working. It is not natural for an Indiana Farm Boy to ignore people, it is city folk way of doing things. I try to remember, the next persons I met to say, Bonjour, or Ca Va or something, then I am back to being myself.

There is something to this, I am not sure how to identify it, but whenever, I walk around and there are people grabbing or wanting me to buy in a too forceful way, then I am in the wrong place. The hotel is not too much, it is only them waiting like the normal predators sales people they are, they demand to want to make money.

I was downtown Lome yesterday, in front of the Palm Beach Hotel and thought I was going to club a guy, he literally grabbed me or touched me. This is not common, a person doe not touch a person to sell, when they do they are wanting to get slapped side the head by me.

Togo has extremely low amounts of this type of behavior, India or Nepal has large amounts of this behavior. I can think here as the ratio of pushy venders has dropped considerably.

Tourist areas are the worst, transportation areas are bad, anywhere there is five star hotels and big centers of shops, many stalls, groups of mass people selling junk that nobody needs, then there is normally pushy salesperson.

I will leave the tourist area soon, this means I also leave some of the convenience like ok internet, the big grocery stores of West Africa.

However, I am a recovering alcoholic, I like to think, I like to be with myself alone and happy. I like to be with me, to think, to talk to people, to explore.

There needs to be some maxim or rules, one could be.
- IF a person really wants to talk to you, then do not talk with them. -

A rule of travel, hehehe

On the other hand, when I am in the most remote, never seen a white man place on the planet, then everyone wants to talk with me, I can not win.

Africa, no tourist, what a great place to think.
I am sure people wonder why alcoholics also go to places like this, or hectic places, or places like India or any under-developed country. They do so they can save all their money for drinking, and it is very difficult to get in trouble with the law, family, or social customs. It is easy to be a drunk, and nobody knows your name, there is zero commitments here, if you make a fool of yourself, you can move on down he road.

What makes life fun though is watching all the chaos, mixing, and the clashing of culture, lifestyles and ideas. Everyone is very serious sometimes, I find I get too serious, it is one of the identifiers of when I need to keep it simple stupid.

I Can Think in Togo

The Togo Debate Team

The Togo Debate Team
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, March 3, 2007

I am on the debate team, we are having a debate with the other team, both side have one member who debates, I am the person who represents both sides. How to debate against myself is sometimes a mixed up world, I will say,
- Stop fighting with yourself. -

This is the downside of travel, having to choose destinations, choose options, I am required to make a decision.

I met this man Tim from England, an ex-game making person, and he is trying to ride his motorcycle around the world. He has now taken three years to go from England to Togo, spent about a year in Senegal and a year in Ghana, now a girlfriend from Ghana is coming to Togo to visit him.

Applying the Three Month Rule of Travel, he has probably traveled for one year, and live for two years in locations.

He was very non-committal, he did not make the choice to continue to travel, in reality he made the choice in two locations to stay.
I asked,
- How long will it take to travel around the world. -
He goes this long story about finishing what he starts, how he has an endless need to complete something, alluded to a near-death experience and said,
- A girl will never stop me from travel.-

Spoken in the true male macho style, he is riding a motorcycle, but to me standing down the line on my list of macho. I gave him an out,
And said,
- I think I will some day meet a girl and never have a good excuse to leave. -
He did not take the out, or the choice.

Enough about Tim, I said,
- 25 years. -
It will take him 25 years to travel around the world, or as normal for the person who want to say something, they will cheat, skip, or go too fast, but be able to think they can say, I did it. He is Brit and seems to obey all the proper Pub rules of Brit Travel.

I am debating with myself, shall I hang around for a few weeks, or should I try to find a benchmark location about one to three hours north of Lome. Nothing spectacular about Lome, in reality a great way to avoid Black People here. The hotel, I am presently in is full of White people with black girls in tow. There is strangely what looks like two sets of French Backpackers, they smoke.

The reason to hang around in Lome is to buy things and finish small project, I have been trying finish and send a newsletter on the top travel sites of 2006, it not the first of March and not completed. I suppose I need to commit.

The Togo Debate Team

Three Month Rule

Three Month Rule
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, March 3, 2007

I am stating, there is a Three Month Rule for travelers, I have nobody else to debate with, I have thought about it for years. I know of only a couple people on the planet that have openly, overtly discussed the rule with me, however, someone has to say,
- There is a rule. -
- There needs to be a rule. -

There are unspoken traveler rules, normally that non-travelers think they qualify to use or apply.

This is about the Three Month Rule.

If I stay more than three months in one location, then I have stopped traveling and have become an expat, I am living in a different country, I am not traveling or a traveler.

1. The counting of days or months is frowned on, no true traveler is clear about what day of the week it is or the date.
2. Doing a Visa run to another country, and returning does not stop or terminate the counting of time.
3. A person must have traveled for over one year, not violated the three month rules, to be considered eligible to think about the rule, talk abut the rule, all others person shall politely admit, they are not travelers.
4. The counting of days, the counting of months is to be very loosely enforce, nobody is allowed to say to a person, show me your passport. This is bad form.
5. The passport is the proof, yet in a accordance with rule 4, no person I allowed to check your passport.
6. This is an honor system, you need to feel guilty proof of purchase system, the only person who enforces the system can be yourself, you are allowed to cheat, lie, get quirky, make up sub-rules, however in the end, you will know if you obeyed the rule. Guilt and shame is your little goblin on your shoulder, telling you what to do.
7. Persons who say the rule do not apply instantly have defined themselves as non-travelers.
8. Travelers are not expatriated or expats.
9. After violating this rule, have lived in one location for six months, a person is required to stop the time count, they must start again, they cannot say, I have traveled for X amount of years as if it was continuous travel.
10. A person is not to discuss these rules with non-travelers.

All the rules above, violate the Prime Directive of Travel which is to do what you enjoy, and not care what anybody else thinks or says, therefore the Three Month Rule is moot.

I have thought two months should be the count for years, decided, this is too short, a Visa is often is for two months to three months. A good visa is offered for 90 days or the three months, a bad visa is for 30 days or less, a great visa is six months or more. There has been many considerations about this rule, however, the biggest one is I start to feel guilty after about two months in one location and say to myself,
- I need to leave. -

This rule and conditions are automatically activated and when I hear the words, I am traveling… or,
- I am traveler. -

If you are talking with me, Andy, and I say,
- Remember to travel. -
You can take it as an insult, because it was. This means you have explained how you are traveler too long and I know, you are not.

Three Month Rule

Socialized Smiles

Socialized Smiles
Lome Togo
Saturday, March 3, 2007

West Africa children smile, jump, frolic, and are just plain happy children, adults have dull eyes, dull faced, and often seem to have lost the smile.

There is a nature, nurture question here for me, where does the happy thought go? I am not sure, but I do know, that Peter Pan needed to have a happy thought or needed to travel into his mind and feelings and find the happy thoughts, then he would smile

Socialization, are people socialized to learn they should not smile? Cities teach people to not smile, there is something about cities that say, you shall not smile. However, what happens to a child when he or she grows up, that one day they decide, I will stop smiling.

There are many adults in West Africa that smile, however there is a many who do not, I am not really thinking about Africa, I am thinking about India or Nepal. If I think of China, I think of Stone Faces, impossible to smile, the face is stone.

I often think or blame the United Nations, and all the NGO, ONG’s for the lack of smiles. There is someone out there telling people they are less than, that life is drudgery, I am sure the African children do not know this, and the India children do not know this, although Indian children learn very faster to not smile.

I am sure there are places where life is drudgery, painful, earmarked where taking a shower or cleaning becomes a half-day task. They will slowly learn to skip the bath and live their lives.

Life is very good in Africa, there is lots of wide open spaces, the place is not crowded, if they banned motorcycles now, it would or could continue to be so. Everything grows easily in the jungle, there is no way to stop it, the loggers have cut down all the trees, therefore a plethora of farm land is available. Food is abundant, except in the desert where someone needs to say,
- Excuse me, you are living in the worst place on the planet, will you consider moving down about 5-10 degrees of latitude? -

The happy thought, I experiment with the more jaded persons, I say bonjour until they break, I sometime need to go multiple days and multiple attempts to make them smile. There is a black/white thing here and some of them are not sure they have permission or qualified to say hello to white people. Then again, the white people here do not walk in the streets, and do not roam around saying hello, they tend to drive the SUV, an enforcement of the I am different class system, purchased by money, a good old boys clubs, a country club separation. Buying first class tickets is a kind of tribalism, caste system, or class system, the first estate, where nobody says,
- Why do we have a King or Queen? -

A lot of this is because here in Africa I have found my happy thought again, I can smile easy, I can laugh and spontaneous joke and play, I have remember to take my vitamins, life is playful.

Socialized Smiles

Arrived to Work on Time

Arrived to Work on Time
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, March 4, 2007, 5:03 AM

Jet Lag

I am happy, I left the USA on February 22, 2007 and today is the fourth of March. I woke today at around 5:00 AM, and I have arrived on time to work. I have been late for work every day, and some days I did not even to go, just lounged around and did nothing.

I do not work.

However, I normally wake somewhere between 4:00 AM and 7:00 AM, then spend the time between waking and going to the internet café typing on the computer, or playing. This time is my get organized for the day time, it is my preparation for life time, it is my clarity of thought time. Here in Lome, Togo is very calm, life is easy, I have very little brain clutter that accumulates during the day, therefore if I wake at my normal time to start play, there is little clutter in the brain to clean. I will be super organized today, not just moderately.

I am looking for the clarity, that brings me serenity.

The problem was my diurnal cycles was off, I had jet lag, the body demands to sleep and wake when it wants to, I am not a person that forces my body to stay awake. I am an easy boss, if the brain wants to rest, it rest, no qualms anymore with doing nothing. I have nothing down well, this is one of the wonders of travel. I have slowly been socialized in these under worked countries to do nothing. I can be just like the locals, or closer, I can languish around, hang out, talk with people and not have a guilt in the world about doing nothing.

I just realized, the men on the corner of the bar downstairs, do the same all day. However, I think the experience of going to the bar, sitting on the corner, drinking the beer somehow feels to them, like they are doing something, they appear to have no problem with doing nothing either.

My workers in the USA , had no problems with doing nothing. I am probably wrong here, I am the weird one, it is not normal to think you should work, the majority of persons probably spend most of their time trying to avoid work, while I am always trying to learn to avoid working.

Not an important issue, unless maybe you have no money, then being lazy has a problem. I work at doing nothing all day, nonetheless, I get more done than most. I feel I am effective.

I have been reading the book TRAVELS, by Michael Crichton, it is interesting to learn how this very accomplished writer thinks. The book is more of a self-revelation or auto-biography story, then intermixes some near death experiences or high adventure tours so the name can be Travels. I truly think the travels is just want is says on the book, the reviewer says something about going to the other end of the earth to “see oneself for the first time.”

Oh, well, not good to start on incomplete thoughts, I will finish the book today, therefore, I am intuitively thinking, this guy will wrap it all up, sum it up, make a tally and a total, and explain why he assembled the book together this way, and how “Spoon Bending” is related to travel.

I think he does not like revisions, he would like my style, no revisions, and, I do not ever reread or change bad wording often, I just let it fly.

I am awake today, and went to work on time, I am able to step to the batters plate and swing at the ball hard. I can try to bang it for the bleachers today, I have tons of reserves, and I took my vitamins.

My body cycles have been adjusted, my body is in synch with Togo, Michael would probably like the idea of good Karma or Kismet.

Arrived to Work on Time

Vitamin Loading

Vitamin Loading
Lome, Togo West Africa
March 4, 2007, 5:29 AM


I have went to Niger two times, I have went to Penn State to talk a professor about Malnutrition. I have a web site now:

We are generating large amounts of data, ideas, movement, and effectively I have done nothing, a big zero to change or solve the problems of Malnutrition. However, I suspect I am right in line with all the other organizations and have a better than normal chance of doing something.

What has been changed, is I am now eating healthier and taking my vitamins as I see a direct correlation between good health, happiness and brain alertness and the vitamins and food that enter my body.

If I eat well, and take vitamins, I am healthier and have more energy, I am the overactive brain Andy as normal of the past. My brain was slowing down, it was starting to be obvious to me, I was lethargic and did not wish to do anything.

I have went from cooking in my room about once every 20 days to cooking in my room once every two days. I am sure in Southeast Asia, I will always cook less because it is cheap to eat in places like Thailand. Here in Africa, I may be cooking daily soon, as I become more organized and prepared.

Sadly, I think I ate and prepared an egg sandwich in Niger and got food poisoning by doing what I am recommending. Eating in restaurants is not safe, however it is also complex and confusing to buy fresh foods. Just the other day, I realized the difference between and old carrot and a fresher carrot, the one is harder or almost brittle.

There are many trade offs in life, I now spend more times searching for food, but I have stopped eating all the processed package goods daily. I have never ate in restaurants regularly, I instead walk around and buy crackers, breads, and carbohydrates. Not the way to eat, but healthy and easy, or safe to eat this way, just not the full supply of nutrients and vitamins. If I eat packaged crackers, I will not get sick normally. If I eat in a restaurant, I will get sick.

Somehow, somewhere, there is an idea, a - presse - that will guide me to knowing if the food is fresh. I am thinking, I must only eat street food where I see them prepare it in front of me, or in highly active restaurants and only the plate that everyone is eating. The more exotic the order, the more likely the food has been sitting in the back for weeks waiting for some nut to buy.

I drank a whole container of apple juice, it must have been a liter. It took me days to find a place that sold juice that has the 100 Percent on the box. It is all French, and there is such and allusive use of words, I think they are selling sugar water, convincing the public it is healthy, and putting juice flavoring in the sugar water, this is portrayed as juice. I now only purchase juice looking drinks that has the 100 percent on the box. When looking at what is represented as juices, I see that about one in 10 boxes is really juice, the rest are just sugar drinks with flavoring.

Hmm, what great fun, I can watch the veggies and see if they pick up on this, I seem that as 90 percent easily manipulated by illusions of healthy foods. I will see if they buy the 100 percent or the normal, I think they normally just eat an orange because they have no money and a box is anti-organic in their mind.

Vitamin Loading

Michael Crichton Travels

Michael Crichton Travels
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, March 4, 2007

I finished this book by Michael Crichton called Travels. It is sort of relief to be finished.

If I see a very tall, close to 7 foot tall man walking in the Hotel, I will have someone I can try to convince to clean the fan and change the light bulb. There is no way this guy would fit into a chicken bus in Guatemala.

Autobiography, Auras, and Adventures, interesting collection of essays or ideas, gives me a better understanding of how he writes or creates his other books. I do not like to read travel books, and my natural desire to think as this as a travel book, interferes with my thoughts of the book, I would not call this a travel book. On the other hand, I have not read enough travel books to say what a travel book is, and hope I never become an expert on them.

Michael is insightful, he can see the value of intuition, unexplainable experiences, and probably travel.

I hope some publisher talked him into this and he did come up with the idea himself.

Advice for Michael on travel, leave the girls at home, do not take a tour, fly to a strange country, get on a bus at 6:30 am in the morning going anywhere. About 2-4 hours into the ride start you intuitive engine. When it says get off, get off, however if you make a logical choice, stay on the bus, until you trust you instincts. It is ok to get off any time after 2:00 pm for safety reasons. The inner journey is done alone, where there is no path.

I promise to make no jokes about being tall or hurting small Filipino girls, I think you could fly into Cameroon easy. I am quite sure Afrique is big enough for toi.

By the way, when you get off a the bus, you are supposed to go look for a room for the night, that is what we do, it is an algorithmic process. Bring Shakira with you, it would be good for me.

Michael Crichton Travels

Telltale Travel Signs

Telltale Travel Signs
Lome, Togo West Africa
Monday, March 5, 2007

clearly showing something: clearly showing or indicating something that is secret or hidden
telltale signs

There are secrets on the planet, there are thoughts and ideas that people with to hide. I read travel writers and it is obvious that many wish to hide the truth, and just give a rose colored glasses view of a country. Of course a fantasy sells better than the truth.

I want to know about people, I want to understand the cultures of the world including myself, any culture.

I look for the identifiers of how a person is, not how they want to be. Last time I was in Africa, I remember reading in the Lonely Planet Guidebook about the Hover.

The writer for one of the countries said about one hotel.
- You do not even need to Hover. -

To hover is to float of flutter above the toilet, using it somehow, however, never touching it. This tells me how the person views both Africa and other people.

About three days ago a Canadian girl was very excited about finding the perfect pair of pants to buy. She said something, like,
- I really need a second pair. -

Translated, I only have one pair of pants, and I wear them every day.

I Andy have about 6 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of long pants, 1 pair of long fishermen pants from Thailand. It is annoying to see the travelers in the exact same clothing every day, and makes me cringe. I am presently carrying about 15 pairs of underwear, and I hope they are not lost in the wash fast.

I have been changing my t-shirt two to three times per day and washing about two per day for sure as it is very hot and I pit them out fast.

Michael Crichton in his book Travels does not say it much, but he talks about it, he says he has a guide or an interpreter. He even says how something take money and planning, however he never says really says often or I cannot remember him saying in the book.
- I purchased a tour. -

However, it is pretty obvious he purchase a private tour in many of these exclusive and out of the way places a money was not a problem.

There are telltale, or identifiers that tell a tale of what is hidden or secret. Your or my intuition will pick up on them, and if you can turn on the intuition and trust your instincts, you can make a decision about who you meet.

Yesterday, here in Lome, Togo I purchased a half filled soda bottle with some extremely good semi-frozen orange juice. The cost was 50 Franc or CFA. This is about 10 cents USA, a Soda in the same store cost about 300 CFA or about 60 cents USA. In the restaurant in my hotel a cup of coffee is 500 or about one dollars something.

I purchased this extreme great drink by accident, as I saw the two children friends drinking it and thought it looked good.

A pint of Apple Juice cost about 850 CFA or about 1.50 dollars. I somehow purchased about the same amount of Fresh squeeze, and frozen juice for about 200 CFA as I drank four of the bottles.

This is a telltale sign of the true economy of Lome. The normal persons can purchase fresh squeezed orange juice for about 10 cents per glass and I am sure in the hotel here it probably cost around 1.50 dollars for a glass of orange juice.

The truth is, I can also purchase a glass of fresh squeezed and semi-frozen orange juice for 10 cents, they just think that no white man wants to share, eat, or drink what they eat or drink. It is as if nobody white has ever walked into the small store and purchase a bag or sachet of water.

The signs are there, there is a telltale sign, I do not think any white men or women walk into the small stores and order a fresh frozen glass or orange juice for 10 cents USA. It was not that easy, because you need to go knock on the gate next door to the store, say something in French and they will hand the juice out the hole. I am trying to figure out how to be black so there is no price inflation. I normally do not buy if there is a telltale hesitation on telling me the price, it means, I am going to go for the money with you.

What they say, and what they really mean.
What you hear from a person I how they want you to see or view them, what you see is who they are…

A person is mentally healthy by the number of secrets they have.

NOTE: To Sean if you are reading, if I was trying to always be happy, then I would be always lying.

Note: To the person who was commenting on getting more traffic if put in more photos, a telltale sign is I really do not care or I would put in more photos… hehehe

Signs above that I do read some emails sent to me.

Telltale Travel Signs

80 Liter 80 Pound Backpack

80 Liter 80 Pound Backpack
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I have two 40 liter bags, one for the front and one for my back, I guesstimate they max out at about 80 pounds when loaded properly. Yesterday, I purchased rice, almost salt, and a few cans of vegetables. In India I purchased a new 220 Electric Hot Plate. I found two one pint or 500 milliliter bottle of alcohol for fuel. This stuff weighs a lot.

The weight is not a problem, the moto taxis or a car taxi cost between 40 cents US and 4 dollars on average to get from any hotel to any inter-city collective taxi departure point. It is the volume or space needed in the backpacks that is a problem. I was not able to finish the expandable part of my backpack, because of incompetence on the part of the Nepal backpack makers, therefore I missing a critical part of my back. I need an extra 20-40 liters of storage compartments now and again, not always, yet, I do need it sometimes. The can goods, the heater, the rice, for sure the 2 bottles of alcohol take up too much space for an airplane trip and would be jettisoned before I fly anywhere. I forgot, I also want to carry another 4-8 books, aaagh, there is a real need for volume.

I am trying to muse, dwell, obsess on this issue before I move out of Lome, Togo, I need a solution or I am going to be like ever other dingaling backpackers, and be carrying gear in plastic bags. I do not tie things on the outside of the bag, I do not carry plastic bags along with my backpacks. I can and am capable of tying items to the bags, both bags are made exactly for this, however I am really wanting everything all the gear inside the bags. I think I need to have a special 20 liter bag made that will become a cap or part of my bag, this is annoying, every time I think of this I get angry at the Nepal bag makers, knowing they were just slow in the head, and very under-developed emotionally to handle the project. They could copy anything, yet to create became impossibly long, this is the under-developed aspect of under-developed, right along with the lack of develop manners and caring.

I just realized, I am in Lome, a city, it would be better to go to a smaller village and do this than to stay in Lome and try to get city people to care. Village people are much more culturally able to care for something than a city person who by nature of a city become jaded, money hungry, not nurturing because of the socialization of cities.

I have a bag of sorts, a pillow of sorts, I will fasten it on the outside of the bag, it is extremely safe and compact, just not the ideal way to carry items, however better than 99 percent of the other backpackers idea of a good idea. I do not like to lose items, I do not like when I accidentally set something down and walk away and lose the item. I have both a mosquito net and a rain poncho, the rain poncho pretends it is a rock, the number one worst item in my bag probably for weight. I use this poncho and mosquito net about almost never, but when I need them, I need them.

Telltale signs of how much you need a mosquito net, the Brit guy, riding his motorcycle across West Africa for three years now, came down from Morocco to Senegal, I think went across to Mali and East to Togo. Lived one year in Senegal and one year in Ghana. He says,
- Oh yea, I forgot, I still need to buy a mosquito net. -

I mentioned the mosquito net rule, of things you need to carry, because on the one night per year when you need them, you would do about anything to have them. Ok, he is on a motorcycle, there is a perceived idea that these persons would be camping along side roads and such, GONG, not so true.

I have been thinking, what is unusual about Africa is to take public transportation across Africa, it almost makes me think a motorcycle, van or truck of some sorts would be the easy way. It is more unique to take public transport than to drive in Africa.

Here is a photo of a SUV or 4-wheel drive overland trips.

This vehicles was parked in front of the Galien Hotel in Lome, Togo for a short time, not sure why? However, I would say this is about the most prepared for bear vehicle I have seen. I hope they have a winch on the front or back somewhere? I cannot see one in the photo.

Theft and getting stuck, man this seems like a great truck to rob, it is pretty obvious they probably have money. I think about a van, but I want about a 100-200 foot cable winch so I can get unstuck about anywhere.

I am in a quandary, the vehicle owners here have for sure worked very hard to be prepared. However, if they was extremely prepared in my view, I would never have noticed the truck, thinking, just another Junker on the road. I noticed, therefore from a safety point of view a little over the edge.

The difficult part about going across Africa seems to the Chad, Congo, Angola area of questionable safety.

80 Liter 80 Pound Backpack

Lome Togo Hotel Change

Lome Togo Hotel Change
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I have changed hotels, I left the Galion Hotel a pretty good choice for hotels because of social life and location. However, my present room is a much better value. 5000 CFA, the same as I paid at the Galion and about twice as big, better screens and it has electrical plugs in the walls. The Galion is two apartments buildings. One is older, looks nice, but is really a bad choice for living. The other one, the one I lived in last time is more modern, and the upper floors of the building the right is good if not great. Above the restaurant area induced me to decide to look for a different hotel as I felt sort of miserable.

There was a woman by the name Marie that was the main day receptionist, and I hear got married to a Swedish man and moved to Sweden, good for her. She was a sweetheart and very happy and professional, the women that took her place is blasé to the point of making it fashionable.

I feel bad as the really enjoyable and happy Elena, the cleaning girl I leave behind, she was precious, happy, and made my life great. A hotel is about people and then a room, however, I did come to visit Africa and not France, now I am living in Africa. Although a bunch of old men drinking is not France…
My new hotel has the option of turning on the Air Conditioning.

This is a first, this is first hotel I have every encountered, planned as a hotel it has installed electric meters along with the air conditioners. They can charge me for the electricity I use only, and not on a set rate, they can include or not include air conditioning, and I can leave the think running for days if I wish, and I pay.

I am told, by an equally blasé receptinish, however more attractive receptionist Marjorie that it cost 150 CFA per Kilowatt, I have no idea how long I can turn this for and cost me about 30 cents US, I guess though I can turn it on. I need to ask the not so helpful or happy staff how much to use for the night. I am guessing they will not answer clearly or with any enthusiasm.

I think culturally there is a I am too s e x y for myself thing going on and it is not cool to pay attention to people, more s e x y to ignore. I have loosened up the one no-name-known girl that works here and she is becoming a pleasure to know. I wish Elena was here. The hotel also has a kitchen and a fridge, I could have paid 6000 CFA or 4 US dollar more and had a fridge in my room. If, the hotel allows me to utilize the kitchen, this is by far one of the better prepared and designed hotels I have encountered in West Africa.

Blasé though is the problem, it is not a good idea to talk or recommend hotels. I can recommend people, hard to recommend hotels, or places, or anything, I think I can recommend people. I would easily recommend the happy go lucky Elena in the Galion Hotel, the rest of the staff is there. The older owner is a good shake my hand, he-speaks-no-English guy, and the younger knows a lot and speaks English, a great place to start in Lome, however very expensive food in the restaurant.

There is this overbearing mentality that attempts to socialize me into accepting that paying way too much for typical Africa is good. Even Elena tried to say it was not expensive.

A worker here in Africa gets about 2 US dollars per day. The cost of cleaning my T-shirt is 300 CFA or bout 60 cents US. Therefore to pay to have 5 T-shirts would cost about 3 US Dollars. Elena says to me,
- No Cher, -

I try to say, explain or ask,
- Would you pay this? -

This is the incredible to believe, white man / black man difference, they incredibly to believe, hard to understand, I cannot relate do not even consider that we the white man would like to pay the same as the locals. We could actually live, drink, eat and pay the same, the black people of West Africa and Togo do live very good, I do not see them living bad, in fact the other persons in my new and present hotel probably have the same room for almost half the rate I am paying… hehehe. I did not want to fight over price, however I think it is highly possible to get rooms in Lome for 3000 CFA per night, that would be great.

A moto or motorcycle taxi cost about 200 CFA to go anywhere, this is about 40 Cents US, I can be about anywhere very fast, the location is not important. The beach although adds flavor to the city, is 99 percent ignored by the tourist, and I never see any white people on the beach. The wind is a little high for lying on the beach, although a great beach feeling city, in reality the beach does not exist as a place to go.

I am using and cleaning about 3 t-shirts per day as I am perspiring, a.k.a sweating so much as I acclimate to Africa and lose weight, that I need to clean clothes daily or stink. I know the other backpackers or tourist are sweating the same….. Heheheh, however, I have not see them do laundry.

I think I wish to get close to the Africa people more than the white people, I feel or think they smell better.

I could pay a person from Togo 2 dollars to work all day washing clothes, and at these prices make about 20 to 100 US dollars per day cleaning clothes. However, it appears people do not clean their clothes as much as me, so there really is no market. If they would wash clothes though for about 2 dollars for all my clothes, I would pay in a heartbeat.

Living on a budget is interesting, one thing cost, like laundry, therefore I do the laundry myself. Food is outlandishly expensive in any Western style restaurant, therefore I cook myself. The cost of rooms is the big budget cost of Africa in reality, I do not have to eat Western food while in Africa and am not sure why I would want to, but for sure it is not essential. Vitamins, vegetables and nutrients are essential and they are quickest and easiest to buy by cooking myself.

There is always an area or a component of a country that is expensive, the smart travel adapts and plans on how to minimize the cost of this big budget expense. Transportation in West Africa is cheap, however people buy vehicles. Food in open air markets is moderately cheap, and they eat in Western style restaurants.

Africa is full of black people, it is what makes it a great place. I do not understand the backpackers here, if there is any, the few are all cloistered inside the womb of western styled culture. They either drive a vehicle to avoid the locals or they live in white people hotels.

The way the world is visiting the culture of Africa seems to be by finding mates or women. 90 percent of the white people in Togo are men, then they find a girlfriend, this way they slowly learn about Togo. I am wanting to go for the countryside and the small villages where I can stop seeing white people in the same locations. I do no see them walking down the street, I see them driving by in an SUV.

This time in Lome, I have more energy, I feel better, I think I had some type of lower energy level because of lack of vitamins. I have walked for miles in every direction here in Lome, it is a city, not of much interest, however it is interesting, just a city though and the Mina or Ewe cultures are being cleaned of obvious ethnic features.

I am managing my budget 5 times better this time than in the past, and I am sure as my French improves, the cost of living will go down, I need to talk to ask questions and learn how to buy cheaper.

Lome Togo Hotel Change

Computerized French

Computerized French
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I have this program on my computer called
- Before You Know It, -
that is helping me to learn French, I do not know how it compares to the other type programs on the planet, however the ability for me to move words around, compile words in an list is great. I have finally put 1129 words in one list, I then program a macro to go down the list and I listen and repeat every word. I am slowly learning to recognize all the words in the list. When I hear one of the words in passing conversations, I start to own the word, and make it my own. I am semi-immersed in French, Togo people I think speak Mina, therefore their real second language is French.

I have a program called Macro Express, I use this program constantly, it is one of my most valuable programs and helps me use the computer as tool and not only a typewriter.

For learning French it is extremely valuable, I programmed a small repetition program Macro I labeled.
- 50 times Ram into Brain. -

It repeats a word 50 times, I listen and repeat a word 50 times, I rote memory ram it into my brain. I need to create some type of synaptic memory path that is carved into my brain for some words. I have problems remembering how to pronounce a few words and need these words. The program Before You Know It does not do this repetition, it allows for a way to do it by clicking with the mouse. But, the action of clicking competes with my focus, better to only concentrate on listening and repeating and not on clicking the mouse.

I am working on a list of pronunciation rules that I can understand, I need to put them in my own words, whereby I can learn all the rules of French Pronunciation in my way of thinking.

The action of collecting the rules of pronunciation, make the list, writing the documents is educational. The more I more or less write a paper on how to pronounce sounds, letters or diphthongs the clearer it is to me how to pronounce words. I wish to be able to read a word and pronounce is close to correct.

Computerized French

Electric Voltage Fluctuations

Electric Voltage Fluctuations
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, March 7, 2007

I move from a Hotel with one of them 3-4 foot diameter ceiling fans to a room with a small swaying or rotating type fan you place on a table or nightstand. I think I like the on the nightstand type better because I can point it away from my eyes. The fan here is running 24 hours per day, 7 days per week or the heat is extreme inside the room.

I keep remember the Middle East, where they go and sleep on the roof, this is a good solution.

A rotating or fan that moves back and forth make a noise, slow and fast, and whoosh and whoosh, a steady changing of the sound drone. I sat the fan on a stand, it is blowing about at my belly button and down away from my eyes. This is a great country to sleep naked as only by exposing all the skin on my body to the air from the fan can I not perspire and make the bed wet.

The fan is not moving.
The sound is going up and down.
Aaagh, the amount of electricity is increasing and decreasing.

The light bulb is doing the same.

That little black box in the cord of my laptop computer converts 220 and 110 to something like 19 volts. It works anywhere in the world without an inverter or toys not needed. I sort of think of it as a surge protector also, then hope the electrify is also being cleansed and regulated by going through the battery.

When I am very afraid of the electrify, I charge the computer, and use only when on battery.

The up and down electricity I believe or think is horrible for my black box in the cord of the laptop of the computer. This box can get extremely hot, I think I will hang it up in front of the fan to keep it cool.

I had one burn up in Peru, the same plug was being used to heat my room with a Hot Plate. I was lucky, a man in Peru rewired the thing for three dollars. To replace this box is difficult here in Africa, to replace the transformer box in line of the lap top computer cord is a very difficult item to find in funky, we-do-not-allow-imports-easy country.

I am sure, someone will say, buy a voltage regulator. Back to the same problem, things are big, I need small.

Up and down, whoosh or whoooosh the sounds change, I also become hotter or cooler. Amazingly bad electrify in this room, I am thinking I may have not been able to hear the difference with a ceiling fan as it work more quiet.
There seems to be neighborhood difference here, or quad areas differences. Math and mechanics is not Africa high point, so I am worried, will try to obsess on this issue, find small answers.

The one solution is to move again, which I will soon do towards the north of Togo.

Computer, Electricity, Togo

Electric Voltage Fluctuations

Blog by SMS or Cell Text Message

Blog by SMS or Cell Text Message
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, March 7, 2007

I purchased a SIM card with Togocel here in Lome, Togo, the card cost 2500 CFA or about 5 US dollars, and I guess I have a credit of 2500 CFA to make calls, so a very good deal.

Last night I tried about 5 combinations of numbers to text a message to the United Kingdome or England, whereby some telephone number is suppose to convert a text message to an email.

I am sort of excited, Andrew Boy Genius of India has made it work, therefore there is hope for me. I text messaged a Togo girl and she text me back. It works inside the country of Togo.

NOW!!! The annoying part, I need to discover the correct combination of numbers to get out of Togo. If I find a Peace Corps Volunteer, I am sure they will know how to call, I am not sure they would use the cheap text message because this is not the fashion in the USA.

I have not seen many Brits in Togo, they all go to Ghana where they can speak English. French go to French places, and English go to English places, and Spanish go to Spanish places.

More about not leaving your country, then about going to another country. People do not go where life is difficult or they may learn something. Togo is easier than Ghana though, Ghana copies the violent black gang music of the USA, and Togo copies the less violent music of France.

I am going to the countryside, up country, where they do not copy the MTV music world. I need to blog, so the world does not get worried. I seem to have two options. GPRS with Togocel or Text Message or SMS with Togocel.

I hope to get both working today, there is hope. GPRS is better, however as of now, I sat and asked the price per kilobyte for transfer in the Togocel office. Nobody knows, it is either 5 Francs, or .05 Francs or .005 Francs, and I can only WISH or dream of .0005 Francs.

I asked, do you have a page or sheet of prices?
- Non -

Buying a pig in a poke, they will sell it, but they could not tell me how much it cost. I think I will soon learn and can tell someone, if this exist and the NGO’s are still using Satellites in Togo, they are throwing money up in the air, unless the cost is very high.

I had made a decision, I think the GPRS is better than Satellite on the planet for many reasons, unless on a boat.

HOPE, I hope a text message blog post will arrive on this blog soon, what a headache. Frustrations and pushing to make life happen, forcing the play, making it happen. A person can not be beaten that never quits.

None of the test worked, I think I need some special numbers to exit the country, the + sign does not work.

Blogging, Togo, Text Message, SMS, Internet, Satellite,

Blog by SMS or Cell Text Message

American Flag Scarf

American Flag Scarf
Lome, Togo West Africa

A man just walked into the internet cafe, he has a regular size bigger flag of the USA that he has wrapped around his neck like a flag.

Never believe this crap when someone says they do not like the USA, Europe has a P e n ... problem - Envy, Canada the same.

The other 200 countries are in love with the USA, I could not imagine whering a flag around my neck here, the girls would follow me home, and the Europeans would go into a frenzy. That reminds me, I need to put my flags on my bags.... why not invite...

American Flag Scarf

Africa Travel Budget

Africa Travel Budget
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, March 8, 2007

I live on a backpackers budget, I fortunately earn enough from the website to live on a tourist budget when needed.

These phrases or terms mean little because what a person needs to live on is their personal budget.

There are four major parts to a budget.
1. Rooms
2. Transportation
3. Daily cost of food, taxis, beer, internet and purchases of supplies.
4. Souvenirs which does not apply to me, I cannot buy souvenirs because I do not go home for 10-20 months sometimes. I am a traveler, not a tourist.

I can live in these regions easily for these amounts always staying in the backpacker type of accommodations, Living in a dorm bed only in Europe where the cost or outrageously expensive, all other location a private room. In Thailand I can live in a four star room compared to the rest of the world.

1. Southeast Asia - 10 Dollars per day.
2. Mexico - 15 Dollars per day.
3. South America - 10 Dollars per day.
4. Brazil - 15 Dollars per day
5. USA and Canada - 50 Dollars per day.
6. Caribbean - 75 Dollars per day
7. Europe - 50-75 Dollars per day
8. Middle East - I am guessing at about 20 Dollars per day.
9. West Africa - 20 Dollars per day.
10. India for 5-10 Dollars per day.

A person who wishes to use their credit card should add 20 dollars per day to the cost.

A person who drinks beer should add 10-20 dollars per day to their cost.

Now, a person may get extremely anal about these budgets, most will plan a budget, then add double to the cost of travel by using their credit area and really not having any restraint or budget. My guess is 95 percent of travelers have a budget like one of these.

When I run out of money I go home.
I spend my parents money until I go home.
I put all the extra cost on the credit card and no restraint.
I live in a resort, then add the extra cost to a credit card.

99 percent of traveler do not go home early, because they somehow use credit from parents or bank to travel until they are finished. Tourist know when they are going home.

They have said to someone, I am traveling for this long and I will go to these countries. They return when they accomplish this or after a big love affair and abort all their plans. An around the world ticket is a budget for a small maybe 2 percent crowd.

After all these considerations, obsessions, the reality of a budget is something of a joke. If I only have 5 dollars, I can only spend 5 dollars. If I have 10 dollars I can only spend 10 dollars. If I have unlimited line of credit I can spend an unlimited line of credit.

People are for the most part unrestrained gluttons and must work for someone 8 hours per day for 5 days per week because otherwise they would spend the whole day, of every day spending money. They go shopping on the weekends and spend money or shop till they drop.

I think this is the reason people get fat, they just eat what they want. Then according to the continent and the genetics they get as fat as the genetics dictates and in accordance with the required walking. Europe requires a lot of walking, therefore some persons are thin. The USA requires zero walking so people become Fat. Asians are genetically thin by nature, takes work to get fat. Africans seem to be genetically fat, and get fat unless they have small amounts of money. I do not think they need to walk a lot. I am not sure Europeans can afford to eat.

But this is the how to stay thin, by not having a lot of money, then it become easy to stay thin and not get fat.

The same is true for a travel budget, however this can apply in the home country also. If you do not have money, then you do not spend it. In the USA, I would go to the bank and get 100 US dollars in ones. I would put ten of them in my pocket, and live on the 10 per day. If I would put a 20 in my pocket, I would spend the 20.

How do I budget, truthfully I do not have a problem with budgeting money. I have a severe ability to say no to spending, maybe I am cheap, no I am not cheap, I am massively logical and common sense orientated, and nobody can induce me to spend money when I do not wish to spend money. I make the choice completely, I do not bend to pressure from peers, friends and even the woman trying to convince me it is good for me to spend money on her.

Last year my guesstimate of daily budget was more than I wished, I did not save money. The simple solution is to slow down on airplane flights and pay attention to daily cost. I really do not need to budget or pay much attention, because I by nature live within a budget or limit. I am not gluttonous with money.

I am gluttonous, genetically guaranteed, and a binge eater, I can gain weight at a drop of coin. This is where I budget daily, when with other person they are enablers and complicate the issue.

Africa is easy to not eat, the cost of food is 2 time more than the USA and about the same as Europe. I do not like to eat the local foods, therefore I am sunk, I cannot gain weight here in Africa because my natural budgeting personality refuses to buy western foods that are extremely bad values. I have lived in the Galien Hotel two times here in Lome, Togo and never once eaten a dinner there. The Peace Corps sort of reserve a table for 8-10 in the corner every night and eat and drink their meals there every night. The place is full of old French smokers and drinkers and NGO or ONG paid to work project persons. I guess really there is no volunteers in Togo as they are all paid including the Peace Corps persons.

The longer I stay in a specific location, the more I find cheap local foods that I like, and the more I start to eat. I have a problem with the Fanyogo frozen Yogurt here, and can eat 5 per day at 100 CFA or 20 Cents per pop US. I want to cut weight, I have taken them off list of foods for scavenging until I am down to weight.

The bottom line on dieting is I do not put food in my mouth.
The bottom line on a travel budget is I do put money in my pocket.

I take 10,000 CFA out daily, that is my simple budget.

This is 10,000 CFA, the currency and money of many West African Countries, including Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast, Niger, and Burkina Faso and I am not sure what others. I have no idea why Ghana wishes to use their money, surrounded by intelligence.

I keep all my money locked up in the bag during the day, sometimes I lock up the bag and put the money in a different location…. Hehehe
- Hiding in plain sight -

However, the way I budget is this, I removed daily the money I see as fit to spend daily. I then go and pay for my Hotel room, I have the remainder to live on in this day. To check my budget, I count the money my pocket. A budget is about one day, not a whole trip, the summation of all the days is the whole budget.

I go to the bank and extract money from my ATM debit card when I am down to about 100 USA in CFA money. I also carry about 300 to 1000 USA in 100 Dollar bills, and maybe 100 to 300 Euros and other assorted could not dump currencies. In Africa I am carrying 1000 US Dollars and I am glad nobody knows this, I tell no one.

One big budget cost is to go with an African person to any restaurant or bar, they will order anything they wish and expect I pay for the whole group. If they come over and sit with me, they will also expect this, if I am walking with them, they will also expect this. Any time I get near an African person they somehow normally want money. A great way to separate though the good from the bad, if they do not want money, they are good.

Note, I have a Western Union safety measure, I can go to any internet café and send money to myself with no special knowledge. If I was robbed, I would instantly send money to myself, then go to the internet and send money to myself, then cancel any card stolen. This should be set up and ready to go.

But in addiction logic and dysfunctional undersstanding of life, I know that a budget is not what people wish to live in, or have, they really wish and will take any excuse to not have a budget, or a real working budget. A person can only spend what they have, the normal budget of a person is to spend their paycheck, and wait for pay day to come.

If I put 10,000 CFA in my pocket daily, extra money will accumulate and be saved then allots itself for the days where I need strangely more money. The big way to cut cost for me it to get cheaper rooms, my goal on this trip to Africa is for 3000 CFA rooms, I need to speak good French to find them. I spend 2 hours per day studying, this is the budget.

Budget Africa, Budget Togo, Budget, Togo, Western Union

Weekend Travel

Weekend Travel
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, March 8, 2007

I have trouble knowing the day of the week, I once in Mexico had to ask a girl, what month it was? Blogging tends to remind me as I put the day and date on the top, otherwise I would be clueless on the day of the week. I for sure do not pay attention to what day of the week it is, however I am starting to care.

The white people in West Africa go to the bars on the weekends, they go the countryside or maybe pretend to work during the week. The weekends are enforced by their actions, all the hotels, restaurants and such will be full on the weekends in the bigger bar or buvette cities. Most or many of the Peace Corps in Togo will return to the party.

This is true also for most continents, including Asia and South America, and for sure Europe.

Therefore, to have a life of peace, I leave places around Tuesday and arrive before Thursday and I can easily avoid the Sunday leaving schedule or Monday leaving schedule. 99 percent of white people in West Africa are driving a vehicle, there are few people in public transportation. The truth is there are very few normal tourist. On the weekends the hotels become full, as everyone goes to the Hotels for their days off from work.

I was laughing to myself as a Brit would work on his computer daily in the common area of the Galien Hotel, then on Sunday, he did not work. He had been traveling for three years, or maybe not…according to perspectives. The socialization was applied in our outside of the home country on work, plus he went to the local nightly.

I am on endless vacation, weekends thinking does not apply.

Weekend Travel


Lome, Togo, West Africa
March 8, 2007


I have established a GPRS connection in Togo, it should allow me to blog my way through Togo for the most part, and maybe just across the border into Benin. There is a promotion until June whereby the internet is a free connection, afterwords it is 10 US per meg.

I will outline how I did this and explain further soon.

La vie est belle.
Andre en Togo


Angels in Africa

Angels in Africa
Lome, Togo West Africa
March 9, 2007

If you look closely, you can see I added Halos. These two little girls connected to my hands and arms and hugged them while I walked about 50 meters or yards.

They kept saying Yah Vous or white man in the Mina language and the little song they sing.

Yah Vouw, Yah Vou
Bon Soir.

They hugged then start a kiss, then the other copied the other kissing my arm. Both were kissing and hugging, it was very precious moment and a reason...

La Vie C'est Bon - The life is good.

Andre en l'Afrique
La Vagabond avec GPRS

Angels in Africa

More Enjoyable Africa Travel

More Enjoyable Africa Travel
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, March 10, 2007

A comment was posted by Eric on this post:

- andy, i read all the way through the last time you were in africa. and from here it sounds like your in better spirits and having a more enjoyable travel this time around. or is it my imagination?

im a sort that likes the practical stuff like costing and logistics of getting around etc. but did notice a difference about your posts this time, like the angels in africa for instance.

did notice a difference about your posts this time, like the angels in africa for instance.


This is a provoking comment, not to make me angry, but one that makes me think, another reader explained of few days ago how she sees my writing style.

-… but I like the way you negotiate with yourself I think I might even be learning something - but I'm not sure what yet. … Kate

I do not think it is the imagination of Eric, I am enjoying Africa better this time, however, the practical stuff, the logical stuff, and the preparation is different. The bottom line is this in life.

To be happy, a person must do more things that make them happy in a day than thing that make them sad. (Simple, learned on day when I had no hope.)

What is practical and common sense, is to learn how to avoid things that make me sad, and to optimize the make-me-happy things or events. I do debate myself, I try to find or fight with myself, and ask myself do I like this? or it is just something I somehow have rationalized I think I should like.

Something like the Angels from Africa are impossible not to love and appreciate, a couple of small girls kissing and hugging my arms almost makes me cry, I have no children and these two small angels make me feel good. Plus, I appreciate when children and animals love me, I see this as of sign of who I am, or really am, I think children and animals instinctively know safe from unsafe, good from evil.

The prime directive of travel is to enjoy yourself, the problem is this, I have this brain that interferes with my enjoyment, it has a filter that sometimes say or thinks this is a good idea and I must stop and say to myself,
- Andy, are you having fun? -
I can only answer quick and say, yes or no, no thinking.

I just left what is considered and probably is one of the better Hotels in Lome, the Galion, it is nice, has lots of tourist or backpackers and has a big social life. However, for me, not the other 95 percent of the travelers I slowly got annoyed. I do not want to pay with big money to enjoy life, I do not consider it UTILITY. Craig from just wrote me and explained or pointed out this economic theory.

There are many environmental factors that I use to gage my happiness, but there are four that impact me on a daily basis above all else (in order of priority):


The varying amounts of cost and quality within these four items result in my perception of value, and that in turn impacts my happiness (as I am a value-for-my-dollar driven person). This is what we would call utility, in economic terms

OR Utility from Wiki:

Craig is

I was with Craig for awhile in the Caribbean where life was not good, mainly because of the Utility principle.

I feel abused when or I feel like I am a victim when I must pay big CFA for bad service or bad value. I feel best when I get a good room, for a good price, and know I am getting most for my money and feel no sense of why am I paying this money for such a terrible room. I can get an extremely great room in Thailand or Philippines for a great price, the value of room, the quality of life is great for the dollar. In the Caribbean I got an extremely bad room for a very high price, I am used to living in good rooms. Price has very little to do with the quality of room, I cannot pay extra and get a good room. It is more to do with the management of the hotel, plus choosing a good room inside the hotel.

I am sort of adhering to some self imposed policies here in Africa this time, I came to Africa last time, figure out after musing and dwelling outside of Africa, what annoyed me about Africa and what I like, then I came back prepared with this little self imposed rule and a few extra pieces of gear ready for Africa.

- Do not live in the NGO-ONG Hotels, which also has the Peace Corps. -
- Do not associate with Peace Corps persons. -
- Do not associate with NGO people. -
- Find hotels that are full of African people. -
- Do not eat in Western Restaurants.-
- Do not get ran over by the SUV’s vehicles driven by the NGO people.-
- Find hotel that do not have bars or restaurants that white people visit inside of them. -
- Find good internet cafes and GPRS if possible so I do not have to talk with the managers of internet cafes as they are extremely dense, and non helpful. I work in Internet Cafes and the Internet Cafes in Africa have some of the worst logistical, math, and connections on the planet, they squander the use of these computer by not maintaining and using properly. -
- Cook food or buy food in the streets. -
- Buy the two front seats in the Peugeot Station wagon bush taxi. -
- Avoid rich African people.-
- Travel in the Christian areas. -
- Learn French so I can talk to the normal African person and achieve my need for conversation with normal persons, not any White person.-

- Carry an electric hot plate so I can cook, I purchased in India as very hard to find here.-
- Have all the cooking gear needed. -
- Travel with the Roughguide as a guidebook and not the Lonely Planet. -
- Prepared for GPRS cell phone connection to internet on computer and cell phone. -

I suppose in the end, the quote, about I do not suffer fools well applies in any country and any place. The Western Style Buvette Hotels are full of fools, and I need to not suffer them to be happy. It is not easy to put my finger on what annoys me sometimes,

In addition, I am doing research on malnutrition, and I need to figure out why I believe or suspect the NGO-ONG - Non-Governmental-Organizations are almost zero effective. I also get angry that they basic treat Africa like it is stupid and need to be taken care of, this is not respectful to give people food, money, shelter, it is saying you cannot take care of yourself and cannot learn.

On the other hand, Africa seems to have learned too well how to ask for money or gifts or the word Cadeau.

Avoid the negative.
Move towards the positive

Easy to say, difficult to do, I must first identify what is positive, good Karma, give me a good feel, then go towards it, I must also figure out what makes me feel bad and avoid.

I think about relationships with girls, some are emotional vampires. I leave, going home I feel weaker. If I am in a situation and I consistently leave and feel weaker, than I do not return to the well. A friend, relationship, worker, any person should make you feel stronger and more alive after being with them.

Now, on a practical level, I explain some very negative and ugly ideas, hoping a person can learn from reading and not have to experience, but somebody has to be the guinea pig. I do says to someone, if what I write makes you angry, do not read, this is common sense, and you are being dysfunctional to be depressed if you are reading something that makes you angry.

IF a person is writing travel advice and everything sounds wonderful, then they are lying.

There is pain to learn, there is frustration in dealing with people. Africa has a bully mentality, they try to bully you into agreeing or going along. I do not like the European attitude of pay a lot and say you like it, sometimes I think this is a silly childish attitude. Go buy a first class ticket on an airplane, pay 5 times the economy rate, somehow tell yourself that money made you special. What a bad use of money unless you are just outrageously wildly rich. But some people need to constantly tell themselves they are important because deep down they know they are junk.

If they did the good Utility all day, they would know they made good decision all day and would feel good.

If you are a good boy all day, you do not have to apologize or kiss anyone to be happy, then the monkey of guilt is off your back. It is the compromises we make, and sadly people will say they had to make these compromises. The road to salvation is long and narrow, like a razors edge.. From the movie, the Razors edge with Bill Murray.

I fall off the Razors Edge, I blog more negatively. I need to gravitate or move towards the light and avoid the dark. Africa is like a child in many ways, I do not like to hear the Dark Continent, it is not Dark here, the normal person is like any other place, it has some real Dark and evil leaders, Thugs, Bullies, Tyrants.

It is refreshing to see the untapped places I can visit in Africa where there are no NGOs, because there are no Buvette Bars.

Clarity stops me from doing frustrating things, I feel serene when I am clear about the price I need to pay to do something. When I am clear, that was a great value.

When I went to the Gas company in the USA, I knew I was going to have to wait in line one or two hours. I took a book and read, I planned how to deal with the tiresome and annoying wait. I could sit around and complain about the line, or I can say, how do I deal with this.

Do people learn from negative experiences, I would say about 1 in 50 does, the other continually complain and continually go do the same and expect a different result.

I left Africa and my brain stayed working, I thought, considered the benefits and problems of Africa, then decided how to optimize the enjoyment of Africa. Note, one thing I am doing is traveling slower and slower, the quicker a person travels into frustration, the more a person sums up the day on a negative balance.

I also am taking my Vitamins, truly affects my energy, I feel.

I would like to cut a path of Hotel through Africa that are cheap and good value enough to enjoy life. Note, the quality of Hotels is normally much better than South America or often Southeast Asia, the cost though is more. I am in a Hotel for 10 dollars, has a kitchen I can use, no bar, and the staff helps me to learn French. I have an air conditioner I can turn on, the hotel is a much better utility value and is not in any of the guidebooks.

Ooops, I did not obey, I did not stay in the box.

French What I need to Learn

French What I need to Learn
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, March 10, 2007

I need a list of English Verbs translated to French.
I need I this and you that.

I have already learned one language, I am very capable of having a conversation, watching TV, etc in Spanish. Therefore, I have a prior knowledge of what I personally need to do to ram French words into my head. I say ram, because there is nothing natural, easy, quick and spontaneous about me learning a language. It is pure drudgery and hard work for me to learn a language, every word demands repetition, rote memory and pain of monotonous study.

Past tense, future, are not needed, there are whole languages that do not have a past tense, future, etc, and they do talk about the future, they do know the past and the future, they need to say,
- In the future, I go etc. -

There are infinitives, this is the base word, more of noun to people, nonetheless it is not much value either.

What I need is this, a list of,
- I go -
- You go -

For every English verb, then translated to:
Je vais = I go
Tu allez = You go

I did this sweep of pages on the internet, found all the English verbs I could muster, then put in the Systran Translation software, as
I + Verb
You + Verb
Therefore, it was I go and you go, the program auto translated guaranteeing I will have some sloppy, yet functional words to use, yet the clarification is an emotional moment when I learn also.

I truly believe if I can study the 1263 variance of I and you with verb translated to French, then my life will be easy. After that it is just filling in the blank with prepositions and correct ways of saying a sentence.

It is hard work to write, say, spell, speak, repeat each of these 1263 words correctly, but maybe I can get up to a 2000 word vocabulary and when my friend Ami, the real name wants to joke around, I can understand better and not be the joke. Actually in reality, I am conversing and having many conversations with people, providing they talk slow.

It is and interesting experience to learn a language, and at the same time need it, slowly discovering the use of Formal Vous is not use here and why am I being taught it constantly. What I can learn easily is so far away from what I really need, then again do people that have a hard time learning languages try to learn languages? I find that the White people here that speak French are mostly naturals, they learn languages as easily as I can learn a computer.

However, they can not put them word in Database, sort, translate, then program a Macro to repeat the word 20 times, but then again they learn it on hearing it once.

Everything is needed if you wish to become fluent in a language, but the first part of speaking French is survival and small talk, it does not start out with some huge intellectual conversation.

I now will try to talk Ami into recording how to say all the words into the one program I have to learn French.

French What I need to Learn

World News at 10 Dollars Per Meg

World News at 10 Dollars Per Meg
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, March 11, 2007

To read the news on the internet in some places can cost me 10 dollars per meg of download.
GPRS Cell Phone and Satellite Connections can be outrageously expensive.

I am preparing for bear, trying to discover, create or innovate ways to not become isolated in West Africa from the rest of the world. Togo is great, however in ways it is easy for me to lapse into a I am living on
an island alone way of thinking. This means, what happens in the outside word is not important,

A very educated Togo man did not know where Chicago was yesterday, as when I normally saying to him, I am from Indiana, close to Chicago. The world does not Indiana, yet they normally are pretty clear
on Chicago. Talking about geography is territorial, the Togo people know well and better than the rest of the planet where Ghana, Benin, Niger and other close countries are located, and in Europe, they know
where the countries around them are located, they do not know Indiana is either, therefore with Europeans I also say, Indiana, in the middle close to Chicago.

Ok, I am on an island called West Africa, the normal way of dealing with the outside world is to not know and it understand world politics. What is happening is not important. I am not going to get quizzed on
politics when I go to Europe, USA or anywhere, what the quizzes are always about are Sports, people ask opinions on Sports, and for sure I fail. The world keep track of sports, not current events, actually
very few persons care about world current events.

I do care a little, but there is a limit, I have now figured out a way to quickly and cheaply read the world headlines. I can not read the details, but I can read many headlines. I have this page full of headlines of
CNN, BBC, Reuters, Wikinews, Guardian etc and continue to add.

I am thinking about GPRS cell phone access that cost 10 Dollars per meg or Satellite internet connections that cost about the same. How can a person who is only connected to the world by this small thread
read the news, in reality they probably do not read the news, I guess they could listen to the radio.

I am doing this, I go to one of my own pages made on

I let is load, then I click on File.
I click on Save AS.
I tell where to be saved on my computer, I have a few folders called delete where I put information that will need or I think should be deleted. I save as the day, 11 March 2007 with no commas because they
cause headaches.

I can read many headlines, and it is not big, it does not cost me a fortune for all the graphics on one of he news sites, IF I was paying 10 dollars per meg for expensive GPRS or Satellite. This is also for in the
internet café when I am paying for expensive internet access. I save the pages and go back to my room and read later.

It is interesting to listen or know about broadband, high speed and all these new forms of fast connections when in reality between 50 and 80 percent of the planet is on a very slow connection, my parent MUST
use a dial-up connection in their home, this is all that is available where they live in Indiana. Many web sites are making heavy, pain in the butt sites and impossible for 80 percent of the planet to read or see, this
for sure is sloppy marketing.

I wonder how the empathy rating is doing with their spouses, do they listen to their spouses the same way they believe the whole world is on a fast connection?

The world has access, they can go to places where it is faster, yet normally complicated to do so and for sure Africa, South America and Asia does not have internet in their homes. The internet café is still a
thriving business, where there is no internet cafés, then the internet in the home is more of standard.

Fun and intriguing to me is to ask or talk about current events here in Africa with the other white people, and they say,
- I have no idea what is going on in the news. -

Truthfully, I doubt they most ever had an idea, yet they want to save the world, go figure…

World News at 10 Dollars Per Meg

Africa Naïve Dreams

Africa Naïve Dreams
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, March 11, 2007

There are naïve dreams, fantasy, expectations and belief about places.

When I read about Africa, I am amazed at the prehistoric ways the world imagines Africa. Africa can be very modern. The difference between reality and what is portrayed by the news, people, documentaries and other sources we would consider or believe to be reputable is interesting. The major problem is what is interesting is not what is common, therefore why would a person make a documentary about what is the normal life in Africa, why not show the exotic and make money selling fantasy or hard to find instances.

Well, in the reverse, converse African people have naïve dreams, fantasies and expectations about people from the USA, or Europe.

The situation is this, some girl will walk up to me and enter in intelligent conversations, well spoken, clear, then suddenly will comment or say something like,
- Do you love me, will you marry me? -

Real or unreal is not important, it the idea that it is continually, consistently asked very quickly and without remorse with you marry me.

I am wondering if this is how Brad Pitt feels, do girls just walk up and make wild propositions, and how does a movie star deal with comments that are so far out of reach, they become difficult to answer. What can you say to a person that just asked you to marry them, a person you met five minutes ago. I normally have said, I have five wives already and you can be number six, this is sort of preposterous answer to a preposterous question, and in a preposterous way it works for an answer.

However, where the line between fantasy, reality and respect for people is drawn is interesting and refreshing, there is a simple pleasure in talking to person with perspectives that are different.

Africa Naïve Dreams

Five Shower Day

Five Shower Day
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Today is a five shower day in Lome, it has been a difficult and hot day as the electricity went off around 9:00 AM and finally returned about 4:00 PM. There was no fan in my Hotel room.

On a normal day, I probably take three refresher showers, today is was five and nothing worked as the room was stuffy, hot, no air moving and I could not get my body dried.

Modern World
In some ways, I blame this on the modern world, my present room and most rooms of West Africa seemed designed only for fans and air conditioning. I think of the transoms above doorways in the USA in older homes, those small rectangular windows. They are now often sealed and nailed shut, forced to not work, in many way silly. Heat rises and this allowed cross flow ventilation in the home. And then also a person would lower the top of a two part window and also open the bottom, allowing the cool air to enter and the hot to exit.

Here I am in a concrete box room with one window and no breeze capable of entering or leaving the room, there is huge security wall in this compound structure and I am in a first floor room. If there was a second floor, I would try to move up and catch the breezes from the ocean. We are far, maybe 10 blocks from the ocean, yet this would help.

The modern rooms are no longer designed for fresh air, with proper windows, transoms, cross flow ventilation, they are designed for electricity and fans. However, the electricity is not dependable, therefore, hard to say we are advancing, in a way the mind has slowly disengaged. No longer taking into consideration the reality, and living only by what is given us.

The room is hot, even with he fan it does not work good, I have figure a way to put the fan in the bottom of the window whereby I can suck or push the air in our out from the bottom and in the night cool the room properly, and the hot air is either pushed out or the cold air is sucked in.

Five Shower Day

Computer No No

Computer No No
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I removed a drawer out of the nightstand, placed on its side and I am using as a small table for my laptop computer. I sit the fan to the left of the bed as I am looking at my feet. It blows down my body and keeps me cool, or as above it blows from behind me down my body from the open window.

I have a major habit problem, I wish to place my coffee on the nightstand, yet, I continually remind myself to place the cup on the floor. I know, someday, someway, I am going to spill that coffee and the fluid is going to flow down into the keyboard of my computer and kill the poor thing. I put this up there as an example of what not to do, I never, say never, I say never put the drinks above or close to my computer.

I believe one time I had a problem because I loaned the computer to a man in Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand and he spilled beer into the keyboard, I remember… That computer became junk, and many months later, I remember I did loan the computer to someone.

Now, I almost never loan my computer, and only to person that are smarter than me about computers, even then, I must say, no drinks around my computer. I worry here a little about sweating into the computer, or dripping clothes as I hand them up in my room to dry.

Actually now I never tell anyone I have a computer, or try not tell them.

Computer No No

Understanding the Cadeau

Understanding the Cadeau
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I try to understand the culture of the Cadeau. This is the French word for Gift, however there are many uses and many meaning, it is similar to the word Manana in Spanish, nothing is simple.

West African people will ask for a gift or cadeau more often than not, the better they know you, then up pops the question, how about a gift.

I have now traveled about 4-5 months cumulative in the West African cultures in my lifetime, and I am still totally confused about this word Cadeau or straight out a small gift in Ghana.

The idea of a gift seem innocuous, simple, plain and how could giving a gift or asking for a gift cause harm or a problem. I am trying to think this through, the problem arises because in any or almost all relationships of any type I have had, whether male or female, old or young, the word Gift comes up, and it means so many things.

1. A worker in the hotel wants to borrow my pen, I give it to the persons, then the person says,
“Cadeau” a.k.a Gift.

2. I am ready to leave, and my friend as me for a small Cadeau in French so he can eat.

3. I start to leave for a walk around, and the girl workers in the hotel ask me to buy them some chocolate, never an offer to give me money.

4. I am hungry…

5. Where a man is on a date with a serious girl or not a serious girl he must give the girl a gift in the form of money.

I say to a good friend, if I give you 5000 CFA does this mean you will come visit me, she says,
“No, I am not a prostitute.”

I say do you want a Cadeau, she says,
“It is African Culture, you must give a gift.”

A gift almost always means money, a German man said to me last year, do not even think about anything but money, they do not want a gift, they want money.

Beggars, manipulators, flirting, serious loves, and hungry people, everyone wants a cadeau. I tried to explain that I was American in brain, and culture, anyway you do it, when you ask me for money I feel like you are begging and for the girls, I think worst.

I have burned my bridges here in Lome with one man who I paid to help me find another friend. He is now daily went from a friend, and even a paid helper to an annoyance, and somehow he believe he is entitled to ask me for a gift…daily. I did not think much when he wanted to borrow my phone to make a call. I said,
“It is in my room, I do not have it on me.”

He than says,
“I need to make a call, let’s go to you room and get it.”

I gave him about 75 cents U.S. and said to myself, he is abusing my good will, and goodbye, not a friend.

There is a cultural difference about giving orders or request here, that is normal, there is the idea that you can command a person to come. A person will say, come here, no please, thank you, or less than an expectation, come here. I am not good at jumping, really annoys them when I just look at them. I do nothing, I just look at them, they then expect me to come, I look, and think, than walk away with no comment.

Strange to me to give a person an order and expect the should come.

I have burned my bridges, I have been too kind and generous in this area, now I will leave and leave them behind, and remember, do not be kind and give a cadeau, or they will never stop. I know better when it is a beggar outside my hotel, I never give, because the person will meet me everyday at the door, and want more.

The Cadeau, the line is fine, between a friend, a bum, a beggar and a girls that works on her back. I wish I thought they were hungry.

I will go to the next city, try to keep all my money in my pocket, not be too generous and helpful, and maybe I can separate the good from the bad.

Understanding the Cadeau

LO to 84 Decibels

LO to 84 Decibels
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Low Voltage and High Decibels.

It is 5:52 AM in the morning, I have been playing around for the last half hour or more trying to measure the sound level in my room. I would say I am in a quiet room, then again I am not sure, maybe I am not in a quiet room.

There is a window air conditioner in ever room of this hotel where I am staying, although the price of air conditioner is not include in the base price. Every room has a meter:

The low voltage in this neighborhood of Lome, Togo or the fluctuations in volts may have caused damage to the air conditioners. Or maybe running on lower volts than required causes them to make noise. They make this constant wobble sound, like the ball bearing are bad in the compressor motor.

My room is very quiet, it registers Lo or off the meter when there is no fan or air conditioning running. Turn on the fan and the sound level measure on my Radio Shack Sound Meter can go up as high as 67 and if I put it right next to the fan the meter can read as high as 90.

The fan is a constant, or fluctuating constant sound, a background noise and is ok, it does go up and down as the voltage regulation in the room varies tremendously. It is not an annoying sound.

The person next door, I do not have my air conditioning on, turns on their air conditioners and the wobble grating noise starts.

What I have learn here is that the steady sound level can be high with the fan, yet not be as annoying as sudden noises or different types of noises. The grating of the air conditioning next door to me is very intrusive, while the fan making almost the same level of constant volume is not.

The window in my room is closed, the window in the shower is open, I measured the noise in the shower and it is lower than the room in the bedroom. The noise though is more grating and more annoying, there is nothing to stop the sharp pitches and highs and lows, nothing to slow down the grating, however it is less noisy measured in decibels because that room is farther away.

Choosing a Hotel room.

I suppose I will eventually identify what make a good room from a bad room quicker. Any bed and breakfast type, mom and pop, family run hotel or quaint back country type establishment is full of quirks. There may be a common area where the family sits around and has big discussions and screams when a goal is made in the football game on TV.

I am identifying the quirks of a room and want to know in the hotel, which room is located in the optimum location for peace and relaxation. The person next door has decided to turn off their air conditioner, the stress level of my room has decrease, the overall enjoyment in the room is great now. I woke up because of both a small increase in decibels, yet the type of noise was obnoxious. Plus, I suppose it was time to wake up for me, or close to time.

Small family run hotels, hotels with less than 30 rooms I believe are better than large hotels with more than 50 or more rooms. I do like the mom and pop around, if they are friendly and have an obvious smile on their face. However, when I am entering these small bed and breakfast size hotels, I want to know how to pick and choose the best room in the hotel.

I am afraid of reservations, a reservation says to the hotel, he is committed, we can put him in the worst room and he must accept this as his choice. When I enter a hotel, without a reservation, they know I can say no to the hotel or the room. I take a tour of all hotels, choose the room that is the best fit for me, not another person, but me, some persons could love to hear the loud music or what I think is annoying children. It may depend on the type of music.

To identify quick, make the best choice, then not need to move or leave the hotel is my goal. I have been in this Hotel for about 10 days, therefore it says something good about the room in the hotel. If I leave in one, then maybe it does say something. I do not always know why I am leaving a hotel, it just feels bad and is time to leave, there is nothing in my itinerary or time frames that is scheduled, I can leave when the life gets boring or stay.

Sometimes in a guidebook a writer will say, try to get on the backside of the hotel and avoid the street noise. Sometimes this is easy to do, however in reality, there is one or two rooms in every hotel that are the best. Strange as it may seem, this has nothing to do with price. The highest priced room has the most appliances, TV, Air, Fridge, and is large. Small, quiet, isolated, and with a good breeze can be the cheapest room in the hotel. I like the isolated rooms, however with a window facing something good, a room where what comes in the window is good whether it be noise, sunlight or a breeze. Sunlight coming in the room here in West Africa is not an advantage.

Note a horn beeping of any kind is annoying and abrupt, I cannot hear any car or motorcycle horns, a rooster has started crowing in the far distance.

LO to 84 Decibels

Feelings, Noise, Togo, Air Conditioning, Hotel Rooms Choosing

Almost Ok

Almost Ok
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

There are small quality control problems in West Africa, Lome, Togo presently does not have electricity, it is almost ok sometimes. I was in a small panic today as I was preparing to travel up country Togo.

I pulled some more money from the ATM as I am not sure when I will see another Bank Machine. I have purchased this and that, then later in the day the GPRS stops working. I cannot connect to the internet everything was - Almost OK - as my new friend from Ghana was explaining, never great, but almost ok.

I am thinking is it me or is it the computer, or the cell phone, I am never sure. I thought, I have not changed anything, however I know that when I leave Lome the next person I find to help with configurations will probably on be when I return.

It is working again, I went in an copied all the configurations and double checked. You think calling support is difficult, try to think about doing it in French. My French is not almost ok on a telephone. I try to tell girls, do not give me you telephone, I do not speak French.

Languages Learned Naturally

Languages Learned Naturally
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, March 15, 2007

I am in an ideal hotel, location, situation to learn French, I have an over abundance of people willing to speak French with me so I can practice.

My friend Peter from Germany spoke Thai, Spanish, English, and of course German, I am sure he spoke a couple more languages.

My friend (forgot) from Australia spoke Tagolog, the language of the Philippines, Indonesian and anything he got near.

Rene from Lome, Togo speaks Mina the local language, French and English and maybe anything he gets near. (Photo on this page is of Rene, I call them Bongos, the culture is of Bob Marley is the same, the type of Drum changes.)

These types of people make the study of a language difficult.

I remember beginning Spanish class in Indiana University, my freshman year and needing to study a language as part of my Liberal Arts degree. I got a C in the course, studied more than anybody in the class and realized, everyone in the class had about three years of Spanish in High School and I had zero, there was nothing beginning about this class for them.

These types of people make the study of a language difficult.
Ghana is presently full of the native English speakers, the Brits, Americans, or people like the Dutch or Scandinavian who studied English for years in school.

Togo is full of French people.

French people generally do not go to Ghana.
British or American generally do not go to Togo
Ghana is a former English speaking colony
Togo is a dominated by the French.

Americans travel to England and Australia and call it great.
French travel to Morocco and call it great.
South Americans go to Miami and Spain and call it great.

People travel where life is easiest, where they feel comfortable, and they should. I travel where I learn the most, where I am mentally challenged the most, where maybe it the most difficult. I thrive on problem solving, and doing things I have trouble doing.

I enjoy writing because it explains my brain; to myself, as I construct a sentence I learn slowly how my brain works as I look over the already written sentences. I can see how it continually makes the same combinations of words, the same problems are repeated, and sometimes I slowly learn, how to unlearn to not make the same problems. I know the persons who are naturally good at English grammar and the English language are annoyed.

These types of people make the study of a language difficult.

I need, must, do, will exclude isolate myself, and separate myself from the naturally good at language speaking people. There are classes in writing, I personally believe they would teach me how to write like the teacher. I think reading is the way to learn to write, I would like to write like James Michener, however I probably write more like Jack Kerouac and do not like to read what he writes.

I know I naturally write or say things in a quizzical, puzzling manner, I could use the word enigmatic, but to me the word puzzle is the goal, to speak and communicate.

I watch and listen to my friend Rene, an African man from Lome, who speaks language easy. He enjoys speaking French with me, in a difficult and low voice, hard for me to understand, the tone is at a level where I have trouble. He enjoys this, than thinks he is teaching, when he makes it difficult, and he is, but not well.

When he does this, he has lost me, he has gone too far over my head, he is speaking French too complicated and too complex for me to learn from him. This is what happens when I am around the natural learners of languages, normally the only persons who would travel to a French speaking location like Togo, are those who enjoy being good at something and another person being bad, they enjoy the power, or really fools gold power. They want to be tyrants, probably why they volunteer…. Hehehe

I need to continually adjust my group of French speakers, as I continue to learn to speak French, I will need to speak with persons who speak French faster and better to increase my ability.

I am naturally good at computers, I need to continually subject myself to extremely intelligent persons on a computer, however boring I may consider it, and to me, this is extremely boring, but necessary.

I think if I am learning a computer, learning to speak a language, being a volunteer, or learning in general and I feel very smart. Then I am probably not learning, I am being a tyrannical learner, not learning anything. I must feel uncomfortable, and have small accomplishments every day, the proper balance.

When somebody says, oh this is easy, I now am starting to remember when I said this to people, there is nothing good about making a person feel stupid. I have slowly learned the wisest move I can often make it to not say a word, to listen, it helps me to learn, and it makes allows the other person to continual to learn.

I am wondering if learning all these small rules for myself will ever be important, I enjoy them, however I know, and understand this small inner journey is for my benefit. I must continually give the wheel a quick twist and turn to enjoy the spinning of my life.

Languages Learned Naturally

être au régime

être au régime
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, March 16, 2007

Régime in the French language is a word used in combination with the to be verb of être to say, I am on a diet or I am on a regime.

I say things by using words, we all say ideas or gossip by using words, we mix in a few facial expressions, body movements and we communicate a vague thought from ourselves to others.

REGIME defined in English: (2)
4. established system: an established system or way of doing things

I do not have a French dictionary that define the word régime in French words, like I would use an English dictionary to look up words in English and read the definition in English, it would be nice to read the French definition of régime.

I am on a diet regime or a health regime, this is nothing new, I am always on a health regime. I eat food, with the goal of optimizing my body for the best health and functions. I take them vitamins and avoid listening to Vegetarians and Vegans to keep the régime. I study the proper mix of nutrients, calories, vitamins and foods trying to optimize Andy.

I sort of laugh, I do not drink alcohol or smoke, I do not do any drugs etc, except coffee, I do not like to drink tea. The reason I say or think about this is because of how I use also, both the words moderation and health.

When a person is a vegetarian and they smoke, or they eat only pasta and vegetable on Wednesday and rice and vegetables on Thursday and continue to so and so forth and so on and keep this up. The words moderation and health have a congruency problem.

Drinking and Alcohol use is a type of regime, maybe alcohol use is a lack of a regime, and the addiction to smoking is a very harsh regime. Eating the same foods every day is a harsh regime and the monotony of rice on Tuesday and pasta on Wednesday is harsh. There is a need to have a regime of balance and have a vast combination of foods, nutrients and types of exercise.

I think this is why I like the word in French regime, it helps or allow me to think of a whole process of events, a dynamic lifestyle that say, this is not just a temporary thing, it is how I live, I have a regime.

The girl that taught me this word in French or sort of pushed me to understand when a person is on a diet, they are on a regime in French.
- être au régime -

She is funny, she is sort of a hard body, with a walk of person that has been doing too many upper leg exercises. She has pushed the barbells too much and has the glutes maxed. Actually she has no regime of exercise, however the West Africa body is genetically made to have a larger butt than us white people from the USA naturally.

The younger people are genetically very fit looking and as they get older everything gets bigger and bigger, especially for the women. I think the men stay smaller and more average, but the women continue to expand.

Ami has a regime, I am probably spelling her name wrong. She lies down in the back, takes a nap, then she moves to the reception area, puts two chairs together and takes a nap. She reads the bible, than puts her head on the table and takes a nap. Amazing regime.

Ami named after the Mina name of the day of the week is on a regime.

être au régime

I Feel Electrically Helpless

I Feel Electrically Helpless
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, March 15, 2007

I turned on the air conditioning, just long enough to cool down the room and to give myself a cool easy feeling.

Then the electricity drops to an unbelievably low level, I can feel it as the air conditioner comes almost to a complete stop, I can feel the compressor, the fan, the movements inside the air conditioner. I know it is hurting, there is a continually edging away at its ability to function. How long can this air conditioner tolerate the abuse?

It causes me great inner frustration as I know I am helpless to help the air conditioner, I can only leave and go to another city, where maybe the electric workers do a better job, the is nothing almost ok in this small quadrant of the city of Lome, there is a need to fire some workers for negligence. I am in places where the electricity goes off, and on, but not where the voltage is so radically variant in nature.

I do not know the theories why exactly, I will slowly endeavor to learn why, however my astronomically mechanical mind knows there is problems being caused.

I know the small black box in the computer electrical line is also squealing a complaint, and my portable cell phone is already damaged, small, continues to regroup and try again to function, and is presently ok, yet I know just a few more straws and the smallish camel inside the cell phone will breaks its back, it will go over the edge.

The enjoyment or bright side of this, I now can go into the depths of the Encyclopedia Encarta and learn about things like Generators, Power Stations, Resisters, Volts, Voltage regulator and try to learn what those big masses of glass, wire and purple looking glass mounds surrounded by a fence outside my home town is doing?

I am in a place where what is supposed to happen, does not happen and I can see the why-it-is-needed, but that does not mean I understand.

Now with GPRS Cell Phone connection, when the Encyclopedia drops the ball and can tell me no more, I go to the internet and it will take me on to step two for learning. I normally need to quiz a professional to go to step three.

I have never heard of this before, however, there appears to be a need to buy a large voltage regulator for the Hotel complex.

Time to make instant coffee water with my one-cup cooker before I need to use alcohol to cook. Addictions require maintenance.

I Feel Electrically Helpless

Beta Blog Forwards to Newsletters and Teasing Techie

Beta Blog Forwards to Newsletters
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, March 16, 2007

I am teasing with my techie from India, I am telling him,

- Forwards goes BETA. -

I am not sure what Beta means in technical terms, I do know how they mean or use it, I suppose it has something more than Greek Alphabet for reasoning behind it.

What is mean to me is this, we have something that works, we think is functioning, but we are going to start using it and testing it, it is in the Beta phase, need to test and watch, not perfect.

What is happening is this, I like to receive newsletters by emails, I really think more people read the blog by email than this new RSS or ATOM reader system, I think they just add and disregard, adding hundreds of reads into these systems and forget. It is very hard to forget an email, I must delete a newsletter that comes by emails, so there is a reaction. This must be some type of Marketing 101 class, passive versus active participation.

I cannot use RSS Feeds or Atom and find them extremely difficult to use from internet cafes and others ways, requiring way too much effort and time. I can download emails and take home, read in my room.

We have made a forwards system, I send ONE email and it goes now to three separate newsletters serving system, it will start to activate tomorrow.

This means or the bottom line is a person can choose a few more ways to read the blog. A long time ago we added the feature, about a year ago, I started sending also to A few days ago, I signed up with a long-term helper to and an original sender of newsletters

A reader can choose as they wish:

Now, I guess I can sign up for the MSN newsletters sending version and any others I can figure out that allows me to post by sending with an email.

Beta Blog Forwards to Newsletters

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

Big Brothers Togo

Big Brothers Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, March 17, 2007

I have a small boy, about 4 years old by the name of Narcisse who has adopted me as his Big Brother or chief person to hug and hold him. This is not so unique in itself, however, the ability of Narcisse to find me is what is amazing.

The other night, the electricity was off, therefore I sat down outside of the hotel on this stand of cement blocks. It as black, dark, I had trouble seeing across the street. As I was sort of sensing my surroundings quiet inside my thoughts. I hear this noise, a plop, a yip, a running boy in the dark. Soon Narcisse arrives and jumps on my lap and proceeds to plant his head into my shoulder. He relaxed, looks at me, then proceeds to fall asleep.

This sense of where I am located and what I am doing is powerful, like he knows me so well he is thinking the same as me. He is not able to understand my French, or at least he never replies to my constant line of questions in the French language.

I would guess he has now fell asleep while on my lap five times, and has everyday two to three times climbs aboard. This is interesting to my other friends, and the mother is of no help, she I assume encourages the boy to find me, interesting way of claiming friendship. I sometimes know that being there is much more important than me talking, I know in person people become overwhelmed with my never-ending continuous curiosity and questions.

Narcisse does not talk with me in word, or a spoken language, however for sure we have long conversations.

I could call this Momo Magic…. Hehehe but that is the name of the great Laundry soap that smells so good.

Big Brothers Togo

What Time Is It

What Time Is It
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, March 17, 2007

I know there is a way, I have just not figure out how, I want to know what time it is in Boston and Indiana, the USA. It is the same time.

I use this link constantly, however not much good for other countries besides the USA.

It does not work here, now, the GPRS connection is beyond a crawl, it it child that fell down and cannot move slow. The java in this page, slows it down, I disable it and it breaks.

I would think there is some Palm Pilot, handheld computer program that I can use on my computer that would allow me to do this.

Type in the time now in Togo, the numbers would spin and tell me the time everywhere on the planet mas or menos one hour. More or less close, I do not ever trust them completely, except the USA clock thing and for some reason it is accurate.

More or less, how do I say that in French. I know, but I have never seen is spelled. Hmmm I think it is - come see, come sah, - talk about bad spelling, I have no idea how to spell it in French, this is maybe a phrase I am learning naturally, by the way the people use it.

Maybe, I can find out what time it is, and I would call my one friend, not good when I make accidents and call in the middle of the night.

I was clicking on the little clock, it will synchronize the time, however not so good when a person is changing time zones a lot. I tried to go to the link, this is the next day now, this link does not work.

Having a connection to the internet 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 24/7 would be nice, however not going to happen for about 5-10 years on a continuous world basis, unless I go Five Star, then I would have no reason to travel.

There is probably a software program that I can install on my computer, whereby I type in the time in once variable. The variable being the time where I am presently located, in example Lome, Togo and it would tell me the time in the majority of cities, I do not think they can do this perfect, but I would be within one hour.

What Time Is It

Togo Culture Identifiers

Togo Culture Identifiers
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, March 18, 2007

There are identifiers, small things that explain the behind the scene action in cultures. They are there, small, and signs that all is not as simple as we see.

This is the BTCI bank here in Lome, I think the letters are correct, it is probably the best bank to go to for ATM card, as best I can tell, there is one at the - Change Money - area that is more interesting located. I can literally say Change Money, like I was speaking French and for 150 CFA they take me there to the Bank Machine.

This time, I went to the main bank by accident, the man on the moto was smarter. Ok, out in front is this big sign that has a photo of a Sleigh with Snow, a Christmas scene and say have a good year 2007. It now the month of March and the sign is still there.

Why snow? Why still in March up and at em?

This is a photo a calendar in my hotel it shows some Lebanese boys pointing machines guns at what I think is an Israeli jeep. The Lebanese both Christian and Moslem seem to have a big financial interest in all of West Africa and run most of the Grocery stores.

Not the win friends and influence people calendar, and why is it in a hotel where there is no Lebanese guest, and why would an Togo person put the calendar up?

It is not as simple as it sounds and sometimes it is very simple.

Togo Culture Identifiers

Kpalime Togo in Like Flin

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

I am in like Flin; life is good in Kpalime, a change of homes, a change of Hotels, and a different channel. I found a great hotel for 5000 CFA or about 10 US, about the bottom of the deck is 3000. I took a tour of all the hotels, think I stopped at most in the guidebook, and one not in the guidebook.

Thanks to the NGO - ONG for make the best hotel, the least favorite. NGO drive cars, go away from the city, from the people are more or less living the exclusive lives, therefore the nicer hotels are outside the middle cultural parts of cities. The price of hotels is funny here; I had to tell the nice manager, Sarah.
- I just took a tour of all the hotels, this one is too expensive, or Cher in French. -

She finally dropped to five Mille, I do think the prices are all negotiable, everywhere, just a matter or wanting to try. The have a room here for about four, could maybe get for three, the problem is, maybe there is noise or boom in the night, and I am not sure. Boom Boom hotel is better than a Buvette Bar Hotel, as less noisy in a way. All are Boom Boom, yet this hotel is more local, not NGO or ONG Boom Boom.

The guidebook calls the room Spartan; I think it is white and bright, no place for the ants to hide.

I got an Elephant for a nightstand computer table; my cell phone signal is better here close to the Market and the cultural center of Kpalime, and not near the Toyota Land Rover parking Hotels.

Because the Cell Phone signal with Togocel is good, I have a good GPRS internet connection and can blog away easily.

Hello, Church Bells! Not a bad sound, soft and light, I wander, it is noon, maybe a Monday wake up.

Kpalime Togo

My Problems in Africa

My Problems in Africa
Lome, Togo
Monday, March 19, 2007

Problems, problems, Problems the things I have to deal with in life are interesting an mysterious. I just thought I would give a notice, sometimes it is not easy to be me. Then gain, the life is good.

I was walking by the home of a couple of friends of mine the other day.

I stopped to say hello, and to ask what they was doing, now what is my problem? No problem…

I am born in Indiana, not the most sophisticated part of the world, we are probably shy and conservative. Now as you go upstream or downstream in cultures from Indiana, the world gets more risqué.

I have gone sideways maybe, and here in Togo or West Africa, it is possible to walk into a home and the man is urinating in the corner and the women have no tops. I this particular instance, my friend just has on her, I am not sure, it does have a Little Charlie Browns Snoopy logo it... though?

Ok, not sure, but it is ok, all is right.

Now, I said it is possible to do these things, I did not say common. I sometimes think the men see walls like dogs, see fire hydrants, it make them want to walk over near the wall.

Women like to stay cool, the less clothing, the cooler they are, and the more a shy boy from Indiana, has to be careful he does not make a big deal about it. I just try to ignore.

I am taking this photo not because of here clothing, I am teasing her about he muscles in her belly. She has this interesting belly in many ways more than muscles.

My Problems in Africa

A Day in Kpalime

A Day in Kpalime
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
March 19, 2007

Today was a good day, rather hot and I am tired, yet it is interesting to enter a new city or culture. Moving cities means new friends, not people, not interest and new problems and solutions.

There was a man Michael from Ghana that stopped and tried to sell pants to the girls who manage the Hotel. He spoke great English and listens to the Voice of America, and BBC, was very interested to know my thoughts on the Bama or Obama, not sure of his name, a black or half black man running for President. I seen him speak on TV and was impressed with this directness, and honest appeal or nature. Plus, he did not seem to want to make his running a black / white issue, more of I want to be President of the nation issue, which is what it should be. Michael is paying attention, and I think a little surprised when I said, I think it would be great to have a black President. The problem, I was asking Michael was is he black or half black, I think the black people of the USA are not too open, they need to see him as who he is and not care. I think, or Michael was saying his name is from Kenya, and his mother I think, hmm, I think his mother is White. Not important or I guess, then maybe I would have paid attention.

I notice he was black enough to be categorize, either white or black or non-white or something, I really could care less, yet I would like to have a Black President, more than I would like to have Hillary Clinton as a female President, Condolezza Rice would be good, but I am not sure how to spell her name… hehehe

Girls Black, anyone that represents the country, and not a party, a person, a minority, but the United as States, not Europe, the USA. This is their job, not to be something to any groups, but to be something to the whole group.

Michael wanted me to go and watch the Ghana / Togo soccer game tomorrow, I declined, I was explaining, if the people of Kpalime seem me watching a football game, I would never be able to walk around the city without talking about Soccer, since I know so little, this would be very inhibiting and difficult.

The border to Ghana is close, I am not sure, maybe this is an official border.

A Day in Kpalime

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

Togo beats Ghana in Football 2-1

Togo beats Ghana in Football 2-1
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
March 20, 2007, 5:28 PM

Kpalime, Togo is exploding in the streets as Togo just beat Ghana, the neighboring counry a stone throw away from the village of Kpalime, really just over the hills.

I will not be able to leave the Hotel tonight, I think both the Islamic and the Christians will find the Liquor store.

Congratulations Togo, I know they are happy, hard to imagine a football game or soccer match in the underdeveloped countries of the world. However, to say the least, they do not work hard, and when there is a soccer or football game, the world comes to a stop and everyone stands around in front of building looking in at a TV, or standing with a radio to their ear.

Togo beats Ghana in Football 2-1

Hotel Kpalime Togo

Hotel Kpalime Togo
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I am in a very quiet hotel, it is about 3:41 am in the morning, and I woke very early, because I went to bed very early. I suppose about 9:00 pm, I am awake now, about 7 hours later, my normal pattern of sleep. I wake approximately 7 hours after I fall asleep.

Now, going to bed at 9:00 is both ok and not ok, according to why, or what I am doing. To stay active during the day, to not be bored, to have friends and interesting conversations is the goal. I could force my way towards a more exciting evening last night, I could go looking for a restaurant or bar, they call them burettes here, try to find people to talk with, and force the play. I allow life to happen.

I am thinking of how to recommend hotels, a guidebook recommends in a fashion hotels. I make internet pages for a living, I am a collector of information, whereby I try to organize the information and put on web sites. The better the content, the better the site.

Blogging to me is not about having good content, it is my journal, my thoughts, my feelings, take it or leave it. I feel it dishonest to edit my log of feelings and thoughts.

However, to recommend a hotel is both good and bad, very taxing on my stress levels. I am never stressed or distressed if I believe I am recommending something that I truly believe is good for people.

This is the crux of the problem about recommending hotels. I arrived yesterday to this hotel, there was a nice girl Sarah who I negotiated a price from 6000 CFA to a more fair price of 5000 CFA. The 6000 CFA is the asking price as dictated by the owner of the Hotel, whoever, that may be, I do not know.

I like Sarah, I am not sure if I would like the owner, or not like the owner, the other girl working with Sarah is nice, but is quiet, no personality and does not lend to my overall happiness. Sarah does not speak French well, this is bad, I am not sure what she speaks, it may be Ashanti one ethnic language from Ghana. I am having trouble finding out; I ask her, do you speak Mina, Ewa…? She does not even recognize the names.

Ethnic groups:
Ewe, Kabiy, Gurma, others

Languages French (official);
Ewe, Kabre, Mina, Dagomba

I find the name is spelled Ewe, or Mina according to my Encarta Encyclopedia, that does not matter much, it is an interpretation by someone, somewhere over time.

I think to myself, I like Sarah, if I recommended the Hotel; would she be here the next time a person came to visit because of my recommendation? I discovered yesterday with the help of Michael, that she has only worked 3 months, I also asked her again last night how long she has worked a the Hotel to collaborate this answer. Three months working, is not a good reason to recommend a person.

Is a Hotel a person or the room, to me it is both, however I believe for maybe 75 percent of people, it is the opposite. For me it is the manager and all the staff that makes a hotel good. However, for most or about 75 percent of people, it is what is inside the rooms that they use to define a hotel as good or bad. Not correct in a way, people tend to mix up or enmesh all the issues, saying a hotel is great, when what they are truly saying is they had fun in the hotel, they met people and their overall experience was good.

This hotel would be ok, if I owned a car, it has a place inside to park a car, but the road leading to the hotel is a deeply pitted and rough road, not a good hotel location where you can just pull in a park easily.

There are hotels along the highway, I think leading north where it is much easier to park, life is simpler, I do not like them, I do not like to use cars, I like to walk, or take a taxi. I do not like to baby-sit vehicles or take care they do not get stolen or damaged.

However, for the person who believes they need a car, this is probably not the best hotel. For a person who wishes to be centrally located, this may be a good location. I went to bed last night early, because there was nothing to do, and I had not place to walk around and view, peruse, or any conversations.

I am dwelling and thinking, there is a set of services that need to be objectively listed, there are many, but for example:

Beginning Price of Rooms
Air conditioning
Is the internet café walking distance to the hotel?
Restaurant on or off the premises
Hot water

This is a very short list, but more or less, a list, and a person could choose from the list or fill in the prices. With well-worded questions, the owner or patrons of a hotel could hopefully describe a hotel correctly. Then a person like me, could choose the one close to the market, and a person who wants a place to park their, to be isolated can choose another.

I am presently ready to leave this hotel, the hotel is ok, but down the street in all directions I am somewhat accosted by venders on a constant basis. People saying everything from come here, to white man, to monsieur to anything to get my attention. It is an annoying location for this type of problem, I am not sure, Kpalime so far is an annoying city, too many people trying too hard to sell me things, and I have had three people come up drunk the first day. Drunks are annoying and can be dangerous.

I believe at this moment in time, there is only one sure idea; I can only recommend managers or owners, maybe the staff of hotels. If the general management of the hotel quits, moves, leaves, the hotel was sold, all recommendations would end. Then there is the price issue, if they change their prices, the recommendations would stop.

I guess in that rational, this hotel is not a good choice, because I had to negotiate the price to make it fair. This is not easy, the guidebooks have a tough job, if they want to do it correctly. In reality, the goal of a guidebook is to say as little as possible that anybody could disagree with, and hope most person would generally agree the opinions were correct.

However, the opinions that are direct, to the point, and stringent are often the best. I will think about this more, I am trying to decide if I want to give a list of hotel options or choices as a hotel path from here to Ethiopia by land.

There seems to be two major itinerary problems in West Africa.
1. The Visa path.
2. The Hotels to choose, mainly because the cost of hotels can be very expensive if you choose poorly.

Visa Example:
I met a boy from Holland yesterday, he came across I think somewhere around here. He was told he needed to go south in Ghana to the border crossing, I think the one near Lome to cross, whereby he could get the Visa. He decides, I think to save money, and time to just walk across the border illegally. So far, so good, but he is in a world of headaches if he is caught. I do not think drastic, but his parents are not going to be happy.

The boy was somewhat typical of travelers, he was very dirty, clothes were dirty, he smelled. I was trying to tell Sarah, hook up with this one, take him, wash him down, clean his clothes, and take care of him, because he needs it. The boy, not really a man, needed someone to care for him. He more or less survives, I guess he would think very well, and if nothing goes wrong, he will return to say how well he traveled in Africa.

He was having his family Western Union him money yesterday and was anxious to try to collect, he has no money, his bank machine card does not work, travelers checks are really not that good here, in reality, he is doing everything wrong.

However, he is in good spirits, and happy, except for the cadeau thing and he is not managing this well, he is very annoyed with the people asking for money or cadeau, gifts. They are beggars for the most part, not anything less.

He was very dirty and needs to slow down and learn how to live better; he was much dirtier than the locals. A traveler will often give up showers if it requires too much work.

This boy needs Visa guidance, money guidance, and a very solid placed kick in the butt, telling him how stupid he is being. I did none of this, a little help on the money issue.

So, am I in a good hotel or a bad hotel, good question, my thoughts are to move on soon, the overall experience says to leave.

Hotel Kpalime Togo

Togocel GPRS Problems

Togocel GPRS Problems
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, March 20, 2007

When I visited the internet café in Lome, Togo, I had about a 1 in 5 chance of a problem. The internet would go down, the electricity would go off, the problems were unknown, and more or less, when annoyed, I would leave and come back the next day.

Now, I am on the Togocel GPRS Cell Phone internet connection, the connection here in Kpalime, seems to be more difficult to access than in Lome.

I am not an expert, I do not like to study some issues of computers, I may rely on my instincts, as when, why or what works the best, and allows the least amount of annoyance and frustration. I keep thinking about the up-time reports of internet pages, not really important. I more or less want to know, when to expect the highest chance they will be down, so I can optimize my chance of being up.

I do not know Togocel, I sort of know GPRS in countries around the planet, Nepal, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, and now Togo. This is not a good list, only Nepal, and Thailand work good, Thailand very good, Nepal is OK, and Togo is a maybe. The Philippines did not offer, and Indonesia was extremely expensive and I did not buy.

I have been trying to access the Togocel network from 3:30 am to now about 6:20 am, and it has not worked. I over-ride any idea, that maybe it is me, maybe it my computer. I more or less induce, it worked yesterday, I have not changed anything, it should work today.

Nonetheless, it is not working now, my guess is this, nobody is working, it is early or night, and nobody is manning the watch. My guess is around 8:00 am, and for sure around 10:00 am, it will be working. The nature of workers, not the nature of technology. I also worry that somebody in the Togocel system, decided to use all the bandwidth by downloading music during the night, when nobody would know. In internet cafés I will often disconnect downloads as I am paying to use the computer, and the workers are playing, not working.

Whatever the case, the anticipation of something is worst than the using of something, the acceptance of something not working is easier when I have alternatives. Sometimes going to the internet café feels better, and less stressful than the idea of, maybe this GPRS is working. I do not like to fiddle around, I just want to get on, and get off the internet, and continue with my day.

Solution: I finally at 8:59 connected in Kpalime.

I am not positive why, I think maybe because I completed pulled the Bluetooth chip out of the computer. Turned back on the computer, plugged in the chip. Shut my phone off, turned it back on, and discovered as normal.

Turn off both computer, do not restart. Turn off, then turn off the phone, I think it resets something, it works now. (Note, it is now the next morning and I did this and it works at 4:00 am in the morning.)

Togocel GPRS Problems

French Pronunciation Rules

French Pronunciation Rules
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I am up to rule number 61, and my guesstimate is I will have trouble going beyond 100-120 rules of French Pronunciation. Everyday, I listen to words on my computer, when I am listening, and I am to able to phonetically sound out the world, and I am not able to see the rules of pronunciation to the word, I stop, copy the word, dissect it and research. This slowly teaches me how to sound out the French words.

I have copied a few pages from the internet onto my computer, when I am trying to learn new rules, I go through these pages and try to find the letter, or combination of letters I need to learn. Time consuming, confusing and sometimes laughable.

The last one is sometimes hilarious to me, for example:

Pronunciation guide for the diphthong

- like the German Ö in "Hölle" (short) or the ÖH in "Höhle" (long)

Like the German WHAT? I thought I was on an English page, and they was trying their best to explain in English, now I need to study German to learn French, I would think the Germans should be able to speak French though, the French are great at being occupied by Germany… hehehe

I doubt all them letter will show up correctly on the pages, or make them way through to an email box correctly.

One Sound One Rule

I do not like to confuse rules, they will enmesh, bunch, convolute the issue, trying to explain rules to apply to many situations at one time. I just keep collecting many alphabet letters or combinations of letters than explain in English, also trying to find a word that is on my BFYNI program, that I can listen too.

One sound, one rule, when I am finished, I will just ram the rules into my head, rote memory them, and apply as needed. I do, and did the same when I learn Spanish.

French Pronunciation Rules

Travel Armamentarium

Travel Armamentarium
Kpalime, Logo West Africa
Thursday, March 22, 2007

My friend Chris wrote me today about a Solar Cooker he purchased, and his dealing with a Chinese Company.

He wanted to know if I wanted to add this to my
--- Armamentarium --- in the future.

Now, that word is 50 dollar word, if I every seen one, being I am never without my dictionary, I went and looked it up, both in the Encarta Encyclopedia Computer dictionary and also the Encyclopedia side.

Armamentarium DEFINED:
:medical equipment: the complete range of equipment, medications, and techniques that a medical practitioner has at his or her disposal

[Late 19th century. < Latin, "arsenal, armory" < armare (see arm2)]

Arm2 is: DEFINED:
transitive verb provide somebody with information or tools: to provide somebody with the information or equipment needed to do something
armed myself with statistics before the meeting

Armory: DEFINED:
resources available for dealing with opponent: a range of equipment and skills available to somebody, used especially in dealing with opponents
Perspectives, life is about the perspectives you use, your point of reference, the benchmark, the starting point, and in the end empathy. Chris empathizes great, and can see the future of Andy very well. Most people have great hindsight and terrible future sight, they cannot prognosticate the future.

However, the word Gear is used normally to talk about what is carried by a traveler when then endeavor to take off traveling for a year or so, or less. However, I think the great travelers, the ones who are really planning to travel for years, get in touch with their fears. They know, they need to find how to protect themselves from problems. The opponent or opponents are unknown, and how does one arm themselves against the unknown.

They need an --- Armamentarium --- for their future.

I feel pride, when a person actually traveling for years, or actually planning on traveling for years, becomes a regular reader, writer, and friend, this means I am somehow earning the respect of a honest critic, and qualified. This person is endowed with the fears needed, the real fears, not the maybe I go on a trip fears.

Most of life is a fantasy, and best place for most people to live in, a fantasy, it is safer and easier to maintain, real life, and real people can be extremely dangerous.

99 percent of my tips, do not apply, unless you want to go PRO, however they do 100 percent apply if want to go Budget. The tips apply 100 percent if you stop the fantasy.

The normal solution for tourist is to PAY their way through a problem, then minimize it, acting like there was no problem, not admitting they really was clueless, and just donated the money, and tried to forget.

I do this, I must forget, there is not reason to sit around and dwell on how to get a Ghana Visa… I just paid 400 Dollars more to fly to Lome, Togo, then to Accra, Ghana because of the difficulty in getting a Ghana Visa. It was not just the difficulty, it was the time needed, I was not going to spend two weeks in Delhi, and you could not pay me 400 dollars to do so, yes 5 years ago, I would have accepted the 400 dollars and been very happy.

Empathy, frustration, it was not 99 percent perspiration Edison applied, it was paying the 99 percent FRUSTRATION price,

- Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration. -

Attributed to Thomas Alva Edison (1847 - 1931)
U.S. inventor. (2)

The genius is in believing the frustration will pay off.

My friend Gary said something or quoted somebody, hmm, maybe I can find it, I cannot.

Ok, the idea or the quote was this,
- A person cannot be beaten, that will not quit. -
- You cannot beat a person that never quits. -

I think people wish to accomplish something and not have any frustrations; this is why they look for tips, the want an easy way around the frustrations. The normal way is to pay for tour, buy the guide, and dollar you way through, and then say, that was easy. In reality, safety cannot be purchased, however illusions and fantasies can be bought anywhere and everywhere.

The idea here is this, a person must add many things to their war chest, most are ideas and concepts, then go and face their opponents, the unknown. Keep you eyes and feeling open, do not avoid your feelings, they are what protect you. Fear is real.

Travel Armamentarium

Tropical Sleeping Problems

Tropical Sleeping Problems
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Friday, March 23, 2007

I do not remember West Africa being so hot the last time I was here; I do remember Niger being very hot. I am more committed this time to Africa though, I want to travel here for a long-time, not just a brief interruption. This is it, I looked at other trips as vacations in the midst of my other vacations, and I would rationalize paying for the air conditioning purchase. This time, I am trying to optimize the use of money.

Climatisation is French for air-conditioning, AC or to have a cool room, the cost of AC has been quoted from about 2000 to 5000 more per day; this is from about 4 to 10 U.S. dollars more per day.

4 U.S. Dollars per day X 30 days in a month is 120 U.S. Dollars extra per month.

It is now 32.00 Celsius in my room or 89.60 Fahrenheit.

To remember the theory Craig pointed out to me, there is this BUNDLE of what I get for what I paid the question is 4 U.S. Dollars worth being comfortable. Then, the worst problem, is the electricity dependable enough to go into a situation whereby when the electricity goes off, I am twice as hot?

4 U.S. Dollars is a standard pay for a room in many countries, I found a room here yesterday at the Mandela hotel, for 6, and maybe I better than the room I am in presently for 4800 CF or about 10 U.S. This is a 40 percent decrease in budget cost.

In economics, utility is a measure of the relative happiness or satisfaction (gratification) gained by consuming different bundles of goods and services. Given this measure, one may speak meaningfully of increasing or decreasing utility, and thereby explain economic behavior in terms of attempts to increase one's utility. The theoretical unit of measurement for utility is the util.


I would prefer to not use AC, mainly because when I walk in and out of AC, it really affects the body hard, especially when you go from about 70 degrees Fahrenheit to about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. A good fan, blowing on my body, not in or at my eyes is good. If I am in a concrete room, with a concrete ceiling, and there is also a concrete room above me, than the room is cooler. If there is a steel roof, than hotter, if there is a wood ceiling in my room, then I know, there is an attic space and it will be hotter.

I am now thinking about this, how I can put a mosquito net on the door to my room, so I can stop the bugs from entering. My room is about twice as comfortable when I open the door as a big breeze comes in the door at night, and hard to day in the day, as maybe it is a hot breeze. The problem is the seal around the door.

Shade or no shade, concrete or no concrete, breeze or no breeze, there is a flat roof up on top of the building. In the Middle East and sometimes in India, people will go up on the roof and sleep, for sure, this would be a good option here, and however, I have not seen anyone doing this.

I have this small thermometer and compass on my camera bag, it may be an annoyance, to know the temperature in the tropics take a lot of works, and do I really want to know.

I do not know why, there just is not a thermometer to be found, clocks are getting easier to find, yet not much value, the people are not on time and do not care, so the clock is just a decoration. Gadgets and measurements always puzzle me.

I use these gadgets and calculations to measure the success of my experiments, if I leave the door open, is it cooler, or does it just feel cooler. If I measure the sound, with my new Radio Shack Sound Meter am I happier or not?

Tropical Sleeping Problems a Need For Speed a Need For Speed
Kpalime, Togo West Africa

I have a need for speed!. Something from the movie - Top Gun -

I want to log into and post my blog fast, it takes me about 5 minutes now to log in because the Togocel GPRS connection is slow, but great.

Fastest - No I-frame, no foreplay, no zippers.

Medium - The little square box breaks or does not load, need to break the zipper.

Slow - But, I want to READ English - Wearing a girdle.

Normal blogger is easy, just type in and easy to remember, and takes time to change language, change worlds, change, etc.

I have a need for speed!

Note, reads you IP, or knows where you are at, and then tells the control panel, now called dashboad what language they you may be reading. This means, I am supposed to read French here in West Africa. I am using a control panel in French, not English, new words, and new ways.

Click here to stay in English and not have to play, you also can find the link to your language, as most of the world does not speak English as first language.

Note, I am learning how to do the least amount of bandwidth use blogging, so if and when I buy a satellite internet connection, or I have to pay 10 dollars per meg for GPRS cell phone connection to the internet, etc, I can have a need for cheap. a Need For Speed

Never Give Up

Never Give Up
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Friday, March 23, 2007

- It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. -
-- Babe Ruth

I found this quote, on this page:

I hope the Babe said this, and if he did not, then no problem anyway, somebody like him needs the credit.

My friend Gary said something like this to me one time, it is one of them reverse logic, look at the world from a different angle, and the solution is easy thoughts. He wrote me, and now my curiousity is going astray, was a great day, searching for quotes.

Ok, unfortunately, I learned a little about this idea because of me being an alcoholic, sometimes a person would say to me,
- Die damn it, but do not drink. -

Somewhere in the mind, over in the corner, hidden by some confusions, is a switch, flip the switch, and the world changes. Come up with one more excuse, and the world stays the same.

Never Give Up

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.

All Things Good

All Things Good
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Saturday, March 24, 2007

I am ahead of schedule today as normal, I have no schedule or need to plan, at least no I-NEED this or that I-NEED that to plan, mostly just I want.

So, being ahead of schedule, on top of the world, I went for a morning walk up the hill form the Mandela Auberge. I am told there is a market today, so I set off to see who is also ahead of schedule.

First thing off, the girl across the way is cooking bread, and is bound and determined I will have the best photos possible. She also sold hot bread right out of the oven, T-Bread I think is the name, two pieces for 100 CFA, about 20 cents U.S., what a pleasure.

I work my way up the hill, slowly choosing my steps, knowing I have nothing better to do than look. The red stone, the red dirt, the color of Africa always makes me think, this color of Africa in photos gives the impression of harshness and difficulty, it really is not good representation of Africa, in the color of dirt.

I start to enter, or weave my way into the market, there are many red dirt paths to choose from, it is a normal market, like most markets on the planet. However, presently, it is delivery time, the early venders are having pineapples, bananas, plantains and various other fruits and vegetables taxied into the market. I am preoccupied with the bananas, then a girl of 18 runs by, chasing the taxi to retrieve more Pineapples, I thought it was my friend Tanz, and called out, by the time I was done, I realized, not the same girl, but both are banana sales job.

The bananas are too green, I think about 2-3 days out before eating is good, and I think they sell these wholesale, then the locals hold onto them and sell them all week long.

So, I started to look at the pineapples, the girl is encouraging me, I try to explain, I do not like to cut up the pineapple, she says she will and I am happy, although I think, the pineapple looks too new, maybe it is still hard, I like a nice soft sweet pineapple.

She cut it up, smiles, pushes, prods and laughs and shoves, she and the bread girl have made my morning all things good and happy.

The pineapple was soft, sweet, and delicious, now I need to learn to say, delicious and sticky in French. There is a good memory associated with delicious and sticky, I will remember these words.

All Things Good

Togo What Are You Doing

Togo What Are You Doing
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Sunday, March 25, 2007

I am lacking in a French phrase, word, or words of explanation, I wish to say to people I meet,
- I am a tourist.-

Je suis un touriste.

Masculine of Feminine Touriste
Feminine touristique

I was having a conversation with a highly educated man from Togo last night in English; strangely, he says his name is Joe. Ok, Joe has traveled a lot, for more strange reasons lived in Libya for two years. He is living in the same hotel as me, with his wife and son for a week while they visit his wives parents and family. She is originally from Kpalime, and he is from Lome.

This situation is different, as normally they would be staying at the home of the family. There are few reasons for hotels in cities, and it is not tourism. First is for traveling sales people to spend the night while they sell products to the city, second for a person traveling a long distance from city to city going to visit family, the third is to visit in laws in the city. As I said, they usually they stay with the family. I am sure there are other reasons. These reasons are why I can trust there is a way to live in most places. Just because there is no hotel, does not mean there is no lodging.

Joe speak English very well, he asked,
- What work are you doing in Togo? -

I say,
I am not working.
I am a tourist.

This is in English.
Then I repeat in French to be double sure, because I get the quizzical look, saying, I do no understand.

This goes on for about five minutes, I know better than to be stupid and just repeat the word tourist. I say it many times, in many combinations of words. I understand language is abstract, it is a few feelings, a few ideas, and a group of thoughts mixed up that somehow explains what a person wants or does, not that an explanation is normally given, but wants are expressed often.

I have said, I am visiting the countries of Africa and start on a list, I will go to Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, etc

- Je visite le Togo, le Bénin, le Nigéria, le Cameroun, le Gabon, le Congo. -

I hoped a long list of countries will give them the conceptual meanings of what I am doing.

I sometime resort to saying, I wish to learn about Africa or curious.
- Je suis curieux. -

I learn Africa.
- J'apprends l'Afrique. =

I want to know Africa.
- Je connais l'Afrique. =

When a person says, to another person in another country, culture or language, or they wish to say,
- I traveled to Benin. -

It is not good in my opinion to say,
- I traveled to Benin. -

I just need to say,
- I know Benin. -

People here will ask,
- Do you know Togo? -

If I say,
- I do not know Togo.-
This means, I have not traveled around Togo and therefore I do not know Togo.

Yesterday, I went to the Sunday market, which also is on Monday, I believe, a lot more interesting than the normal city market. I went two times; the first was early in the day. On the second trip, a family snagged me and some girl by the name of Diana asked to accompany me, I thought to myself.
- Well, I suppose if you the whole village gossiping about you, then that is your choice. -

Ok, so this Togo girl walks to the Market with me, and we roam around, this is difficult to do. I had made the mistake of saying I was going to go eat a Pineapple with my new friend.

When we arrive at the market, the girl goes instantly into buying a pineapple mode. I say, I want to buy a pineapple from my friend, she cannot relate to this, finally after many moves from different chubby ladies the girls seems to ask, where is the girl he purchased pineapples before at, and where did she go?

They all seem to know; I purchased the pineapple from the one girl, and said, she went home. Now, it is highly possible they are lying, this is not my first time to look for a repeat sale in a market. I cannot find the girl.

(I think the reason the girls wanted to accompany me, was to have me buy for her. I got off with a Coconut, Pineapple and some Tomatoes.)

I want to be a tourist, I want to look at things, and I want to be curious. This only happens because I just walk this way and that way, and the girl has no choice, she follows with me or I will leave her. She keeps wanting to know, what I want, I say, I am curious, I want to know the market, I am just looking, on and on and on.

She cannot relate, you go to the market to buy something, what do want to buy. I am tempted to say, I want to buy Pizza with lot of cheese and pepperoni and be a smart A…

All of this is about the question.
- What are you doing in Togo? -
(Africa is too big, I must limit or qualify to one country.)

There are about three or four easy answers.

1. Say, what I am doing in French, and not pay attention to their eyes, their actions, the look on their faces, and not care if they understand the answer and ignore them. I would say, about 80 percent of all tourist or travelers this is their method, mainly because when people talk, they do not listen, they just talk to do something or to hear themselves talk. Talking is because we want to be selfish and we go to the market to buy something, the only reason to listen is to be selfish and to find out if the other person can help, this is not ME.

2. I am working, or I am on a project. They do understand this, the reason is because people come and give them things or help them. They want, therefore when someone gives, they like this. They are 99 percent sure they are suffering and life is hard, and that someone should give them help or aid.

3. I live here. This strangely is a good answer, I can live in Kpalime or Togo and do NOTHING, and this is semi normal. To live in a place is ok.

Joe wanted to know my work.

4. I suppose I could say, I buy drums, leather or something way overpriced and nothing of value to export. The cost of items in Africa is about double the same items of Asia, there is not much I have seen that a person could export and it would be feasible. I do think there is about 50-70 percent of the land, sitting empty, and you could grow many foods and sell again to the same people.

I do not get on the subject of business in Africa, because this just leads into them wanting money and on the economic side of life, this is the wrong place to have discussions. I am learning that a person can learn a lot about languages here in Africa, they appear to be able to learn language at hyper speed.

I suspect the majority of tourist, volunteers, or crazies, just lie, or shine them on, and truthfully could give a Rats A.. if they understood. There is this entrenched belief with people that Africans are stupid, even the African people enforce it.

I truly believe anyone can learn, prosper and thrive anywhere on the planet; I do not need to give anyone anything, but a sense of pride in themselves.

I learned lesson in Thailand, Thai people are annoying, they continually ask either in Thai or English
By Nai Kalp?
Where you go?

No answer works, except.
Bye Tio.

It means more or less, I wander around, sort of like who gives a S, I am just walking and it is not important. The Thai people here, Bye Tio and stop asking questions.

There must be a way to say the truth here in Africa, I am a tourist. The problem arises because most tourists go to see a specific thing, then return to their jobs, or ignore them. I think the majority just ignores them, and I am not good at ignoring people, I am getting good at not understanding the word Cadeau, L’agent, or any words leading to give me something idea.

A person wanted to teach me the word for Money in the local Mina language; I almost got up and ran away. The last thing I want to know is when they are saying money in the Mina language, presently it is easy to ignore, and I do not recognize the word. Life was better before, I knew what Cadeau meant or the world gift in French.

Last night a girl said, something about a headache, this translates to I want to have sex with you, you give me money, and I will be happy. Amazing system some days, Joe and everyone was being extremely obnoxious, pushy and shoving, too helpful with this girl. I kept trying to say, I do not know this girl, I do not remember this girl, and I think she is very young. Nothing works, a girl offers a man should accept. They thought she was free, I was positive she wanted something.

The situation is this, the people want to make me happy, they are extremely helpful, and they are trying to think on how to help me. They want to know what I am doing so they can help me, I must NEED something, and maybe I need a person to help, because I am an ONG-NGO that needs to give to feel something.

Maybe I am here to invest, maybe I am here to bonk the girls, maybe I am here to live, and they wish to help me to be happy. They came down and asked me to come up top, and watch the Togo soccer match, I refused, as I am not going to even be curious about football, or I will need to leave the city as everyone will want to talk about soccer with me. Togo won, 2-1 over Sierra Leone.

What am I doing in Africa? What am I doing in Togo?

I tried to explain to Joe, I like people; I like to learn about Ewe, Mina, Dindi, Huasa, etc.

The bottom line is this, people understand what they know how to do, or what they also do, not what they have never done.

Sometimes, I offer a bone on the blog, I put up more than normal amounts of photos about food, because everyone in the world knows how to eat. Then there are the children, everyone can relate to children. I know this, I know what people understand, and I know what they can relate too.

However, out on a limb, way off in the bush, under the stomp is something I know nothing about, and I am sure many people do not know about. I can take a photo of the Eiffel Towers in France, and go figure about 10 Million other people have the photo to offer.

Curious is Africa, the Togo people are very curious about me, however, the do not see this as an activity, something to talk about, they are extremely curious, but that is not what you do. I have been training the 19-year-old boy, in the front of the Hotel, on the American art of Girl Watching. He is a slow start, I try to explain, I am going to club you if you say hello to another girl who is walking with a man.. I then told him, I do not want to do boxing.

They are like a blunt instrument, abrupt, to the point, and not diplomatic. What do you want? Then you take, really, this is easy, but not simple when I do not need anything, a few wants, but no big needs, and curiosity, how does a sense of wanting to learn work into the mind of a person.

Learning is because we are told, we go to school, and we are forced to go to school. We go to school so we can earn money. I was aware the other day; I have this whole encyclopedia on my computer. I will always have something to read, or learn, I will never run out of reading materials. I forgot, I had a lot of reading material, yet I do not see the encyclopedia as reading material, it must be a book, now I know, I have a lot of reading material with me, I am very worried about running out of English books to read, they are impossible to find here.

I am hearing the noise; the people of Africa must work all the time, because they are poor. Crap, they sit around talking 90 percent of the day, this is not true, they have an overabundance of free time, and they may think they are working, but sitting around looking at a pineapple in front of you is not too difficult.

I was thinking, and watching the Citron or Lemon Juice sales women, I make a special trip every day to her stand. She is ultra busy, she has two girls who fill up bag of water, put in a piece of ice, then the roam the area selling cold water. There is bigger than life size women that sells bean and other stuff, with a capital S. There is a back up lemon juice maker, this women is thriving, she is a go-getter from the get go, and if full of energy, no I feel sorry, I suffer with her.

How do I say, in one short sentence, I am wondering across Africa to see and learn about Africa? This is my goal now in French, maybe I can learn in the Mina language.

Yet, the art here is to have them relate to this answer and not continue with questions, until I am forced to just stop and leave, or shine them on a small bit. The easy thing to do would be to lie, and I think this is the common solution, not mine, but common. The world accepts a lie faster than the truth.

Togo What Are You Doing

Talk of Danger

Talk of Danger
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Sunday, March 25, 2007

The leaders of Iran appear to be lining up to be shot.
- Time to make a move. -

I try to imagine traveling the planet with the idiot notion that I can talk my way out of danger, or discuss, be diplomatic, or in someway we can share and talk over our problems and I would be safe.

I need violence, I am violent, I can and will be violent, extremely violent if needed, I am ready to be violent.

Yes, I can talk my way out of 99.5 percent of situations.

I am laughing at Iran, there are people on the planet that believe they are always safe, that somehow they cannot be touched. That a big hummer, a gun, a weapon, they will be always safe. This is nuts, the leaders of Iran are in harms way up to their ears, they are volunteering to die, they are begging for it. It is hard to believe the majority the people of Iran are in agreement.

The United Nations seems to be in agreement that Iran is going off the deep end.

Yes, 99.5 percent of the time, I am able to avoid danger.

The safety is in knowing and believing I need to be violent, accepting that violence is needed on the planet. I have no choice, I can be non-violent all I want, the other people on the planet are randomly violent.

They go after the non-violent people, the soft and easy targets, not after me, because I know, I can be hurt, I am afraid, I remember, I am not invincible, it is possible to kill me.

Oh well, fun and games, I think Africa is easier and safer for women, the men here, truly believe that women are less than them, and why would they listen, therefore not a threat.

Talk of Danger

ChicaChoo Togo Drink

ChicaChoo Togo Drink
Maybe ChuckaCho
Kpalime, Togo West Africa

There appears now to be a Sunday and a Tuesday market here in Kpalime, and the normal city market every day, which is not as good, but full of the more tourist trinkets.

I took this photo after a lot of thinking and asking many questions. How to take a photo, were these people getting drunk, were they drunk? The brain under the influence of an alcoholic drink can be the most dangerous animal on the planet.

I have the greatest respect for the danger of drunks, they cannot be intimidated, they cannot be warned, they cannot be stopped, there is only way to deal with a drunk, that is not to deal with them. I need to avoid drunks.

Chica Choo

Something like that, I am in Frenchish country, trying spell out a word they say in the Mina language and I am writing it as I think it in English.

French? How to spell in French?
Thique Thu

This was a hard Ch like the word Chica in Spanish, like a chicken, like a chick a baby chicken. Chicka Choo. The ch was like a train, like a Choo Choo Train.

Oh well, the never ending desire to figure out what I a looking at clearly, simply and unadulterated by my culture or my thinking trying to explain in my way of thinking what another culture thinks in their way of thinking.

Is this drink an alcoholic drink and dangerous for me, Andy the Hobo…? I have an alcoholic brain, I could go crazy?

I asked in about 10 different ways, all the way from trying to say alcohol to doing a pantomime and they answered no.

Is there Alcohol in the drink?

Therefore, the answer was NO, about 10 times.

This is a mental game people play, it is funny game, it is not so funny to me, but to the average person, they like to play a fantasy game. If I wanted to drink alcohol and if I want a juicy rationalization, if I really had a desire to drink, I would believe them.

I think this drink has alcohol in it, maybe just a very minute amount, but there is about 50 people sitting around drinking it, and they do not do this with Pineapple juice.

(Some story about ducks.)

Sugar and about anything, and you have fermentation, the byproduct is alcohol, I am sure I am explaining wrong, but that is not the point.

Some old man, wanted me to give him money to buy the stuff, I said, no, as I would say no to any what could be a person who wants a drink.

Interesting cultural stuff here, how we somehow say to ourselves and convince ourselves of ideas.

- My wife is not fat. -

- These people do not work, because they have no job? -

- It is not an alcoholic drink? -

I was in Colombia and a girl told me to drink the Chicha, I did, and instantly tasted the alcohol the same as I taste the alcohol in mouthwash. I suppose I could gulp down the mouthwash and get drunk, it would give me a hell of a sugar, alcohol buzz, and really do wonder for my stomach. Life is somehow to me about my intentions and the game I play in my head, what I say is ok for me, and what I say is ok for you. I really enjoy life, and the enjoyment is the degrees of tolerance or intolerance of life.

The people of the world are tolerant beyond imagination, they look the other way, and they do about anything to not have conflict. Then there are the bullies of the planet, who provoke, ask for a fight, and sadly, someone has to give them a fight. This is where a good person has to know they are needed, they cannot just look the other way, they have to be intolerant and say no.

I had a lot of fun with the people drinking the ChicaChoo as Diana said it and ChuckaChoo as Mawulee said it, whoever says it, I am not going to drink it…

It is about probabilities, if there is a 1 in 1000 chance this is an alcoholic drink than for me, no games to be played, I do not chance it. However, suppose I did feel safe, I drink it and it turns out be alcohol, then what do I do, I stop and say, oops, some alcohol entered my mouth. For sure, that is not a big deal, I could guzzle down a whole bottle of beer if I was going to die of dehydration and I would maybe, or maybe I would die.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Everyone was having a good time, drinking the ChickaChoo, whatever you call it, they was enjoying life, and doing what people do, being people, good, bad, and a maybe.

Opinions are opinions, and a judgment is a judgment, not very much of a problem unless, it becomes important to enforce the judgment. I am not in the world changing business, I am in the Andy changing business, life is good, today was a good day.

Chivalry lies somewhere in our intentions and what we do or do not do, it so easy to say yes and go along with the group.

ChicaChoo Togo Drink

Alternative Gear

Alternative Gear
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Monday, March 26, 2007

Every change of hotel has small differences, sometimes the differences are advantages and other times disadvantages. I continually try to optimize my enjoyment of life, and how I live, trying to make the best possible Travelers Nest possible.

Of late, I have been working on how to solve a problem, I try to clearly define the problem first, there is something about a well-defined problem that embedded in the problems is the answer. This idea makes no sense to me either, but it is true. The more I define the problem, the more I have an answer.

My Problem?
When one is making a nest, they gather twigs, pieces of scraps, debris, and sometimes the are lucky and find the exact size and shape twig that is ideal to make a nest. There is a bundle of need and wants, sometimes it is perceived needs and sometimes it is safety need, not necessarily rational.

I have a list of needs.
I have a list of wants.
I have a list of things that make me feel safe and secure.

I never have a full nest, with everything on the multiple lists, there is often and always something missing, especially in the want area and this is why the malls are full on the weekends.

I am trying to solve a puzzle, I wish to find the proper words to describe what I need, everyone thinks the can just go out, buy a lot of gear, purchase everything they need, and take off. I do hope nobody thinks they could possible carry everything they need.

Alternative Gear

I think the word Alternative is maybe the best word, or the word could also be substitute, the substitute teacher is a teacher, but maybe not the proper teacher, does not fulfill the students needs completely, and either does the normal teacher.

having same meaning: meaning the same, or almost the same, as another word in the same language, or being an alternative name for somebody or something

Example: I can go and buy a very fancy travel bottle, pay a lot of money sometimes; however, I will have this super duper made in China, sold in the USA with an American name bottle.

I will fall in love with this bottle, it will be with me, and it will be the replacement for my mothers… Oops, then I will put this in my mouth on the bus, I will have great pride in this bottle, then…

I will forget and leave on the bus.
A will leave in the restaurant.

The thing will freeze (In Tibet a real story) and I will think, I paid this much money for bottle so it would carry water and not leak in my bag. This is the idea.

Alternative Gear:
I discover a Coca Cola one-liter bottle is about the same… oops

I have made a list of words; I do not think many fit:

Second Choice
Identical, the same,
One and the same,

Ok, I am trying to think of what to do; I am thinking again about gear for my travelers nest, and my armor against annoyances, sometime real problems and danger.

I was thinking the other day, I would like to have a club, so I could whack a person on the head sometimes, or the alternative would just be a sock with a few stones inside, both rather dangerous.

I think I could and will talk for day, on pages of my site eventually to the alternatives ways to manage problems. If you do not have this gear, this will work.

What maybe elicited this set of ideas, the prompt was something to do with the rug outside the shower to my room in Lome. It was very white and bright, and quickly showed the dirt. There is this half-sand, half-dirt in the side streets of Lome, Togo, normal tan sand is much better, complete sand is cleaner, and does not make things look black and dirty.

When, I am in Thailand and the sand is being tracked into my room, I place a bucket of water in front of the room and step in and step out of the water, then walk into the room.

I have been asking for a towel in hotels so I have a rug.

Alternative to a rug is towel
Alternative to a rug is a bucket of water.
Alternative to a towel is sheet.
The substitute for a sheet is a blanket.
A substitute for a blanket is towel or hammock.
A great replacement and my first choice for a water bottle is a Coca Cola Bottle.

So, I make a list of all my needs, wants, wishes, dreams for my nest and I try to quickly at hyper speed, doing absolutely no work, try to find the things on the list.

Casual, I try to be calm and cool about this, not getting in frenzy, because the shower does not work.

I am in an extraordinary room, it is large, the water pressure is great, for reasons beyond my understanding the room is cooler than other hotels here in Kpalime, the name of the hotel is the Mandela, I do not know why the room is cooler, but it is, maybe the roof constructions is a little better or the winds.

I think everything in this room is new,

I do not think more than one person in every 15 days ever slept in this room. It looks like they took it out of mothballs and opened it up for me, this is not a busy hotel, and either were the others.

Mawuli the semi-manager-cleaner is a great kid, he is 19, young, full of energy, and not who I would pay to clean rooms, although maybe he does cleans rooms. Hard to say, I have never seen anyone here clean rooms. The Aurore Hotel had this Queen Size cleaning lady, who seem good at watching soap operas, and the Bafana Bafana, well they was the female version of Mawuli, young and lacking in supervision, although cute, and this was an advantage.

Supervision is needed to have a clean room, the management needs to check the rooms and say, do a better job. This small thing is done in about 1 in 75 hotels, I am not sure, and I think the management only goes in room when someone complains, all reactive.

I tell owners, if a person leaves after one day, this is a complaint, spoken with their feet.

All three hotel rooms have been mopped by a person who would never waste water to rinse the rag. Water is semi-precious here, there does not seem to be a shortage, but if you carried a large tub of water weighing about 30-50 pounds two street blocks on your head, you would not want to use it to rinse the mop. The hotel has running water, but I am sure Mawuli was raised or lives in a home where they carry water from a collection point to their home.

I am amiss to understand, yet the rinsing of the mop is right up there with the lack of fitted sheets on the planet. The world takes the same mop, splashes it around the floors, and calls it clean.




I am not sure, are they different, and is there a radical difference, or is one and alternative for the other, a substitute.

Mawuli just does a 19-year-old job of mopping the room, the floor is swept yet I have discovered when I walked from the shower to the bed, my feet were dirty, the sheets in the bed became dirty. They have this throw rug, a good one, not like the Aurore that felt sticky, not a rug you can wash and dry easy.

I have used the rug to mop the floor to my room and make this nest a perfectly clean room, I will leave the room cleaner than when I entered, and this is normal.

I am going to go and try to buy a rug like this, the color is maroon, I will not pretend it is clean.

Wearing a black shirt does not mean you are clean, you are hiding the dirt.

I have used this rug to mop the floor, works great, I am not going to use as a towel, maybe I can buy one of them heavy, Motel, Hotel Holiday Inn rug towels, I doubt it. I asked for a towel in Lome, then used as rug… That towel was dirty, but it was white, I am wondering, would it be clean if it were maroon.

The idea of life is maybe from Crosby, Still, Nash and Young a lyric in my brain.
- If you cannot be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.-

I do with what I do, I live with what I live, the fun is when I find a perfect twig for my nest, and I can find this same twig again and again. I do not buy gear in gear shops, sometimes I buy gear in gear shops, but normally I buy gear in Wal-Mart, I buy what I call off the shelf items, so I am not depressed when I lose them.

I can find towels everywhere on the planet, and if not there is an alternative or substitute teacher. The substitute or alternative idea needs to be on standby.

Alternative Gear

Togo Iron Metalworking

Togo Iron Metalworking
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sometimes I am just not thinking, and maybe my brain is cooking, however I really should have paid more attention.

This man has created a bellows; no it is not a bellows, as I do research on this Iron works I am learning as I go. This is going to take work to figure out all this information about what he is doing. I understand, and know, but I am not sure I know all the words to type it into this computer.

This man is working iron, by super heating the metal over a fire. There is a bicycle rim. Nope, not a bike rim, I think he just made some type of metal hoop with a groove in it, and then either is using a bike chain or a something that has enough bite for the big sprocket to the right to gear up the smaller sprocket and make it spin very fast. To the right in front of the clay box furnace is a fan.

What type of fan? I do not know the name, but this one is metal and works by having a spiral type of system. More or less the same as a hand hair dryer used to dry hair, except this one is made of metal so it will not melt. He is cranking the larger sprocket, and stoking the fire by more or less supplying massive amounts of oxygen because the forced air on the flame, thereby increasing the temperature of the flame enough to heat the iron piece until red-hot. He will then take some metal thongs and put the piece of iron on the anvil and hit it fast and hard to shape in this instance into a hand help plow, mattocks or tool we do not have in the USA. The more or less plow field with it, not plow, they use it like a hoe and pull at the ground until they turn the ground over.

To the left of the anvil is a piece of flat iron that shows marks of shaping, this is the only think I truly focused on, just to check what he was making. I suppose I understood the other apparatuses and did not focus, mainly because it is not a complicated set up, straightforward and easy to make if you understand the whys.

However, my brain is heated, I knew I was going to explain this, and to explain, it would have been better to look at all the pieces closer and try to think of their names.

I enjoy this type of tourism most, cost nothing and to me is the most authentic and valuable type of tourism. I enjoy learning how people live and work. I looked up some of the words up in the Encyclopedia and it focused on Art. This is tools, real life, art is secondary to tools, and the world keeps making art first in line, they buy the art and call it culture, I meet this person and think this is culture. I was disappoint as there was little discussion of tool making.

There was also another thing going when I took this photo, not everyone appreciates a white guy just coming up and taking a photo. This person was great, however the arms on an ironworker are not to be ignored, even in the USA.

I am going to stroll up there and take another look, very close to my hotel and just across from the Saturday - Tuesday market or diagonally across. Look for a sign with a man showing something on it…. Hehehe

I got offered a job working high steel, turned it down, I was working concrete at the time, concrete workers are crazy, and Iron workers are more…

I think the man is using number 8 one-half inch rebar, I think, been a long time to shape into tools. It is the bar that a person puts in concrete to reinforce, the standard size, do all.

I need to come up with a good name for tourism where a person goes and learns how a person works and lives, focusing on the work part.

Togo Iron Metalworking

Togo Hotel Camping

Togo Hotel Camping
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I forgot about electrical problems, Kpalime, Togo has a small problem with the electricity going off, yet nothing close to Nepal or Lome, Togo. I am reconsidering the possibility that in Lome, the Auberge MyDiana maybe had a different type of electrical problem, I think the house was on a residential power set up and required a commercial account. Not, that the city should give preferential treatment to business accounts, but I think the Galion Hotel had less problem, they had about the same amount of electrical problems as Kpalime, but nothing close to the MyDiana Auberge, but no way to check, I would have to go over and say, hey do you have electricity every time one hotel went off, go visit the other.

Because the owner would not pay the residential set up, the city shuts them off more or allowed worst service.

Camping - When I camp, I do not have electricity always.

When I camp, I go the woods, and I accept that I do not have electricity and I deal with it. There is a lot of camping available in West Africa, the guidebooks are continually pointing where a person can camp, I am not sure, this may be because of about 90 percent of travelers through Africa seem to be in cars or SUV - four wheel drives.

When I camp, I plan on not having electricity, and then am happy when I do. This is what I am thinking about hotel camping. I do plan on having electricity in a hotel, it would be better to plan on not, and being happy because I do.

I do not try to camp, I only camp because I have no choice, and I do camp or live outside under the stars sometimes. I would think in reality I am better prepared to camp, then the person who plan to camp. There is an idea that a true backpacker is ready to camp, is living in a self contained backpack, ready to live anywhere. Cooking, sleeping, rain, mosquitoes and is ready for bear.

Togo Hotel Camping

Making Photo Exposé of Hotel

Making Photo Exposé of Hotel
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, March 28, 2007

How to make for me.

I have made a list of photos to take of a hotels, it is an annoying list of photos, and quite a bit of work.

I think though, if I took all these photos, I will have collected easily all the information about a hotel that I would need to explain briefly. More than what a guidebook gives, but really probably about the same as a guidebook collects, but cannot give because the price of paper is high to print a guidebook of 10,000 pages for every country.

Collect printed advertising for Hotel
Common room with Television
Reception desk or check in counter
Television in Common area to view

Business Card Collected for Hotel
Landmark - Something large, like the bar name next door.
MAP - Travelers Nest
Map or graphics with directions to Hotel
Street Sign

Kitchen free to be used by guest
Restaurant or Bar Attached to Hotel

Laundry Service and Prices

Prices posted on wall for rooms
Receipt for payment of room for the night
Receipt for payment when they only write in the book and do not give a receipt

All Signs on Hotel
Bums or Annoying people in the area
Down the road to right that includes the Hotel
Entrance to Hotel
GPS Coordinates take a photo of the GPS
Sign of Hotel name on front of building
The back that includes the Hotel
The complete Hotel from the front
Address on front of building or the whole building in one photo
Down the road to left that includes the Hotel

Best Value for a room in the Hotel
Door Locks
Examples of all Services
Fitted sheets
Heating and Cooling
Locks on doors
Mattress without the sheet
Pillow with the cover off
Toilets and showers

Person that cleans my room

Photos Miscellaneous

I am working on the site,

I think I will have a few hotels I recommend, but keyed in on the manager and the price,, if they change, the recommendation ends.

What does expose mean?
- declaration of facts: a formal and systematic statement giving facts about something

Yes, good, I used the word correct, then wanted to check if I was sure I used it correct.

It is not easy to collect information on hotel, it take a lot of time, and invariably something is forgot, this photo list is a checklist or tick list to make sure all information is recorded, notes are fallible.

Making Photo Exposé of Hotel

Where is the French W

Where is the French W
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I have now two friends with a W in their names, and I am lost on how to pronounce their names.

I did a search of 1139 words in my computer, that I can listen to the words being pronounced, I found one word, sandWich.

le sandWich au jambon

However, two of my friends have a W in their names.

Mawuli a Man.
Awel a Female, maybe I spelled wrong.

Learning a language to me could be very easy if they just stopped pretending I can learn by context, or by associations and just say to me.
- Andy this is a lot of work, you need to sit down and remember these 3000 words, rules, and you will have a good start. -

Instead, there is a never-ending search through all the pages, the books, the documentations about French.

Everyday, I have to search through all the French materials I have searching for a rule, reason, explanation how to pronounce, or whatever pops up question.

I truthfully believe languages are easy, I think the teachers and books are difficult. This is my second language I am really going after to learn, and I speak a little of many other languages, not a newbie at this communication game.

I am a worker, not a game player, I just want to get to work, get it over with and talk French. I do not enjoy all the work I must do to collect the rules of French into one location, they have been speaking this language for a while, and teaching.

The website has been great; it goes in detail and hardly misses a point. My computer program, although good for learning words and how to pronounce the one word, does not teach any grammar, rules, or rules of pronunciation; I will learn the 1139 word they way they say them and can repeat like a smart monkey

When I see a sign along the side the road, I cannot phonetically sound out the word because of the computer program. The rules in do help, and are good.

I guess, I am irritated at was I think of as dysfunctional thinking, this is it, I am angry, that I am forced to behave dysfunctional. I am forced to study and read dysfunctional explanations.

They violate the rule of enmeshment, they overlap, intertwine, and combine ideas never giving me a direct single concept to learn, they give me choices of interpretations, I can read their explanations and never be sure, it does not function.

I am a horrible person to learn French, I cannot hear the intonations, a person must repeat the word 5 times, and then two minute later I will forget how to say. I must write it down, read, write, repeat 20 times minimal or I forget, however once I remember the rules, I do not forget because I have worked very hard to remember.

The books seem written by a person that did not want to burden the student with all the minute details, just saying, oh they will figure them out and we do, or we will continually mispronounce for the rest of our lives. We do not figure them out, and 90 percent of their students did not learn, or want to learn, and they did not really want to teach.

I remember this guy Jack from Canada in Mexico, he lived there for 20 years and could not pronounce the word Mujer, in fact, he demolished most words, yet he would say he studied the language.

This is what happens when there is no correction and the bad habits become impossible to stop, you write as I write, your grammar is like my grammar, all the rules are violated, and because the person truly believes, they are saying, writing and communicating in the language well, they cannot not stop their bad habits.

Teaching me French grammar is impossible in a way, I do not know English grammar, hard to explain and adjective, when I am never sure what an adjective is, or how to construct a sentence.

I get frustrated when the spell checker says… Sentence Fragment… I think, that is nice, why, how do I fix, come on please, help me to learn, I want to know what I did wrong. Great, now I know I have a sentence fragment, so what?

I am guessing, yet I believe there are about 3000 rules of any language, you could just make a big list of 3000 rules, examples of word, how to pronounce in a row, then say, learn them all and you are ok. Then you need to go and use the language, practice, and slowly learn the sound, the style and the common way of talking.

I found a way to pronounce the French Alphabet on the internet.

Now, if I can find some words with a W in the word, so I can figure out why there is no W’s to be found, and why my friends say their names the way they say them. I want to deal with W, I want to learn all the way the W is used, how not to use, when to use, how to pronounce, I know they could do this, one letter, and all the rules, then A, B, C, etc.

Note, my new friends speak Mina as their first language, maybe they speak French, maybe the do not. Mawuli speak French worst than me, so who know why he spells his name the way he does. The other girl, this mother of 2, single, and selling peanuts and - Divers - I think this means Miscellaneous, I wrote Isabelle to learn, not in the dictionary, but on every sign I see.

The mother, strangely, out of the blue, on a back street, way off in the yonder speaks perfect French, I can talk and understand her easily, but when she spelled out her name, I was lost. I will try again tomorrow; she gave me a Cadeau, a gift of peanuts. I about dropped out of my chair, a gift, someone is giving me a gift, after having about 30 people per day ask you for a gift, the idea of receiving one seems radical, out of this world, there seems to be such a one way street, how could a person offer me a gift.

There are special stars in the sky, I must be sure to keep my eyes open.

I hope after I am good at French, I never tell anyone how easy it is to learn a language; it is just a lot of work, no more, no less. Unless you are a natural and that is not really the same.

Anybody can learn a language, that is easy to see, most people speak one language, there own.

Where is the French W

WIFI Annoys Me

WIFI Annoys Me
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Thursday, March 29, 2007

WIFI is a way to give a few users access to one internet connection point, serves as a LAN - Local Area Network, another toy and a nice toy in certain instances, but not a tool, not a sledge hammer, a small Childs hammer.

I am sending 25 U.S. Dollars to my friend Craig of from my account.

Hobo pays up.

There was an offer made, and I think technically he won the offer.

FROM Craig’s site:

WIFI is like Fools Gold to me a Traveler. Looks like Gold, but is not what I need and want, not all that glitters is gold.

Quote from Craig:

Amazon River Wi-Fi
Several weeks ago my buddy Andy left a comment that he'd give me US$25 if I found Wi-Fi access on my boat trip up the Amazon. Well, look what I came across...

Then later Craig says,

Quote from Craig:
- I could connect, but couldn't use the Internet, as the signal required authentication that I didn't possess.-

WIFI she does not give it up! The goal is an internet connection, not WIFI, this is just a a ways to a means.

WIFI is like a big excuse, I will meet you and they do not show up, I will call you and they never call. It is a big promise, which never gives results.

When I do not need a connection, when I am in a location where high speed internet access is everywhere, there I find a WIFI connection. A WIFI is a good Local Area Network a great way to allow a few people to connect to the same internet connection.

This is not the future of Wireless Internet Connection. I think the end will land around a Satellite Connection or a Cell Tower connection, not a router set up.

WIFI is a great suggestion that does not work as a way of providing internet to the whole planet, it is just a fancy way to replace an Ethernet wire, and if you want to give me access in a hotel. PLEASE wire the hotel with Ethernet and do not give me WIFI, unless you are putting the transmitter in MY room.

Annoying and annoying, you never call, you never write, promises, promise and I just sit here waiting, dreams that never come true.

I wish I had never heard your name WIFI.

WIFI Annoys Me

Organically Grown Palm Oil

Organically Grown Palm Oil
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Thursday, March 29, 2007

I am being sarcastic, and a smart A…

The Palm Oil is not pure and clean looking it is real, real life, real oil and made in a natural and organic way.

This is a photo I took in the market of Kpalime; the woman is selling palm tree oil, squeezed from this small little nut like thing. It is not the coconut, it is something that hangs down, not clear myself and there is nobody here in the organic natural and authentic world that cares to explain in English. I think I could get a very good Mina language explanation.

They do need and want to use the oil though, they are practical and use what they need, not making all the political correct decisions.

I see yams or cassava mostly being cooked in oil, there is also the Gateau I eat in the morning. They deep-fry them over a wood flame while I wait.

I like the Gateau or the round, what I think is corn, with some sugar inside dough thing, deep fried, and sold like a round donut hole, but is not a donut hole. Hmmm.. I have a photo.

Yes, the cheap food, I eat in the morning, one of these costs 25 Franc and one dollar is 500 Francs. I like them, and I have a small chat Chantelle, not Chantilly Lace, but Chantelle is my new friend, I think her mother makes them. Chantelle is married, has a baby by the name of Rose, and is nice, speak no English, small French, however we do communicate.

I am doing this mostly to EAT in the world now, IF I can see them cooking it, I will eat it, if they are not cooking it in front of me, I do not eat it, my solution to eating healthy.

I see many a chicken here looking like it is being cooked, and I want to see how long it has been on the burner, or is it from yesterday. I truly believe restaurants of the planet, take foods that did not sell yesterday, or the day before and just keep putting them out to sell. Not so bad when you know they have a fridge, sense of what is safe, and has the basic idea understood. NOT!

I trust my mom for this, and after that, I do not trust anyone, the world is about making a buck and the world will sell me anything they can get away from and I do not care if a 5 star hotel or the street vender. I am getting vigilant, cook it in front of me, and I will eat it.

Organically grown, a great marketing plan, a semi-good idea that goes astray, turns into a way to sell food at very high prices and who can say, was it really organically grown. The foods I see grown naturally grown are very ugly, I eat them daily, and the bananas are difficult to buy.

Is the world really ready for the ugly truth, would they eat meat, if they had to kill the chicken. The normal world will kill the chicken, we are sanitized and three levels away from life, the real world is a little too real for most people anymore to understand and appreciate.

I would wretch the necks a couple of chickens, if I thought they had some meat on them bones. They got some of the skinniest chickens and range fed chickens, marathon-running chickens on the planet here. The meat is like eating leather, a great place to make a large chicken farm.

Organically Grown Palm Oil

Old School

Old School
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Friday, March 30, 2007

I was looking at an iternet page the other day and it said something was - Old School. -

That’s so Old School.
I am trying to remember the first time I heard this or read this.

As I interpret it to mean, or my understanding of this buzzword, trendy type of phrase or combination of words.

Amazing, it is in the dictionary.

Old School:
traditionalists: a group of people who adhere to traditional or old-fashioned values and practices As a disciplinarian of the old school, he was horrified at the laxity of the new regime.

- old skool
reminiscent of earlier style: reminiscent of or inspired by something from a slightly earlier period of popular culture, especially in music (slang)

They call it slang, however it sort of means what it means, this something we learned in the old school of thinking, or the old way of thinking. There is now a new school where we are learning a new way.

I remember when I was in school, there was New Math, it was a new way of learning math or something, I think I never did learn the plot, math to me was math, and it still is math, sort of 0 and 1, yes and no, 1 + 1 = 2 hard to change it.

I really cannot be bothered to listen when someone says this is New School or Old School. I - Cannot be Bothered - is a way the British say or explain, this is somewhat ridiculous, why would I pay attention.

When a person says to me, this is Old School, I think, they are saying to me, you do not know the new way of doing things, the new method, you are old, fuddy duddy. You want to do it the old fashioned way and traditional.

- You are not cool. -
- You are old fashioned. -
- You are not in. -
- You are not trendy. -

This is good.
- As a disciplinarian of the old school, he was horrified at the laxity of the new regime. -

It is sad to me that people in the name of being trendy, will ignore good sound ideas. Ideas are cumulative, I must know the history, all the prior knowledge, and ways of doing things, the methods, and then I must separate what works from what does not work.

The internet is extremely trendy, people jump to the next fashion or trend so fast, I cannot be bothered to listen, by the time I am listening a new fashion is on the horizon and the old one I am learning is out of fashion. Yikes, this is like trying to watch the wind pass.

A young bull says, lets run down and have our way with a cow. The old bull says, let us walk down and see the whole herd.

Tortoise or Hare?

I just purchased a new computer, I purchased with XP and not the new Vista. I use a new computer systems all the time in the internet cafes. I am waiting, when the new school shows me something or a good reason to change, then I will change.

I have been bomb barded to change to this FoxFire; I think that is the name and stop using Internet Explorer as a browser. I have used Foxfire many times in Internet Cafes and personally have not seen a hoot of reason to change, just more information to learn, and not a lot of big benefits. Yes, of course there are some benefits, but it the time I need to learn a new program is not a good trade-off for me.

I think about marketing or promoting information. It is such and easy thing to do. I make a list of every way to do it, and then I go down the list and implement all of them, not just the new ones, the old school, the new school and every possible way of communicating to the audience an idea. I do not put all my toys in one basket and go with the new trend, I do all of them.

I use WIFI when appropriate, even though I consider it sort of a joke and Old School. I do wish I was always in the USA system of things and I could sign up with Sprint and have this all over the USA internet access, but I am in Togo now, not here, so I am with Togocell and I have good access for the country. I have to be as New School as possible, I must be extremely flexible, I adapt faster than believable.

I find the highest and best idea available in the given situation and use it to the optimized level or advantage. I exploit the options, always having my choice open and my mind ready to pounce on an idea that is truly a good idea.

I remember a person in my office one-time saying, the most dangerous words a person can say, is,
- We have always done it this way. -

On the other hand,
- If it works, don’t fix it. -

Trendy ideas are good, great, the future is the new ideas, the new ways of accomplishing task faster and better. Nevertheless, the principle somewhat remain the same; they do not change over time.

If everyone is going the same way, I am going to get nervous, maybe we are all being lemming and there is a cliff to jump off of soon, I think, you first, then I will see, maybe you will survive. Maybe the water is safe to drink, but please you try it first, I will wait, I am patient.

I love when a person thinks I am stupid, this means, I have them just where I want them… hehehe

I am hiding in plan sight, ready to pounce, predatory by nature, survival skills on and ready to go.

It is like saying Bill Gates is stupid, or President Bush, they have you just where they want you, underestimating them, thinking you are so smart, and whack, you do not know what hit you.

I wish they would invent some great travel gear, so I did not have to make it, instead, just more and more trendy and stupid. A different way of doing the same thing, and very expensive, like the more I pay the smarter I am. I truly believe the more I pay, the more stupid I am.

Old School

A Techie with Wisdom

A Techie with Wisdom
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Thursday, March 29, 2007

The problem with the human condition is that it involves humans. Bringing that condition online, fostering it with the Wisdom of Crowds philosophy, is slowly but surely proving what philosophers have said since humans first learned to write: the anonymous mob is powerful and passionate, but no more rational than an angry swarm of bees.
--- Jason Lee Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews

Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule.
– Friedrich Nietzsche.

The more people that like me, the more I worry about myself. I would know my opinions were in question, if the groups agreed.
- Andy

A Techie with Wisdom

Traveler Denial

Traveler Denial
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Saturday, March 31, 2007

I met this Swedish girl, yesterday in the Gomido Bar, makes me appreciate the Togo women. There seems to be a propensity for the less-than-up-to-snuff-looks-wise (ugly) white people to come to Africa, however I better be careful, I fit into this category, as I am white.

This woman has traveled many countries, she was annoyingly Swedish, and there are two types, the ones that are balanced, and the ones that are snobs. A country making large weapons, probably selling them to the Islamic world and invaded by 1 million of them on their free money system and she is complaining about the USA system.

I have never eaten in the Gomido, and I suspect it is recommended in the Lonely Planet that was sitting on the table.

I made a comment about Africa being expensive, she said,
- I have no problem finding cheap rooms. -

I think she is in DENIAL.
Or her Ego Defense mechanism is kicking in.



I think his name is Oliver, a smart man, and I hope to meet again. I was discussing solar this, and solar that, and all sorts of fun things and somehow he is working with one of the exceptionally pretty white girls in Africa and I forget here name.

I was making a small comment about the Africans Men being Macho and trying to intimidate. He said,
- I have not noticed this. -

I think he is in DENIAL.
Or his Ego Defense mechanism is kicking in.

I am trying to remember, I have this Farmer Tan, it is very annoying, I laid out in Lome, trying to get one of them deep dark brown tans on my body, to look the true surfer boy image I promote and try to emulate.

Now, back to this stupid Farmer Tan. A Farmer Tan is where a person is wearing a t-shirt or some shirt all day and his or her face, mostly him get a tan on his arms and face that are very brown, yet when he takes off his shirt, (I have never taken off her farmer shirt), there is a distinct separation. The arms are very brown, the face is very brown and you can see the outline of the collar around the neck.

I have this now again, very annoying to get rid of, because I have to lay on the roof and sweat, read a book, and get thoroughly hot and bored, no beach bikinis to watch.

I do not remember, I do not remember a farmer’s tan on either the Swedish girl or Oliver the Belgium Solar worker or project worker.

It would be very difficult to walk around and see all the people of Africa and not get a farmer tan, unless you did not walk around and see all the people of Africa.

I walk way too much, I would never pay for a trek, it just seems like a stupid thing to pay for, when all I do is walk and trek around the country of Togo, unless I wanted to avoid people then I could go and look at a waterfall and a mountain.

I know a girl by the name of Joscella, she is from Bristol England and she could tell me every way in the world to travel and live cheap. She as an amazingly good traveler, probably the best I ever met, she knew everything about how to live in any type or room, any place, and cheap. With a true traveler, there is not a minute that goes by, when they are not telling you a tip, an idea or some fruit of an idea on how to travel better, this is what we do.

This was not the Swedish girl, she did not tell me one hint on how to travel cheap, she just said,
- I have no problem finding cheap rooms? -

I judge people by their fruit, if she was telling me idea, tips, and specific examples; I would and could believe her. I am terrible, I trust people too much, I am from Indiana, and we trust people. I think she is in denial she wants to pass herself off as a cheap traveler, yet she was sitting in the Gomido buying an expensive salad, and telling me about paying 200 dollars to go on a 4-wheel tour in Benin.

Her fruit says she is full of crap, she pays a lot for rooms, and I gave an example of how to find a cheap room, the boom boom example. She gave me nothing, and is pretending, or lying or in denial.

The Ego Defense mechanism is the idea, I am very smart, I would never say or do something, I would never give an example of how I am stupid, because I must protect my ego, I must retain my self-image or I will have a problem.

Oliver the Belgium guy is maybe doing the same, he does not want to admit or accept a person tried to intimidate him. It is frightening and scary to have this big man come up to you and ask for money, you can just give and hope they go away or you can say no.

IF you admit they are frightening, then you might say to yourself, I should go home.

I say no, but I suspect that most just pay the Piper, and try to pretend it did not happen, and heaven forbid, they would ever say something bad about a country or a culture.

I will, the African men are macho, they will try to intimidate you and I think women can travel better in Africa maybe… The African men are also very or extremely sexist and would never intimidate a woman for power, for sex yes, but not for power no, they see women as powerless and something to be used.

A person intimidates a person that challenges them for power; I personally am quite used to being the Alpha Male and will take the position easily and often. Normally by brains, not brawn, but if be so, I use brawn.

I am going to try to listen for the fruit, try to find the travelers that help me to travel, try to find the people who give me gifts, not asking for gifts. I had this very nice girl give me some peanuts the other day, I will never forget this, it was nice, no agenda.

Sometimes a person will say, I had this really great taxi driver, or this restaurant was exceptional. I want to holler at them.
- HEY stupid, you paid a fortune, what do you want, they kept sucking up because you kept giving them big money. -

To test the fruit of a person, they need to have zero agenda or reason to help or give, not with a reason to give good service as part of their job.

It is very interesting to listen to people and then try to remember who I am, so I do not accidentally trust their opinions and have problems. Recommendations from a Hobo cheap person is not going to cost me or YOU a small fortune, a recommendation from a Swedish paying through the nose person will, if I followed her advice, I would have to pay my way out of danger, and not finesse my way if I followed the people in Denial advice.

Just because you think there is no danger does not mean it not dangerous, just because you think it is cheap, does not mean the next person does not think it is expensive.

A cheap room is one dollar per night in the word, 10 dollars is very expensive on the planet.

Note the Belgium guy was installing a 700 U.S. dollars Solar panel, and admitted, nobody from here could afford it, and his school was paying. I said, it does not work for good on the sustainable word idea, but keep trying, someday; somewhere someone will come up with a good idea, probably by accident, not by design.

I want to hear how a person saved money, how to spend money is easy.

Traveler Denial

Esther Uses Her Head

Esther Uses Her Head
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Saturday, March 31, 2007

This is Ester, I probably spelled here name wrong, nonetheless she is smart young girl, I am guessing about 15 years old, bright eyes, bright smile and my consul when needed.

She shows me how they cook bread. A few minutes ago, she called me over to the bread oven, more or less saying,
- Andy, we have hot bread, I know you like it.-

Intuitive she is, words are not needed when the brains are in correct alignment.

I am not sure how to teach, explain clearly how to find friends; I think sometimes people go looking for the worst friends or maybe they found themselves. I am not sure, friendships are natural, easy and develop without work, providing I open the door and allow those who want to be my friend to be my friend and throw out the trash that wants, takes and is a nuisance

I normally know the minute I meet a person, when not to continue, the first judgment is normally the best. If I feel, this person wants something…

Esther, she speaks great French, instructs, teaches, and pushes me to learn about Togo and the place where I lived today. I suppose it strange to people to think a I make friends with this young girls. I do not pre-judge who can be my friend, I do take my feelings into consideration and trust them.

I was walking down the road earlier this morning, I said Bonjour to a girl, and she ignores me, even though I was the only one on the lane. In some places, you expect people to ignore you, they are afraid that if they return the hello, you will never leave. I ignore on a regular basis the taxi drivers here, they are rude. I often say hello, or reply hello, and then proceed to ignore the person, looking them right in the eyes. No remorse, I can see the good from the bad, my instincts work fine.

Why would I worry about a person who ignore me, I see them as afraid of their world, not to special of person.

What is up with Africa, there are two ways to carry, one is on the head, and the other is by wrapping a cloth around the chest and carrying on the lower back. This is how they carry babies.

I keep looking and studying how the world carries items, why do I have a backpack where my shoulders hurt, seems like the whole world has the pressure on the head or chest, and the shoulders are used different. I know my backpack can be made to put pressure on my hips, but that is not what happens, ideally, it does.

I have been trying to catch one special photo, sometimes they will put one egg on their head, nothing is too big, or too small to carry.

On the other hand, I ignore young people in the USA, I am afraid of their perverted parents, they could sue me for being a good guy. This is one of the wonderful things about being outside the USA, I do not have to worry about all the attacks and paranoia. The world in the USA and outside, all the world is safe, and the world tends to find the worst to believe, the world believes a lie before they believe the truth.

Esther Uses Her Head

Andy the Happy Traveler

Andy the Happy Traveler
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 2, 2007

This is how it works.

I travel to a places, I get curious, I read about it on Encarta, maybe I read a little in the Roughguide Guidebook, or Lonely Planet when I have that one, I am using Roughguide for West Africa, seems to be better than Lonely Planet.

What is making me happy is this, I have the ability to go and look at something new, afterwards I go back to my room curious. I read about what I seen in my Encarta Encyclopedia; it gives me great insight, knowledge, background and great maps. If I am finished, and my curiosity has been quenched, I stop. IF not, I read as much as I can, then I go to the internet to finish my reading. The GPRS in my room allow this, not internet in the internet café, to remember, go to the Internet café is too time consuming to remember. I now can return to my room, and in my room I can research and learn.

This added benefit of GPRS has made my travels more rewarding and I am now spending more time learning, and less time just having questions.

Google Earth does NOT work, take too long to load, is not on the machines in internet cafes, then the maps are good when I do not need a map, such as the USA, and a disappointment when I do need a map. I get angry because I spent all this time, money and work to find a Google earth and download and no map of value.

IF a person is in the Internet Café and they are using Google Earth in the internet café in West Africa, every map you look at will probably cost about 50 cents USA.

Now, I can do this, I go to a link, I - SAVE AS - to the computer and I have to read offline.

I am happy because Encarta can tell me about Togo, gives me maps, tells me a lot, but cannot go into detail about a small idea. Wiki has these obsessed to collect information people and they do this, they collect, organize, and tell me, I open, save as, and I can read, when the GPRS is bad, or when the I leave the internet Café.

My guess is I could get high-speed internet access about 10 percent of the time on the planet in my room. I can get high speed a lot, if I would pay 100-150 US per night to stay in the 5 Star Hotels, but that is not travel.

I am happy, I read, and read, or someone sends me a link, I sometimes can go and look and see what he or she are talking about. Normally when a person sends me a link, they have to be a great friend, or I do not look, I have to trust them and they for some reason are in tuned or empathizing with what I am interested to do. Sending random, I am in love with pages is nice, but not so helpful.

Planning, I am now planning all my countries around the extraordinarily fast expansion of GPRS. I think I can go to only countries in Africa that have GPRS and wait until the other offer. There is no way I will travel faster then they expand. In addition, Africa has about 52 countries to wait in…

I find I do not like 24/7 High-Speed internet in my room, it like an addiction. With this supers slow GPRS, I can find information, but it is not addictive, I am more than willing to stop, as it is slow. I do not look at videos, that is what a TV is for.

My curiosity about the planet is being quenched better with a spontaneous extra ability to have my questions answered with GPRS internet access. I do not become an addict to the internet.

Andy the Happy Traveler

Blogging is My Business

Blogging is My Business
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 2, 2007

I really do not care much about what I blog, I write about what I am thinking at the moment. To read my blog for relevancy and usability seem silly at best.

IF you are going to go travel for over two years.
Extremely Valuable and applies to maybe 1 in 500,000 people.

If you are in the office, and planning a trip to Togo right now, then very good.

If you are curious…

If you are planning a trip to South America, then go read my blog post or newsletters about that time period and forget reading the daily blogs about Togo.

This is a business, always has been, always will be, I make web pages, I blog to make money. I had one goal with I started to make web pages.

I wanted to earn enough money to travel and work anywhere on the planet, to be a Hobo that goes from place to place and find small jobs.

Extremely few readers, reads the whole newspaper. They read the sections they like and ignore the others. This is how to read a blog, it the topics and the reader wants, continue, if not interesting, click away and be done.

I want to receive blogs my email box, if I am going to read, I want to read, I am not interested in RSS, as I have a hard time using it, and it does not force me to read. I read by temptation. I have and will continue to put manuals and difficult journals, and boring, but I need to read information in the rest room. I read a little of what I do not really want to read.

RSS to me is this, I am saying I am interested in everything, but focus on nothing.

If I want to read something, I make myself react to it, I force it to cross my path daily, then I learn.

But making one post for me, is about business. I make each post to have it show up in a search engine, the person finds, a reader interested in blogging will find this one. I then hope so they do not get annoyed, they click on the NEW feature now offers.

Thank you - Labels - they at the bottom of all post online, not offline, and a reader can stay on topic better by reading the labels and get their I need information fix, MTV, too fast for life people, not my friends, just came to read and take and leave.

My best friends have insatiable curiosity about anything, talk about trees, they talk, talk about solar, they talk, talk about politics they talk, the subject is not as important as curiosity. They are probably still reading to this point… Hehehe

The bottom line is this, the more pages a person makes on different topics, the more money they can make on the internet with the new contextual ads. The more unique, obsolete, and unknown the topic, the more money they can make. To talk about Shakira will not make you money as everyone is talking about Shakira, to talk about Togo will make me money, I will be continually in the to 10 searches for Togo because the planet does not know Togo exist, and is not a prime time subject.

I recommend blogging as a source to fund a person who wishes to travel forever. However, they need to make about five posts per day minimum for about 2 years to make any money. Every post is one subject and one them, they need to follow very strict SEO rules and pretty much ignore the other webmasters, if a person say Flash, this mean the do not know.

I like to blog, fun, easy, and my online diary, talk about what I want, the readers help me, they give me ideas and recommendations, I make some friends, I make enemies.

The way to know how popular a blog is, count the number of hate mails, if you do not get hate mail, not many people are reading and probably you spend your whole time sucking up to people, being a person who says what you think they want to hear, and not your log of you life.

Blogging is My Business

Travelers Mouthwash

Travelers Mouthwash
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 2, 2007

I have had more or less a paranoid case of bad breath worries. I woke the other morning with a mouth taste that would not say goodbye. Brushed my teeth many times, swooshed the water this way, that way and tried my best.

Then decide, time to floss again.

I think the problem was this, I flossed the day before, and in a hurried, too aggressive way, I pushed down and made my gums bleed. When I flossed, again, this area told me, I am the culprit; this is where the smell resides, lives and is you worry.

There is dried or bad blood.

Baking Soda brushing, purchased some new toothpaste, finally went to a pharmacist to buy mouthwash. This is difficult stuff to buy in West Africa and it is not because there is not a good need.

4500 CFA for the first bottle - 9 U.S. Dollars.
3300 CFA for the next in line. - 6.4 U.S. Dollars.

Something African here, they will not show you or even admit cheaper exist, until you say no to expensive. It takes a long time to work you way to down to cheap and proper price hotel room, you must take a tour of the complete hotel.

500 CFA is about 1 US Dollar.

I said no, and went back home to search on the internet, learning that alcohol in the mouthwash dries my mouth and is not good.

I do everything wrong, coffee, dieting, cheese, I do not have good mirrors so I do not brush good, I like to see myself when I brush. Peanuts, Popcorn, every food that is perfect to set up home in my teeth, I eat.

Look across the street from the Pharmacist at some lemons, they was the super baby size, not big enough for prime time TV. Sometimes, I buy lemons and just cut one in two, bite, suck, and my mouth gets some type of citric acid clean. I think it will clean off a penny.

Baking Powder
Toothpaste Rinsing: Taking my toothpaste and pretending it is mouthwash.

I gave up today, paranoia is growing stronger, and brushing my teeth 10 times per day makes me nervous about myself. I went today and purchased some Hydrogen Peroxide.

The first pharmacy and the five workers FIVE were out to lunch mentally. I wrote Peroxide, then Hydrogen Peroxide, then went to H2O, the to 03 or the little 3, not like I typed.

Said it in Spanish, converted to French.
L’eau Oxigenateur.
Agua Oxigenado en Espanol.

I am saying, no need to spell good.

I gave up, did not say Merci, I wanted Mercy, this was too crazy, and a full on formal pharmacy and I cannot get Peroxide to use as mouthwash.

Said, to a Moto Taxi, see this sign, it says Pharmacie, I want another one, take me, he takes me down the street, and down to the corner and there is a pharmacy.

I ask everyone; (3 Men, one women here) showed them a piece of paper with written on it, H20 and 03 and Peroxide, and Hydrogen Peroxide. I then say,

A women, the only women, I do believe they are smarter than men, engaged here brain into first gear, finds a bottle of Eau Oxygenee.

This cost 900 CFA or about 2 USA Dollars and is powerful and cleans, and works, and it usually cheaper than mouthwash needed in West Africa.

I ask her, the women, are you the Pharmacist. She says no, and points at the man, I say in English.
- I am worried about you. -

Then I say,
- Tout L Monde, la femme est intelligence., et l-homme es mal. -

I hope she understood as this, in the entire world, the women are educated and the men are not. Culturally, the men somehow learn to sit and talk, and the women learn how to work. Now, in school, this is giving the women tired of the men drinking and carousing a huge advantage, they study and apply themselves.

Being big, and bad, does not stop intelligence from conquering the world, and the women are taking over the planet while the men go and watch football and drink beer.

The Medicines and Pharmacies, the true place where a person is going to start finding solutions to problems is crazy here in Africa. The price of medicines in Africa is double of South America, I think triple of Asia, and the French Colonies are the poorest on the planet….


I really like my lemon solution, yet I think the sugar in a lemon kills and advantage of taste.

I am still brushing my teeth and tongue and cheeks and scrub and so on and so forth in an obsessive, compulsive let discover a new problem way.
Travelers Mouthwash

Kpalime Togo Croix Rouge

Kpalime Togo Croix Rouge
Red Cross Kpalime Togo

Applaud, claps and yippee, a good start for the Togo Red Cross or Croix Rouge in the French Language. I told myself, not to think about the NGO-ONG lack of doing anything worth a darn, and I found a loophole in my own rules. I guess I can encourage by finding a couple of things they have started to do right.

This is the ONE trash bin, close to the Post Office on one of the main streets of Kpalime, Togo, just down the street from the big Fan Milk distribution shop. I have found only one, but it is a good idea.

Some people that have read my ramblings and allowed me to annoy them for years may recall or remember me commenting that we need to send a deluge of trash cans to the developing world.

I could take a photo of the disgusting stream or the water ditch that runs right through the center of the main market. However, what is the point; it looks like any ditch in any city on 80 percent of the planet. The developed world as they say is small in my view, about 20 percent, while the developing, under-developed, etc and so forth dominate as the 80 percent.

I think a deluge means bucket of water coming down, it was door number 2.

DELUGE defined:
2. vast quantity: an overwhelming amount of something

I think the USA should send millions, maybe billions of plastic trash barrels to every country on the planet. Then put a very small, not big, barely noticeable label saying. A gift from the people of the United States of America. Then the words - Trash Disposal - in the local language also, however a s huge label.

I want an overwhelming amount distributed, you cannot give, the governments would sell them to their people. Then after they have loaded them up with fish, carried water in them, used for tables, hauled grain in them, what can be left over is an over-abundance of trashcans, because it has to be overwhelming.

The bottom line in life is this, the world, including the USA people are enormously lazy, what is easy to do, they do, there can be no obstacle or they give up easy. IF there is trash can close, then the world will use it, but if it require work, then no. I personally throw my trash on the ground in the world all the time, it is ridiculous, the world is being unreasonable, give me the can.

I would like to can a few of the United Nations people to help save the world.

Ain’t that an euphemism?

This Toilet is up the hill from the main market, past the central Gare or small bus and bush taxi station. It is on the right as you head towards the Sunday - Tuesday market area.

Ok, I do not think this toilet is quite in the needed location, and one trashcan in the city is not going to keep the city clean. However, this is a good start. As long as nobody says, quit urinating on the walls, I assume the world will continue to urinate when they think about it, as always, anywhere and everywhere.

Thanks to the Togo Red Cross for starting along the correct path, when I do not see a person urinating 25 times per day, I will know the toilet project is working. When I do not see the central water stream or ditch running down the center of the main market not full of trash and looking like a sewer, I will know the trashcan idea is working.

Send Trash Cans, a deluge.

By the way, I throw trash on the ground all the time. I think since I have adopted this idea, my life has become 10 percent happier. The constant search, carrying trash in my pocket, was like carrying a continual reminder of dirt. It does not feel good to be the only one looking for a trash can, while 80 percent of the planet is just throwing trash anywhere. I now figure, that is the way they want, that is the way they get it.

This all falls under one rule of mine, the job of management is not to manage, it is to remove the obstacles to production.

Africa is clean compared to India. South America is about the same, and hard to say in Asia, cluttered with people, but the need is there about the same or more than Africa. Africa is clean, big, open area, not really many people.

Kpalime Togo Croix Rouge

5 Page Wonder Hotel Page

5 Page Wonder Hotel Page
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Hmm… maybe not the correct name for what I am doing today. I am getting serious about recommendation of Hotels. However, more serious is my desire to make the perfect hotel site. This is NOT correct, it is not a Hotel site, it is a site where there is going to be a list of every place on the planet where I could sleep short term, whether free or paid, just where can a person sleep when traveling.

The big hotels are easy, it is explaining my favorite type of accommodations, the small bed and breakfast type, family run, mom and pop and that just sits there and hopes someone comes to visit.

Webmaster, I am not sure that is the correct name, however a person who you or say the Hilton Hotel would hire to make an internet site often, normally makes what I call a,
- 5 Page Wonder -

I am being cynical and ornery, not very complimentary and probably insulting, that is ok, I mean it, paying good money to pay the majority of internet so-called webmaster is nuts.

Today, I am trying to make a 5 Page Wonder, but I am not making a 5 Page Wonder page. I am making a yet to be determined number of pages about Lodging Brochure Page template.

People get hung up on words, I use the word Hotel to mean anywhere I am sleeping. I would go back to the camp site and say, I am going back to the hotel. I more often say,
- I am going home. -

I am going to recommend the Auberge Mandela here in Kpalime. This recommendation is conditional.

I recommend this Auberge or a place to sleep if and only if.

1. Price is still 3000 CFA per night for a room. I am not sure if one or two people… hehehe, I need to research, this is the nature of making a page, not easy to collect the answers to many questions.

2. This is the management staff.

April 2007

IF this man is working as the main manager of the Auberge Mandela in Kpalime, Togo I will recommend the Auberge Mandela. April 2007

IF this man by the name of Mawuli is his sidekick is also working, I will recommend this Hotel in Kpalime, Togo. April 2007

This 19 year old kid is a good kid and I think he has mastered the art of doing nothing, a long and established art in West Africa. Say, Girl Watching to him, as I am teaching, he is also working on Girl Flirting and Girl Chattting.

April 2007 - I think there must be a time element, a time stamp.

IF the prices of room are 3000 CFA then I recommend, it the price is 4000 and 5000 I would say, still ok, but when you start to go for 5000 try to decide if you want Air Conditioning, because around 5000 in Kpalime and you can get AC.

Note that this is an example of how I will slowly start to recommend hotels. I will connect or do something with labels and a person can click a label link (look to your right if reading blog online.) starting with the word - Togo - and saying more less something about hotels. I need to think. There is also a need to only have one subject, not mix up the blog and confuse the readers who annoying only care about finding a hotel.

Hmm what is the name of the manager?

I will need to figure out his name of the main manager, not as easy as you think. I have to go and ask, then I have to say, please write it down, then it goes on and on. I need to ask, is this your full name, etc. Then he gets paranoid, starts to hedge, changes the subject, and I am having trouble trying to help him. Now on the other hand, if I say, I am doing this and that, trying to write a page about your hotel, my quality of life drops through the floor and the whole experience and my collection of information become subject to questions. Did they treat me nicer because I am doing this page or worst, or did they not even understand, not understanding is normal.. Hehehe

I have compiled about 1500 to 1700 questions so far about hotels, and suppose this will easily plateau around 5000 and then slowly go up to about 20,000 or 50,000 questions.

The list of simple questions for example,
- Does the toilet have a mirror inside? -

Then, is the mirror broken?

What are making is a very extensive fill in the blanks questionaire that allows an owner to learn what they have for lodging and also helps to make a page.

The idea is this, the person first signs up, gets a username and password and names the hotel. This creates a link.

They log in and fill out the short version page, attach some photos, the page start to come up to be a page. The link is continually sent to the person so they have a link in their email box, and can easily forward or what not.

This is where an owner can hopefully decide to get very serious about explaining their hotel. We will maybe call this person the Accommodation Business Representative, the person that is talking for the hotel… or rooms, maybe they sleep in airports.

This page can be made by owner or a paid blogger of Hobo, or would make for the Hotel, data entry people could enter the names and addresses of hotels to start the names.

Today, I am making an example page, and hoping to make a page with limitations of questions, the short version, yet not missing any essential questions a person who want to come to the Mandela would wish to know.

I have been thinking for a long time, and one of the variances of me and other tourist is that I actually try to live at an accommodation and my priorities are more sharpened and aware of what I need. For example, if I moved to one of the farther hotels, say the Beau Reve, I would need to walk to the main road and hope a small motorcycle taxi would take me to the Market. I instead think the hassle of negotiations and motos is onerous, I do not wish to spend 1 hour of my day in transportation mode.

Strange and I have been trying to surmise why this does not bother most travelers, and I think it is because they want to stay busy, and the experience of being on a moto is exciting. If they change cities every two day, this moto excitement and arranging the moto is part of the journey and they enjoy the stimulation. The farther I am away from the city as a sole person or independent traveler the more dangerous it becomes though, I have a computer, portable phone, camera and the cell phne is an item they want to steal for sure here in Togo. I do not get easily confused on my priorities.

The bundle of services, I call the Travelers Nest, where the hotel is located in reference to Internet Café, Restaurants, Market, Transportation and importantly tourist attractions is my home.

Amazingly in the world, the most expensive hotels are in the worst locations, sometimes for privacy issue here in Africa as about 70-90 percent of the clients are using the hotels as love hotel for their lovers and mistresses. (In huge cities, the expensive are in the best, to spend money.)

Parking causes the African guide writers to not empathize clearly and simply with the true backpackers who are traveling by public transportation. If a person has a car and is writing a guide, I want to know, they was driving a car, there needs to be a distinction, do I need a car to live in this hotel.

I consider this mix of questions difficult to pare down, the guidebooks normally are written for people going by bus in the world. However, it is quite obvious the majority of guidebook writers in Africa are driving a 4-wheel drive, and they also talk about camping, because when you have a car, the idea is to camp to save money because they can carry camping gear, they have a lot of hauling ability. Nobody in South America talks about Camping, rare and hard to discover.

Living in an Africa hotel is so expensive that the cheapest place to live is in a camp site. I do think there is ONE properly priced hotel though in all cities.
This is camping thing is like the USA or Europe. I am trying to think if I know of one campsite in Southeast Asia.

I am pounding away at this project, I have this database, that I sort, search, and try to categorize. I wish to give a rating that would say how likely this place is a good place for me, Andy who wants to live at a place. I have devised a sneaky system that makes the person tell me about the property, yet is not obvious how or why I am asking the questions. For example, I like to have a small bar on the property, that does not play music, however this bar has to be off to the side, or on the ocean and not the place right outside my room. Most people would consider a restaurant in the hotel and advantage, I consider a breakfast an advantage, and the other parts of a restaurant an annoyance. Now, in a business hotel, room service is needed as we are working, for a tourist it may be nice, for a person who is on a budget that say, I am eating at the same cost as locals, it could be an annoyance.

I was offered a salad something the other day for 1200 CFA, the same as I can get in the Cafeteria restaurant area for 500 and I know there they sell enough to be fresh and here, they never sell.

If I am the only person that eats in the restaurant, I am worried about the food being bad. I want a busy restaurant, and preferably street food where I am watching them cook it, I also like to look at the cooks clothe, finger, and inspect the person who cooks my food.

Later in Day, I am randomly taking photos and completion is soon, I am having problems with the room photos as I am living in the room and my junk is everywhere, hard to take photos of the room.

5 Page Wonder Hotel Page

Popular Blogs

Popular Blogs
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 4, 2007

My blog is not popular, it may be well know and recommended, that is not the same as popular.

As some of my friend get serious about blogging, and try to make a living blogging, I tend to think more about if this is possible for the average person.

I do not make diddle from my blog, I make the bulk from the main site, maybe 5-20 dollars per day from the blog part, however, I am guessing, I do not know, there are too many pages on my site, and the income is distributed, not isolated, as I would wish or possible.

I think though if a person wants to be famous, and a popular blog, they need to post blogs that are easy, simple and a person can agree or disagree easy. Do not sit around and contemplate your navel as I do and totally confuse the readers.

The popular blogs seem to written more to the third grade reading level, seem to cater to a simpler mentality that like sports, soap operas, and read the horoscope daily in the newspaper, does not have a clue what is on the business section.

The is prime time TV.

To be popular, you have to cater to prime time TV. I would say most travel magazines write for prime time TV. They are never offensive, and help to support silly idea like poor people are nice people and going to a resort is seeing a country.

A popular blog would reinforce beliefs or preconceive perceptions, and not try to refute or destroy popular stereotypes. They would attack popular common figures, like President Bush and support Popular dizzy people like.. Darn, cannot remember the name, Brad Pitts wife. Joli or something, a good looking girl.

This type of blog is easy for most persons to perform, because they are prime time, they are the majority.

Popular Blogs

Hotel Recommendations Stress

Hotel Recommendations Stress
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I have been having a good laugh at myself, I also think about how naïve I have been over the years about hotels. is not a guide that recommends hotels and restaurants; it is more or less a site that helps guide on how to travel. will recommend rooms. will recommend rooms.

This whole recommendation thing has come full circle; my brain is finally becoming the master of the idea.

I am a master at real estate. I am a master at search engine optimization on the internet and architectural design. I am not a master at writing.

I am mastering the art of room recommendations, without taking the easy route and recommending something I do not believe is the good choice.

The guidebooks do a very good job within the limitations that they have. They write on paper, and they cannot edit always as the internet can, it is a guide that need to last about 6 years on the shelf and passed down to friends. This is not a webpage; a webpage can be edited on the fly, however not as easy as I am explaining.

Most Hotel sites go for the expensive, nobody will ever complain about hotels to recommend, they paid too much, and it would be an admission they made a stupid choice if they complain. Therefore, they will not complain. Funny how this is, the price will keep the reputation good, because nobody will admit; I paid 300 dollars per night and hated the place.

Like admitting, I lost 10,000 on the stock market, like saying to your friend, I a make bad investments, because I am stupid.

Well, the good of the internet is also the bad. If I recommend a hotel without thinking, a reader can go there, spend a lot of money, and then write me hate mail, as if I forced them to go. I am reachable.

I had a man go to a Hotel in Quito, Ecuador; he has traveled a lot in Thailand. He wrote later saying the hotel was exactly what I said, He was thinking there was writing between the lines and it was some type of boom boom Thailand hotel, it was just a great family hotel, not the same now, they have remodeled, the manager is not managing, the mother has taken over and the whole neighborhood has been invaded… aagh the world changes.

The mastery of a trade is when you reach a point whereby you can choose the proper words to explain it, with real estate; I can explain the value of property and explain why it will resell easy.

With an internet page, I can explain what makes the search engines happy; this is a very complicated set of variables.

How to recommend hotels is also a problem, the guidebooks must recommend a hotel that stays in business, or they will be sending people to hotels and they will get angry. The also have to deal with the insanely naïve, who need to have nothing change, because they cannot change the paper of the guide. Here in Africa, they need to recommend the hotel with car parking, I believe this because as best I can tell the buyers of guidebooks have cars here in Africa.

Fun stuff learning how to master a trade, how to know you are getting good at it, I am getting comfortable with this recommendation thing, therefore I know I am getting better.

I will sit and tell a person to buy a 500,000-dollar piece of commercial real estate and not flinch.

I can tell a person their website is junk with no problem.

Telling a person to stay in a hotel in Africa still is making me nervous; however, I am learning the variables. It is fun to think, what is the essential ingredients that makes a good value for a person, and then explain them in easy to understand words.

This is the problem, the bundle of joys is not easy, and the bundle of what makes a person happy is not easy. For sure, the majority of travelers are drinking in Africa and banging away if they are French, this is not me, on the other hand I do understand drinking more than most and have master the trade of drinking, I am an expert, in remission… hehehe (I am a recovering alcoholic.)

Ok, back to business, fun and games, because we have a webpage, I can recommend a hotel that could go out of business, could radically change and still stay safe. The guidebooks get wish washy and do not help me when I get to a hotel and because it is in the guidebook, the hotel has greatly increased the price and the hotel if full of gap girls.
(Note the best hotel is normally the new one, just started and trying to get business.)

I am safe in saying gap girls; they are not in Africa… hehehe

Pick on the group that is not reading, there must be something there in the mastery of writing.

I am doing conditional recommendations of Hotels or Rooms, if the main management staff is the same, and the price is this, I am giving a recommendation. I then suppose as I learn how to so this, we need to supply a way to make comments, and then hope to stop the othere hotels from lying and getting on the site and saying the hotel has changed. Hotels lie at a tremendous level, there is very little truth in advertising when you leave the USA.

Do not worry I make joke, (Note, I know that is bad English. I am talking African or Asia English.) I am not stressed on the recommendation thing, my mastery of dysfunctional thinking has me 100 percent convinced you are responsible for your decisions and better yet, I am 100 percent responsible for my decisions. When a person really goes after a guidebook hotel recommendation, I know they are dysfunctional and take no responsibility for their own decisions.

I for some reason write in riddles naturally, sort of annoying to myself, probably could be dysfunctional inherent behavior, very curious thing to do.

Hotel Recommendations Stress

Togo Banana Scavenger

Togo Banana Scavenger
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I buy a good looking banana, when I see a good looking banana, I am not talking about the girl.

I do not like just any food, in my town, they call me Snoopy eater, this word is used only in the Northeast corner of Indiana as best I can tell and is a cultural variance of words of this area. I learned in University I needed to say, I am a picky or a choosy eater.

I say, I am not a Garbage Disposal Eater also, referring to travelers that just put anything in their mouths.

I am a scavenger eater, trying to always find the one day collection of foods I scavenger for, as a balanced day of small meals. My friend - A Man - with the name Michel in French, or Michael in English thinks I do not eat.

I explained my diet, a Gateau or Bread in the morning, a few peanuts here and there, a couple of eggs or can of tuna, when I can find chicken, I eat chicken and a lot of the Vache Qui Rit Cheese or the Laughing Cow cheese.

I walk by the market, I buy Carrots. I eat a can of Peas, in Lome, I ate more vegetable as they had more variety. I eat an apple here, and apple there, other fruits and vegetable when I can.

I do not see rice with spaghetti on top, and a chicken drumstick as being a great meal. This type of dish is an illusion of food to me, and common for the Togo people.

Michael has been laughing, IF I see a banana lady, with a what looks like good bananas. I stop her, buy 100 CFA or about 20 cents US of bananas. This is about 4-5 smaller type bananas. I am always on the lookout for the more yellow bananas because I will not eat a banana with black or brown spots. I am a snoopy, maybe a snob about the food I eat.

European food.. What is that? Here in Africa, it is good excuse for a person to pay 5 times the going rate for food, it is amazing and I just do not understand how the poorest of countries can have some the most expensive restaurants on the planet. For the most part, locals do not go to restaurants in the fashion of the pay-to-much and think they need this white folk.

I am an independent person, I cannot buy big quantities of food, therefore I eat larger than normal helpings of one food, then scavenger all day long for various types. After the day is done, I more or less have all the correct foods, then supplement with Vitamins.

I eat about 1000 CFA per day, or 2 U.S. Dollars, including the lemon juices and slice of oranges.

Togo Banana Scavenger

Hotel Guide Photo Standards

Hotel Guide Photo Standards
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Question, what is included with the room?

What a lot of work this is to collect the information and photos needed to make a great webpage about a Hotel. In the back of my mind, I am always thinking, how can I set up the standards needed if I was paying someone to collect this information.

The impossible problem to solve is the problem with the hotels. When a person goes to a Holiday Inn or Sheraton Hotel or Hilton Hotel or a big resort, I hope for standardization, I want globalization to take over my room. I do not care if 95 percent of the toilets in India are squat, I still want my western style toilet.

I want every room to come with a towel, soap, small towel for in front of the shower, toilet brush and many other selected accessories.

When in a Mom and Pop Hotel every room is unique, it is possible on room has a big couch, while the one next door for the same price, has nothing. Then you have the cleaning person that remember to put the bar of soap, and then cleaning person that never does anything good. I truly do not see any standardization on the planet enforced in the hotels under 100 rooms.

Hangers and closets, what a waste of space, the average closet has zero hangers, and two if they are great, why give me a closet or dresser with no hangers to utilize.

However, in a hope… of collecting the basic idea, I have thought of this strategy today. While I was taking photos of another idea it popped into my mind.


This is a photos of all the miscellaneous smaller items in my room in one photos. I have added this to my master list of photos to take to show an accommodation.

Aagh, I spelled expose wrong, I really should back in a perfect world and add to this page.

Nonetheless, to make standards for little Hobo blogger is the idea, to supplement their incomes by taking photos. I need to give easy to follow standards or guides on what photos to take.

This is quite easy, take all the small stuff, put in a pile. The truth though is this, I know the next room over does not have the same list. Sadly the hotels of the planet work on this system, come and ask, and I will give it, but if you do not ask, it is not included. I gave up a long time ago asking for towels. I do ask for toilet paper sometimes, just because I am cheap. Soap, I carry my bar, I am never short on soap as there is always a couple of extras in my bag from the hotel where I did not use, and I packed it away.

I laugh in the Philippines, they always give me a an extra toothbrush and toothpaste, I think they assume some babe is always coming over and they need to brush their teeth. The system is designed in the Philippines for night visitors. He in Togo, what is it designed for, I suppose lying around and them having beer to bring to the room.

Note, here is a funny, do you really want to look under a bed anywhere in the world? I truly think, the only solution is to not have an under the bed or under the mattress. I get nervous in an hotel when I look under the mattress, or bed, I am thinking, maybe I will want to move out of the hotel if I really know.

Hotel Guide Photo Standards

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

Habituation to Danger

Habituation to Danger
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 5, 2007

I was in Cusco, Peru, and a man with me used a Credit Card in the restaurant to pay for he meal. I about came unglued, I was so angry I wanted to slap him and the friends agreeing to this idea.

He sort of said, this is my habit, not quite the same as Habituation, but sort of along those concepts or lines.

People learn to ignore danger, I am not sure having thousands of dollars rang up on your credit card is dangerous, but it will cause you unlimited grief.

People ignore this as a real problem, and it to me causes unknown amount of financial problem as the naïve of the planet, just hand over their credit cards to some of the most dishonest people on the planet.

Giving a unknown worker, in a poor country, the ability to tack on two months of their wages to your credit card seems silly, and they know how to make it work. The person goes home and never even looks at the bills close, they just pay.

When we ignore or minimize the danger of a situation it become more dangerous.

A Habit of ignoring the real danger.

I was walking home last night, the Islamic people were lined up praying along the road. Groups of people were having fun, men in groups that are bullies by nature. The people were dancing in the streets, the motos were zooming by. (Moto is Motorcycle Taxi.)
I am different, I do not blend in. The do not ignore me.

Example of danger - I was surrounded by potential danger.

I have become Habituated to the Motos. The danger was reminded to me as I say a moto come inches from slamming into a person in front of me, as he jumped and screamed at the motorcycle driver.

I have learned not to step left or right fast, as they do not give but inches of clearance. They easily hit me. If I am walking down the road, I have to look back carefully and not move to the left or right fast. This is very dangerous, a motorcycle can be going by at about 25 miles per hour. It probably will not kill me, but it will hurt me.

I become habituated to this danger and forget how dangerous it really is and act the same as the Togo people. I ignore the danger, I continually remind myself to not walk on the road when possible to get a good two feet off the road so when the motos come by, they hit someone else.

I think bikes are enormously dangerous as they compete with the motos, and walking does not. The Peace Corps rides bike, so they can avoid the Motos, and in my opinion now are in greater risk. A bike is not as safe to me as Moto, a car coming up behind a bike, THAT MUST STAY ON THE HIGHWAY, or wants to stay on the highway can be hit easily. A Moto is going fast, it cannot be hit from behind by a truck easy, the problem is head on, but the same for bikes.

When a Moto goes faster than 25 miles per hour here, it become more dangerous than a bike.

There to me is this ignoring of the checks and balances of danger. Bikes do not go fast enough to not be hit from behind. Walking done the road is more dangerous than a bike, a bike is more dangerous than a moto, to get hit from behind, the slower the target the easier to be hit.

I take motos and would ride a bike in Africa, because there are fewer cars. I would not ride a bike in Asia, and India is nuts.
The know of two travelers killed because of hit from behind by cars, one in Mexico and one in Bolivia.

I do not compete with crazy drivers for the highway, I walk off the road, and the crazy drives can have it to use. When on a bike, or walking on the road, we must share the road with a life threatening danger.

I am always telling myself, cars are killers, and who or what type of person am I trusting with my safety.

When I am Habituated to the danger, when I feel safe, this is when I start to think the most, am I really safe. I know I will be robbed, killed or hurt the worst when I feel the safest, I have turned off my danger meter or fear has left, I have learned to ignore, because the existence of danger is a habit.

Asia is very dangerous for cars, South America is Second, Central, Mexico after that, I would say Africa is safer than most, and if I was going to ride a bike or drive a car, it would be here.

But there is no shortage of insanely dangerous drivers on the roads

In Europe it can be very safe near the roads to walk, then the motorcycle paths become a danger, the USA is safe, then we go faster, and more people die in car accidents. The underdeveloped nations driver slower, they just maim you.

Habituation to Danger

To Go Togo No Travel Rain Day

To Go Togo No Travel Rain Day
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 5, 2007

I was deliberating, shall I stay or shall I leave Kpalime.

Farmers say,
- If it rains before 7, it will stop by 11,
If it rains after 7 it will rain all day. -

I adhere to this way of dealing with rain, except for the afternoon monsoon thingy.

It has started to rain here in Kpalime and is nice, cools off the place and makes life nicer, stops road dust and cleans the planet.

It is 8:12 am, I would say this is a most of the day thing, or could be, not a day to travel. Thanks rain, I blame you for my decisions today.

I go NORTH, I want to land in the Yellow or as close to that an Atomic Bomb, not really close, just in the area.


I am going to go from Kpalime to a good question village, north of here, anywhere but here.

This is difficult travel for me, I do not speak French, and my Mina is only good to call a girl over to talk, not really to talk. Va and a down wave of the hand, and they come, what is up with this Yeh Bow. 95 percent come ratio, and the others know me and just are not coming.

I want to go North to a village that is small, has something to sleep, maybe an Auberge and is un-touched as much as possible for Togo by the out-side world of cell phones, TV, MTV and the other annoyances we call progress, and I call fashions.

I sometimes think I am doing this Hotel and Room site for purely selfish reasons. I want a list of all the hotels in every village on the planet. If I has a good list of every hotel, big, small or insulting in Togo, I would have a better idea on how to plan to leave Kpalime.

I do not want to do the big Tourist City to Tourist City jump, obey the guidebook shuffle. Follow the guidebook, pray to the Yellow Bible, obey the maps, follow the path. I am an iconoclast by nature, I never obey, you say not to go, I go.

I have a allergic reaction to tourist, Africa is great, nobody but me, and a smaller group of people not really here doing much, IF I stay out of the bars, my even worst allergic reaction is avoided. I do not like NGO or ONG people, if I do not go to the Buvette, Bars, or Tourist Fare restaurants, or the AC Western hotels, I can not have an allergic, annoyed attack to the NGO people.

I am going to the small village they say they are helping, and never there to be found.

Ok, how to find a small village, and find a room for my head, when I do not speak Mina, the language of Togo. French is just a supplementary language and spoken as a need, not a first language, and not in conversation by the locals. The more remote, the less French spoken by the locals.

However, if I spoke the nuance level of Fluency of French, I could cut through the crap and find a room. If I say Hotel, they say no, if I say Auberge, they may say yes, if I say I want to sleep, they will find a place and who knows what they call the place, and who cares I want a room, the words are not important.

I sometime will just land in village and say, I want to sleep, call it what you want, but take me to places to sleep. Then I have to convince them in Africa, that white people will sleep in the same places as the locals and that sleeping is sleeping, we do it the same.

Special is not me, I am normal, or not wanting special, I want to to go Africa and leave the West behind.. - The Beatles. -

A off-road motorcycle would probably be ideal here, not a big lunker, a dirt bike, where I could go explore the small villaged and find a room. I think about a Peugeot Van, them big square ones, it would work, and easy to get repaired.

I do not like police at borders, therefore the idea of sitting around and talking to the annoying police at borders, trying to beg and bribe my way across the continent makes me annoyed to think about. The idea of vehicles to drives seems too complex and full of headaches I do not pay to have.

Ok, the target city is yellow, and anywhere they say I can sleep in this area. This become work, as I spend the whole time in the collective taxi trying to do a what if question, is there a hotel, and can I live there. Everyone in the taxi knows exactly their start and finish points, they cannot think in maybe or hypothetically. On or off switches only.

To Go Togo No Travel Rain Day

Biper Flash Telephone

Biper Flash Telephone
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 5, 2007

Biper: I suspect I am spelling this West African French word correct, I check with a Friend and he spelled it Beeper... hehehe, it is not important to Biper or Bee Pay me it to:

Calling me on telephone and hanging up after one ring.

I pride myself in telephone management, I can capture a telephone number and track, monitor and call back people excellent. I was very good at sales of Real Estate.

I do not know why I exchange numbers here in Africa though, they never have credit on their phones, then they do not call from the number they give me.

They Bipe Me Beep Peh me.
Flash me.

They call me, then they hang up, this means I am suppose to call the person back, however being I cannot speak French good, I do not call back unless I can read the name and am prepared to think in this persons way of thinking.

The go to a telephone cabine and call me, I do not know the number, and they are thinking, why does he not return the beep?

I do not take a number unless I enter it in my phone, this way I can caller ID and know who, not to monitor, but more to prepared. Talking in French on the phone is ludicrous, come here, or I go, or something simple is maybe possible. I can take a taxi to the persons house after they call easier than talking on a cell phone.

There is some secret here, I am not aware of, and I do not understand the rules. I have been thinking, since about 90 percent are women, maybe I can give type a tex message in the cell phone and send back.

Chambre 2
Room 2 in French - But this is NOT my room… hehehe
(I would do with the beeps coming from un-known numbers, maybe wrong numbers.)
I am in room 4 and probably the best in the Auberge Mandela, but then again, who knows, I do not sleep in all rooms.

- I think this is Mawuli’s room, a worker here, he is young, he needs these girls knocking on his door.

I do not think the girls want to come over, I do not think they want much, they just want to say to their friends,
- Hey, the Yeh Bow is calling me. -
- Hey the White Man is calling me. -

Hard to say or understand, I am not part of the inside secret of all these phone games, and would not have a phone, except I need to access the internet. It give people a kick to exchange numbers. A true friend just called form Lome, and he says,
- I call you every day. -

I said,
- Did you email me? -
He says,
- Today, I will -

(I also now need a cell phone to allow to call, or to call the USA advertisers that cannot empathize with the true fact, I am not in the USA. They will say, call me... duh, ok, they are not the shapest tack on the wall about the world. The on the other hand realize that traveler writers to not travel.)

I do not even carry my phone, just sometimes for fun, makes me feel younger when these girls want to call me. Plus it has a clock in it, and an alarm, I like this function, I do not have a watch and when I feel I need to know the time, I carry my cell phone.

I am going to remember to leave the phone in the room, shut off, and not ready to receive calls. No calls, no bee pehs.

Biper Flash Telephone

Why Am I Happy

Why Am I Happy
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 5, 2007

West Africa is quiet, few people, easier, cleaner, safer and more fun than most places I have traveled.

I am in an introspective focused mood. I am trying to remember the my history of happiness. When, and where I was happy, and maybe a little of the why, however hard to pinpoint this.

I like the Philippines.
I like Thailand
I like Ecuador and Peru.

I do not like India or the more I think, Nepal.

Guatemala brings me fond memories.

I could avoid the Caribbean for the rest of my life and not have a problem and so goes if for Venezuela.

I have good memories of Belize, none of Vietnam and few of Cambodia, Laos was ok.

Niger is a pain in the butt country and a couple of good memories, but more or less too hot.

Egypt, nothing to think and I like Iraq, some good memories and had some fun times.

The USA is easy, and I can achieve what I want. I like Germany a lot, have little use for France, and think of Spain with ok memories.

Mongolia has a lot of good conversations.

Anywhere, I tried to do some type of small business, it became a headache. I think being let down or

Craig from was commenting about Hostels to me on a telephone call, he said about Hostels,

“A constant expectation of disappointment”
I do not like going into hostels and not know what to expect
Dec 30, 2007

I think why I am happy now is because I am focusing on travel and enjoying life, and have no tiresome projects lined up where I will need to talk with any of the people in a country I am visiting to do business.

West Africa is a quiet version of South America, and the way I would imagine South America was 20 years ago. The surprising part, is I do consider South America as having a worst problem with poverty or problems.

I do not have to fight the land here as much, it is flat, the mountains do not hurt me, the rivers are here, the land is simpler. The bullies of Africa I am learning slowly how to avoid or deal with, they are annoying me less, and I am annoying them more, it’s a macho thing.

The Cadeau, as long as I just pretend I did not hear something about a gift, or free, or take me to America, than I do not get started on having to listen to selfish stuff.

In a way, I would say I am more in control of the day here, more free time, I am reading more, studying more, and looking and enjoying the day. I do as Craig says,
“A constant expectation of disappointment”

I have a constant expectation of disappointment when in someway I work together will the underdeveloped countries.

Nobody spits here, this is nice, and them slimy little guys from Asia, that looks like the pot grower from the Movie the beach is not here.

Simple is here, slimy is different, macho is the problem, but slimy is a different form of Macho. I do not have to see tourist for about a year or less.

I am introspecting by design, the only way to repeat history is to remember history, or the converse. I do less in a day here that is negative than in some other places, and I am going slower.

When I think Europe, I think spending big money, except for Eastern Europe in parts.

Riga, Latvia is full of babes.

Why Am I Happy

Blogging at Warp Speed

Blogging at Warp Speed
Kpalime, Togo West Africa

I was chatting with my Boy Genious Techie from India on Yahoo Messenger.

I said,
- Take us to Warp Speed Scotty. -
A person from India does not truly understand.

A whole generation of Star Trek fans and I continually think this way....

Star Trek The Next Generation

We are having great fun, as the Brit say, we are designing and having fun making Blogging and intenet website toys.

I wish I could travel to the stars.

Take us to Warp Speed
(I think he speed of light as used in Star Trek.)

Blogging at Warp Speed

Losing The Plot

Losing The Plot
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 6, 2007

My friend in Manila, Philippines lost the plot, he started talking nonsense and being abusive. He was going to the Duck Inn too much, started getting asked to leave, which is hard in the Philippines to happens to drunks.

Then he was coming home one night from a somewhere at 5:00 in the morning with a Jeepney and must have run his mouth. Someone stabbed him to death.

That was a true story, he lost the plot.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting

Rudyard Kipling
(1865 - 1936) Indian-born British writer and poet.

I am thinking and trying to understand. There are times when everyone around are doing some really different things, and it is easier to join the crowd than to fight. I normally do not join in and one reason I leave be bongo heads behind and avoid tourist.

I do not dress African and I do not have braids in my hair. Not really true, I do dress like the normal African, but not the too much African.

My friend Robert, I met in the South of Spain has been traveling for a long time. I am not sure where he get the money or how, but he has been on the road for a long time. He is a good guy and likeable, friendly and a chef. I like Robert a lot, he is fun and interesting and has a quirky way of looking at life.

He has been in India for a long time now and travelers in India are often over the edge. It does not take a rocket scientist to see, that it is valuable to keep your head about you in India.

I have been reading this post, I subscribe to his writings by and receive in my email box. I sort of pointed out some ideas and helped him to set up the blog - newsletter. What is Robert up too…?

I often feel myself straying from the path and have to regroups and so a reposition of brain thingy.

Losing The Plot

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

Swiming The Amazon

Swimming The Amazon
Kpalime, Togo West Africa

I was reading on Hobo World New page.

A great way for me to get quick overview of the world new and make Iran still exist...
I picked up on this story about a man who swam the Amazon River from beginning to end.

My first thought was, hmm, wonder where he chose or how he chose the location of the beginning of the Amazon. I mused on this point too much and have spent time looking at maps, while in Bolivia and think the very start is around Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

I looked at his map, and this is really quite an amazing feat, and for sure qualifies as extreme travel.
(What do you think, will this BBC link eventually break?)

He is an Extreme Traveler.

I got immediate fear thinking about swimming down the Amazon. I cringed and imagined a Piranha going for my privates. I have swam in the Amazon but while with great self-talk saying continually to myself,
- They will not bite me, this is just a story, and happens only in movies.-

Swimming The Amazon

Togo Rainfall

Togo Rainfall
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 7, 2007

I started raining about 10:00 am and has turned into a daylong drencher here in Togo.

There is GREEN at the bottom of Togo.
The green on this map is where there is rain forest.

Rainforest (2)
- Tropical rain forests are located near the equator where the temperature hovers around 27° C (80° F) year-round. Although they cover, less than 10 percent of the Earth’s surface, tropical rain forests provide habitat for 50 to 90 percent of the world’s plant and animal species. -

Then another

Togo Climate
- The climate of Togo is tropical. Average annual temperatures range from 27°C (81°F) at the coast to 30°C (86°F) in the north. The south has two rainy seasons, from March to July and from October to November; the average annual rainfall on the coast is about 890 mm (about 35 in). It doubles in the mountains a few kilometers inland. The north has one rainy season (April to July) and receives nearly all of its annual precipitation (1,140 mm/45 in) during this period. - (2)

I would say, the prediction is rain. It is cooler now.

A rain forest is in fun in way, too wet sometimes; however, when there is an extremely good rain forest the overabundance of green is amazing. Water plus Soil equals green.

Of all the places on the planet to complain about lack of food, the one place I am not too excited to hear, is in a rain forest. The green explodes in a true rainforest, I am not going to say that Togo is a true rainforest, for one thing, most of the forest is missing, long ago logged for the Mahogany and other woods, and now used as the fuel to cook. There has been an environmental shock given to this area by my guess the loggers, and continues for firewood.

I believe the food grows so easily in Togo; they do not even weed the gardens or care to clear the land properly. They in a way just turn the soil over; plant the seeds in big mounds and hope.

This is a photo of a large mound of dirt, as I understand in each mound they planted a Yam. The mounds are made in this teepee fashion so the heavy and persistent rain has a trough for the water to flow around the mounds, however allowing the yam to remain. This is not as easy to learn about as you think.

I have been talking with a friend in the USA about Africa farmland. There is something missing in this puzzle, or there is some confusion here. The land is flat, too much water, plenty of cheap labor, and the land under tilled or cultivated. As best I can farm is less than 25 percent of the land that could be farmed, and I am being nice.

I do not see this country and having any cash crops, they have garden crops they sell in the local markets. However, the actual, we grow this for cash, and sell to the world is hard to see. Ivory Coast or the areas closer to Ivory Coast are better, while in the Ivory Coast I could see cash crops grown easily.

Togo eats rice as one of their staple diets, and I do not remember ever seeing rice grown here. Now, it does require more work to grow rice and working hard is not culturally normal, or I do not see it.

I see most of the rice imported from Thailand or from a bag, that says the USA, but I think from India or Thailand and sold an Uncle Sam Rice, they also have Uncle Bob.

I am not sure, seems like a great place in Togo, Ghana and Benin to start a large farm business. I think the Ivory Coast is already doing well.

I have never seen a typical rain forest in Togo; however, they are doing an exceptionally good job of burning West Africa to cook. In addition, the loggers did and exceptionally good job of cutting down all the trees for lumber. This place is flat, easy to do all this.

Togo Rainfall

City Idiosyncrasies

City Idiosyncrasies
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 9, 2007

I search in a city for small quirks, habits or the usual and common that when grouped, categorized and realized are Idiosyncrasies of the City you are in.

I have exhausted all my small needs; there are these small needs, wants, and miscellaneous excuses to stay in a city.

I am trying to think, I know the way I travel is close to 80 percent different from the majority of travelers, backpackers or tourist on the planet.

The normal person touring a continent make this checklist as they read the guidebook, I want to see this, I want to see that, and the ones who travel like travel is a business write them all down. The others may underline or mark with a yellow highlighter the important places to visit.

I have never been a good tourist, and will continue to not be a good tourist, I do not like to go and look at tourist attractions. However, I love to look at what is of interest to me. This is where I differ from the other 80 percent, if it is mentioned in the Guidebook, I do consider going and looking, yet being listed in the guidebook is not a reason to go and visit. I try to find what I am would say is interesting and not rely on another person.

I keep thinking and returning to a quote in my mind in the book Timeline by Michael Crichton, which I just read a week ago again.

"If you don't know history, you don't know anything."

In the book, these University Archeology students are working in France, digging up, restoring, and a Castle, Monastery, Grain Mill from the year 1347.

Yes, I have discovered my inner thought, the true search here, I knew I was searching for an answer. The book Timeline is about time, it is about a line of time, the continuous flow of time and the changes that occur over time. There are ages, dates, specific actions that happened in time that are on a continuum.

Michael Crichton has this intuitive style of writing that in the book explains the underlying truths or reality, not fantasy.

I could take Kpalime, Togo and if I took the time, I could show from Artifact and may carbon dating the times when the city had it first concrete building, when the German, French or British, and I suppose also possible the Portuguese or Dutch were here. There is a history here, which could be marked on a timeline.

When I enter a city, there are clues to the city to discover. I will explain Kpalime, not the type of writing I prefer to do, because it would take hours for me to properly explain the city of Kpalime and what I observe.

KPALIME - Explained - Short Version, there is no long version.

Kpalime is a smallish city, and has a large central market that dominates the center of the village. The market appears to be in a depression of valley and the road leading in and out of Kpalime will lead down into this valley. In the valley as is normal, the water flows through by a small stream or in this case, closer to being a ditch. As you walk up the hills away from the central parts of the city, there are one both sides of the city Water Tanks.

This photo is a proof of my finding the small quirks of a city.

On the one hill, close, or adjacent to one of the water tanks is a temporary market that forms on Sunday and Tuesday, that seems to be, I am guess more of a wholesale market. This is possibly a market where venders come to from villages say less than one days travel away to sell or buy goods and provisions. There is also a big social element to the market.

The French I believe constructed a few building on the other side of the valley and up the hill from the Cristol Hotel, and turn right. The constructions of the building are different from the ones where the normal residences of Kpalime live.

In the distance from one of the higher points, and may locations in Kpalime you can see the Mount Kloto area or the smaller, yet big enough set of mountains that separate Ghana from Togo. If I wished, I could take a motorbike to public transportation and go easily to the border of Ghana.

There is a very large Catholic Church up near the Bafana Bafana Auberge. I walked by it yesterday, happy the clock is working correctly and tried to find a name on the church. This is a prominent landmark of the city and I believe the locals would know the name and the Taxi drivers would know it.

The city has a few landmarks, I have mentioned before, as all cities are a collection of common landmarks. Such as the Prefecture that is the government building, there is normally somewhere a Hospital and many schools. Then there are large open-air markets in Africa. These listed above are the landmarks of most normal cities in the world, they get bigger or smaller.

The city has others, which will continue to be landmarks providing the city does not have many. There is a Texaco Station, and a Fan Milk store that is a distribution point for the Fan Yogo I love so much. The Texaco Station and the Fan Milk if you notice have non-French names. There is a restaurant that is called the Cafeteria that is close to the Fan Milk and is a central gathering point for people to pay a hundred or two CFA to watch Football on the Satellite Connection, eat, drink and socialize. It I the center of whereby the locals go to meet, see, and be seen.

There seems be many white people there, I would guess it is recommended by the Guidebooks. Normally in a city, what is recommended by the Guidebooks is where the Tourist goes and eats. I for sure am different here, I read the restaurant about 1 in 100 times and then by accident, and maybe notice, yes, I know that restaurant. I eat where I am tempted to eat, because the establishment seems clean and good.

I found at the bottom of the market area, close to the ditch river yesterday a set of maybe 20 - 55 Gallon barrels. On top of the barrels were screen or grills set up and inside must have been charcoal or wood burning. Around this area is the butcher area of the market where beef, chicken and I would thing goat is cut into pieces to be sold to the locals. There is also a very interesting and busy water collection point there. I tend to avoid this area because there is also a set of large speakers where they have the volume too loud for my enjoyment of life and this area is hectic. I think the locals like the constant semi-physical sensation of loud music and chaos, as it is a simple for of mental stimulation that is reactive, not proactive and does not require thinking. I have see no newspapers, the only reading stimulation I see is the Bible and the Koran, and you do see them lying around reading this or being entertained by very large and annoying to me speakers.

I am going to stop with this never-ending explanation of Kpalime, Togo. I could write a book and that is not my intention.

When I arrive in a city, I am studying the city from the moment I enter; I will study the map before I come, if there is a map in the guidebook.

The map has road that come and go from the city starting more or less at the Texaco station and the Fan Milk Landmarks.

The central market is in the valley and the temporary market is on the hill next to the big water tower.

The row of more trendy hotels, not listed in the guidebook but like the Aaron City Motel and the Suisse Something are up by the older colonial building and the military area where they have guards for something.

The central bus or transportation area is on the opposite side of the ditch river and somewhat hidden, it I gut through this area I will return to both the Sunday, Tuesday market and can go the back way to the Auberge Mandela.

This one girl, Cafri, a girl Mike and I were chatting at last night said to Michael in the Mina language.
- This is the Yeh Bow (white man) that walk one day to those streets, then walks another day to that neighborhood, every day he walks a different direction looking at this area.-

I am learning the lay of the land.

She has observed me, she has seen a pattern, and she knows I go on exploratory walks to understand the city.

I am trying to discover all the City Idiosyncrasies. What a confusing definition from the dictionary. I will go for the Encyclopedia and see if there are better words. No luck, the Encyclopedia does not see idiosyncrasies as being of value. Habits, this may be easier to grasp, there are habits or specific quirks of person, or the usual way to doing something. I tend to say, or use the word - Basically - or - Therefore - when I write, I can repeat or be repetitive with these words, and it is a habit of my writing. I have discovered I write in a riddle fashion. This the habits of my writing style.


1. quirk: a way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is peculiar to an individual or group, especially an odd or unusual one

2. unusual response to something: an unusual or exaggerated reaction to a drug or food that is not caused by an allergy

A best I understand and more or less, I am tired of thinking about idiosyncrasies it is what I find in a city or a person.

I find in the city the small quirks, habits or the usual and common that when grouped, categorized and realized are the City Idiosyncrasies.
(I am developing a new writing style, I finally defined what I am thinking about, and so I will take this sentence and put at the beginning. It is the theme of this blog, and I discovered it when it finally arrived, I discovered by writing, how to clarify my thinking and know what I am thinking about in the abstract. It is clear now, so I can put at the beginning.)

I can tell you that most travelers could give a bar tour easy, or where they like to eat, however ask them to describe the water and sanitation and they will say something like,
- What a mess, this city is dirty. -

That is extremely simple and does not say anything, to notice the two water towers, and I am looking for more, the city could maybe have up to five. I need a motorcycle or car to explore this or to live here for a longer time.

I would guess about 90-98 percent of traveler have no clear understanding of their location, yet I do believe they study the map, however do they understand the dynamics of a the city.

- Location -
- Location -
- Location -

The three reasons that determine value of real estate. However, the truth is transportation. This is my annoyance with the guidebooks of West Africa, they have an allowed there modern need to use a car, the main roads, the highway and to live in modern hotels to define West Africa.

The history of West Africa I think can be ignored because it is subtle, the locals wish to hide it, the ditch river in the city is not beautiful, and the collection of water is old fashion, to eat in the market makes a white person nervous. I am told they have AIDS, dysentery, and people in Africa are dying of this and that, this negative overview tends to envelop and cover the beauty of the place.

Somehow, the modern society of Africa people and the world is putting up a smoke screen and stopping me from see normal Africa.

Prior problem dominate today.

I cannot just look at the Slave Trade as a business that flourished and helped Africa to thrive for years. We much put this… IT WAS SO BAD option on this trade, and always analyze in a bad frame, and not a real frame. I read yesterday in the Encarta Encyclopedia how after the ending of slavery, West Africa suffered and had money problems.

African black leaders, traded people for provisions from the Europeans, therefore after the slave traded ended, they had nothing to trade. I tend to think the Germans came and took the trees, paid the workers a salary, and the real value; the trees may have been free, as how do you put value on firewood when everyone collects free.

The history of logging in Africa should be an epic of the history of Africa, as dominating as the slave trade. I think the slave trade change Africa in a small way and I predict in time, the cutting down of trees in Africa was the worst problem. I cannot even say that slavery and logging was a problem. It was a negative reason why the modern world came to Africa, and brought enough money to develop Africa to the present level. Sugar Cane, Cacao, Palms and a few crops are here, I am not seeing anything do well, and the Cacao production is a leader in the world.

Primitive is not fun, Michael in the book Timeline explains. The present day West Africa is often more developed than South America.

What is West Africa good at? Sadly, the most obvious things seem to be a great poster child to raise money for donations from nice people. Who then often say they are working on problems that not in my opinion major problems. They can raise money for drinking water, and they are managing their water very well compared to Asia or South America. I only know a few countries in West Africa.

I would guess South Africa could be in a mess because of too many people in one place. I am not looking forward to the millions in Nigeria.

The learning about a city is to first question, then answer, then learn, then relearn the truth, then in the end, you continue to realize you really do not understand, and there is never ending fodder for curious people. Just when you think you know, you are positive you are not sure.

City Idiosyncrasies

Togo Africa Frogs

Togo Africa Frogs
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 9, 2007

I was working my way through the central market, I stopped to quiz a girl, is that citron, the lemon juice I like. I get an answer of Coca Cola.

I hear this bullfrog noise, so I think why not go look at the river ditch an and see what is up. I find a mess of Frogs making Tadpole and this one bloater making noise.

This is one of them National Geographic Photo moments, therefore I am thinking. I will give my finger a lick, hold it up, and check the wind. Has nothing to do with the Photo, however, I had this fleeting moment thoughts about F-stops, and shade, and letting it develop longer. I was saying to myself, I really should learn to do all the adjustment tricks.

There was a mix of shade and sunny spots, instead of fancy camera work, I timed it when they swam to a good spot, except for the bloater, Mr. He, or Mr She did not move, kept bloating. He was acting like the bull ape of frogs.

Photos of the ditch, river, stream that runs through the market. There was a heavy rain yesterday and the water came roaring through this ditch, cleaning the ditch and was exciting, as the water was at flood stage for about 10 minutes.

These frog were making tadpoles, I would guess there was about 20-30 couples in the middle of the day, in the middle of the central market of Kpalime, doing it.

I am learning continually how to take better photos. So far, I have not learned to do adjustment to the camera end, I do the adjustment to me, choosing the angles, the light and the timing and the shot. Nothing a 2000 Dollar Pro camera could not fix, or a graphic program. Note, I do not touch photos, except sometimes to label. You are getting what I see or saw.

I think this frog is almost the same as Indiana frogs, sorry not the stereotype of Africa.

Togo Africa Frogs

Dollar my way to Cacao

Dollar my way to Cacao
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Actually, it is CFA the money of Togo that I will use, but I am going to pay my way to see Cacao, the basic seed of Chocolate.

This sound or seems like big money to people, and it is huge, it is big money and annoying. However, in the perspective of an American or European a person would see me as complaining about nothing.

This is a fact more or less, the average worker here in Togo gets about 1-2 dollars per day as wages.

I am going to pay.

10 dollars for the person who may show us the Cacao and introduce us to his father who probably does not speak French but the local dominant language of Mina.

I am going to pay 50 cents USA, for three people to go one way by Moto to the Cacao fields. However, to insure guarantee we see Cacao. I am going to pay maybe 7-10 US dollar per motorcycle taxi for Michael and me each to rent the use of the moto taxi for the day. I suspect as soon as we go faster than 15 miles per hour, they will think, I am using lots of petrol, I need money for petrol and I will end up giving 2 dollars for the gas, which was included in the price.

I will pay two dollars for the transportation of our semi-guide who is the manager of the Mandela Auberge to introduce us to his father who is the Cacao farmer. I will pay him the 10 dollars guide fee and I think the two dollars for Moto is included.

I pay this whether we see Cacao or not, because when he thinks about Cacao, whether I see Cacao is not important, the fact is he thought about it, therefore he wants the money. Normal underdeveloped country way of thinking, I intended to show you Cacao, so you owe me. I have hedge my bets on Cacao by choosing the manager of the Auberge as he need to return and tell the people around we have seen Cacao. I will tell everyone in the hotel that we are going to see Cacao and reinforce the commitment.

This is why I say dollar my way through, I can pay for this two way, if it was a normal type of tour. I could pay a guide about 100 US dollars and are totally raked over the coal and he will include everything, and I will pay about 500 percent more than needed. I cannot guarantee if I paid 100 dollars that, I see Cacao.

This is the problem about tours, no matter what you pay, you cannot get the guides to guaranteed or do back up that I will see what I want to see. I want to see Cacao today.

I rent a motorcycle today, if our guide fails. I will make Mike the guide and he will go talk to people in Mina and find a Cacao farmer. I will then pay the farmer about 2000 CFA or four dollars and he will be happy as can be because looking at Cacao is free, and he is receiving money for nothing, and so is talking, because everyone knows about Cacao, so he is telling common knowledge and of no value. Even though I do not know and is not common knowledge to me.

I would say the world is empathy impaired, and the big complaint the world has about the USA on world policy. However, our policy is correct, and the world is empathy impaired. Neither side is good at empathy of the perspective of the other.

Ok, if I go and the 5000 Guide fails.
I go to Mike and we find anther field.
I pay and extra 15 US for taxi we do not need if the first guide would work, so I am paying this insurance money, to guaranteed Mike and I can go to the next Cacao farmer when the first guide fail, it he fails.

If the world was perfect and I thought or dream for one second that this would work as told to me the cost would be.
16 U.S. Dollar for the day.

Being, I am experienced, and I am going to take photos of Cacao today.

I am paying about
35-40 U.S. Dollars to guarantee.

This number can go up to 50 U.S. after that, I start to intimidate to get my way, because they trying to bully me, and I need to return the gesture. It could be the guide, I do not think, but could be, the two taxi drivers will become the problem and gang up on us, or Mike. I do not expect Mike or the manager of the Auberge to be a problem. I always expect a Moto to think in terms of greed, they are taxis?

A White Man sits on a moto for two hours, the longer I sit, the longer they think, they start having a conversation with themselves. I did not ask enough, and start to wanting to get me and to pay more. The start to rationalize I need to pay more. I do not pay until I am home… hehehe

No pay in advance here, unless I am stupid, I pay for small cost, like petrol or food or something stupid as it is required they have full bellies and no excuses not to leave.

Therefore, I am getting a private tour for Michael, and me and we have complete control over the tour. Michael is a translator. I do not want a translator, I want a person that will clarify my wishes to the taxi drivers, and help to clarify.

Translators impede learning as they ask questions I did not ask, interpret and explain what they do now know as to sound smart. Mike does this a little, about 20 percent, while the normal translator is about 90 percent inaccurate in their interpretations of the story.

This is the cultural kicker of guides and translators that I have grown accustom to and have accepted they must feel they are smart; they will fill in the blank to appear smart. The art then become in me asking good questions, and trying to get the translator to literally ask and say words they do not understand, or cannot see the implications.

Translators do not seem to translate what they do not understand.

The best translator here would be a person who speaks English very well and is the owner of a Chocolate processing factory. It would be a dream, and I hope the methods of National Geographic or Science or the BBC.

The truth is as I feel it; I see most camera operators and researchers filling in the gaps, the same as the translator. The return home and discover, they have forgotten information. (They write me and this is good, better than forging.)

I would say, there are three ways to pay for a tour.

1. All inclusive and pay a fortune and hope you see what you wish to see. This is will work for Hippos and normal tours, about an 80 percent chance of goal accomplishment.

2. Do the self-constructed tour. Note you must really have two to three guides and control the transportation, and have the option to change transportation. I have about a 90 percent chance, assuming there is Cacao there today. I can get the last with the number 3 below.

3. Get a person who is on the daily take and pay him or her to take you to look for three days for Cacao. This will work, is annoying slow, and you learn to hate the culture and the total irresponsible nature. However, normally the person that does this is also - Ineffective - and irresponsible and really do not see or know he or she is this way, they cannot empathize of compare themselves to effective people because they actually believe they are smart and effective.

100 percent chance on three if there is Cacao and an experience for sure, are you experienced?

Fun and Games in Togo…
I stay focused, I expect to say, Cacao about 50 times per hour today and keep that ringing in the ears of the taxi, guide, and Michael. I suppose you could also say,
- I will annoy my way through -
As well as,
- Dollar my way through. -
I hope to avoid the,
- Bully my way through method. -
And for sure, I want to avoid the,
- One-day tour taking three days through method. -

Any way you do it you pay, the luck is to accidentally take a tour, and not even be on a tour. If I happened upon the Cacao, it would be nicer and easier and I would have less temptation to club people on the head.

Note when a BBC crew, or CNN crew come in for one day, I highly doubt they can get the job done. There are many questions that take days to surmise, I am here in Cacao country, it has taken three weeks to get to the day, this is the extra time and patience I am willing to pay, plus, I am endlessly curious and can understand farming.

I believe some very good documentaries are made. I think some prime time explanations of news stories are manufactured and staged. If is it provocative, exciting and on prime time news, a big report, then maybe manufactured. If slow, monotonous and racked full of slow moments, then probably trying to be accurate. To explain all the periphery of the Cacao and the experience is a book writing detail collecting large task.

Everything I do today is very controlling, manipulative and pre-meditated to get my way for the good of all. I PAY.

If I for one second let down my guard, they will be the ones who manipulate me. The world is take or be taken. I give fair money, I do not take and not pay, as I see most people on the planet do not see getting paid for something included, but not given as a problem. He has more money than me is the song sang by the takers, nobody has a problem with stealing from Bill Gates.

The more they profess God, the more I know I will pay, I like just plain greed, easier to avoid the juicy rationalizations and get what I pay for, or to dollar my way to Cacao.

Time with enough time all is possible, and a good God provides us with Cacao to view and it is the proper time of the year. This is included in the price, they say it is there…

A person has to be generous, fair minded, and with a big stick, and the bull ape.

- Dorothy, you are not in Kansas anymore. -
- The Wizard of Oz. -

Dollar my way to Cacao

Failed to See Cacao

Failed to See Cacao
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I believe 80 percent that Cacao is not on the trees and they are not harvesting any at this time, and 20 percent maybe they are harvesting somewhere. I still do not know, after one day of trying to know.

Quoting myself from this link:

- Any way you do it you pay, the luck is to accidentally take a tour, and not even be on a tour. If I happened upon the Cacao, it would be nicer and easier and I would have less temptation to club people on the head. -

Richard Trillo said...
Hi Andy, sounds a bit complicated. Couldn't you just rent a bicycle or moto and go a couple of miles out of town to the nearest cacao plantation?
(SEO wise, that is not good. ... hehehe)

This BLOG is the problem!

Quoting myself:
- I have about a 90 percent chance, assuming there is Cacao there today. I can get the last with the number 3 below. -

The blog is the problem, we have 20/20 hindsight, and if I go and document something and it works, and come back and report, then there is not a problem. However, if I talk about the future and it does not work, then crash and burn as they say in the movie Top Gun. I like to tell and explain how I feel think and how I make decisions, this is the Art of Travel, and not explaining what worked and shows the photos.

The luck is to accidentally take an Agro-Tourism Tour. I accidentally went on a Palm Oil tour.

Palm Oil Tour
I now have 106 photos of Palm Oil being made, from what they call a Palm Nut, and there is two type of oil and maybe three made. The 106 photos include the break to take pictures of a girl with an attitude that came into the game.

Photo taken in the Red Nut processing area of Palm Oil - One of Three Areas.

Photo of foods are a pain, this is why I am explaining in a very complicated fashion. Easier to just take a couple of photos and say, I saw some Cacao, and in if you do not make a plan then it looks like you knew what you was doing, I never know, until I am done.

I often think, walking across the world and I would see the world. When I am in one of the Peugeot Station wagons, I can or man now call a Kittle Car thanks to a Ghana pronunciation of Cattle, it become very complicated to get them to stop and see the Cacao Plantation, I need to say,
- Please crazy driver, drop me off in the middle of nowhere here, so I can go and see the Cacao Plantation. -

Richard said correctly, to rent a bike or moto and go see a Plantation outside of town. I do not know about the bike, if he meant a bicycle, which could take more work than I am willing to do, I would rather walk and take a moto back, when I do not find a plantation.

Step one of my three part self-constructed tour was aborted before it stared. I found out that we was NOT taking a 300 CFA Moto Trip, we was getting in a car and going the distance of 300 CFA. A car for 300 CFA is a good distance, on a Moto not so far.

Well, to get a car that can hold 3 people is an act of God, being that I am not God, I am not going to search for a Car and pay white man fees. Finding three Motorcycle taxis is easy. The volunteer guide for the Cacao, the manager of the Mandela came late and wanted to wait for this and wait for that, long story, but I said,
- I will give you 5000 CFA, however we are not waiting. Goodbye. -

Therefore, the first option failed.

Second choice was to go and have Michael talk a person on a Moto and take us to a Cacao Plantation, more or less the recommendation of Richard, but with a Ghana English speaking a little, and Mina translator. Michael has a friend he lives with that is working in his home on some clothes Mike makes. We go a long way to Mike house, not towards the Cacao, walk a long way, and look at the Cacao trees. I say to Mike this is not the process of Harvesting Cacao.

When we first mentioned this, he was bound and determined to take me across the Ghana border illegally and show me where they process Cacao into something. Now, I get to look at a Cacao tree, with no Fruit as they call it. This is just a tree, not the process of making Chocolate.

I have a man on the Meter walking through the brush, it cost me 1000 CFA to see a tree that does not have the Cacao fruit on it and does not show anything but a tree that looks like Frog but is a Toad to me, all the same to me in a way.

I start to get more specific with Michael, I want to see some trees with the Cacao fruit on it, and people puling the fruit off the tree, putting in a basket, and taking to some bigger container and doing what they do, being that I have never seen, I am guessing.

I had about three days of conversation with the manager, and he assured me, I could see the Cacao being harvested or in the process. I know, I can go to the market and find some Cacao fruit for sale. I am not worried about the seeing, I can see one, and I can get on my own pages and see photos of Cacao.


The process of harvesting Cacao, with Michael and the Manager of the Mandela, I was continually assure we was going to see the step-by-step process. I pantomimed, I explained, in French, Michael sat for one-half hours talking with me in English and then talking in Mina to the manager.

I get to see one tree, I did not club them, but I wanted too.

One taxi driver, about the fifth set told Michael about a Cacao Farm, we went to this farm, I see no Cacao Fruit, my camera is full now, from the Palm Oil spontaneous tour photos and I have no space to take photos of anything else. However, I do NOT see Cacao fruit, just a lot of trees that look like trees.

I went on a planned tour to learn and document the plant called Cacao, the fruit from a tree that is utilized to make Chocolate, and came home knowing every step and completely understanding the process of making Palm Oil with 106 photos that include a girl.

Photos of Black Nut processing area, 2 of 3 areas we visited to see the Palm Oil. The cook the paste and the oil rise to the top. There are two type of oil, from the husk part of the red palm nut and then the actual nut inside.

Photo in the nut cleaning area, 3 of 3 areas of visited to see them doing a process to make two or three type of palm oil. I think I should say in the separation of the nut from the shell area, as they put sand in the water, the nut comes to the top and the shells go to the bottom. Michael said washing, on hindsight this is a separation process.

This is the girl with an attitude that came to visit at the end in the washing phase of the nut process.

I went to find Chocolate and I got Palm Oil. In Thailand they would say, same same, but different. I am saying, the Africa Almost, almost what I wanted, but not really. I wanted to see a systematic process of the making of Chocolate; instead, I got the 106 photos including the girl with an attitude and a very good education about the process of making Palm Oil. I will send all those photos and you can see all the photos when I send a newsletter, not that I have been good at that lately.

This tour turned out great, and if I had not said, I am going to go and take photos of Cacao. I would be able to show you a great set of photos explaining in great detail the step-by-step process of making palm oil. I could pretend I went on a trip to discover this, I did well and I took all the photos. The truth is and I will say this again, travel is about answering questions you did not know you should ask.

I hope to put up an explanation on the making of palm oil here, but then again, who knows, this is almost Africa, and I almost want to write a book, but not really. It could take up to five hours to explain what I saw today about Palm Oil, not Cacao.

I am always glad I do not tell the whole stories of Afria, I think about this, but there are so many small soap operas in the day how could I write them as fast as they happened. I learned today, Cadeau could mean, a tip, and better thought of a Tip for some service, but really a tip for no service. I am learning about the Cadeau, I think.

I should learn to not look foolish and tell stories in real time. I am often annoyed at blogger, thinking you just have a fancy way to write, nothing to do about real life, it is not a log of your trip, just a complicated to make a webpage because the not not want to learn to make a webpage.

I have the GPS locations of the three areas of Palm oil making.

Failed to See Cacao

What Age am I In

What Age am I In
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The attempt I made yesterday to document the step-by-step process whereby a Cacao Fruit or Seed is transformed from into Chocolate made me afraid.

I am afraid I will never know, never have all my questions answered.

No, my fear is that I will forget, I will not be able to remember the Cacao, I will forget where I am, because I cannot see the woods for all the trees.

I wrote Eric about an idea, and he wrote back saying,
- Now, let me see if I can get my mind around this? -

No, his exact word and quote from the email was,
- Trying to wrap my head around this one... -

I did a ctrl F or a Control Find, or continue to simplify, I did a search in my emails for the set of words - around this - and found the correct quote by Eric whereby, I can be accurate.

I use the - or Minus Mark because the quotation marks create a conflict in the computer language that make internet web pages, and the internet has not resolved the problem globally.

Because of Quotation Marks, and Language differences, this is what I saw when I received this post to moderate in my email box.

This is just the STUB, this is just a too short explanation, I cannot even start to explain myself, it is too confusing.

I am afraid I will forget what I have learned.
I am afraid I not be able to find again the data, photo, information or the writings I have collected or created.

Science is organized knowledge.
- Herbert Spencer (1820 - 1903)
British philosopher.

When dealing with an assortment of facts or observations, the natural tendency of the human mind is to dichotomise.
- Anthony Stevens (1933 - ) British psychiatrist.
Evolutionary Psychiatry


History says or explains life in terms of dynasties, epic, age of period. There is probably a name for this, a science that explains the classification of history.

1. Age of Exploration
2. Dark Ages
3. Renaissance
4. 1650 - 1800 The Enlightenment
5. Industrial Revolution

These are example of word that were used or coined to explain a period of history.

Where am I now? What time am I in, do I need to travel to the future, to look back to know how historians will learn to define the age I am in, or will they have so many labels it will not matter.

I need to get my head around this.

The Age of the Stub
a short article in need of expansion.
A short idea, in need of explanation.

In a way, we are in the age of the stub, this is defined and used by the internet public made, made by the readers of the Encyclopedia called, Wiki meaning quick in Hawaii terms. (A stub)

A Wikipedia stub is a short article in need of expansion.

STUB: A short article in need of explanation.

We are in an age where we have started a stub, we have maybe 1 percent, less than one percent created some small methods to explain the knowledge of the universe.

Einstein and other scientist try to explain how atoms relate, associate and are not relate, how they attract, react or are repelled from each other.

The globalization of knowledge.

- Trying to wrap my head around this one... -

This is an age where people are trying to wrap there heads around this one, and most have left the battle, they have accepted and said, I just do not care, there is too much, everything is overwhelming. I give up.

I sense and hear a drift of the curious, there is this idea, yes Andy, I wish to also travel nomadically to see the planet, to find what treasure are offered to my desire for knowledge. Then I feel, I know, they are saying to me,
- I am addicted to the information I can learn on the internet. -
- I cannot leave my computer that long. -

They are addicted to the satisfaction of finding answers to their questions. In the end, they cannot travel nomadically, they must travel in areas that offer them high-speed internet connections.

It is sad to say, but this is like a razors edge path, this high-speed connection is truly only available when you stop traveling and find a home, purchase the connection and create the connection you want.

The connection exist, it is Satellite, and would cost me 50,400 U.S. Dollars per month to have unlimited internet connection anywhere and maybe anywhere on the planet.

The Age of Addiction to the search for answers, to small questions, to knowledge.

Stepping out of the box, then how can I find a way to communicate with the box?

We or I or me, I want to step out of the box, yet have all the toys in the box to play with.

I am afraid I will forget, I will not be able to retrieve the small information I collect, I will not be able to explain myself.

My life is a stub.

I gave the graphic example of what happens when I use the quotation marks; I could go and write a book about what happens and why I continually use this method of quoting something.
- The internet has not YET adapted to my travels -
Unless I devote myself to the solution to one silly small problem.

This is a stub on the explanation of quotes on my blog, where do I start, where do I end in my explanations. Do I start this as a stub, and then hope the pubic will continue to explain in a wiki world, and opens source planet. Wiki people or in the land of the stub they agree to agree. In the land of Cancer study, in the world of science, they are afraid to share; they all are fighting to be the first to publish, to be the first to know and explain, somewhere science will become wiki.

Less than 1 percent is explained, all life is a stub.

What did I forget, while I was typing this, what did I miss, when I was dong this, maybe it is the age of acceptance, I will not get my head around the world of knowledge, and one day I will die, I continual to be grateful and confirm to myself,
- Life is Good -
Moreover, in the world of stubs.
- La Vie est Belle -

The world is a good place, do not believe what they say, I have seen a very small portion of the planet, I have seen the stub, and the life is good.

I am on a GPRS internet connection with my cell phone. It is a person who is addicted to the internet worst nightmare, the world’s slowest connection. I am having trouble publishing the photo to the funky letter examples, I will have to remember and continue this post later, there is no instant gratification the world is a life of sublimation. I am afraid I will forget what I am doing, and unlimited amount of stubs started and none will be finished, you will really know me for who I am, I never finish what I start. My mother is still waiting for me to stop, she knows me, I start many things and never finish them, to me life is a stub, to her she knows, finish what you start. I just want to have enough money to be endlessly curious, and work on my stubs.

My world needs an editor, that does not edit, that know before I do, what I really mean, and does not change the tone… dreams. How can a person edit, what I am not even sure I mean, because it is a stub.

Life is like that graphic above, it is not clear, upon accepting this and maybe then I can see the big picture, or the woods that is hidden because of all the trees.

People have trouble writing one blog post, I have trouble knowing when to start and when to stop. I normally stop when I get hungry.

What Age am I In

Hired A Fixer in Togo

Hired A Fixer in Togo
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I had a very long conversation in Kpalime, Togo today with my Ghana friend Michael.

I learned about traveling jewelry sales people in Mexico, then I purchased silver in Taxco, Mexico and tried to sell the silver in the streets of Panajachel, Guatemala myself to earn money. I did not do well at selling silver, however I learned about these nomadic sales people, how they survive, and how they earn money and where they sleep.

Talked with a man riding a Motorcycle from the USA to Argentina and he spoke of about how to learn where the cheap hotels are from the street vendors, and in Cusco, Peru I confirmed this by accident by following a exceptionally attractive girl Vendor back to her room. She lived in a cheap hotel room, and at the bottom of the price ranges.

I do not need a translator, I think the best name for what I would like is a fixer, on occasions to help. I do use them, but with great care, and they can be very dangerous.

I am not clear in my mind, where I derived this name, however maybe because they are fixer uppers.

Normally and generally, this type of person should be kept at two car lengths away and never invited into your home.

As you exit hotels on the planet, you may have a taxi driver, or a man who speaks your language or multiple languages trying to hook you into a conversation. They have an agenda, they wish to sell you something, or something or maybe fix you up with something. The want to help you…NOT.

According to the country, however, here in Africa the ones hanging around will often try to fix me or you up with women. I guess and I think this is why I say fixers. However, there is also a more beneficial level, and I normally try to find a fixer that is a taxi driver, almost NEVER the one standing in front of the hotel, they are normally the worst type of people on the planet.

I need a Visa to Togo, I walked out in front of the Galion, talked with the Bodyguard of the Frenchie owner, and he got me to the Visa office by paying too much for a taxi and paying him a Cadeau.
He fixed my problems.

About anything you want these fixers will find.

Ok, I met Michael by accident, however he can be also a fixer and feels that his job with the White People is to help them, and in return, he is given the right to be our friends. He does this for friendship and has this acute desire to learn about the world outside of Africa. Very different.

I first started paying attention to him when he said,
- I listen to BBC. -

I think, did I say, I watch BBC?

No, where did that lead in come from, I do not find many African people that either read the newspapers or watch the News. I also almost never talk to a traveling salesperson who is from ONE country and traveling in an ANOTHER country who reads, learns, or is interested in expansion of their brains. Money they are interested in, brains is not.

I want a fixer, I do not want a translator, and I do not want anybody in between me and the Africa or Togo people. I see there is an advantage to having my friend Michael comes along for a week to a month. I am going to give him 6000 CFA per day, and this will pay for his room and board and transportation.

6000 CFA is 12 U.S. Dollars per day.

The goal or idea is this; I think a backpacker should be able to travel in Togo, West Africa and most of Africa for less than 12 dollars US per day, providing they do not drink their lunches and dinners.

I asked Michael,
- How much do you spend per day on living expenses? -
He said,
- About 2000 CFA. -

Ok, then I said,
- If you had 2000 for food and drink, and 3000 for a room and 1000 for transportation would this be good. -

He said, with a big smile.
- Very -

6000 CFA and he travels along and we find rooms for 3000 or less, and live for about 12 dollars or what I would say is a reasonable amount of Hobo money per day in West Africa and about the same or a little more than in Asia or South America.

The cities that need fixed are between the big cities, I think in any big city in Africa I now can find some cheaper rooms, but to get from 5000 down to 3000 is going to need fixed.

Between the bigger cities, Kpalime and Atakpame there is a stretch of good cultural fun for me, but I am not sure how to find small hotels. I need to fix this; the guidebooks sort of skip over the smaller cities and stay in the loop. I want to get out of the box, and go see the countryside. A bike would work, but still the lodging is needed, and the searches on the internet are perplexingly bleak.

I can get in a Peugeot Station Wagon with Mike, and we can find a Hotel quicker. I have to talk and ask, and talk and ask, and think and suddenly just jump out of a car with no clue whether there is even an Auberge in the city. Mike can fix this and speed it up, the conversations are not complicated, but the Mina, French, English is a mess.

I can also do some research and get the inside story on SIDA or AIDS and whatever these ONG-NGO are up to.

Research, research and getting 20 percent closer to understanding the real answers and not the answers they give me is also a goal.

What is the real reason?

Most people who fix problems really do not fix problems, they tend to complicate my life and make life expensive. I do not see as having a girl to travel with me as a solution, as seems to be common here, although a big temptation. I do not like to share my room, I want to have my room, and Michael will have his room. In the Philippines I talk about the girls in tow, this is also a fixer; the girl’s runs around and makes the guy happy.

Anytime you are traveling and there is a hanger around, this to me is the solution to a person who feels they need a fixer. I do not want a fixer, but, two goals, the cheap rooms, and the delving into a potentially dangerous set of questions, and Michael can help. I am not clear why yet…but my instincts say he can.

Asking around in a Hospital how many people has AIDS or SIDA is dangerous, trying to find the real truth is dangerous. I believe some NGO-ONG are sucking big cash, I believe the government, leaders, and anyone of power is sucking the good will of the worlds cash and putting in their pocket. For me to ask questions will make them afraid and too many questions is not a good idea in any place. The are stashing and using the world cash, and they will protect their cash flows from the outside world understanding.

A roundabout way to learn the truth, is to go the Mina path, talking in Mina and not French, we can talk to non-interested persons and find the better realities. Anyone that only talks Mina is probably a better source of truth.

We are going to leave on Friday for the north, I expect to go about 30 Kilometers in each jump and is not much, but this is a very small country.

Note, if you want to find the cheapest room, talk to a person that is a SELF-employed traveling sales person. Michael came from Ghana, and is selling clothes to girls here in Kpalime, I guess he was also selling Diamonds to Lebanese people before one took them and disappeared.

12 U.S. Dollars seems like nothing and easy, however the average person wound here is making about 2-4 US Dollars per day, and this is very good money, for getting paid to go on vacation.

Hired A Fixer in Togo

Togo a Militant Hotel Search

Togo a Militant Hotel Search
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hunting for 6 U.S. Dollar per night hotels in Togo.

I read the word militant as used by Joseph Conrad in that article he wrote in National Geographic.

Fight the Good Fight
To Go Where no man has gone before. - Star Trek
Outside the box
The cutting edge

I do not know, I am trying to explain what happens when you get to the edge of known knowledge of travel. Traveling in France or the USA, most of Southeast Asia is like traveling in a swamp of known knowledge. In South America, every Tom, Dick and Harry is making the soon to be next world travel guide to South America in his or her delusional minds. There is list upon list of hotels collected and placed on internet pages. It is easy to find hotels.

It semi-appears that the velo people, I think that is the word, the people that ride bikes for travel are the explorer of much of West Africa and Africa. I keep thinking of Stellan the man I met on my last trip to Togo.

Search for word Stellan in the search box at the index page of and you will find many references to him.
And if I can get the crazy blogger system to allow the search on all pages, it would now be at the top of this page.

Richard Trillo the writer was a bike person also in Africa has written emails, and encouraged me to ride a bike in West Africa.

I then had a page sent to me about riding bikes in Togo by Eric.

There is that really special man on a motorcycle that has traveled many places in Africa.

Riding bikes in West Africa seems to be more common than in Asia or South America. Every Tom, Dick and Harry does it in Europe.

I personally believe the safest way to travel West Africa is with the Peugeot Stations wagons, the best way to see everything would be on a motorcycle dirt bike, not a big macho motorcycle, and off road motorcycle. I have thought about this many times. Then again, a good big Peugeot Van, one of them flat square types would be perfect and an extremely long steel cable winch on the front and back to pull me out of sand would be heaven. Then a machine gun hidden in back… hehehe

Africa is safer than you think or they would not be riding the bikes, this is the measure of safety.
Everyone going overland in cars or 4-wheel drives says safe. The problem is this, I am a one-man operation and one man is easier to take out than two-person operation. Stellan road a bike, and did not have anything to steal to speak of, it is also the temptation to steal or be robbed that is important, and not just me on a bike, what do I offer to steal.

I would like to have a good 400 Yamaha Enduro like I had when I was younger and almost killed me, as I was in a very bad motorcycle accident and spent a year walking on my armpits. (Crutches) A broken Femur in 4 place, sternum and wrist, then a fatty embolism, 10 day in intensive care, and 7 weeks in traction and too much of this.

I am not sure my Mother and Father need the opportunity to put 2 and 2 together. If I get on a bike, or motorcycle and go cruising around Africa for a few months. I would think they would put 2 and 2 together and then remember the motorcycle accident I had when I was 23. I do not remember the terrible part, I was full of morphine, valium, being fed intravenously and in blah blah land. I did not suffer any emotional pain in the intensive care area of the accident, I will forever remember being vulnerable and weak and walking on crutches for a year.

It is like when a person dies with no will or leaves a bunch of children in his or her wake. The person hurts the people and he or she does not think, I am responsible. I suppose in a way, I can see the faces of my parents and do not want them to be afraid. Getting on bike or motorcycle and riding has to make them remember or maybe they just do a block, but the truth is I will remember for them, and try to keep this off the list of blog experiences.

Does not mean I do not do things, I just do not talk as much. The cannot relate to danger in Iraq, like watching TV.

I somewhat feel like I would go hunting for a bazooka also if I rode a bike. I would mount it on the back or front of the bike, and when one of them big trucks rode by, a bunch of idiots played chicken with me, with zero respect for human life; I would remove or erase some bodies from the earth, with no remorse. I also have the remembrance and anger of riding a moped around for 4 years because I lost my drivers license for 10 years because of drinking. People in the USA would come up behind the moped for going slow, honk their horns and try to run me off the road. I wanted a bazooka then and they drive well in the USA.

The world is full of insane drivers; I have experienced 10 years of walking along the roads. I do my best to avoid the fun and games of idiot drivers of the planet, they kill and I can be killed for sure this way easy.

Ok, so much for the idea of searching for hotels on motorcycle or bikes. I will stick with the Peugeot Station wagons or public transportation and the way the world of backpackers or the majority of backpackers travel. Riding bikes, cars, and motorcycles is for normally the insane, rich or people who want to avoid sitting next to a local up close and personal. India is full of motorcycles, I think it is the way for people to dangerously avoid the extremely dirty India culture up close and personal, and in a way, this happens here in Africa with the cars.

Drive a car, avoid the people of Africa…

A bike rider cannot pedal and avoid the people; they must deal in many fashion and ways with the culture. A motorcycle can avoid the people of Africa and just view from the hotel window of some Buvette Bar with Pizza Hotel and call it real.

Ok, the real, the dirty, the mess, and the good fun. I am going to be militant in my search for Hotels and Auberge here in Togo. Do the good fight, I am pulling out the heavy guns, and I am going for target lock.

I think Guidebooks are written to tell you often how to avoid cultures. This hotel has pizza, but that is what the readers want and they must sell books to survive, and there is nothing morally wrong with buying pizza.

I have found a person who is honest, hard to find in West Africa, and speaks Mina and French and English to talk with the Peugeot taxi drivers and find hotels in Togo. We can quiz every one in the car, where the next Auberge or Hotel is located, where are the boom boom hotels. We want cheap; I am assuming the cheap ones are boom boom as is almost 90 percent in West Africa. I need to go into one of he Monastery Catholic Hotels for kicks and see if they are boom boom also.

There is almost zero need for hotels in West Africa, except to take a girls and have a rendezvous. With almost no traveling sales people, close to zero or one half percent of the rooms occupied by tourist, why do you need a hotel. The hotels are for boom boom and drinking. The difference between cheap and expensive is the price. The expensive hotel will force the person to rent the room for the night while the cheaper ones will go for by the hour or two.

West Africa has been an adventure to live in all the various forms of love hotels. However, to really see this in full force, go to Mexico, South America and Central America.

I wonder if the Hilton, Radisson or Sheraton does stats on their clients and know what percentages of room are for love. I say boom boom, I mean love.

You may call it a resort for love; I think of them a place where married men bring their secretaries and fellow workers.

My friend the Ghana Mina Guide likes to listen to my blunt nature. This is good, he like the truth of life, even when he is delusional and vague about the truth of Africa. He will look and believe the most exceptionally crazy ideas told to him by people are true. African leaders have been telling lies for so long, the people consider the lies the truth.

Note we have concrete walls in Africa and in Asia, they can be bamboo or thatch or basket. The hotels are very modern in West Africa compared to Asia or South America.

I am going to hotel hop now around this area between Kpalime and Atakpame or however you spell that city.

Kpalime Atakpame Togo Map

Kpalime Atakpame Togo Map
Kpalime Togo West Africa

I can go left, I can go right, I can both, I will nomadically wonder from place to place with a semi-tentative plan of regrouping in Atakpalme.

I am thinking of first going towards the Ghana Border to find a border hotel. Plus, I like the frontiers or border cities, I like to watch culture clashes. I truly believe any self-respecting guide should have or show a hotel on both sides of a border for safety. When a person gets into a five day haggle over their insurance on a car, motorcycle, when a person bounces off a border for Visa problems, they need to decompress and get a room, life is dangerous when you are being angry.

There are strategic rooms needed in cities, with no big tourist attractions. The borders and near bus stops, are a good start as strategic hotels not tourist hotels.

Michael stopped over and told me these words while I was typing.
- Chambre Passager -

There is a hierarchy of cost here on hotels.
Hotel is expensive
Auberge is below.
Chambre Passager is below and I suspect spelled wrong.

Often everyone say or quotes, that it is not the destination that is important, then take off like a bat out of hell for the next destination, never slowing down until they arrive.

Nomad what does is mean, wonder what does it mean. I take this Hobo Vagabond, wonder the planet nomad like personal.

Kpalime Atakpame Togo Map

Togo Cell Antennas Towers

Togo Cell Antennas Towers
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 12, 2007

Travel is a map, just when I think I have them all, I find I need another, the maps of life. I want to use my cell phone and connect to the internet. I need to find the big cells of here in Togo, then try to maneuver my way around the country and jump on tower signals. I think they highly exaggerate the coverage. I have trouble and I am in the center of the city of Kpalime now.

I am thinking, how to find where the tower is, maybe I turn around 360 degrees inside a concrete room here and the number of bars is the direction. It there are a lot of bars, then that is the direction of the cell tower. I will play, I somehow need to deduce, induce, and bribe my way to know when I am going closer or farther away from a tower.

Tomorrow I go towards the Ghana border from Kpalime. The map says I am in like Flin, I suspect I am out of play.

Note, I do not trust the maps and the links to not break from or, then if they do, to then give me a redirect as should happen. This is why… you figure it out.

Région des plâteaux :
Anié, Atakpamé, Zogbégan, Badou, Nangbéto, Langabou, Elavagnon, Kougnohou, Wahala, Tohoun, Kpalimé, Kpele-ele, Glei, Adéta, Danyi, Agou, Pagala-Gare.

Now, I need more toys, I need a way to amplify my cell phone signal so I can get the signal and GPRS Internet access in the places where are culturally interesting or communication with the outside world is minimal.

Satellite is interesting option; the only ones I see that have it and use it are the Non Profit companies…. Hehehe, the rest of us still sort of see as too expensive, but this is my money. This is feasible. (I want the military to have.)

I would have satellite now, but I need to buy before I could test, sort of silly way to buy. And perfect for the highly ineffective people of the planet to spend free money. It is feasible maybe, for me, a person with a very large web site who is already ahead and will loose money to militantly look for hotels and have fun playing with expensive toys.

Togo Cell Antennas Towers

Travel into the Francophone

Travel into the Francophone
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 12, 2007

Where oh where is the information on Togo? I have wondered off into the world of the Francophone, left the Anglophone and went to.

I went searching for rooms in earnest, as I am leaving a sure thing internet connection tomorrow morning and going to the I-hope-I-have-a-connection areas.

Togo is not really in the sights of either the French or the English as their next travel destination. I may be wrong, but this country is not in the short, medium or long list, they do not have it on the list.

I found a few more terms to call a cheap room in French, and ways of thinking in French. I do not think French yet, but I am adjusting and thinking maybe a little Togo French.

Donnez moi un Cadeau cherita.

Type of accommodations in French, and I am not sure about the comme d’habitude, but think it is.

Comme d’habitude
Pas Cher
Chambre de Passage
Chez l'habitant

I have this list of words to describe accommodations and it is continually growing, there is of course many ways to say I want a place to sleep in many languages, and there needs to be a lot of adapting to the local flavors to travel Hobo.

I am working on the list, because, I am cheap, so far, the only they call me cheap here, is to say I am sticky, and the Ghana Translation into English. I will soon learn to say in French. I am cheap; I do not give up the cash easy.

Searching and reading in a different language on the internet is a voyage. I think or try to empathize with the Chinese or Arabic world and try to think, understand how difficult it is to find the information available, there is a world of isolation and separation.

I can do pretty good at reading French and can surf, find, and read well. I am not too excited though about the French travelers in Togo, there is about the same number as the English speakers, a few and none.

I am sure to find Frenchie thinking there are some more French search engines to consider.

Travel into the Francophone

Togo Ghana Border

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

Michael and I took off by Moto Taxi and for 1100 CFA we rode from Kpalime, to the village of Kametonou right on the border of Togo and Ghana. We are still in Togo, but if I go to the bridge across the border, I can see the Ghana checkpoint.

The name of the village is Kametonou, it is more or less a border village, on the river that serves as the line between Ghana and Togo, or maybe correctly the bridge over the river is the line between Ghana and Togo.

The border police, one nice and the other suspiciously looking sat and made the Michael and the two moto drivers answer many questions. Michael underestimates highly the risk involved in dealing the officials of his own country. They shook us down for I guess 200 CFA or about 30 US Cents to go through a chain to enter the village. The proper official looks at my passport, cannot recognize or find the visa stamp. He proceeds to ask me find it, I am happy to put the passport back in my hands, and it never leaves again. I show him the stamp, and he says, it has expired.

I say, no, it is for one year, I show him, and he does accept.

Michael has no passport, and no identification, says his has expired. His risk here is about 4000 CFA, my risk is a camera, computer, etc and about 1000 in cash, he does not have any risk, and I am risking giving this to the officials.

The are about 85 percent good people and 15 bad.

I am very strict and stern, I say, I do not want to talk with leaders of officials of a country unless I know I am going to talk, Michael is not aware and is under-estimating the corruptions that is possible.

I am coining terms.

Africa Almost - Meaning, the got it almost ok, but in reality, not good at all.

I am going to go into this as an example arises.

Togo Ghana Border

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 Cultural Immersion

Africa Cultural Immersion
Kametonou Togo West Africa
Sunday, April 15, 2007

I am here on the Togo side of the Ghana - Togo border in this small village of Kametonou Togo, in West Africa. We was told yesterday, that on the Ghana side, the name of the village is Kamet or close to that.

I have traveled for years, and still there are awakenings.

Beads around the waist of African girls.

This is a small Mina or Ewe girls from Togo, however the culture of the Mina or Ewe or this language groups overlaps into both Ghana and Togo.

I search continually for a way to explain this small cultural identifier, would indicated the person was from somewhere in Africa. I have seen the beads in I would believe all the West African countries I have visited, however not sure I can say yes or no to this in Islamic dominated areas. The adult girls have these beads, and maybe 40-75 percent of girls have them around their waist, not easy to know what is under the clothes of women.

I am awakening to my desires. I am more aware, that I wish to continually know when I visit a destination.
- How immersed am I in the culture? -

Presently, I would say I am about a 7 on a scale of 10 and 10 being totally immersed. I guess I removing 3 because I am not force to only talk Mina, I am with Michael and he is talking English with me, and there is a couple of points here where the Mina culture has been more westernized here on the border, than if I was in some road where by the path of western people would not cross with the path of the Togo or Mina people.

I am thinking and going to play around trying to make a cultural immersion scale. Maybe a rating system where a person can say, I was a 9 on 10-point scale of cultural immersion.

There would be ways of evaluations such as…

How many foreigners come?
Are you required to speak the local language?
Can you speak the local language?
Are you sleeping in a hotel or a person’s home?

There is a problem, and there is this idea of seeing the real people or the real culture. This is impossible in a literal sense, because everywhere we go is the real culture. The question is more about how much are you aware of the Mina culture and how have you left behind your own culture. On the other hand, how much are you utilizing the Mina culture, and much do you utilize your own.

This type of idea is enveloped in confusion and lack of simple clarity. To explain immersion in a real culture when you are 100 percent the time always immersed in the real culture.
In the language immersion or when a person is immersed in the language, it would mean, I have nobody that will speak English with me, to be immersed in the culture of the ethnic group called the Minas of Togo, it would mean what?

I have no one to be American with; nobody that tries socializing me to act American or more correct here would be to make me act Yeh Bow or White Man.

The want me to eat Fufu, Kicki or Pate, I am not much on the Fufu world and when looking at these foods, I think fat. They are full of calories of are carbohydrate blasting.

I feel a great desire to make these rating systems and try to allow a person to rate their cultural immersion. It close to impossible for a person to become aware of culture, and study cultures until they have some way of say or understanding they are in or not in the culture. It is annoying to hear people say something like; I was in Mexico when they went to a resort in Cancun. Yes, they were in Mexico; however, the ability to empathize with Mexico is about a minus one after going to Cancun.

I am pretty immersed here, as I have,
- Left the cadeau behind. -

Nobody here has just say, give me a cadeau or gift, they have almost came to a stop, however there is the pig story.

Africa Cultural Immersion

Togo Children Photo

Togo Children Photo
Kametonou Togo West Africa

Togo Children diligently helping their mother do the laundry in the river.

There is a small river that creates the border between Ghana and Togo. On the Togo side these children are helping their mothers to do their laundry in the shallows of the river. It was if, they shrunk the children from adult to small size.

While the children are washing clothes, they are often trying to decide if they should go and bath with the major group of children. Fun to watch as they continually jump in and out of the water, trying to be small adults and finish the laundry, yet at the same time be children and go play in the water.

This seems to be a daily ritual, the water is a playground for the children, it is cool, shaded, and a very small set of rapids creates a pleasant place for the life of this village.

The next day the owner of the rooms we rented did my laundry for free, somewhat as a Cadeau to me. I am learning, if I am to get a Cadeau or gift in return, this type of Cadeau is going to be laundry, or something they can give that does not normally cost money.

I was delighted to have my laundry done by a person that can do this better than me, and also know they rinsed it well. Water is always short in supply as they need to carry it from the collection points. There is plenty of water in South Togo, yet the carrying of water make them sticky on the use. They washed my clothes in the stream, thus plenty of water and the rising cycle was done well.

The rip me off prices of laundry in West Africa demands, I normally do my laundry myself. Actually the best way to have you laundry done is to count all your clothes, remember the number, and pay some local to do them, not the hotels if you care about a budget.

Girls will volunteer to do my laundry.

Togo Children Photo

Kametonou Togo Auberge

Kametonou Togo Auberge
Kametonou Togo West Africa
Togo Ghana Border

Hobo OK
This is living in a persons home more or less, and is not a Togo Auberge or Togo Hotel.

Homestay of Ami
06 degrees 58.127 North
000 degrees 31.338 East
296 meters above sea level

On the Togo side, the city sitting on the border is Kametonou, there is no formal lodging, however there is a bar that has something, but we opted to live in a home that rented us a couple of room. There was approximately 5 rooms offered to us as accommodations and seem easy enough to find. I guess the way to find is to say Dormi or pretend to sleep, some people speak Ghana English here, so you can speak English, French or Mina is you can.

This is a Ami, her sister is Alice, there is a whole family of them and if you walked from Ghana across the river, you would take the second walk up and run right into here compound home. However, the best is to look for her, if you is home or in the village.
The next for sure closest place to sleep in at the Auberge Papillon for 3000 CFA or there are two places that you need a car called the Campemount or Nectar something in the small village of Konda, Togo about 20 minutes down the road from the Togo - Ghana border.

More or less Kpalime is about 30 minutes of direct time travel from the border. A Moto is 1100 CFA and a Car is maybe 500 to Kpalime from the border, and you must negotiate.

Kametonou Togo Auberge

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

Help Me With a Pig

Help Me With a Pig
Kametonou Togo West Africa
Sunday, April 15, 2007

Can you help me with a pig?

This was the question, after somewhat a sloppy Ghana English translation, but literal as maybe you can get. I try to have translated back to Ami,
- I feel like I am in a slow soap opera. -

She does not know what a soap opera is, so that one went over her head, but maybe it was more for me, so I can think of how I feel. I did say,
- A pig. -

This is some convoluted, highly indirect and culturally oblique way of saying they want me to buy them a pig, which is not true; they want the money for a pig. It is a floater, or a throw out comment, like if a person was sitting by a millionaire and made a comment.
- I would like to start a pizza shop. -

The millionaire would get the idea, and slowly I was becoming aware of their dream of a pig.

Do not underestimate this culture funny, they know exactly what they are doing and are trying to give me five levels o separation from the blunt reality, they are asking me for money.

Michael and me have many a conversation as one of the boys, trying to get Michael to explain to me, how a cadeau or the gift is given to a woman that goes to a mans room and why it is not the girl selling themselves as prostitutes. There is this exchange of money or benefits, or considerations a social contract is established between the men and women of West Africa on a minute-by-minute basis. I will do this for you in a sex way if you do this for me in a money way.

I guess, I can say, I am in a slow continual soap opera as if you can get a grip on the empathy here; I am like the millionaire in the village with the ability to also help them win the Visa Lottery. Therefore, there is an offer made to exchange love and care in return for me giving them the riches of living with me in the USA as my wife.

Then the soap opera escalates when men offer to give me

some sort of friendship or to make a wildly bad deal with them and take them to the USA.

I tried to explain to Mawuli in the Auberge Mandela in Kpalime, which for me to take him to the USA or his request to take him to the USA, made me think his brain was a rock.

Michael says,
- He is sleeping -

Then again another story.

Help Me With a Pig

Travel to Mont Agou Togo

Travel to Mont Agou Togo
Kpalime, Togo
Monday, April 16, 2007

I am hoping to leave around 9:00 am today for Mont Ago uor Mountain Agou, or maybe Mount Ago.

Mount Agou (Pic Baumann)
986 meters of 3,235 feet high, this is claimed to be the highest point in Togo.

This is a short mountain in the world of mountains, more of a foothill, yet appears very high in comparison to the rest of Togo and even West Africa that is main a flat lands.

I was hoping the altitude of the Kpalime area would dramatically cool this area of Togo, while cooler than Lome at the sea level, not dramatically cooler. The Togo border town of Kametonou, was dramatically cooler at night, and was some of the best sleeping so far in Togo, and the room had no fan.

The hope is to take the road to the top of this small Mount Agou and find a Chambre de Passage at the top, get a roof top view of Togo, while living cheap. I semi-doubt this, as normally people do not go live at the top of mountains as the farm land is bad.

Travel to Mont Agou Togo

Not Predictable or Telegraph

Not Predictable or Telegraph
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A friend of mine is now in Arbi, Iraq, or Erbil Iraq

He wrote me from Arbil, I wish to give simple advice.

I say,
- Do not be Predictable or Telegraph.

I hope the telegraph word made him think, stuns him into consideration of the comment.

I do not wish for him to telegraph or send his intentions to people. I do not wish him to explain or tell people what he is doing. I do not want him to be predictable.

Not Predictable or Telegraph

A Trying Day in Togo

A Trying Day in Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I had a very trying day on my patience here in Togo today, whereas I was involved in three major cultural annoyances. Nothing really bad, maybe common in a way.

In Koti Togo maybe Kati Togo

Michael and I, the friend I have been calling my fixer left Kpalime, yesterday and went to Mont Agou or Pic Agou, the proceeded on to Koti, Togo a more or less dusty road town in the middle of nowhere.

Other than setting a new record for my cheapest room in West Africa by paying 750 CFA, the village was difficult. On the other hand, there was an about 5 girl’s age between 20-30 walking around topless all day, so that did take the edge off the village.

This morning, after a lot of deliberation and thinking, I decided it would be best to go back to Kpalime, and give Michael an extras days wages and say goodbye, which is 6000 CFA or about 12 U.S. Dollars. This is not really wages, more of a per diem thing so he could easily afford to travel with me and help me to live easier. He was saving about 2000-3000 CFA per day, so he was earning, this is about three times the daily workers wage here per day.

I tried to explain to him, and he was very sad, I was hoping that with him along, life would be easier, however it was more difficult. There were a couple aspects of travel with him where life was easier, I did have less bully arguments with the motos or taxis, the payment problems were less. However, what became a problem was an interesting development and totally unexpected by me. I suppose the big problem is his listening to the BBC Radio Station about 5-9 hours per day. I never told him this, because I do not wish to discourage him from learning from the radio and learning about the world.

Michael is a big soccer fan, and BBC fan, he turns it on at 7:00 in the morning and listens to it all day more or less, carrying the radio about everywhere, he goes. He never did this while I was getting to know him. He sits all over the place, listening to the radio.

Confusing to explain, the goal was for him to help me locate good cheap rooms, and he did this in a fashion, yet he did not intuitively get the idea that we needed to have rooms acceptable for me to recommend to people. I would recommend the woman at the border, but this is not like the Mandela in Kpalime, and is difficult for people to find.

His 6000 CFA budget made him too thrifty with the cash for a room, and in Koti, the 750 Budget room became a big problem for me, I could not convince him to move on to the next city, and forget Koti. He more or less believed I wished to live and see everything in Togo, not matter how bleak.

No electricity, not clear, where to go for the toilet, I slept on a matt, the room was hot, etc. And then, with the walls, I can hear Michael’s too loud radio 24 hours per day.

There may be this mythical and untrue belief in the minds of people that primitive type societies are peaceful and if we reverted back life would be better. The opposite is really the case, there is continually machine gun talk between the people and things happen, for example, men come and piss right next to you and so do women. This morning I was tramping through the brush to find a place to squat, a pig is making noise, and I can smell and worry where I am stepping.

More or less there is a constant interruption of the peace, nothing is really peaceful and pleasant about the more primitive people. Then the have moved out of the jungle, and now bake in steel roofed houses. I do think living in the trees would be better than their present options of clay home and steel roofs.

Maybe a person could imagine being surrounded 24 hours per day by children that do what they want, interrupt when they want, and will push their way into a conversation whether I want them to or not. The way I normally deal with this is to go into my room and read, or go for long walks in quiet areas.

Michael could not get a grip on the room thing; no amount of explanation could explain my need for quiet living quarters. I am very good at finding good rooms, I can explain the pros and cons of rooms easy, and the 750 CFA was nice, but not a reason to live in a city, although being surround by young nubile girls with no tops on did lesson the burden. Now, if they could speak ONE word of French, I would have been better, they only spoke Mina.

Next, what happened is in his effort to explain, he has been telling everyone I am from the USA, and speak English, and came to the city to take photos. I think he more or less is reveling in the explanations to people, and somewhat gives him status. I do not mind this so much, but the USA English thing killed my ability to talk with the people, then the camera things makes them think I work for a project or something and they come up and want to ask too many questions. The only people who come to the village appears to be the NGO - ONG or projects and they are the best jobs in West Africa, therefore everyone is more or less wanting to talk to me, or they appear to be fighting for job.

Normally I macho squash the conversations by the bullies of village, and Michael opened the door. More or less, he believes every person needs to be listened too and would get in 15-minute arguments with everyone over nothing, way off goal our goals or the idea of enjoyment travel.

I normally can reassert the goals and keep these sleeping minds focused, well with Michael, he could understand them and would help them to stay off topic. We was trying to look for a Auberge on the way back form the Ghana - Togo border and they wanted to show us a house with a room. I said, Mike, that is not an Auberge and he says, but they have a room. I said, we want a business, and a room to him is a business, and not able to separate and think in the strict terms of the goal, about anything was in play, and annoying, his understanding of English was much more open and lax, less defined.

The bottom line is I regressed about 9.5 years in travel experience, and my abilities to search for a good room and was babysitting a person who has no ability to stay focused, or think in a focused manner. The lack of focus and self-centered and oblivious lack of concern for people around him, and normal for Togo started to takes it toll on my nerves.

He was being normal, and what can you say, he was behaving like a Ghana or Togo person. I realize now, you cannot expect a person to plan for tomorrow, when never in their lives have they made plans for the future. I was asking him to do some things that were totally outside his cultural upbringing.

He was very sad, and begs me to give him another chance, but he cannot see that I cannot stop being a White Man from the USA and he cannot stop being a Black Man from Togo. We lived in our cultures too long and we cannot just replace out spots and become a different culture.


I went to the Kpalime Gare or Bus stop, paid 1750 to take a mini-van to Lome. The minute I paid, they tried to get me to pay 1000 CFA for my bags. It is common to go for about 100-300 per bag, and I was tired, and not wanting to argue, they was loading the van with way to many fat women, and the top was so full it looked like a banana truck, the whole groups was abusive and hollering and non-caring, knowing they had the fee in advance. I finally threw the ticket at the driver and walked away, grabbed a Moto and went to the edge of town. Flagged down a station wagon taxi and took a very enjoyable trip to Lome.

I need to get more money from the ATM, before I leave for the north. I have decided I am not going to go to the Gares or Bus Stations any more, they have been a real waste of good energy, and are just full of bad blood individuals. I paid less, went faster, and was with more civilized people in the taxi, outside the governmental lack of working systems.


I came back to the My Diana Auberge, and I am finally going to say, this place is not good. There is some electric problem, which is specific to only this one block and every block around continually has electricity while the Auberge does not. I thought it was the city, but is this block and they managers are dizzy, slow and sleeping. They just accept and do not look for solutions. They have a generator and will not turn it on, even though the hotel is full. I finally lost it and started telling them to turn on the generator, the electricity had been off from noon until 7:00 at night and this was worst than anything as the buildings are designed stupid.

Almost Africa is my idea of this, almost ok, but not ok.

The finally turned on the generator, I am very angry, start to get very stern with them, and what do they do, start to laugh, it is just the bully children society nature of West Africa and I try my best to avoid this.

It is normal to have about one-half the staff behave bully like, not bad, they just thrive on being macho. I must have a room to decompress; most of the travelers just go for the western places and avoid the locals. I need a room, which has a fan to read and separate from the primitive non-caring societies of the world. There really is nothing mystically and back to the beginning of time, being old and ancient, primitive, quiet is really closer to banging heads with clubs than people believe.

I learned a real basic type of calling women over, that Michael did, and I will write about later. It is somewhat incredible to me, what a man can do and say to a woman with almost no problem, and what is acceptable to ask of women.

I am leaving this Hotel tomorrow, and finding one with better electricity. My good friend Ami quit the hotel and without here, the place as lost any good personalities, Felix is a good guy, but dominated by the bullies. I will take a photo.

A Trying Day in Togo

Manners of a Drunk

Manners of a Drunk
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The world has unwritten rule that we pretend they do not exist. The world looks the other way and hopes they go away.

I often explain to the British people that proper Americans will ignore their
- Taking the P -

This is because a well-mannered proper person will consider the behavior of Taking the P that is often performed by all classes of United Kingdom persons as low-classed behavior and to be ignored. Taking the P is to wind up a person by being sarcastic, and to by deliberated design and premeditation make comments that infer the person is stupid. The bad part is the Brits that do it are normally the more stupid and then the American tends to ignore as low classed and they continue more because they believe we do not realize.

The only way to stop is to either do as I do, explain the Americans ignore this behavior, and we consider something done by drunks or un-educated workers, not educated. This normally stops a Brit, because they all have this delusional desire they are educated, and for sure the way they behave at soccer matches proves this.

You can do it back to them, and it will stop them

Loud Mentally Retarded people are ignored on the planet, and the very foolish.

I know, I will naturally try my best to ignore this type of person.

Presently there is some Nigerians here in the Auberge who also, the same as Michael have their battery powered radio on full blast, it has been on all night.

They are not drunk.
I had to remind myself of this fact.

While in Mexico for over a year, there were so many drunks I would continually have to avoid them staggering around in Hotels. They would go on three-day drunks and this country has one of the worst obnoxious drunk problems, maybe Brazil is up there also. There is many countries, like Guatemala and Ecuador where people are laying around drunk everywhere, but not very obnoxious, just everywhere.

West Africa does not have much of a drunken problem; it does have people that behave like drunks. The turn the radio up, they talk loud, they are oblivious to the fact they live in a world with other people.

I think of the right to pursuit of happiness in the constitution of the USA and how it also says, you cannot disturb the rights of pursuits of happiness. It is more or less our protection from the selfishness of others.

Michael wish to learn the values of mine, and not easy for a person to live with my family and friends for 25 years, and socialize them to another culture.

I am going to recommend managers of hotels and not the hotels, it is because a hotel can often turn from a nice place to a bad place when the manager of the hotel has the manners of a drunk and does not have any comrades. Ami my friend has quit the Auberge Mandela, now there is only one person here, Felix who is passive and quiet, and the other managers dominate and have the manners of drunks, therefore the place has went from ok to bad.

Ami was well mannered, and somehow was able to create an environment that told the manners of drunk like behavior of the managers to behave.

When, I was with Michael, his manners allowed this type of person enter our world. I normally avoid these people and after 10 years of travel, I can avoid them at ease. However, the sudden awareness of them around me everywhere, told me, someone left the door opens. I cannot change people, so I must separate from people.

Allowing people with the manners of drunks, they do not have to drink to have them; into your traveler’s world is a simple analogy or explanation on how to choose a hotel. I choose the well-behaved hotels, on the other hand, the manners of 85 percent of travelers, is the same, the manners of drunks, therefore they do not care.

I realized one time I could not marry this women, her family was so badly mannered, that there was no way to overlook and avoid. To marry a person with the manners of drunk is to live with a drunk. I continue to explain to people, my problem with marrying a girl from another country is not the color, race, or education, it is I need to have a person who has respect and manners or I feel like finding a club to tame them.

I have a few pages on this.

I have never considered this, but one of the founding Father of the USA, George Washington wrote some rules of Civility and I sometime refer to them. This in a way, could have set the tone for the future of the USA. They have some values that are now considered bad manners and maybe racist in today’s society, yet nonetheless the overall information is good.

George Washington's - Rules of Civility

Manners of a Drunk

Cheap Room in Good Hotel

Cheap Room in Good Hotel
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I have found the cheapest room, in a good hotel, maybe the cheapest room here.

I decided I needed a different Auberge or Hotel, or Pas Cher accommodation, therefore about 7:30 am this morning; I left the My Diana Auberge. My friend Ami has quit the job there, and is gone, now
the place has gone from acceptable to not ok. I do not understand, yet it appears to be a huge electricity problem.

I was paying 5000 CFA for a fan room, with no electricity most of the day yesterday, then they turned on the generator at about 7:30 after I continued to holler at them for 20 minutes. I did my best to educate them to the curse words in English.

I am now paying 6,500 CFA and have Air Conditioning in the room, and at 1:28 pm, the electricity has commenced. It stopped at about 9:00 am, and they told me, you will now have electricity after noon, whether by normal public service or by generator.

I am in something called the Providence Auberge and I do not know where it is located, I do know I am far from the ocean. Not a big deal as the oceans is not used to speak of in Lome, Togo. I did a 1000 CFA tour of the hotels of Lome, and after many hotels, dumps and other, I found this one, under a big tree. The big tree makes this place about 10 degrees cooler.

Togo has been an education in how to find acceptable lodging. There are landmines about me, as I realize one small bad choice, and I live in a headache. This Auberge Providence, location unknown, is great so far, they have provided me more or less in Africa terms, exactly what they said. I was told the electricity would start at 12 noon, and it came on at 1:30, so right on time in African terms.

I discovered many smaller hotel, and have differentiated between Pas Cher or Cheap and not fun, or not Amical. I think that mean friendly, in French. A person wrote and said that the room at the Ghana - Togo border seemed good, as I said, very quiet, cool, easy to sleep, friendly and cultural.

That room was good, yet I do come from a culture where there is a toilet, shower and electricity. This is many ways a constant goal, how to bring my travelers nest up to my standards, yet live in the bush. I need big batteries, the lights are not a problem, and I have this hand wind up lamp given to me by Chris that is great. I need more batteries for my computer; I cannot work on my computer more than about 3 hours before the batteries are gone. There is also a severe shortage of English books in West Africa to read.

I think the number one thing most travelers need though is a place to party or a buvette, and they need some fast type action party, something that makes them feel like they went out in their own country. If you read both the Lonely Planet and the Rough Guides, you will see they continually tell the tourist and travelers how to find party type entertainment. I am fortunate in a way; I do not need this type of social life. I could have lived at the border for weeks, yet in the end, my desire to keep my internet pages current conflicts with the location of the village. It was in the middle of where the map said, and the map said, cell phone access existed. There were zero bars of signal.

I have found one new way to get a great room, I go to a more expensive hotel, and have them show me all the rooms. It seems a requirement that all white people must look at the most expensive rooms and say no, before they will take us to the cheap rooms. I told them, I want a Pas Cher room and finally they found the cheap one, when they understood I was serious. Therefore, I have the facilities of a 10 Mille room or 10,000 - 13,000 CFA room, and live in room for 6,500 with inside bath and toilet and air conditioning. I am going to try this approach more. I will go to the 2 or 3 in the Roughguides and see if they have the 1-2 number priced rooms. There is close to zero tourist, they can be flexible.

There is always the best room in the hotel for value and location, sometimes not so obvious why and this is the art.

Often it comes down to my negotiation ability, can I hold the price and be hard enough to say, I will not pay that ridiculous price. It is clear in my head and easy for me, I think any room in Africa over 5000 is on the ridiculous price level in West Africa. I have lived all over the planet, I am positive these rooms are overpriced. Believing in your price is the first objective in negotiations. I know they are overpriced, so I am going for the correct prices now, and not being tolerant.

Cheap Room in Good Hotel

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

Mont Kloto Konda Togo

Mont Kloto Konda Togo

Road in Togo going to Ghana Border

This is the road, only a few spots look like this, but the road is very nice and pleasant.

This is a small section of the winding road in the small 500-700 meter high mountain ranges of Togo. This is on the road from Kpalime to the Togo - Ghana border. The cost of the motorcycle taxi trip from Kpalime to the border was 1100 CFA and it should be easy for anyone to purchase one-way for 2000 CFA or about 4 US dollars. A round trip ride from Kpalime should be no more than 4000 CFA, and we could have gotten for 2200 CFA.

The road to Konda, and this visit the Butterfly place is ok, not sure my favorite location, but ok. The two major hotels are best to bring a girl with you or to come a couple. The Papillion Auberge is in the center of Konda and is ok, in a you are the only tourist, everyone wants to sell to you way.

The Campemont and the Nectar require you have a car to be good. I actually would say sleeping on the border was a better idea in one of the homes as they have a river next to the village, and I did not see a river close to the village of Konda.

This is a small waterfall along side the road, in any mountain area of the world, there will be these small waterfalls.

I listen, read, and try to access information when I hear it about waterfalls. I want to read, there are a series of small pools where I a person can swim and enjoy the day. Then I wish to read, the waterfall is about a 10-15 minute walk or the waterfall is right next to the Auberge. Or here in Togo, I am wanting to say, there are motorcycles that will take me.

Trekking and walking in the woods is fun, however the truth is the normal person that treks does it with a companion or friend. Walking through the woods alone is somewhat lonely and tiresome. I have about a negative 20 need for solitude. I am alone and have solitude about 90 percent of the day. There is a need for quiet, I am not sure I would call that the same as solitude. Peace and Quiet can be difficult to find.

I am good at finding rooms that are quiet, I have a mix of needs, and quiet rooms and nice owner are big on the list.

There is this Buvette or Bar mentality of Hotels in West Africa, and there is about 95 to 99 percent of the time a bar in the Hotel. In Europe it is like living in a Bar, so I do not enjoy Europe at all.

I try to find hotel where the bar does not do very well, and then I do not need to go to the mountains to trek for solitude. A person may get to know himself or herself well enough on a long trip, where they can learn what they like and stop being influenced by everyone around them to do what other like.

I am encouraged every day of every week by the African people to find a woman to travel with me; it is staggering the number of offers. I do not see a person with no education, no ability to read, only is good at buying, looking pretty, and doing laundry as a good mate and friend for travel. That is not to say there are not educated people, it is to say, I think the anyone is ok mentality says a lot on how women view men and how men view women here.

The laundry is about the best reason, companionship and talking is the reason I would like to spend time with people.

Waterfalls, Rivers, West Africa Geography, Togo,

Mont Kloto Konda Togo

Mont Agou Pic dAgou

Mont Agou Pic dAgou
Mountain Agou or the Agou Peak

Mountain Agou Highest Peak in Togo
06 52.370 North
000 44.930 East
1004 Meters above sea level, maybe 986 is correct?

Note, they say the mountain is 986 Meters high in the Encarta Encyclopedia and the Guidebook I think agrees. I took a reading of 1004 meters, I am not sure how to say or know, what is correct? I have a Magellan Explorist 100 GPS device. Information is interesting and who knows, the information collected years before is often the information a person is reading about 50 years later. The renditions of Africa are often viewpoints of 100 years ago.

This is the kilometer makers or the end of road marker at the top of Mont Agou, the top of the mountain as best I can figure is about 10 kilometers off the main highway. It cost us 1500 CFA to go by Moto to the top of Mountain one way, then another 300 to go to Koti one way.

Ooops, it may not be the end of the road, I was trying to capture the correct Togo Spelling. I think you have better luck getting the mountain if you say Pic d'Agou and not Mont Agou to the motos.

This is the view from Top of Mont Agou or Pic d’Agou, they was telling me I can see Ghana. I could not see anything but haze, but I am sure on super clear day you may. I think the name of the city below is Agou, not Kpalime.

At the top of the hill is a wire across the road, the taxi moto and Michael talked for about 10 minutes before the man gave us a small tour. There is one location that is nice, the others parts is like being in an industrial park with a cell phone tower. There is a cell signal here and they say it is Togocel and Moov on the tower.

What is strange, as a line of site, I could see this mountain from the Village of Koti, however I had not cell phone connection, I think it is about 10-20 kilometer from the mountain.

Mountains, Geography, West Africa Geography, Togo GPS, West Africa GPS, Togo GPS, Togo,

Mont Agou Pic dAgou

Alcohol Still

Alcohol Still
Koti, Togo West Africa
April 2007

The fermentation, then the distillation of palm tree nuts or juices to make Alcohol in Koti, Togo.

I may be wrong on this ingredient used, but something from the palm tree. I have taken photos of a Still in India where they used something from the palm tree, they called it Fanny. I also found one in Nepal and I am sure others, but now I forget.

The farthest 55 gallon enclosed tank has a fire under it, then slowly tubes are cooled in the other three.

This is the final product, the owner had no idea of the percentage of alcohol in the final drink. He runs it through cotton at the end to filter.

Alcohol Still, Alcohol, Togo,

Alcohol Still

Map to Tsevie Togo

Map to Tsevie Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Maybe a map to Hippos.

I am north of the city of Lome, still in the city, but will move north toward Kpalime, or Atakpame. I am in a debate, I have already traveled the road to Kpalime, however I am trying to figure out my energy, where does my energy wish to push me.

If I go to Tsevie, then I can move over toward the Benin Border and there is this Hippo Icon on my map, maybe I can find a Hippo near a city called Tabligbo. The problem is some form of Travelers idea of never following the same path, in a way, it would be good north to Kpalime, skip on past Kpalime, and cruise around the cooler mountain areas, go further north than come down the center of the country and exit over to Benin, I just do not know how I wish to enter Benin. I cannot figure out a good round-trip path, that would allow me not to travel the same roads again.

I need both a Nigeria and a Benin Visa, however I guess I can get the Benin temporary visa at the border, then get the longer visa in Cotonou or Natitingou in the north of Benin. I really do not want to make the trip again from Lome to Cotonou, there was nothing I remember along the way, that fascinated me, or draws me back, I would be fine to avoid Cotonou, Benin.

It is this stupid Nigeria Visa that is causing the problem, I need or feel I should be closer to the time of entering Nigeria before I try to attain this Visa, it just does not seem wise to get it too early. The country of Nigeria requires I get a Visa in my home country of the USA, and because of that, nothing is guaranteed, I will need to work harder to talk them into giving me a visa.

Ok, I will go to Tsevie tomorrow and see what is up, it shows on the Cell Phone map of Togo that Tsevie is in the center of a cell, so I can still use the internet, I hope.

Note: I am Tsevie, I paid 1000 CFA for a moto to the city.

Togo Maps, West Africa Maps, Togo, Hippos, Animals,

Map to Tsevie Togo

Travel Shower or Electricity

Travel Shower or Electricity
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 19, 2007

I was thinking, maybe I am also empathy impaired as I was mentioning about people.

I have solved many problems in my travels, that plague travelers and tourist. One of the major ones I solved a couple of years ago was the shower, how to get a shower in a place like India or Nepal, or even Europe when there is a major problem with either water or hot water.

I carry this bucket, I now have two, because I purchased another 5 gallon juice container and had them cut it off in Kpalime. I now have two of them with me. I use a one-cup coffee heater to heat when in cold climates, both ways, I take dip showers.

I can fill them up and have in my room close to 8 gallons of water to use for a dip shower. The fixer Michael appreciated the buckets on two occasions, one was when I filled up one with water so we had drinking water. The other was when he was worried about breaking his radio, I put inside the bucket, inside the backpack and it create a hard inside protection. It is really like having a hard pack, but I can remove the hard liner.

I am dwelling on my Electricity problems, I am sure one day, I will solve them and I will look back, and not talk about the problems of electricity.

Africa has exceptionally good water supply, the water is clean, good for drinking. However, it would be easy to think there is a water problem, as a person can see people carrying water all times of the day. I am guessing and I will ask some travelers, if they believe Africa has a water problem. I would think they would say yes, and up near the Sahara there is a problem.

The cost of a big tub of water cost money here, and this is different than most countries. But that is because they have public utility water and cleaner. Free bad water or possible to be bad is free. However, they must carry the water to their homes as there is no water lines to the house, and even if they was, they would all be broken, like in Mexico or Asia and they are just sucking in the bad water to the home.

This water is good, but you have to plan ahead, I do not remember having water problems in West Africa.

I have continually problems here in Togo with Electricity, I have started to work on my computer the minute I have electricity, because I cannot guarantee it will return. Plus, the batteries of Laptops to me are still just an annoying joke, meant to allow you to take notes, and shut off, not for real working.

My only prospect right now for continually electricity is this wind up light I have, it is great. It generates enough juice to stay on low all night. I have finally figured out, I need to sit and wind for about 5 minutes to really do good.

I will write Chris and see if he knows of a foot pedal type light as this hand wind up time is annoying and difficult to use for a good charge. If the power went into the computer, then I would have something, hmm, maybe I can wire up this 12 volt solar pad to charge my computer.

I figure it out, what I need is a splitter. I need a splitter that allow the cord entering my computer to either be charging from the 220 electricity or from the solar power pad. I could then plug in the solar pad to the computer, put out the window and hope nobody steals it.

What happens is this, I am in a room with Electricity, I am charging my computer. Most of the time in the room, it is plugged into the wall socket or the light bulb adapters thingy.

Then the electricity goes off, if for any reason, I leave the computer on, it will drain the battery. The hibernation feature causes me more headaches than benefits, as I lose information as it does not function correctly or I do not know how to use correctly and cannot be bothered to learn.

I have learned to turn off my computer in Africa, so not a problem.

Yes, I am charging my battery, it is plugged in, I want to know, I have 2 hours of work time. If I went to back to the border of Togo and Ghana, I could live in a room with no electricity and type away every morning for two hours. I am not sure, I think I am on the computer about 2-3 hours per day, and some days up to 5, but never really more.

Well, now I need this female plug that enter the computer to charge the battery to the computer. How will I find that? This is not so easy, there is not laptops in West Africa just hanging around and the cords to a laptop would be even more difficult to find. I can splice into the present cord and connect, yet I am not sure, this may be one of them coaxial type wound cords. I need to be 100 percent sure what type of electrical cords before I go an cut it up to connect a solar panel.

I am having trouble with electrical tape. I need to find some duct tape, to cover or use outside the electrical tape. The regular black electrical tape is having troubles. It gets hot, and start to unwind, as long as cool or cold, not a problem, but here in Africa, I am having problems. I think I can wrap up connections and then wrap with duct tape and it will hold. I will check, they do not cover up the connection here the way you would think. Duct tape is difficult to buy in many countries, not a normal on the shelf items on the planet, and very heavy to carry, I will check to see if I have a partial roll.

Travel Shower or Electricity

Tsevie Togo

Tsevie Togo
Tsevie Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 19, 2007

If you have AC, you also need a fan, because when on generator power, the electricity does not run the AC.

I am Tsevie. Togo about 35 Kilometers north of Lome, there are many Auberge’s or Hotel and all so far all are over priced. I found one finally for 5 Mille or 5000 CFA about 10 US dollars, that is ok, but I will leave, tomorrow. This is more or less a city on a highway or at a junction of two highways, nothing of interest so far.

I am in a flat area of Togo, and the climate is dryer than in Kpalime, I am not sure what to do, these small towns are either a joy or you wish to keep on moving. My Moto driver coming here from Lome was great for 1000 CFA he brought me from Lome to Tsevie city, then drove around trying to find a good hotel

He took me to his normal hotel and they wanted 8000, he was sort of put off, and he says he pays 1000 for short time use, and thought the hotel for the night would be about 4000. There was a Hotel full of ONG-NGO people, which wanted 10,000 per night.

I will leave for somewhere tomorrow morning, it is hot, the electricity if off here also. I had electricity last night, but the Air Conditioning did not work, there was no fan, so about as good as this room with no electricity. I am paying closer attention to rooms; they are ovens you pay to sleep inside.

Tsevie Togo

My Backpack is a Boat

My Backpack is a Boat
Tsevie, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 19, 2007

I can carry 80 liters of gear easy in my two backpacks. I hope to add a few caps and increase the easy capacity to 160 liters of junk, this is about 35 kilos or close to 80 pounds.

Today was a sad day in Lome for me this morning before I left for Tsevie, as I decided to offload about 20 liters of non-essential items. I left a lot of gear or my home furnishings in Lome in the room, and moved on down the road.

I have been carrying about 100 liters of volume, however to do so, I needed to tie a bag on the bottom of my backpack. The backpack worked perfect for this, and when Michael was with me, he tied or used bungee cords and connected his gear on the bottom of one of my bags. If I put on the bottom it makes the ride on the Motorcycle Taxis more comfortable as it allows the bottom of the bag to sit higher and less stress on my shoulders while on the bike.

However, I trimmed the boat, and offloaded some cargo. Not because I wanted too, but because I like convenience. Tying the bag on the bottom took time, and I did not feel lean and mean with the set up.

A photo of Michael way off and the photos is blurred, however you can see that the small grain bag full of his gear on the bottom allows the backpack to ride lighter on the shoulders of the rider. If it hangs, the weight it continually bouncing, I also can loosen the straps and allow to also go lower, but the bottom bag helps a lot.

The grain bag was not easy to tie on, and the truth is, I had a lot of non-essential items, and miscellaneous pack rat items, some experimental gear items, that were not working.

This is my home, these are my possessions, I become enamored with them and do not like to let go. I do have a clothing policy, if I do not wear it often and regular, I throw it away, normally means I leave in the hotel room.

I need an easy to clip on cap or bag, that I can load, then just clip on the bottom, when I get near the combinations of material, tailor, clips and such, I will make one. Annoying to think how the boys of Nepal could not get their act together to make this simple item, or I would have four right now.

The way I pack a bag is like a boat, the heavy in the bottom, the side-to-side weight is balanced, I try to distribute the good properly, and if the boat is overloaded, I go to port and unload some cargo, and leave again. I have a front and back pack, this distributes the weight to the front and back, they are both the same size, and 40 liters in capacity. I do not really care about weight, as I never plan on walking, I plan on taxis, except in Europe and then I buy a 2-wheel cart, because all I do is walk, hard to get fat there.

Right now, I would like to be carrying about 5 more kilos of books in English as I am down to one English book, and Africa is French.

Backpacks, Gear, West Africa Gear, Motorcycles, Togo Transportation, Togo, West Africa Transportation, Taxi,

My Only Choice is French

My Only Choice is French
Tsevie, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 19, 2007

I have only one choice, I need to learn French better, if I wish to travel in these African Francophone countries, and learn more about the culture, than I need to talk better French.

If I spoke French about 4 degrees better, I could interview of give the quiz to the Hotel Owners and avoid their lies better, and have a better room and travel cheaper.

Sometimes, I am quite positive, the people here speak horrible French, and then I think, they speak good French. There is only one way to know, and that is to speak better French than them, and to know when I am not pronouncing the words correctly or maybe them.

There a many phrases in French, which are repeated many times in conversations. I am going to start writing them down, therefore when I hear them; I know I can repeat easily. The locals appear, although I cannot be sure, they appear to speak these pat phrases, sort of like canned answers. Then when there is a word that is not common, it will baffle them.

I tried two times today, to say, I am going to go see the Hippos, finally when I wrote it down, one person instantly understood, however, the two girls in the Shell Station next to the Hotel Grand here in Tsevie had to think for a long time to know what this was.

I think the girls called an Animal an Aneemoe and I think it should be pronounced Aneemah. This is the confusion, I am never positive, therefore I am easily confused. I will study my French.

Languages, French, Togo, Hotel Finding, Togo Hotels,

My Only Choice is French

Togo Electricity Season

Togo Electricity Season
Tsevie, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 20, 2007

When to go?

I think it would be better to come here, after the rainy season or during the bigger part of rainy season. I would have electricity and it would be cooler. The country has hydro electricity and there is no water.

I am having serious problems here in Togo with electricity in rooms, and because of no electricity, the AC and fans to not work. There is no water to run the electricity generators of the dams of Togo, Ghana, we need rain.

I was in a collective taxi or a big shared station wagon riding from Kpalime to Lome, there was a very well spoken Ghana English teacher in the seat next to me. He said here retired, and now is living in Togo and works for a Chinese company. As we was traveling along, he pointed at a very large electrical transformer station and said,
- Ghana sold this to Togo. -

I was in inch away from saying,
- They sold them junk. -
- As normal, almost Africa, it almost works. -

Ok, who can say why the electricity does not work, and I for sure do not care. I only think to myself when someone starts to go into a long explanation about something they do not understand or know either,
- I do not care, just get it working. -

I have two choices.
- Sleep in rooms that do not need fans or AC.
- I can go to the mountain areas, not very high, and really about nothing, only between 600 and 900 meters high, but the valleys between the mountains and along streams are coolers at night.

However, and I am not sure, but I think if I would have came here in May or better June, it would be cooler and they would have electricity because the water above the dams would be sufficient to create electricity for West Africa.

Therefore, now, I am trying to narrow this down, I want to be sure, when the rainy season are so I can plan my trip better. I normally do not care when there is monsoons or rainy seasons, it is highly over avoided on the planet. I suppose it matters for a bike rider. If I were in an overland car trip here, I would carry a generator for sure.

I am thinking it is time to go and sleep on roofs, like in the Middle East or India, the world has designed building that need electricity and then does not have adequate electricity for the buildings Regressive Architecture or Architecture that is not adequate and regressed.


- One rainy season
- March to September

- TWO rainy season
- April to June
- September to November
Rainfall doubles in the mountains. (2)

I cannot seem to find a good table of rain for West Africa, but the basic information is there for my planning. I need to somehow stave off the heat until the rains start; I need to think on how to solve this heat problem.

Seasons, Electricity, Dams, Fans, Air Conditioning, Togo,

Togo Electricity Season

Tsevie to Keve Togo

Tsevie to Keve Togo
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 20, 2007

I walked out of the Hotel Grand of Tsevie, my 5000 CFA half the night electric room and went to the junction in front of the Shell Station. I was laughing, about 10:00 pm, and I am sleeping in the heat, they come and try to get me to move to room, with no shower and toilet, yet is on the generator used for the very large bar area. I was asking before if there were rooms there, and I think I could have got a room, without shower for 3000, I gave up too quick, and it would have had a fan all night, there is no justice, 3000-4000 and a fan because it has a generator, pay 5000 and have no electricity.

I need to continue to learn French.
Chambre sans douche? = A room without a shower or toilet?

Room connected to the electric generator.
Chambre être lié à générateur de electrique.

Oh well, trials and tribulations, and some problems for me to solve, something do to do.

I went to the Shell station in Tsevie, sort of thought, I will flag a moto that has enough petrol to go to Tabligbo closer to the Benin, Border. Then a group came around me and the price became increasingly difficult to negotiate. There is a problem when many Togo Motos are in one location, they all want to save face, and see who can get the White Man to pay the most. I have discovered, I need to get moving Motos and one at a time to get the best price, it would seem they would compete, but the opposite happens, they compete to see who can say the most, and they support each other in high prices.

The prices went from about 2000 mille, and then adjusted to 3.500 after listing to the other boys to a high of 6000 to go to Tabligo. I left many frustrated and hollering moto taxis and kept walking. Met another one, and asked the prices for both places, he said 3500 for Tabligo and 1500 for Keve. I made a call audible at the line of scrimmage and decide to go to Keve to the West.

The ride to Keve was nice, a small dirt road and some small villages along the way, as we was leaving the city of Tsevie, I saw many women with clay pots on their heads. There may be a Friday market, and they had many varieties and somewhere they must be making clay pots in the area.

These pots were being carried towards the city of Tsevie, Togo. I believe this large one would sit outside a door to a home. The women would go to the well or a collection point and return to fill it with drinking water.

I am now in Kpalime; I will post to my blog, clean up the house and try to buy a small fan I can carry in my bag. I think I am going to look for motorcycle batteries also and a charger, it is possible I find a 12 volt speaker fan and this would work well. I am not sure if I can tap the 6 or 12-volt motorcycle battery for juice for the computer or not. Need to do some research.

This is a typical view of Togo, the big tree is not so normal, the land looks like this, and the color of the dirt is normally red. It is hard to see a good area of land farmed.

Tsevie to Keve Togo

I go north towards Adeta, Togo tomorrow morning.

6-12 Volt Fan and Lights

6-12 Volt Fan and Lights
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 20, 2007

I want to buy off the shelf products to carry in my backpack; I want to be capable of buying replacement parts, when one piece is lost or broken. Nothing worst than having a favorite piece of gear lost that cannot be replaced while traveling.

I have found on the shelves here in Togo.

1. Batteries to run lights and fan.
- Six Volt Sealed Motorcycle batteries for 5500 CFA or about 11 U.S. Dollars.

2. Charger I think or hope will work.
- I am 90 percent sure I can buy a 8-12 Volt cell phone charger, that works with both 110 and 220 or in a really drastic move, I can splice into the charger I use for my portable phone.

IF I can find…

- A computer fan, or a some 5-15 Volt fan.
- A light that runs on 6 or 12 volts.

I have a 12 Volt one cup coffee cooker.

There is a converter I can purchase in the USA, which will allow me to plug my computer into a cigarette lighter, which in the USA is 12 Volts. I need to place two six-volt batteries in a row to have 12 volts.

I am excited as this would solve many problems, and make my life more pleasant. I wish I could calculate how long my computer would run on two six volt made into a 12 volt system would last. I can purchase 8 hours batteries for my computer, and one cost 150 US dollars and, this set up would cost around 40-50 US and could be fixed or replaces anywhere, with the hope it works of course.

It is easy enough to find electricity every five days or so, and I do have a 12 Volt Solar Battery charger to try to use

Fans, Batteries, 12 Volt, Lights, Electricity, Togo, Batterie Charger, Cellphone,

6-12 Volt Fan and Lights

I Travel North to Adeta Togo

I Travel North to Adeta Togo
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 20, 2007

I will leave the city of Kpalime and probably take a Moto to the city of Adeta, Togo or somewhere close to there, I am guessing it is about 30 Kilometers or about 18 miles.

This is a very short distance; however, I hope it is full of small mountains and a winding jungle cool road. I am going towards the mountains to buy time until it starts to rain, to cool off the Hotel rooms. There is very little Jungle in West Africa like you think of in the moives.

I made a mistake on the map, oops, too late now, I just cannnot see them, my brain does not focus in that method.

This is a map of my route between Cell Phone Cells or Antennas. I have fours maps I am using.

1. Encarta Encyclopedia on the computer.
2. Guidebook.
3. cell phone map, the one above.
4. Carte Routiere Et Touristique - A paper map, purchased in a bookstore for 5000 CFA.

I would say the Carte Routiere et Touristique is the best, and seems to have the proper size of the city names, to coordinate with the size of the real cities.

Richard Trillo of the recommended the Michelin Map and I really did not have time to buy in the USA before leaving. I do not know if it was in English or French. I prefer French because it is the language of business here.

My Encarta Encyclopedia is handy, easy to use, however the cities, roads and what is big or small is always suspect. The guidebook tends to keep with the main cities mentioned in the guidebook and guides. I not so fond of tourist, therefore I like to leave the guidebook routes and travel different.

What is really a benefit of this map from Togo or the paper map is all the symbols, the Hippos, the Cacao, the Teak, the various symbols to help me leave the normal tourist routes and wonder around Togo.

I normally do not prepare much to go to a country, I try to snag a guidebook for hotels, but the other information and ideas, I learn or pick up along the way. I sort of call this the sport of travel, if everything is planned and figured out, then where is the sport.

Itinerary West Africa, Togo Itinerary, Togo, Planning Africa, West Africa Maps, Maps,

Travel North to Adeta Togo

Togo How Hot is it

Togo How Hot is it
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 21, 2007

I wish I could just look up at a clock on a bank, read the digital reading on the clock and also learn the temperature.

I have had two people now from the USA want to know what the temperature here is in Togo.

It is 33 degrees centigrade at 5:34 am in the morning here in the Auberge Mandela in Kpalime, Togo.

The Tropical Cultures of the Planet do not care how hot it is, alternatively, they do not care either about the time.

If they cared they would have clocks and thermometers on the walls, to me the proof is in the pudding, people do what they care about. A person that is on time cares about being on time.

I guess in the same logic, if I cared, I would talk about the actual temperature or the maybe if it were easier to know. I have this little compass - temperature gauge thing I purchase in Nepal, it reads in Centigrade and not Fahrenheit.

91.40 Fahrenheit is the temperature in my room, however,
- I really do not care. -
Plus made in China, sold in Nepal, would you trust it?

What I care about is how comfortable I am, this is not as simple as saying the temperature is this. I am very comfortable right now, the fan is blowing on me, the night air has a cooler feeling, the morning is dawning, in fact I am little too cold.

Humidity is more of a problem, but NOT HERE, I am often overwhelmed with heat when I return to the humid spring air of Indiana, and it is maybe called sweltering. This type of humid overbearing heat is difficult to find here, however I am sure if I went into the marsh jungles, I could find a type of inescapable sweaty heat. Most people generally avoid this type of heat as best I can observe.

In the shade, with temperatures at 105 and in a dry climate, it is more or less comfortable providing you are not using insulation. This means, you have less clothes on and you allow the skin to sweat, if I wear cloths, then I become hotter. Strangely, after about 110, if I wear clothes, it keep the cool in the body, and keep me from cooking, I am not clear on why, but when it gets up past 40 centigrade or about
104 Fahrenheit it is maybe better for me to have on clothes in the sun to stay cool. There is some mechanics here to learn, and for sure, the Turegs of Mali and Niger do not care, they will wrap their heads when I could guarantee they stink from sweat.

When it get hot enough, the perspiration as I can observe evaporates faster, when below say 80, then the clothes become wet, so I shed my clothes, but above 105 maybe I would put on clothes or use an umbrella.

The Turegs and Arabic and the other cultures with the turban thing, or head scarves tend to retain the fashions even when it is not wise, or practical, fashions are the signs of culture.

I do not see everyone using their heads when it comes to culture and fashions or for sure, the American and Europe business people would have thrown the tie out a long time ago. I never wore a tie when in the USA to do business, when I was young I did, then decided this suit idea defeated the idea of making money. If I was to make a lot of money, then it was to be able to dress the way I desired, this was to be the benefit of working hard, not to dress the whole day in uncomfortable clothing.

I will never forget the day, Jim the building commissioner talked or advice me outside the Chamber of Commerce in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We were just leaving the meeting of the Industrial Realtors groups of Fort Wayne, a group of about 10 people that conspire by inference to control land cost, I called it the Cannibals meeting as they would eat each other if they had a chance, for sure they was not working for the good of the community, but I was, so I was learning what they were doing.

Jim says,
- Look how they are dressed; if you want to be successful, you need to dress like them. -

I said,
- Jim, it is 90 degrees, and none of them are my client, they want to destroy me.-

I said,
- I want them to think I am stupid. -

He could not adjust his brain to varying needs or even to negotiate, I went pro and went up to 88 properties sold per year.

There is a need to wear a suit to funeral out of respect and tradition, and I obey cultural mandates when needed.

Staying cool in the Trops or in Indiana is confusing, and in Indiana it take a lot more work because the climate is wet, in the tropics the climates are dryer, even when there is water everywhere.

I do not expect the Turegs to change and say to themselves, it is too hot for this stupid head thing, and I do not expect the USA men with ties, or the girls with high heels to decide, this is silly, because fashion is more important than common sense.

I watch people use their credit cards to travel when every ounce of common sense says this is nuts.

Safety requires a person adapts, and not have fashion or ego, or lack of ego control their actions.

Ok, Mom, I will try to read the temperature and say, but that was a lot of good excuses above, I think, they worked well.

Heating or Cooling, Temperature, Metric Conversion, Togo, Culture,

Togo How Hot is it

Togo Transportation Changes

Togo Transportation Changes
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 21, 2007

I have adapted to the size and conditions of Togo.

Togo is small, I could probably go from the bottom to the top in one day, and across in a couple of hours. I am held within this land mass by the borders, which could take minutes or hours to cross. In a way, am held hostage by the Visas I hold or do not hold if they open all the borders for easy crossing, then people could travel West Africa logically and not play chess with the Governments Visa offices.

Ok, it appears to me that the Gares or Bus stations are walking into the Gas company or Electric company and saying,

Yes, I will take a number, yes I will pay the price, yes I will be abused and yes, I understand I have no choice.

IF I buy a ticket in advance in Africa, it is putting my head on a rock and asking them to hit my head with a hammer. They have me between a rock and a hard spot, the can be abused and I can get in the queue and say,
- HIT ME. -

If I pay in advance for about any services in West Africa, I an almost guarantee this is me volunteering to be the receiver of abuse.

I have decided that it is wise to avoid all bus stations, especially and notably when they want me to pay in advance.

I went to the Gare of the Kpalime bus station. I paid 1750 CFA for a ticket to Lome. They then had me paying, they wanted 1000 CFA for my bags, which in theory I had already paid for, then they was willing to put me in with four 4-H size champion cows, that stink, sweat and eat way too much Fufu. (Fat women.)

I opted out.

I went to the highway flagged down a car and took a taxi for the same amount of money that was faster and more comfortable, but not the vehicle the ONG-NGO would use as a poster child to say how bad life is in Africa.

Therefore, today, my present strategy I a hop, skip and jump world, this is Andy Hobo Jargon.

In this world for ease of travel and speed.

Under says 30-50 Kilometers I take a moto.

Over 30-50 Kilometers I take or flag down a car, at the exit roads of the city, not at the station.

NOTE: I have never paid for my bags yet in West Africa,
- I just say NO. -

I can be bully also, easy to be, I am type A, Alpha Male, and will do what I do, if I am being bullied, I reciprocate and we can see who is Alpha. Nevertheless, money, in the hands before I receive services is too much temptation for these people, they do not care, they are tyrant in mentality, I have it, and you will not get it back.

On a moto, I can get the driver to slow down, stop, and allow me to take a photo, and extreme cooler. This could be dangerous for persons who are sunburned easy.

Cars outside of leaving the city are opportunist travelers, they have a car, they want to go from city to city, and can decrease the cost of driving by picking up riders. Inside the bus stations, they are intent on packing as much in the car, or on top of a van as possible, they do not care, the more then pack, the more they abuse, the more money they make. The opportunist on the other hand, may have a newer car, I was in less than a two-year-old car a couple of times, and they will not put bananas on top of the car.

IF I am lucky, I get a car, which is NOT a station wagon, this is the best vehicle to ride in, and for comfort, just a normal 4-door car, and however, they are still capable of putting five people in the back seat for abuse reasons.

If I spoke French better, then I could maneuver the front seat better. The price of cars along the road appears to be the same as the station as they cannot charge more or everyone would go to the station.

This should work for most countries in West Africa, and if I take less than 50 Kilometer - SKIPS, - I will go slower, learn more, and travel more pleasant.

I think the idea would be to have a motocross type motorcycle and buy it in the country and sell in the country, but this seems close to impossible unless I travel for longer than two months per country. It would be feasible for six months per baby countries, and this is a baby country.

Taxi, Tranportation, Togo Transportation, West Africa Transportation, Togo, Budget Togo,

Togo Transportation Changes

Danyi Apeyeme Togo

Danyi Apeyeme Togo
Danyi Apeyeme, Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 21, 2007

I am the village maybe a Ville called Danyi Apeyeme in Togo, Africa, it is North of Kpalime, and West of Adeta.

I have electric, GPRS Cell phone connection and a room for 2000 per night, they tell me it is cool here at night and I do not need a fan. According to my map of the cell towers of Togo, there is NOT supposed to a cell tower here. However, I am more or less sure there is a cell here in Danyi Apeyeme, Togo as I seen an Antenna and the signal has all the bars..

Adeta has three small Chambre de Passage, the one on the North part of town for 3000 CFA was probably a good deal, I did not see in the room, but would suspect ok, however, not in the center of the village. I think the other two were for 1500 and 1500 or 2500 with a fan, hard to say through the haze of half-truths and misconceptions.

Adeta has Togocel connection and it may come from here, because I am on the mountain and Adeta is more or less in the valley.

Here is a funny, I am on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere, they just told me they cut the electricity from noon until 3:00 pm every day. Everywhere, else I am lucky to have 10 hours of electricity per day and they are apologizing for the cutting of three. Then again, I just arrive and it could just be - Almost Africa. -

I feel pretty confident they have electricity most of the day, as the boy was very specific on times, and the electricity cut at 12;00 exact.

Life is good.
La Vie est Belle

Danyi Apeyeme Togo

Togo Mountain View

Togo Mountain View
Danyi Apeyeme, Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 21, 2007

Immediately upon leaving Adeta by moto, we proceed to climb the side of a small mountain range here in Togo. This may be called the Danyi Plateau; I am not sure, I could check on the maps, however there are no lights presently in my room as they went off now at 6:30 pm, I expect them off until morning, however hard to say.

Nonetheless, we climbed this mountain range, and then proceed to travel around sort of on top of the mountain range. I feel a little silly calling this a mountain range as the altitude is only about 750 Meters above sea level, and the highest in Togo is only about 1000 meters.

There is maybe a small airport below with a dirt runway, the boy told me something about a helicopter at the hospital, however seems like an overkill for the number of people and the amount of money here.

iew as we left the village of Adeta and climbed the side of the mountain range.

Mountains, Geography, West Africa Geography, Togo,

Togo Mountain View

500 CFA for Togo Laundry

500 CFA for Togo Laundry
Danyi Apeyeme Togo Homestay
Sunday, April 22, 2007

I had my laundry down yesterday for 500 CFA or about one US dollars and about 10 dollars less than the hotels. I also think it was done about five times better.

The girl was exceptional and I gave here 1000 CFA after she realized the number of clothes I had. The motos allow the wind and the dust of the red roads to accumulate in my clothes. I have a line in my room constantly and am constantly washing my own clothes. I refuse to pay the tourist fare prices here in Togo or West Africa.

This is my new friend Saficoh who is washing my grungy red dust filled clothes.

This girl and I am think her husband, this is under negotiations is working in this Chinois Chinese Massage and Acupuncture shop, I think it is some trend or fashion in Togo

This is an interesting photo of the kitchen, separated from the main room that is for sleeping, this is actually two kitchens for two families. The doors or steel, chicken wire on the windows and soot black coming from holes at the roof line that is steel.

Laundry Wash, Togo Laundry Wash, Togo, Togo Budget,

500 CFA for Togo Laundry

Map to Danyi Apeyeme Togo

Map to Danyi Apeyeme Togo
Danyi Apeyeme, Togo West Africa
Sunday, April 22, 2007

This is a map from Kpalime or from Atakpame, and I guess from Ghana to Danyi Apeyeme, Togo.

The place has electricity, a small village, a couple of rivers, a lot of Christian Churches of various brands, and at least one Mosque.

The GPRS cell phone connection works here, there is a Catholic Mission down the road, and it looks very fancy, I guess you can sleep there, but too far for walking. I do no know if the GPRS works there.

There is one, what looks to be closed Auberge on the way to Adeta from here, I think just outside the city, maybe open.

To come here, you go to Adeta and turn East, and hope you go the right directions, but you can ask. Moto from Adeta to here is supposed to be 1000 CFA, from Kpalime, about 2500-3000 CFA.

Nice little typical type village and friendly, cooler and a lot less aggressive than the down in the flatland city of Koti, Togo.

07 degrees 12.203 North
000 degrees 41.452 East
795 Meters of altitude above sea level

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Map to Danyi Apeyeme Togo

African Shooting Star

African Shooting Star
Danyi Apeyeme, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 23, 2007

I opened my door to my room, answering the most common need on the planet, I need to urinate.

I look up at the sky, whoosh a white light, I think,
- Wow, cool. -
A shooting star.

It rained last night, the air is fresh, I cannot say that in French, life is good. I shut my windows because of the cold. I think of song about,
- Who will stop the rain? -

I think to myself,
- Who sent the rain? -

Water, the sun, the earth beneath my feet, it all pretty simple.

Crickets are blaring, it is black dark, lying under a mosquito net, wondering how we made the planet so big, confusing and complicated when it is so simple.

African Shooting Star

Quality of Life Architecture

Quality of Life Architecture
Danyi Apeyeme, Togo West Africa
Sunday, April 22, 2007

I am trying to understand my planet, I am not sure we are evolving to higher levels. I am positive some sections or parts of all societies are become superstars, however the general population is in many way being lead to slaughter.

I am wondering if the Star Trek, Dr. Spock simple common sense, stated clear and easy will come to past, or is the future a world full of fat people walking though malls, sports bars, and soap operas.

Sort of the Seven Deadly Sins exaggerated.

QUOTES from Encarta Encyclopedia (2)

Seven Deadly Sins, classification of sins: pride, avarice, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth.
… There is no foundation in the Bible for this classification…
… These seven sins are not singled out because they are all grievous sins or because of their severity, but because they are the inevitable source of other sins …
End Quote

Sin or not a sin, not really a concern to me, I guess I do care about the quality of life.

I think primitive man went and grabbed a tree limb, went into a cave, then I hope, or think they must have really thought about this decision, saying to themselves, is this a good idea.

Introspection is this good idea, or did they just sit around being food for lions. Some surely were just food, but some continually survived and conquered the planet.

I know my problem; I want everyone to conquer the planet, not just some.

I see these steel roofs on homes, they are taking over the planet, and they are rusty and ugly. I think they are very hot, but they are easy, simple, and cheap and stop the rain from dousing the cooking flame.

Did anyone stop and think, is this really a good idea.

Life is simple, most of us do the minimums, I was trying to get a moto taxi to the Ghana Border, most of the taxi boys were Sunday Drunk on this mash beer they drink, I opted out. They do not drive safe on good days, there is no need, simple decisions.

There are many small soap operas on the planet, contrary to what the world wishes to tell you, the suffering is not so real, the world lives darn good.

I see the most suffering probably by people who are old, with no pensions, and people who were hit by cars, and now cannot walk straight. When you lose in the battle to fend for yourself because you are a cripple or old, then life is bad. All them other issues seem sort of soap opera to me.

Note: Blogging is not needed, something I do for kicks, pure luxury for me, but introspection should be a need, but it is not.

Architecture, Sins, Togo, Roofs, Building, Construction,
Quality of Life Architecture

What We Do Not Say

What We Do Not Say
Danyi Apeyeme, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 23, 2007

What I say I will do is who we want to be.
What we do is who we are.
In a dysfunctional blur of alcoholic haze, the is light at the end of the tunnel. One day I learned, I talk, I talk and I talk,
Je parle… hehehe
(Talk in French)

Talking is not important, what I do is important. I observe the planet, I try to learn how it works, why, and it gives me something to think about, I must take care and weigh people by actual actions, not anticipated actions; I need to know who you really are…

My mother in a well-intended scream wrote with the subject line of the email reading.

Ok, Mom, why are you hollering? Capital letter is screaming, I always get a little nervous when my older parents want me for something, and are urgent or I can feel the intensity. I am hoping, I worry about urgent news.

Oh, only this.

Funny, how the newspaper can make a person with a 70-Foot Boat seem important.

I am thinking; tell me after the break the record please, not before.

I am interested in what you do, not what you say you are going to do, plus living in a boat is going to be difficult, and harsh, but 70 x 20, this is a 1400 Square Foot Luxury Apartment.

I cannot get any of the links to work, they seem to be the too clever type and I empathize, I spend days trying to stop this from happening, it is something technical people and the way their brains work, that clever breaks things. I tried to connect with boy genius, nothing is working, but I can blog.

Ok, I give up, too much time, trying to listen to my mothers wishes.

I want to know the rules, and I want to know how many people can come aboard. The enemy is isolation while living in their 1400 plus foot apartment for three years.

I am thinking, the Satellite, Boat, and big business are quick to sponsor these types of trips. I should look into going rich and not Hobo, but then again, I do not like to Kiss for a Cadeau.

If I got a Cadeau, I have to give them a Kiss back.

Hope they do well; I like the first page, except for the pat line, and very cliché comment about being eco sustainable. I just went and pissed and saw a shooting start, I can say that… it was ecologically normal, yet not sustainable.

Cliché, life is not mean to be Cliché
Whatever cliché means, I continually look up this word; it just does not fit in my brain correctly.

I do hope they do well, it would drive me nuts to have to listen to all them old sailors tell me stories for three years and have to have these rich boat owner types, tell me this and that.

There was two young black girls, ages unknown, Togolese that with the help of two very small boys, not dancing or singing well who sang about 7 songs and dances in front of my room yesterday.

The clothing was normal, the hair cut short, faces were animated, they kept bowing, stepping, singing in this sing-song way, step into it, step into it, bow you head, hang is over. I was thinking, where I the camera crew, then I thought, I am not going to try. This memory is mine.

I bet they have a satellite connection to the internet, the big one, amazing how big of things you can put on a boat.

I cannot get their page to open, someone sign me up for their blog, put my email in the sign up box, if no sign up box, then not important. I will catch them after the complete the 600 plus days needed for the record and my mother forgets and no longer hollers.

I am still in question, is there a crew? Isolation is the enemy.

Fame, what people do in the name of fame and a cliché?

World Records, Sailing, Long Term Travelers, Extreme Travel, Togo,

What We Do Not Say

Danyi Apeyeme Togo Homestay

Danyi Apeyeme Togo Homestay
Danyi Apeyeme, Togo West Africa
Home Stay Coordinates - Michel and Jane are the Owners
Saturday, April 21, 2007
07 degrees 12.203 North
000 degrees 41.452 East
795 Meters of altitude above sea level

I would put my Hobo Ok on this place, a great time, note, I paid the asking price of 2000 CFA and they would probably go lower. This is not a home stay in any formal sense, this is me just staying at the home of a family in Danyi- Apeyeme, Togo.

Photo of my room, 2000 CFA, and cool at night, because at about 795 Meter above sea level. I needed a mosquito net, the shower and toilet were camp style primitive. The will feed me for an extra fee, I do not know what, I do not like Fufu, then again, I have never tried it either, but I am not wanting too. I am hooked on the Haricots and that is enough extra carbohydrates to add to my diet, this is the land of Carbo loading, I could swim around Nigeria.

I have GPRS Internet Connection, Electricity that is on and off at scheduled hours. The family is great.

This is Jane, pronounced something like Jahn, and she has a husband by the name of Michel, he is in Kpalime, I do not understand, never came back.

There are many children here in this area and it is a playground, ask the girls to sing and dance.

Togo Hobo OK, Togo Hotels, Togo, Accommodations, Accommodations Types,

Danyi Apeyeme Togo Homestay

Map to Amlame Togo

Map to Amlame Togo
Amlame, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 23, 2007

I left my Danyi Apeyeme, Togo Homestay for a strange reason, Chris has been writing me about my battery project, I want to get to Atakpame to play with the motorcyle batteries. I may have some toys sent from the USA, I need to find a Peace Corps person to find out how to have things sent, I am sure they know about care packages from home… I can always return, but also more quiet than I need with no books to read.

I came down the hill from the Danyi Plateau of something like that, and entered the village of Adeta. I am thinking all the cities started with Danyi; therefore, I just left the city of Apeyeme, Togo, maybe it still on the map as Danyi Apeyeme, Togo.

The taxi drivers are a pain, I asked him the price, he said 1500 and I thought, Ok, the Issa boy at the Chinois Pharmacy said the price was 1000, I knew I was going to be hard pressed for 1000, and so 1500 was ok. I said yes to the price, and the whole way down the driver kept whining about 2500 or something and 2000, I started saying 1000. I now know, I should have negotiated and complained, tried to get him to take 1000 so he would be happy with 1500. The longer I am on a ride, the more they think to themselves, this is a white guy, I could have gotten more.

I got off the bike in Adeta, held out 2000 CFA and did not give it to him until he gave me the change, all went well.

I was going to stay a night in Adeta, but thought to myself, what is the point in staying in a boom boom Chambre de Passage, nothing interesting although the girls of Adeta appeared better quality than the mountain.

I thought, I would go to Amou Oblo of the village where the Issa man or boy lives with his wife. There was a group of motos; this is always a problem in many ways. I sort of thought, it looked like rain, so I would go and look at the car. This man, as best I can tell claimed me, so he assume I am his, and for sure, I have learned not to get into a car. I opted for a bike, one has said 3500 and I ignored that driver. One said, 2000 so I said, yes, gave him my front bag and got on the back. They proceeded to ride their motorcycles in front of use, and five guys grabbed my bag. The driver was overwhelmed; I finally got of the bad, grabbed the bag and cleared out the five boys from the bag. The whole areas starts to laugh, I was not playing games.

I cannot get them to calm down, so I started walking, it become tiresome to walk and argue with me, and all but two give up shortly following, and the one is my driver I chose. I kept walking, the want to fight and argue, but to work is not what they want to do, so I walked less than 50 meters and was ready to jump on the bike. Finally, I threw the bike, to the drive and said,
- Partir -

He takes off and they all start to holler, and one starts to give chase. The driver starts to slow, I start to pinch him and grab him, in and effort to say, you stop, I will whop you side the head, he takes off again.

There is this African cultural thing, which somehow the people believe they need to listen to a person holler.

After that the life was great, the ride was fast, cool, and on the left side was some taller cliffs and very pleasant. I get to Amou Oblo, a nice city with a river by the name of Amou and try to find an Auberge. I do not want to leave; however, I am not in the mood for room hunting in homes.

Amlame is big, in big letters on the map, and only 500 CFA more, I am from Adeta to Amlame for 2500 CFA, and probably 1000 more than the going rate.

It is not big, seem long, but there is two hotels, one says, Auberge and that normally means cheaper. I find a room, needs a mosquitoe net, all the rooms have nails for mosquito nets, hard to imagine. The toilet and shower are shared, only with a girl though, and she is ok, the Petit Soeur of the owner, or smaller sister.

She likes to walk around with just the beads on around her waist, so I am not complaining. She says she is 19, looks like 30 and I can see the whole thing, I do not know why they always lie, and they want to young so we will marry them, but 19 is too young in my country.

She asked me already for a Portable, he brother says he will give me a Cadeau if I take here with me. Non.

Togo Maps, West Africa Maps, Maps, Togo, Togo Itinerary, Itinerary West Africa,

Map to Amlame Togo

Reader Comments on Blog

Reader Comments on Blog
Amlame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A person posted a comment on my blog.
This is on the bottom, I finally discovered the link, I think blogger orphaned it.

I would say is about 100 percent correct.

He or she wrote, never trust a person that post, they lie..

You travel around the world, yet all you write is ... You travel around the world, yet all you write is ungrammatical drivel about how much money the bus cost or the precise details of how you negotiated the price of a hotel room in Treedanta, Anystan.

You're clearly lonely and quite a depressing person to be around. You're a typical blogger - a boring, narcissistic attention-seeker.

Will you post this comment? No.
(William Reynolds) 23:21


Why is he about 100 percent correct?

Chunked out ideas in his post:

Comment 1:
You travel around the world, yet all you write is ... You travel around the world.

Answer: Yes, I write, I travel around the world, a very general description of what I do, when I am writing in my web log.

Comment 2
yet all you write is ungrammatical drivel about how much money the bus cost or the precise details of how you negotiated the price of a hotel room in Treedanta, Anystan.

Answer: I did not say, I am a professional writer, as in an editor type, I do write, but to be a professional writer, mean more than just typing in an online journal, a web log, or a personal diary. It requires editing, proofing and other type of work. I do not work, I just type my diary.

Negotiating the price is a daily ever encompassing duty, I would be amiss if I left one of the main situations of my day out of my diary. I do think the resolution of why, what, how and to think, introspect is a good use for a journal. By typing, I learn to negotiate better as I take abstract idea and translate into what you would hope is consistent and congruent words.

Comment 3
You're clearly lonely

I think any diary would have comments or the desire for intimate conversations. I do think one of the greatest problems of travel is loneliness, it is horrible the amount of solitude I have. I try to avoid countries whereby, I am exceeding lonely or in need of human conversation. I just left a beautiful mountain place, in the end, I have a few children, one 18 year old man, I think most of the 18-30 have left to work in the cities. I do like to have conversations.

Comment 4
and quite a depressing person to be around.

I do not think I am depressing to be around, I do think I am very trying, difficult and try to minimize my human contact. I tend to ask a 1000 questions per minute, inquire about too much, and try the patience of everyone around me. Am I depressing, I do not think I make people around me happy.

This is interesting, I do not know this William Reynolds man, and if I do, I must have made him remember me, as I do not remember him. To be around, this is the problem here, he takes no responsibility for the fact he is reading my dribble. I truly believe a person that cannot use the mouse and click is a little on the insane side, why would a person continue to read, when they can stop. This is not a class, this is not a subject you need to read, this is pure luxury reading, unless maybe you want to know about long-term travel.

Comment 5
You're a typical blogger - a boring

I consider the reading of my own blog boring. I hate to proof or edit, it really is boring to me.

Comment 6

Narcissism - DEFINED
1. self-admiration: excessive self-admiration and self-centeredness
2. personality disorder: in psychiatry, a personality disorder characterized by the patient's overestimation of his or her own appearance and abilities and an excessive need for admiration.

Yes, I am in love with myself, I like me very much. Excessive need for admiration, hmm you get some of these hate mails and you would be tempted to take the comments option off the blog. I do call this hate mail or to incite or provoke terror… oops, misused word.

I am a recovering alcoholic, the state of Indiana put me on house arrest for one year to punish me for my bad behavior, or drinking and driving. I would say yes, I have a lot of mental problems, but I know this and hope I keep them in remission. My drinking of alcohol was a system of my thinking problem. Note, I own the domain, and .com

Comment 7


I 100 percent am this, I work day and night on this web page to have traffic, I try, I learn, I study how to get the attention of every person on the planet. I want millions or readers, I want everyone to read, listen and comment on my blog. I am a business, the business of the web pages is to get viewers and readers. I started the whole site to make money, so I could continue to travel, enjoy life, and really do nothing the best I can. I try to avoid miserable work, I am doing what I like to do.


I clicked on publish, mainly because I was curious, it appears to be an orphan comment, I have yet to find the page it is associated with, and I like to solve questions to problems.

I find this type of reader, this type or person, who comment on my blog intriguing. What goes on the mind of this person? Sort of make me think of the Korean guy who killed all the people in Virginia.

Rage is my term for this, I know I have rage, I have this under-current of angers and frustrations, that I must try continually resolve. They are a mix of resentments, past pain, and normal run of the day life problems. I would say, I am about normal.

Ok, but there is pro-active rage and re-active rage. The reader that commented here was using pro-active rage. Then again, I may have commented on his hotel or offended him, who is William Reynolds?

I do not know, and really cannot be bothered to know, he is nothing.

Ok, but I am curious, what compels a person to try to provoke, to try to hurt me. When, I was a smaller blogger, I found many people try to help the small Hobo, and I thank them. However, when I started to do well, actually made enough money to stop living on 5 dollars per day, I lost the help-the-poor-hobo people or readers. Like the was helping a Victim. I chose this life, I am 100 percent responsible.

But, this William Reynolds guy is about 100 percent correct on his rendition of my blog, ok maybe 95, I exaggerate.

I think the problem for him is he wants to read entertainment, I am trying to remember my words.

Blog defined on
A blog (short for web log) is a user-generated website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order.

Blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of most early blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual although some focus on photographs (photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), or audio (podcasting), and are part of a wider network of social media.
The term "blog" is a portmanteau, or, in other words, a blend of the words web and log (Web log). "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Online Diary defined:
An online diary is a personal diary or journal that is published on the world wide web on a personal website or a diary hosting website. Online diaries began in 1995. As a community formed, these publications came to be almost exclusively known as online journals. Today they are almost exclusively called blogs, though some differentiate by calling them personal blogs. The running updates of online diarists combined with links inspired the term 'web log' which was eventually contracted to form the word blog.
In online diaries, people write their day-to-day experiences, social commentary, complaints, poems, prose, illicit thoughts and any content that might be found in a traditional paper diary or journal. They often allow readers to contribute through comments or community posting.

One of my biggest goals of blogging is to find clarity and as a result of clarity, I find serenity. I tend to think this Willam Reynold man is a sick individual, but who cares, let A..holes be A..holes to quote advice I have received, do not get involved in their desire to be A..holes.

I think he believe he could get his day of fame, by getting a comment posted on my blog. It is like killing yourself to get back at your wife. It is like being bomber to fight injustice. It is the same as blaming the whole group or campus of people of that Virginia campus for his problems. I remember a saying, and I do try to remember, remember, when you point your finger at someone, you have 3 fingers pointing back.

Hmmm, solutions, maybe I should call this my personal blog, or my personal diary. I changed the words on the index to say diary, maybe I will insert the words personal in front of all this crap.

I do this for fun and money, now I go to Atakpame to look at girls, enjoy life and to buy motorcycle batteries. Traveling can be amazingly boring, and I need man projects to be happy.

Shall, I edit or proof, no let this William guy read, maybe I can annoy him some more.

The bottom line is this, a person picks up another persons diary and does not like what they read. People have been mislead a little by blogger that make web pages, and call them blog, I really do just post my thoughts, random in a way, project in a way, and annoyingly confusing. I would like to pay an editor, for fun, but I do not make enough money, and I am afraid of editors, they seem to want to change me. I am pro I make money by typing information in the computer. I will try to note, and I have said many times, there is nothing more selfish than travel.

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Hidden Treasure of Atakpame Togo

Hidden Treasure of Atakpame Togo
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I was trying to teach both Michael and Mawuli in Kpalime the term,
- Babe Alert -

I have discovered though, no matter how old they are, the age is always 19, I am not sure, why 19 is chosen age to tell me, it must be the age of preference for men of Togo. They can be 15 and say they are 19; they can be 30 and say they are 19

Hmm, primal intensity.

I did not talk to these girls, I think they are the Kittle people as Michael calls them, I finally figured how he meant Cattle.

This is a Musulman Girl, her name is Mawa or something like that and she is 19, spoken by hand signals. Her and this other girl was doing the follow me around the market game. I do not know, I suppose she is Akposso or what not.

Musulman means she is an Islamic Girl, I am not positive, but she has the look with the scarf on her head and a small tattoo on her forehead. It is somewhat intriguing how when it comes to normal people, they generally do not care what religion they are, then you slap a parent or a Mullah or some Priest, and suddenly everything goes from simple to complicated. I am never too sure about religions, Christians, Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, etc, the all are looking for a fight.

I had a Musulman girl in Lome; more or less tell me the rules she had to abide by, and how to go around them.

Note, the Bananas here in Atakpame have taken a two-degree better quality jump; there must be bananas in the area. I found this great location for a Chambre de Passage there for 1500 CFA. This is down the hill from the Marche or big market towards Amlame. This is where I met the girls and took their photos before jumping on a moto and going to the market. The banana girls caught up with me and started the tailing of me around the market, funny and fun.

The location of the Chambre de Passage was good, the cell phone did not work and the interior was no fan bad.

Photos of the path leading to the Chambre de Passage and where all these girls were walking from, or coming from, I am paying close attention to girls carrying water or goods from the bush. I remember the Auberge USA in Natingou, Benin and how there was a constant stream of culture passing. I suspect this Chambre de Passage would be the same, but the no-fan thing is getting to me. Atakpame is only about 300 meters above sea level, it is not that cool.

The road leading up to the city from Amlame, to Atakpame is great, then the market is great, and everything after that is downhill in Atakpame so far. I cannot find a hotel that is within walking distance worth a darn in Atakpame, I am in a great Hotel for 3000 CFA called the l’Amitie Auberge, but miles from the center of the Atakpame village. It is in a new highway stretch, I do not like to live on the newer highway stretches, I like the Centreville. I think I will head for the cooler mountains tomorrow.

Togo Girls, Meeting Girls, Togo, Togo Hotels, Culture West Africa, Culture,

Hidden Treasure of Atakpame Togo

Goal Togo 10 Days No Electricity

Goal Togo 10 Days No Electricity
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
April 2007

I am making a goal and care package list to be sent from the USA to me by my friend Chris.

Live up to 10 days with no electricity.

I can buy 12 Volt Motocycle Batteries easy here in Togo, made in China for about 6 US dollars.

A. Use my Sony Camera with AA Batteries,
12 Batteries would easily do this.

B Use my HP Laptop computer for 40 hour or about 4 hours per day.
I think the top off 12 Volt solar energy thing would do this.

C. 100 Hours of 12 Volt Fan Power and a 8 - 12 inch 12 Volt fan or something like that.


1. Adapter that will allow 12 Volt power to be used to power my Hewlett Packard Laptop Compter.

2. Dozen AA Rechargable Batteries.

3. Solar Charger to charge 10 AA Batteries that also works on both 220 and 110.

4. Wind up Cell Phone Battery Charger. I need maybe to connect to 12 Volt system.

5. Small trickle Solar flat panel to keep 12 volts of lead-acid battery storage topped off

6. 12 Volt Fans

7. Indigo Windup light that runs on 220-110 also.
NOTE!!!!! This is semi-NOT needed as lights is not a problem.

8. LED Light that runs on 12 Volts, I think it would be more efficient and easier than the motocycle lights

Solar, Togo, West Africa Electricity, 12 Volt, GPRS, Cellphone, Computer,

Goal Togo 10 Days No Electricity

Room Rent On Planet

Room Rent On Planet
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I have no idea why a person wishes to rent room for months in a location in a cheap country, the big benefit of living in these cheap countries is because you can can move around cheap. To rent a room for over one-month is somewhat of a crazy contract to enter into, unless you want to live for less than 5 dollar per day, then a good idea.

However, many people are always keying in on the cost of renting a room, or buying. I really discourage this and I am was a Real Estate Broker for 14 years, a true expert, I cannot think of many reasons to buy outside the USA, it just a bad investment, but...

I think I know a formula for the people who want to find a room and live in another country.

Find a cheap hotel, then about one-half the price of the cheap room should seize a room for a month. A cheap hotels is in the or Lonely Planet and is not the expensive section.

Find out the salary per month of the cleaning lady or person in your hotel, then about one-half that should get you a good decent room in the city.

If you want to live like the USA or Europe, then stay there, I am talking to live twice as good as the locals, but twice as good for double the price.

About anywhere on 80 percent of the planet, you can get a decent room for about 30-150 US per month, AC and easy. Then you got the Expats that live in the womb of an Expat, a whole other world and complicated mess full of drunks and scammers.

Buying a home is almost always a silly decision, there are tons of webpage that prey on the naive American that believes he has to purchase, rent, or reserve a room. This is not true, and probably on average make the cost of a trip 10 times more expensive than needed.

Go and live in a place, buying is for the USA, appreciation, a family home, a homestead, not for in Costa Rica or Panama, or Thailand, Philippines. Putting down roots in a third world nation just is not so smart, note, they want to leave, and you want to buy. Get it!

Using the social values of real estate in a poor country is not smart, food, clean, electricity, water, yes, but real estate is way off.

Cost of Living, Long Term Travelers, Expatriate, Real Estate, Togo,

Room Rent On Planet

Solar Needs for Africa

Solar Needs for Africa
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Solar Panel and a Battery for 20 US dollars that will run a Freezer is needed.

Note, I really do not see these people needing much, yes, it would be nice to make them live longer, have a stereo, and TV and such, but these are not needs, they are wants. I do not see hunger, I do see malnutrition and this seems more and simpler to solve, as they need to grow and can vegetables and fruits.

Overall, they have what they need; they just need to use it. India is where poverty and too many people are a serious problem.

I am trying to mix and match needs of West Africa, what is really needed and what is just some perceived idea of a needed in West Africa. I am not sure, West Africa seems very under-populated, most of the people in the Sahara area could move south to the rain type forest areas.

Hmm, there are some long-term needs, maybe to stop cutting down all the trees to use as firewood. Gas seems cheap from Nigeria, if they had any money, they could cook with the pump gas stoves, and stop burning the wood. They do not need this, this would be nice, the still have plenty of wood it appears for another 20-30 years or more, and maybe really forever, hard to burn all of Africa.

- Wood works, solar does not cook at night, when people eat, the only way to make solar function, the need to have 2 burners run off solar panels and run for about 4 hours per day. Then the cost needs to be about 20 US Dollars for the burners, batteries and solar panels.

- Plenty around, I think the long-term storage is a problem, but the Chinese seem to have this covered and there are water towers up or going up everywhere.

- Red clay is everywhere, not even a consideration to me.

The problem child, this is needed to keep foods from perishing and to change the mix of diet from a few foods to many. There is no electricity in most villages outside the main roads.

Music, Noisemakers, and Beer
- Loud speaker system is why they want electricity, so they can run the bar, have lights and beer that is cold.

- Kerosene and Candles work great, hard to beat, the LED lights are with a battery is slowly become cheaper than the Candles, I doubt the Kerosene. Nepal has this little four bulb light that worked good on one C Battery and they said was cheaper than candle.

In the end, they have what they need; the majority of modern solutions just are not going to work, unless they have excess cash. The direct quality of life as perceived by the Western world is sort of silly in a way, as a goal The place needs mass employers, that could allow a person to make about 5-10 dollars per day, while only working about 3 hours. I do not think you can convince them to give up sitting around, to go and work 8 hours per day, they are hold out for fun and easy money jobs.

Solar Needs for Africa

West Africa Time to Think

West Africa Time to Think
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Maslow has these hierarchy of needs or motivations of people.

I am frozen on step six here in Togo.
(6) curiosity and the need to understand.

I was dwelling and thinking on a statement, or question, a person said, why am I blogging more or why am I happier.

Simple as I can make it, life is so simple here, I have steps 1-5 checked or ticked off, and am in freeze mode on 6.

(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.

I have very little to do, it is like being retired, with a lot of pretty girls in the neighborhood.

The time that is required to meet my daily needs is minimal, it is easy to see why everyone lies around doing nothing here.

West Africa Time to Think

Togo Pig Accident

Togo Pig Accident
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

We hit a pig, I think the pig is ok.

I was on Motorcycle Taxi, for what I hoped was nice peaceful trip from Atakpame, to Badou. My camera was on my lap, all was good, we was just clearing all the city perimeters on the road to Badou when the driver hit a pig.

I now have about a three abrasions, a two inch, a one inch, and one on my head, I think is about 1.5 inches. Hard to see, the mirrors are normal, no good, do not have to worry about vanity, I can never see myself that well.

Got a good thump on the head, nothing major, was a little dizzy, the bigger problem was the insistent, panic, noisy people around me, I was glad I was out in the country and less people to bother me.

I got them to lighten up and relax ,by asking this exceptionally beautiful girl to come back to my hotel and help me clean my wounds. She did not come, but it did change the focus from some trauma thing to some silly accident thing.

The kept saying,
- Hospital -
In French of course, and their French as really bad, I kept asking, do I have a cut on my head. I am going to go look up the word to check, the word for cut is:
- Couper -

I was correct, I was talking real slow, and slowly repeating this word to the growing group of locals, and one military guy. There is some military something right at the turn to Badou, and they came out to join in the saying of,
- Hospital -

I kept trying to get the Togo people to relax, Finally, after I stopped being dizzy, walked over into the shade and sat down. Ask for a drink of water, then they had problems with the word water in French.
- l’eau -

I guess in defense of their ability to speak French, they was all thinking in some other language, Akposso or Mina or the unknown local language. To get them to think French took a repetition and a shake them up holler.
- l’eau -


I say this word all the time, I know how to ask for water.

I drank some water, change the focus from me to the girl by asking the girl her name. Then the locals started laughing, and the focus change from a problem that needed noisy chatter, to a problem that was not a problem, just a complicated situation.

The Moto driver had someone drive him back, he followed me to the hotel and wanted paid. I think he wanted more, but I just gave him the fare to Badou, of course he wanted paid for nothing, as normal, I had already advanced 2000 CFA in Petrol money.

I said goodbye. I am sure many people have moto accidents every day here in Togo, there is no room for error here. I was sort of trying to induce the driver on the way back, to not tailgate the motorcycle of the moto driver that wrecked. Every sense of good driving habits stops when you leave Europe or the USA. What is good, and maybe the saving grace, is because of the crazy drivers, and no laws enforced, nobody can go fast enough to really get hurt, they, it it is difficult to find a good stretch of road for speed. I think in many ways walking along the road can be more dangerous. A pig jump in front a car, the car swerves and kills you, on a moto it is a 20-30 Kilometer per hour bike crash.

I will have a few large scabs for a few weeks, I did not get to see the pig.

The screen on my camera broke, the computer is fine because in a plastic tub, inside the bag. The one bag is very bad shape, need a shoe repair man.

Note, the girl just left, she came over to ask for money… They never turn down an opportunity to ask for money. Amazing lack of care for human life, everything is money.

Togo Pig Accident

Togo Mood Swing

Togo Mood Swing
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I can feel I am in a bad mood, I feel a little frustrated, I have nothing to do but sit in the room, or walk down the four-lane highway, and what I am now going to call the truck stop. Many large semi-trucks are on the main highway parked all the time, getting repairs and makes it feel like a big dirty truck stop, it is the truck stop.

The central village is about 20 minutes away on Taxi, and I have to walk about three blocks in the heat to get the taxi. This whole city demands a car, however generally the people are nice.

There are older sections of a city, and newer, the newer are less personal and probably the way people like them best. If a person lived their whole life in a place where their neighbor never said hello, and the truth be, they did not know the name of the neighbor, then this would be perfect. I find central cities or small village better for me, as the people live in an interactive environment. I feel home when people are in smaller family neighborhoods, not the big highway truck stop.

My day or mood is very dependent on the choices I make.

A good part, by living in the l’Amities Auberge or whatnot, I have found a person that can make a 12-volt battery charger. I cannot buy one, but he says he can make one. They was charging some very large semi truck batteries, and I guess they cannot just push start them, they need to charge the batteries.

My choice of homes increased 10 fold if I can live enjoyably under power or 12 volts in a place with no electricity. I think it is time to make that 12-volt river generator I think is possible to make for less than 10 US Dollars, a great project for my overactive mind.

I wonder what the people do, who do not have projects, they must drink a lot.

I will try to focus on something fun, I am letting the scrapes on my body to stop seeping, and scab over, I am afraid to wear a shirt much, it will start to stick. Now I am feeling more bruises and pain.

I need some books in English to read, the books on the internet tend to be boring in writing styles. I have not seen any Peace Corps people, sort of strange.

The heat does something to a mood, I think of the mean people in the Village of Koti, they lived in a dry hot place, and nasty place. However, up on the mountain of Danyi Plateau they was happy. I could rent a room with AC, but then it is worst if the electricity goes off. I am going to look for hotels with big trees over the top of them. I feel better knowing I am getting a good value for my buck.

Togo Mood Swing

Togo How Do I Feel

Togo How Do I Feel
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 26, 2007

After my Motorcycle accident.
I am getting these small email from my parents, how do you feel, are you ok, do you need something

How do I feel?

feel like I was doing a two a day American Football practice in August and am very worn and tired.

I was a middle linebacker, I remember when I screamed through the line and sacked the quarterback in scrimmage.

Now, this brings on a torrent of screams from the coach, the Center and the Left Guard are worried, if it happens again, the coach say,
- You are going to run the ridge till Hell Freezes over. -
I have embarrassed them.

On the next play, for some strange reason, I am out of play, I fall down in the backfield around where the safeties would be, as I am getting up, the Left Guard and Center see me, I am out of play. But, I am the threat, they decide to take the cheap shot, as my knees clear the ground, I am hollering, hey, I am out of play. This is just scrimmage we are on the same team.

They take the shot, two fat, overweight, farm boys from Indiana, with a head of steam do a dive block into me at about rib level, I am on my knees, they plough me into the ground, I am punished.

This is a real story and this is how I feel, like I got punished by two very large Farm boys in Indiana who wanted payback.

What can you say, it is over, it happened, I was in a motorcycle accident, I accept it hurts. I really do not have problem with physical pain, it is pretty normal in travel to not be comfortable.

I was trying to avoid the fight with the Peugeot Car Taxis, this is why I was on the Moto, I wanted to be more comfortable. It is real ineffective to talk about pain, explain pain, it passes, I broke my femur in four places and walked around on crutches for a year. I know 99 percent nobody cares, yes they can give platitudes and comments, but who cares, I had to let the time pass, then all was ok. It is very easy to say you care, difficult to show it.

All the comments were just reminders I was damaged. Now, then again, my parents are worried, and they do not see American Football as dangerous, they can relate, understand me feeling pain for the home team.

Time allows all pain to pass, I have no choice, it will go away, I am positive of this, if I wait and try not to push to hard, time will heal all my pains in life, both physical and mental.

Health, Injury, Sports, Togo, Moto, Motorcycles, Motorcycle Taxi, Tranportation

Togo How Do I Feel

Observation Makes Change Happen

Observation Makes Change Happen
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 26, 2007

I have a problem, when I think of Africa, I instantly think problems. I suspect I am more opens than most, as I have people say to me,
- Why would I go to Africa? -
I am here, they are not… an observation.

Like, why would I go and have problems, AIDS - SIDA - Poverty, Crime, Warlords, Desert, and Black People.

I say the Black People because in the real world people pay attention to color. I do not, but they do.

In Thailand; they put cream on their skin that makes them whiter. I like their brown color and it really annoys me. Then in reverse, I have black people here, which think because I am from the USA or White, I am smarter, nothing make sense. I really do not care what color a person skin is. Or if for some stupid reason, I wanted to be around White People, I guess I would go to some Russian Country, I was going to say Sweden, however I think it is invaded now by Palestine people.

I am slowly understanding, there are not big problems in West Africa. Thailand or the USA has more AIDS or at least a better chance of getting it, as they think they do not have it, and this is the dangerous.

However, being here, somehow, for some reason, my free time for enjoyment is optimized in West Africa, I find I think, and the problem is I think of problems to solve… aagh, I really do not care about all these people on the planet, I just want to enjoy life, yet, by nature, I am a problem solver.

I am having trouble finding any real problems to solve here in West Africa and everyone keeps tell me there are problems. I am starting to say,
- Can you be more specific, where, the exact city, the place, the persons, I want to go and see. -

The Togo people and West Africa people can go into a long story on why they are suffering, it is like a canned speech with the hope of free money. Like the lies a person tells he unemployment office to keep them checks coming.

This is why I say,
- Observation Makes Change Happen. -
The more I observer, the clearer I am on the realties, and the easier to accept, I do not want people to have unsolved problems, I know I am not responsible, but I am good problem solver.

I went and looked up the Scientific Method in the Encarta Encyclopedia, and is seems confused.

I decided to go to is anyone can grind and issue into the ground and cover every inch, they can.


Scientific method
- is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring new knowledge, as well as for correcting and integrating previous knowledge. It is based on gathering observable, empirical, measurable evidence, subject to specific principles of reasoning.

The scientific method involves the following basic facets:
1. Observation. A constant feature of scientific inquiry.
2. Description
3. Prediction
4. Control
5. Falsifiability, or the elimination of plausible alternatives.
6. Causal explanation
7. Identification of causes
8. Covariation of events
9. Time-order relationship

Boring, yet essential for a person to work on a problem, I need a game plan.

Number 1 is observation.

I have many suggestions sent to me, posted on the comments of the blog, on pages, and drilled at me.

I started on this vein of thinking this morning, and then was refocused on it later today for a funny reason. I was walking back from the Truck Stop area, after eating a Gateau, and making sure to flirt with Bernadette in the Telephone Cabine.

A man that I just said hello to, starts to wave at me, and wants me to look back, at another man, I said hello to about 50 meters back. I looked back before I knew what to think, and then said to myself,
- They got me again. -

I ignored them both, and kept walking, I know they are way too lazy to run 50 meters for the stupid reason they want to talk. I have OBSERVED that 99 percent of conversations are of soap opera value, and from a person I do not know, then there is a 1 in 999 chance of benefit, and about 1 in 10 chance of the start of an entangling problem, the problem is to talk with people who want to talk. I find I need to talk with the people who do not want to talk with me.


On a web page we deal a lot with Permissions, how to grant permissions and edit, delete, and ban. It is annoying, and for sure, India and Nigeria are on the list of countries where just a whole country ban would be easier. They are very creative, and come up with ways of being sneaky and corrupt faster than we can change or alter the permissions and filters.

Observation Makes Change Happen

I need to change, I am from Indiana, we say hello, I say hello to everyone it is my nature. The men and sometimes the women here in West Africa can be outrageously Nigeria and India in nature… Hehehe

I need to set up rules of permission to talk with me, and this is difficult, my Yee Boh - White Man culture says, everyone when coming with respect has a right to talk or I will listen.

Nevertheless, I have OBSERVED and maybe this is why New York people can get cold as ice. When you have a never-ending queue of people trying to get your attention, the easy solution is to ignore all of them.

However, this cold as ice, is not me.

Respect and manners, this does NOT have anything to do with educations and for sure, the most well mannered people I meet in West Africa have the least amount of education. Also probably have the lowest caste of West Africa and nobody listens to them.

I have been observing how Togo people try to get my attention.

Yee Bow is the most common, which means White Man in the local language.

Yee Bow said by children, and I listen and pay attention, Yee Bow said by children above the age of 10 and above to 80 and dead, I ignore. Permissions set.

Vra or Va is come here in the local language, I have heard it so many times, and I am able to separate the Ghana from the Togo and Benin versions.

What I have observed, and I am in the Beta Testing of this, is that if I ignore them, they do not get angry, they just think, the White Man did not hear. However, even if I hear, ignoring is a macho thing, and to be more macho, I stare at them and ignore. Second phase.

What they say to get my attention:

Yeh bow
Spsssst sound
Donnez moi
Call Andre
Stare at me
Speak English
Follow you
Grab you
Holler until I turn around, then demand I come
Tell someone else to holler at me, which is closer.

This is my list of observations, or I have observed and paided attention, there is this many ways of trying to get my attention and I will continue to add to the list.

I could also list the lead-in for the people who want to ask for money.

- I am a Catholic Priest
- Fame
- Sufrir
- Hands are out to take from me.
- I work for ONG or NGO or this and that.
- Any preacher
- People that want to look at my cell phone

I want to set the enjoyment level of my day; I want to set the standards of how to have an enjoyable day. Well, to do this, I have to first ignore the list of comments, and then my day is wonderful. Funny thing about nice people, they are shy, smile a lot, and do not holler at me.

West Africa is a wonderful place, and I have observed that only about 1 in 30 people I am walking by will demand I come and talk, the normal in the world, is about 1 in 100 in other countries or 1 in 200. Demanding you come and talk is the operative word, I think this is a class system thing, and there is this domination by men, I am going to be get your attention, and you are going to listen to me, like some police in the USA, same kind of crap.

However, part of being Macho is to ignore the small pups, not my nature, but I have observed I need to change and do this, however keep the door open to enjoy the cultures I like here. Truthfully, just to never talk with the men of Africa is a reasonable set of permissions to apply.

Cities do something to the minds of people.

Fun and games in Togo, I am having a great day, because I do more things in a day that make me happy, then things that make me sad. I think the first thing in happiness is the ability to say no, what is left over is great. Note, these people are amateurs compared to India.

I sometimes call this all my,
- Lead us not into Temptation Theory. -

What is operative here in this, I can see that many judgments or thoughts can be overwhelmed to the point of veracity. I hear about the problems of Africa so long, I assume they are correct. I sometimes pay attention to the bad mannered people of West Africa until I forget to notice the majority of nice people.

I observe, then I change, however I need to apply some reasoning, and I am not sure reasoning can be taught. Can I evaluate correctly, there is always self-doubt.

When making an observation, when I finally observe and understand, there is a path to change opened. Life is very good here in West Africa for the people, how long do I have to be here, until I can forget how many people have told me it bad. Life is very good here, it is obvious.

I was thinking, when I hope, it is not important I observe my environment, I have continually adjusted it until it works. This day in day out adapting to changing environments make the powers of observation more keen and sharp.

An observations, I have many people tell me the USA world policy is causing problems. I ask,
- Tell me specifically which ones. -

Normally they have trouble with one, they are just being Parrots, if you want to know how well a person observed something, ask them to list out specifics.

The Morals of a Mop

The Morals of a Mop
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 27, 2007

It is finally hitting me, I am in a Catholic world, I am in West Africa, I am not in a Buddhist world, and I the floors are dirty. Hindus do mop, but with a very dirty rag, the Islamic need to clean their feet a lot for a reason.

I have a bad habit, I do not think I can break it, I like or walk around barefoot in my hotels rooms. I am not going to, and do not want to wear sandals in my room. I feel the most comfortable with no shoes, I have went for a long as one month with never wearing a shoe in Mexico on the beach. I do not like shoes or sandals, I like sandals or flip flops better than any confine my feet shoes.

Options here in Togo:

1. Get into bed with very dirty feet, make the sheet dirty and force the management to change the sheet daily.

2. Ask the management of the hotels to mop the rooms. I will do this sometimes in some countries, whereby I can find the mop, then do or hope to finish the job myself. However, the mop is normally so disgusting and the water so filthy, I do not even consider this option. I do have people mop in Asia, as they will use a rag and do on their hands and knees.

3. Ask for a towel, maybe they give me a towel, then I use it to mop the floor.
I THINK FEASIBLE IN ABOUT 50 PERCENT TO 80 PERCENT OF HOTEL - I think they will give me a towel to shower, if I ask, I have never asked in the month or so here in Africa and only one gave me a towel without asking, the Galion in Lome, Togo.

4. Find a rug and use as a mop. This option has worked in two hotels and is possible on a small scale.

5. I buy something to use a mop. This is a good option, however, the problem is this, to clean a mop takes a lot of work, I need to really clean it, and rinse it. Then it must dry, this is the essential problem, to dry a mop or something very wet is difficult, and then the question is, do you or I want to carry around the rag part of a dirty or cleaned rag part of a mop in our backpacks or suitcases.

I just do not know, I think an extremely small maybe nylon, does not absorb, not cotton, but fast drying small, cut up towel could work. I could put it in a one-gallon zip lock bag or a black plastic bag.

Hmm, do I need a mop handle?

There must be more options, but I am tired of thinking.

The Morals of a Mop.

I think this is to me a small moral, ethical and manners issue, and probably does not bother only about one percent of the travelers of the planet.

Option 1, I get in a bed with dirty feet, then force them to clean the sheets daily. This is normal traveler and tourist expectations and they have no moral or ethical problem with telling the staff to change the sheets. I do not allow people to clean my room, I clean my room, I do not want them to enter my room, I do not care how much I pay, I very seldom allow staff to clean my room. I do not want to stash, protect, hide my cameras, computer, cell phone constantly. It takes me a lot of work to prepare to allow a person to enter my room. One good thing, I have went to chaining my bag to the chair, it is becoming faster and quick to have all the essential valuables chained to the TV, bed or something difficult to move, I have began to allow some cleaning in the room, however only when managed by me.

There is this ecological issue that is floating around in rooms of the world, I will see signs, about not cleaning sheets, or only every three to six days to preserve or limit the amount of detergents entering the water table. I tend to agree, I think cleaning sheets after two or three uses is ok. I will often just grab the sheets in a better hotel and change them myself. In a hotel that is cleaner, there are sheets sitting around in many places and easy to find, because they are changing the sheets often.

On a funny, I was in Amlame, and the owner went and got some packaged sheets, he kept hitting the pack of sheets, trying to get the dust off of the package. Then he opened, the sheets had been ironed and cleaned, and they were rock hard creases in the folds of the sheets, the sheets had not been used in months. I do not think they included sheets with a room, the people slept on the mattress.

This is common in India to never change sheets or clean in some hotels, the covers or blankets in any country are suspect and not cleaned, the heavier the blanket the more likely it has been used by many and more than you want to know clients.

Moral - Ethics - Values - Manners

I am in a problem area of living in hotels. The easy option it to use a white or clean rug, or a sheet, or the table cloth in my present room. Grab a sheet, towel or something from the hotel staff and mop the floor. I consider it very bad manner to use a table cloth to mop the floor and I doubt they will ever get it cleaned, I would be ruining a good table cloth.

A white rug or light colored rug is the same, I have no qualms about using a dark rug, as I know it is very dirty already and not going to make a difference.
Requiring a person that is dirty by nature, never has cleaned something good in their lives to clean my room good is maybe bad manners. Like expecting a person from India to be clean, not really fair, or to expect a person from Thailand to not squat or try to squat on a western style toilet.

I am in West Africa, I must accept the standards of their country, it is a little onerous to expect special treatment.

3 to ask for a towel is an easy option, but that towel will never be the same again, it will always be damaged or dirty. This makes the towel bad for the next client, and also ruins a towel, or cost the hotel money.

If I ask the hotel for a mop, I am saying to the hotel.
- Your hotel is dirty, I want to clean, because I do not trust you. -

I can clean my room all day, they do not care, they do not get annoyed by me cleaning my own room. There is not a sense of guilt on the planet by me cleaning my own room, like it is their job. 1 in 50 yes though and those hotels are precious and difficult to find. However, just because the manager thinks this, does not mean the cleaning people agree.

I think I have only one option, I need to buy a towel, cut it up into three pieces and use my foot for a handle, or my hand. Then comes the question, do I use the dip shower bucket for a bucket or my own? I hope I can find a bucket here that is not for showering.

Cultural manners to me, requires I do not expect my values of clean, work, justice, etc to apply in the country I am visiting, I consider is extremely bad manners to expect western style quality in a 6 dollar hotel. On the other hand, if I paid the 50-100 US of the silly Americans, I would be so frustrated trying to get the room cleaned, the maintenance done, in the end, I do it myself.

In Mexico, I lived on a beach for up to six months, I hired cleaning girls to come to my room and work the day cleaning my room. This is a great option however difficult to find a cleaning lady that fast. On a very strange side note, I can find a girl that will sleep with me for a 5000 CFA cadeau or gift and be my girlfriend. She will clean the room, and will continue to clean until I am happy, because that is what the do best, try to take care of a man. Another ethical question and taxing to my soul.

Ok, today I try to buy a towel, to use as a mop, I will store in a plastic bag to carry from place to place.

I prefer to stay 10 days in every hotel. The first 3 days, I find the best room, if I did not choose the best on the first try. I choose the best room in the hotel about 75 percent of the time now, when I first started I just accepted and room and made some very bad choices.

The 10 day rule of rooms means.

10 plus 10 plus 10 equal 30 days.
30 Days in a month.
9 days for preparing the rooms.

I have about 5 days of life or living in a room whereby I feel uncomfortable. If I move quickly from a hotel, it means I do not like the city or the hotel. Normally a manners or trust issue.

25 days of high quality living 5 days of nonchalant arranging and working on the room. If a person thought for one second about how much time they spend cleaning their own home, they would and could evaluate and see, I spend about they spend 10 times the amount of time working on their homes than me living in a hotel room.

Yet, when they get in a hotel room, they turn into hotel dictators or fat slobs that want to demand services from hotels. Or on an even worst thought, many just ignore that the hotel is dirty. I do not like India because it is impossible for me to be the same as the other travelers and ignore the grime and dirt, I would need to live in a hotel for 30 days and hire two cleaning person to work daily to be comfortable. Goa has some exceptions to this idea.

I laugh when I see a person ask for a towel in a hotel. Then they think I am dirty, I wash my own towels and know who clean it, normally me, I do not have to share a towel with every person who has ever entered the hotel. This same person that will share a towel with everyone will then hoover over the toilet seat. Seems like they would buy some alcohol and clean it, and do a good job, but because they paid for a room, they feel they cannot clean or work on the room, all take and no give. When I manage homes and owned homes, a good tenant would make the home better and when the left, the place was improved, this happens in about 5 percent of homes, and my friend Walt interviews and gets about 95 percent of tenants that leave the place better than when it started. I would say, I fix on average one to two maintenance problems per hotel and would do more if I had the tools and supplies, I consider a dirty room normal, I consider a broken faucet lazy.

Mops, Gear, West Africa Gear, Hotel Room Choosing, Room Cleaning, Togo,

The Morals of a Mop

Togo Hotel Workers

Togo Hotel Workers
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 27, 2007

I am different from a normal person, I wake up in the morning anywhere from 4:00 am to 7:00, then on a day when I oversleep 8:00 am, and to sleep past 8:00 am is difficult.

It is 4:54 am in the l’Amities Hotel or Auberge, in Atakpame, Togo.

Some man has turned on the radio quite loud, this is normal in a way; a person wants something, why should or would they care about anyone else. This self-absorbed, self-center behavior is normal on the planet, this is common.

What I am not sure about, and what is different. There is a man that is sweeping the courtyard of the Hotel. I do not know this man, he has come every morning at about 4:30 am, or this is the time my conscious level realizes he is sweeping, this I in my courtyard and is my hotel. I went to get water for coffee, as I do not have a shower or toilet in my room, while doing this, I decided to take a look to be sure it is not a neighbor. It is not, it is a worker in this Hotel, I have checked on two separate days.

What is going on, why is this man here sweeping and cleaning the courtyard? I hear water running, maybe he is going to clean the showers and toilet. There may be a different person with the radio, he needs hit with a 2x4, swift and fast.

This hotel need a manager and a worker, there is an extreme overabundance of workers.

This hotel presently maybe has 2-3 rooms rented, it is possible there are more, but difficult to see if there are more. There are maybe five people in the hotel as residents.
I will count the number of people working here.

2 - Live on the premises reception girls, one is Janet, the other, and I am not sure.
1 - Man who sweeps
1 - Do the labor man, which is around all day and knows the most about the hotel, small and nice, I think his name is Hussein.
1 - Man who irons clothes outside at the entrance way and uses a charcoal iron.
1 - Manager Lady maybe is the owner, somewhat fat seems to be the manager, and gives orders and sit around eating and watching TV or sleeping on the couch in the reception area. I go not talk with her, seems like a good way to take a hit to my good Karma.

6 People are deriving income or wages at some level from a hotel that has about 5 people living in the hotel.

These ratios are interesting to me as a business owner or person who has owned a business. Why do they need so many people?

This hotel could be managed easily with 2 people; there are only about 10 rooms, or less.

I have observed a few small employee management aspects of about 80 percent of the planet or those countries, for the most part, excludes the USA or Europe.

I am going to limit this to Hotel businesses.

1. An employee is not required to keep busy working while are work.
2. Many employees sleep at the business during the night.
3. Food is normally included in the pay from a Hotel business.
4. Workers are related or semi distantly related to the owner.
5. Very few employees are fired or lose their jobs.
6. The principle manager or person who is essential management is a woman.
7. The man or husband manager - owner of a property does no work, and does close to zero management of staff.
8. The man or husband manager normally is sitting in some common area, eating, drinking, talking with his friends and watching TV.
9. In West Africa the management woman is very fat.
10. In West Africa the management top level does no work.
11. Employees and all staff of a hotel spend about 20-50 percent of their time watching TV, talking with their friends, preparing food to eat.
12. 25 percent of the time is spent sleeping somewhere in the hotel.
13. About 10 percent of the time is spent moving around in what could be considered work in a reach.
14. It takes the staff of a hotel approximately 5 minutes to clean a room after a resident leaves, and in a good hotel, it will be about 10-15 minutes.
15. About 75 percent of hotels the management, reception staff cleans the rooms, or maybe do not clean the rooms.
16. Mops can be very hard to find in a hotel to use to clean my room, here in Africa I think almost impossible. The would use a towel of some sort or mostly they just sweep, Asia is very good at mopping and you can walk and are expected to walk in your room with no shoes.

I am going to stop, as a side note, in the USA, often people that clean the rooms are foreigners or immigrants to the USA. The do not speak English well and have never lived in a clean room, the reason I say this it is difficult to clean to the hygiene levels of a western person when you have never lived that way in your life.

I think often about starting a small Hostel or more correctly, a cheap Hotel, what is difficult for me is the culture of workers and managers.

Various cultures have idiosyncrasies of business. Latinos drink a lot of beer, Asians will endlessly sweep, and Mexico will water the front dirt for hours. Nepal mops the floor by hand or on their hands and knees. India used the top cover and may never clean.

West Africa has one management aspect that it maybe self-defeating, and a block to growth of a business beyond maybe 10 employees. When a person becomes a top or head manager in a West African business or when they become the owner, they plan or believe at this level they can stop working and sit.

I just do not know, the only way to have a business in West Africa is maybe to hire Lebanese management or India management, which is the only solution I can think of and really is not a solution. Somehow, there needs to be no managers, the title of manager is the problem, makes the manager think he or she is the Baba, the Chief, the King or some upper level caste person who by right of some reason, is not the same as the other workers.

How to design a business with no manager. This many not be as complicated as you would think. Staff here in the hotel receive very few order from management, almost zero, and I am about 99 percent sure the woman never checks to see if the staff has cleaned the rooms.

I have spent the last few years in Asian cultures, and it has changed me, I now think in terms of walking around barefoot in the room. I feel compelled to take off my shoes when I enter a room. This is a big problem here in West Africa as the floors have this dust level ingrained on them because they do not mop, if my feet are wet, they instantly accumulate dirt on the bottoms of my feet. The solution here is to wear sandals all the time, and when you enter the bed, you sit and slide the sandals off and swing your feet into the bed.

The other day, I walked to the shower the first day in the Hotel; the staff saw me and slid some sandals under the door of the common shower. I do not use and will not use common sandals. I would rather use a common toilet and sit on the same toilet seat that is occasionally cleaned as opposed to sandals that are never cleaned. I can clean the toilet seat; I cannot clean common used sandals.

Well, back to the employment thing, what are outside the social and cultural brain wave of a person from the USA are two things.

1. Workers are not required to work, the cost of labor is so cheap, that a worker is suppose to be there, they are expected to work, but at about any speed and when they wish, with very small amounts of guidance.

2. Stealing is not stealing in many countries. It is extremely normal here in West Africa for the under-staff not the top staff to rent a room for a short time and pocket the money. What is considered stealing or corrupt is not even close to the USA way of thinking, and one reason I think the French and Lebanese, and India make good managers here, they will work and the stealing to them is normal.

Dow Chemical
I was living in Midland, Michigan for about one year or two; there is the Dow Chemical plant there. I made a naïve and stupid comment to a manager in some status of the Dow Chemical business.

I said to him, some statement that they pay their workers excessively much money.

He said,
- The cost of wages is not an essential factor; we do not make money by the labor of workers. -

This was sort of startling when I thought about it, I realized they had these huge chemical factories whereby computer, pipes, technicians monitor extreme amounts of chemicals, maybe millions of dollars worth of medicines or chemicals and one person paid 50,000 was not even a factor.

I remember working on the farm, my summer wages at 2 dollar per hour accumulated to about 2000 to 3000 per summer. If the price of corn went up 50 cents, the 12,000-bushel bin of corn was now worth 6000 dollars more and could pay for three or me.

I guess, a Hotel does not make money with staff; they make money by having more rooms, and renting the rooms. I have lived in hotels for 10 years and I am continually amazed how dirty, filthy and unsanitary hotels can be. One reason I almost refuse to stay in a high end or expensive hotel is this, when I pay 6 dollars and the room is dirty, or not quite good, I sort of think, I am getting a good value for my money. When I pay 50 dollars for a room, and there is no maintenance of the place is dirty, I am angry.

I was in the Frenchie hotel on the Island of Saint Martin on the French side of the island. I paid about 50 US per night and there were many cockroaches coming from a former kitchen area. The hotel I am in is cleaner and I am paying 6 dollars, this starts to really cause a problem in the brain. There are photos of the cockroaches in the site somewhere.

I have not found a good correlation between the cost of the room and the quality of the maintenance workers. I really want maintenance workers more than housekeepers, I can clean the room, the plumbing, doors, mirrors and lights become more complicated for me to fix, however I often do repairs.

What is mind boggling to me is why a hotel with labor that works for 1 dollar per day, cannot be clean. It is amazing on the planet, not just Africa that there is this idea, here is room, take it or leave it. When I find a manager that tries to guarantee my room and sheets are clean, I am elated, maybe about 1 in 50. Other than that, I just hope for clean sheets, and do the rest myself. It is strange, but the world does pretty well at cleaning sheets, excluding India and some Arab countries.

Somewhere in my typing, I am going to figure out, what is happening, why the quality of work performed by humans is so minimal. It really does seem impossibly easy to have a good hotel, you just check and keep the staff cleaning, yet better yet hire many maintenance people.

I managed homes in the USA, I had maintenance workers, and they did the same sloppy work. I was paying them 8-15 dollar per hour, the cost of labor was a huge factor, I always wanted to manage a place where I could just have 5 workers doing a project and the cost of wages was not even a consideration. I learned in Mexico though, it takes 8 workers to replace one American working construction; I could do the work of 8 workers in one day. However, Stan my friend had slowly found workers in Mexico that worked all day, a good worker likes to work, they do not like to sit.

Togo Hotel Workers

Togo Playing in Rain

Togo Playing in Rain
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 27, 2007

For three day straight days, at about 2-3 in the afternoon, we have received a country cooling rain here in Togo. Contrary to any mythical movie type thoughts, it normally rains only about one hour in the afternoon, then it will start about 8-9 at night and rain all night in the so-called Monsoon areas. If you are in a real Rain Forest, like in Coca Ecuador, up on the mountain there, it will almost always be raining, or you are living inside a cloud.

These children from down below the hotel immediately came up after the storm stopped and played under the spouts coming from the roof of my Hotel.

This boy decided to wash his shirt, I am not sure why, I think he want an excess amount of water to rinse his clothes. I am positive he access to water, he is alive.

This is a photo from a big storm in the Danyi Apeyeme village on the Danyi Plateau.

I finally realized, fresh drinking water is always available any place on the planet it rains. The problem is to collect and store the water.

This is rain drained off a rusty roof into a large 55-Gallon Barrel. I thought maybe it was bad to drink yet this website sort of says, no problem.

I am in a Rain area of West Africa, there is more rain in this belt than most parts of the planet.

Water, Food, Togo,

Togo Playing in Rain

Street Children Photo Request

Street Children Photo Request
Akakpame, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 27, 2007

Photo I took in Manila, Philippines near the Ermita Area.

I received today a request for a larger, better quality photo of the Street Children I took in Manila. Note, I shrink every photo to smaller size for the internet, and have done so now for about two years, but I still do not think are magazine quality in size. Sony 12 X Camera.

The request:

Name: Vincent ten Bouwhuis
Country: UK

Dear Madam / Sir,
From your website there is an image \-187-02-street-children-philipines\- that I would like to use for our charity\-s leaflet, to illustrate the desperate needs of these streetchildren, however the resolution (dpi) is not high enough for print, can you please e-mail us a High resolution image and permission to use this image for our non-profit charity leaflet?
Our registered charity number is 1118814
And we raise funds to build orphanages and house and care for orphans and street children, we currently work on projects in Bali, Indonesia and India and will expand to Philipines, Thailand, Vietnam
Thank you in advance
the image came from the following link:

Kind regards
Vincent ten Bouwhuis

Vincent ten Bouwhuis Ministries & Worldwide Missionary Foundation
2nd floor
145 - 157 St John Street
London EC1V 4PY

Website Name: VTB ministries & Worldwide Missionary Foundation
Website URL:


I found the larger photo and I am able to send. What do you think? Should I sent the bigger photo they can use for brochures.

About a month or two ago, I received another request from inside the Philippines wanting photos of Street Children.

Both are starting orphanages or something.

There is this question I ask myself, why? I do not work with street children, I am just a guy that walks around at 7:00 am and took some photos, easy to do, and children sleeping are easy photos to take. Plus children cannot get up and beat my butt, easy photos to take, if you are where there are street children.

If you are where there are street children, these photos are very easy to take…

If you are where there are street children.

Should I send the big dpi high density photos to the children?

I could take hundreds of photos of children sleeping in the street, not a difficult photo to take in the tropics. What was interesting and intriguing to me, what there was this orphanage in Manila, just 25 to 50 meter way from where I took this photo.

If this place is for street children, then they missed some, only about 25 to 50 meters from this building… hehehe

Note, I would guess 1 in 30-50 people who grab or use a photo ask permission first, normal is to just take, this is a good sign. Then again there is no high dpi photo on the site, they have to request.

If a person asked me for money for old people living in the streets, I would be much more inclined to give. The bottom line, the only organization that can truly help street children in a country, is the government of the country. Every time you give to an organization for street children, unless is a lobby to get the country with Street Children Government to do something, then we just enable by love to keep the country from doing their job.

On the other hand, I am thinking about sleeping outside, it is hot in this room, people sleep outside when it very hot, not as simple as just looking and seeing children, then making radical assumptions. I would go find a place on the sidewalk, out of the rain.

I have been thinking, I think I should go and knock on every NGO-ONG office I can find and see if there is anybody there at say, 11:00 am in the morning on a Tuesday.

Children, Street Children, Social Issues, Togo, NGO

Street Children Photo Request

Room Feels 10 Degrees Cooler

Room Feels 10 Degrees Cooler
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 27, 2007

I am NOT sensitive to heat, or I would not spend most of the last 10 years in Tropical Countries.

However, I am the same as anyone, I like to stay cool. I have hit some wall here in Togo because the rooms are modern, and designed to use electricity either for fans or AC. They electricity has gone off a lot, and a good room with electricity, becomes a terrible room without electricity.

I am in a room in l’Amities Hotel, number 102, the room has NO toilet or shower inside. I was considering this when in the Auberge Mandela in Kpalime. There was always water in the Auberget Mandela, the room was moist, sometimes when I walked in, I could feel the water from the shower.

This room feels cooler, there is no water in the room, less bugs, and the room is more comfortable, because the shower and toilet is not in the room.
Humidity makes the world feel hotter.

Room Feels 10 Degrees Cooler

Designing Home in Togo

Designing Home in Togo
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Sunday, April 29, 2007

I am trying to get my mind around some questions that have been annoying me for years, many years.

What type of room is cooler?
I need to test a couple theories.

Now, what a bag of worms that is, this questions, just me saying the question makes me realize there are hundreds maybe thousands of type or roofs on the planet. I think thousands would be difficult to find. The walls and the roofs rather set the standard for coolness of the room, now in my opinion the windows or the doors are the problems, and people really underestimate the value of a tree with shade.

I may have found a test home, or more correctly, I may have found two of maybe four major types of homes to measure for heat.

I can run a very simple test on the four types of homes.
1. HAVE - Home with steel roof and no dead air space.
2. HAVE - Home with steel roof and dead air space.
3. NEED - Room with concrete roof.
4. NEED - Two story home of concrete with room on lower floor.

Controlling the variables is difficult, however to control the people is a more complicated problem. People in the more primitive countries do not like me to be curious or solve problems, there is not a big hypothetical, what if this, and how do we do this type of person that is easy to find. They exist, but I think the see me coming and hide. I call these people now 0 and 1 people.

I have found a few in my travels who can think in what if terms, and was thinking the other day while looking for some mosquito net material I have slowly developed an extremely valuable skill. I am slowly learning to be and expeditor to find sources in other countries. I can find items to buy or sources of information about 100 times faster than when I started to travel 10 years ago. I will blog this separate.

One subject one blog post, the secret to making money on the internet, or one of them…. In addition, a good way to stop getting annoying emails from readers. An adaptation of diary idea, and really is good.

People can be dangerous and annoyingly difficult, to allow me walk into their home and say,
- Can I read the temperature of your room? -

Well, it become a circus of silly and annoying complicated, overwhelmingly difficult to solve culture problems. To walk into a home owned by a Mina person, which is made of clay adobe, and leave a thermometer in the room long enough to read correctly at exactly say 3:00 in the afternoon is a taxing mental cultural frustration for me.

The simple way is to be a bully, but not the polite and I think they say, Gentil way.

Yes, this is the Gentil way in the French language or the kind and nice way of collecting information. This takes the skills of a trained diplomat and a double in negotiations with Colombian Kidnappers Then with the knowledge of a carpenter and research brain push of Thomas Alva Edison

I am thinking of that movie with Russell Crowe here gets that man out of Colombia and almost does the wife.

I am doing some extensive reading on the Scientific Method or maybe … just terms. I am trying to understand and identify the one variable of a solving a problem that is 100 percent needed to solve the problem. The one problem that is the lodestone to solve the complete problem the one specific issue that stops or starts all problems and solutions.

Malaria is a killer, I am guessing, but I think it kills more than AIDS or SIDA, and I am hypothesizing that all the geese are flying the wrong direction. I am arrogantly under the suspicion that all the Malaria or Paludisme research has failed to solve the one missing piece to this puzzle, that would stop malaria on the planet or bring to a Tuberculosis level end.

The world has solved MASS problems of Malaria and knows how to treat Malaria, however the remaining residual number of deaths by Malaria remain to be very high, yet difficult to say a big world problem, however maybe bigger than AIDS.

Malaria now does not make world headlines, as it is an old issue; a new issue is what world shattering news becomes. Global Warming, which in my opinion has not killed anyone is news, while Malaria an everyday killer and car traffic deaths, probably the number one killer are ignored. Cars are dangerous, they are killers.

Ok, this is the hypothesis in a non-thought out and lacking in clear explanation.

I believe that people in Tropical climates and where Malaria, Paludisme is most prevalent, in these areas there is a short list of small changes needed to alter in house designs that would solve maybe 50 percent of the now existing deaths from Malaria.

My ideas revolve around one specific idea or problem. I think people do not use Mosquito nets because the are difficult, awkward and too hot. I observe that the average traveler or 99 percent of travelers in Malaria areas do not carry a Mosquito net. There solution is medicine, they believe they will either meditate to avoid or medicate to solve.

There are so many dynamic problems to solve to stop Malaria, so many that the people who contracts malaria just stops trying.

I tried to buy a Mosquito Net yesterday, two hours of work, and no net in my outrageously persistent hands. The one shop wanted 26 US dollars, the only one I found, and the Hospital Store was closed on Saturdays, I now need to check on Monday or Tuesday, maybe again Monday is a holiday. To stop malaria a person in a village, with no electricity and no education one needs to just stop the mosquitoes with very simple methods, I think they do burn and make smoke Amlame, Togo was full of smoke. I am not sure the goal at the Hospital, do they want the poor person on the Danyi Plateau to come here and buy one?

The obstacle involved in using a Mosquito nets are so overwhelming against me using a Mosquito net, that unless I am being bit every 10 seconds, I do not set one up. I on the other hand set up one if there is a way and I get one mosquito bite. However, maybe the truth is when the no-see-ums bite me, I set up the Mosquito net quicker. I truly despise the task of setting up a mosquito net. In a room with hooks, made for a mosquito net, it is very simple, however this room is only about 1 in 100 rooms. I enter of hotel rooms in Tropical Malaria prone areas of the planet daily. I can however, strangely in Africa, find a room with screens on the window in easy in West Africa, easy, however NOT in South, Central America, India or Asia, they do not have screens.

This is a never-ending thread of thoughts to explain.

The most comfortable home for me, would be a home made like a very fully screened in porch, with a roof that does not turn into a green house, every wall a screened in porch. I am not sure, I think the tents in Iraq, have flaps that go up, I am not sure about the mosquito nets or having the sides with screens, but somewhere along these lines, an open air room.

Everyone is so pre-occupied with AC or Climitasation, they forget to design first a house that functions, there is a reason Frank Lloyd Wright was famous… hehehe

Non-Cooked clay bricks are not the best to make a screen porchs, concrete, the new worlds building material is better; a combination of steel re-rod and concrete could maybe work. The solution needs to cost less to build than the normal design and needs to be five times more comfortable than their present design. Then be easier to make, wood is scarce of expensive I think, these homes need to have screened window whereby you can attach screens… Termites? The bigger problem is thieves, home are probably built first for protection and later for comfort.

Connecting a screen to concrete. I discovered yesterday that screen here in Atakpame cost 300 CFA or about 75 Cents US per meter - yard and this is cheap, however still one days pay. This may be cheaper than the mosquito nets… ? Hmm…

I think in the end all is about fashion and trends, people build home to be fashionable or to rent to make money. They will build the absolutely cheapest and easy to build home, and rent it. I know a person now that is renting a room for 12,000 CFA per month or 25 US dollars, then has a room for shower outside and she goes to the hills for a toilet. She don not have the electricity connected because I think she cannot come up with the installation fee. The bottom line though is she does not care, she has many clothes and a cell phone. She doe have lights,(Kerosene Lantern) she may want a fan, she needs a solar power fan… hehehe

The end of this for now.

The world is this, I need to eat dinner, please call me after dinner, I am busy now, and I know 100 percent you know how solve all my problems,

Note when doing research in Africa, the biggest problem is the library is in the USA, and I am in Togo. The GPRS Cell Phone internet connection may be a world changing research device. A person can go to the problem, and still have the library with them. I was told Boy Genius for India that BGAN may start giving unlimited internet access for a set fee, I have yet to get or bleed the details from him.

I was hollering a guy the other day, piss down hill, not up, strange how long it take to learn not to piss into the wind or up hill for the general population of the whole planet and especially including the USA. Without a toilet, they would be helpless.

Edison, Scientific Method, Deductive Reasoning, Inductive Reasoning, Heuristic Reasoning, Problem Solving, Paludisme, Malaria, Mosquito Net, Mosquito. Research, GPRS.

Designing Home in Togo

Togo India Air Courier Needed

Togo India Air Courier Needed
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Sunday, April 29, 2007

I am up to my ears in shipping cost, amazing how much it cost to ship something to Togo or India or anywhere outside the USA.

I worked a long time on an Air Couriers Site and did way too much research on the issue before I finally realized, this is NOT for the average person, they just do not get it, and I am not going to sit around trying to explain.

However, I do understand why or feel I understand why a person is needed to be a courier. Because, I now need two maybe, and NOW or within the next two or three weeks.

I think I need an Air Courier that can leave from say:

MAY 10 to MAY 20 - 2007
Leave from USA and go to:
Lome, Togo and Goa, India

Carry a 20 Kilo - or about 40 Pounds bag full of electronic gadgets. We can meet the person at the Airport and make life easier.

Chris is helping me to put together a big care package, full of all sorts of toys that would allow me to live in the jungle with no electricity and use my computer from Solar, Batteries, 12 Volt this and that.

Now, Boy Genius of India has burned up what he calls a brick in his HP laptop because of a power surge in India.

I think India is way beyond my level of tolerance level of electricity problems. I would go solar and say good-bye to the India electric companies. I think the only way for him to run his computers is to have a big bank of car batteries and a solar power source.

I sort of want a 12 Volt Hydroelectric supply also… hehehe

To send a package to either Goa, India or Lome, Togo I think I can give a person 250 USA Dollars to apply towards a plane ticket, if the person is already on the way, then they would save 250 US Dollars.

I am not joking, the cost to send a package to Togo or India fast is expensive, and then the more important problem is to get it INTO the country. This is the function of a courier, to get the package into the country as personal baggage.

There is a secondary goal here, I want to learn, can I pay 300 US Dollars and buy the equipment to be self sustainable with electricity, and have a fan and lights, and power my computer. Plus be travel light enough to carry in my backpack, some big goals. A Hobo goal, live cheap, and reasonable.

Air Courier, Togo, India, Customs, Shipping, United Parcel Service, FedEx, DHL Shipping

Togo India Air Courier Needed

Are Hippos in Nangbeto Togo

Are Hippos in Nangbeto Togo
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 30, 2007

Nangbeto Hydro-Electric Dam

Nangbeto, Togo West Africa
Hippos near the Dam
May 1, 2007
07 degrees 24,606 North
001 degrees 25.111 East
147 Meters of altitude above sea level
32-33 Kilometers from Atakpame, Togo

Are there Hippos in Nangbeto, Togo, West Africa?
I did not see hippos, however I did not go look.

I would say yes, my guess is yes, my intuition says yes, everything here says Hippos could be in Nangbeto, Togo. This is a relatively easy trip to see Hippos and there is a Hotel there, not a bad trip for a couple who has too many CFA or on an NGO-ONG budget. A good day trip for the Barefoot Hobo Budget Backpacker, cost is about 4500 CFA round trip or about 9-10 US.

Trip to Nangbeto by Moto.
This morning I made my move. I said, enough of this and that, time to move away from here. The Hotel had the music too loud, one fan broke, the next one they gave me was noisy, everything said to me, it was time to go. Including a conversation with the girls that works in Micro-Finance a the bank about Hippos.

She said, there are Hippos in Niangbeto, not Nangbeto. I opened up my computer and went to the Encarta Encyclopedia map of Togo, I ask here to point the village out. She looked everywhere on the map, and well, could not find it. I got out the map you are looking at now, the one purchased in the bookstore close to the Bafana Bafana Auberge in Kpalime.

She could not find Niangbeto.

I quizzed her, what did you see, and she explains and pantomimes how a Hippo dives. I ask here how many, and she say many in French of course. I says, how many in many?

She say three.

Not many to me, but ok, she did see Hippos in Niangbeto. I cannot get a clear direction from here, is it North, South, East or West, point on the map. She does not know, then I ask, how long did it take, she said, about 30 minutes. Most people in West Africa and the world have only seen a map one or two times in their life, they do not understand maps.

I finally surmised that she went in a car, then looked at hotel, she said she did not stay in the hotel, but it had Air Conditioning. She went with a man who worked for the Electric company and there was a Barrage. This is Dam in French, and I am feeling confident, this girl really did see Hippos or Hippopotame in French, and I am proud of myself, I cam getting good at saying it correct. Hippopotamus is the spelling in English for Hippos.

I think she felt she cooked her Hippo, and then put her own foot in here mouth after it to eat also.

My guess is this, she went with some guy who worked for the Electric Company of Togo to Nangbeto. He maybe drives there on company time, with a company vehicle, and works for the Togo Electric company and gets paid to go there. They went, he shows her the Hydro-Electric Dam and she also got to see Hippo, then probably while on this business trip he goes to the Hotel with her, and he shows her the Air Conditioning of the Hotel and she gives him a Cadeau for taking her to see the Hippos.

The next story told to me, was a fabulous one and she took her foot and ate it. She then tells me how eating Hippo taste good and the meat is sweet, I guess the Togo Electric guy has connections to eat poach meat. I tried to explain, she should not say to me, she ate Hippo meat, not getting brownie points with me, in fact you are really losing favor.

I woke this morning and typed on my computer, and thought to myself, she really did see Hippos, however where is Niangbeto? I trusted it was less than two hours from the Hotel and probably only one hour, even though she said 30 minutes, this is Africa time so has to be wrong with the time, Africa Time is different.

I am tired of the hotel, I packed and I think, ok, find a new home, and she says there is a Hotel next to the Hippos with AC. Sounds like a tourist fare hotel to me, but I will do one night if way 8000 or less and fun.

I walked out, thought about slipping out the back so I did not have to say goodbye to the Hippos and the two future Hippos in the Hotel, but what the hell, not point in burning bridges or doing contrary to good manners for no reason. I walk to the reception area and they are surprised, you are leaving, I say,
- Hee Poh Poh Tam -

They say, and I cannot believe it, they say Nangbeto. I am overwhelmed, I went around and around with the two reception girls on how to say Hippopotame and how to find Hippos, I showed them the map and they explained how to pronounce the place north of Nangbeto called Atchinedji, now they say, more or less it is easy to see Hippos at Nangbeto. Never crossed their minds to say, it is easy to go to Nangbeto, I did not ask, so they did not offer.

I ask in French,
- How long? -
No response or the blank face.
- How much for a Car to Nangbeto -
- Which direction, North, South, East, West? -

More blanks, the then start talking about Hippos, and I again repeat, how much money, how long for car, how much time to go there and I decided, enough of not listening to me, and I walk out. They know the Hippos and truth is, they do not know more.

I am going to Nangbeto to see Hippos, I do not know where it is, or how to get there or how much money, but there is supposed to be a Dam there and a Hotel with Air Conditioning and I am positive, it probably is expensive, in typical West Africa way of doing things.

I grab a Moto, I say, and show him the piece of paper, where I have written Niangbeto, I think, this is spelled correct and now know Nangbeto is correct. He know the place, I ask, how much for Moto, and he says, Trop Cher, he finally says 6 Mille or about 12 US, I think yes, Trop Cher, very expensive, I say,
- Take me to the Cars -

I ask, how far is it, he says, very simple.
- 67 Kilometers. - (Later I learn 33 Kilometers.)

He is a smart guy, I sort of trust him, in and African Time way and African know the directions way, he did seem better. He takes me to the Car stop, two motorcycle taxis go to grab my bag. I see no cars, I see motos and he sort of says, the moto is the way to go, even thorough three minutes before he said, I need to take a car. He said, 67 Kilometers and now there is a couple of Motos fighting to take me for 2000 Mille or about 4000 less than the guy just said, I think I just do not care. I say yes to 2000 and get on the taxi.
(Mistake. Big mistake I must argue over the price, make a commotion, say too much and trop che and beat up the driver til he says, this is the price. Big Mistake, I needed to fight over the price, to be explained.)

I go on a great ride from Atakpame to Nangbeto, the road is dirt, and there are a lot of girl with no tops on and off course the normal pile of wood on women head, as they are using all of Africa for firewood. I see a few small Villages, try to remember the name of Akpare as being a special village to stop in and look at as there is every type of culture along the way. We have cattle people, we have farmers, we have Mussleman and all sorts of interesting cultures. I am getting excited.

We go half the way, and it turns from gravel to paved. The electricity disappears when we left Atakpame and reappears when we get to Nangbeto, which by the way, it not really there or anything and I think it is possible the move the hole pile of clay bricks to another place or displaced the village. Nangbeto is now, or maybe it is a village, well now, this is a workers village for the Dam. I am somewhat worried, where am I when I get there, I may have came 67 kilometers, the gravel road is bad, and I think in Miles. But, I am thinking, no, not possible, this is not the Border of Benin.

There is a sign about Benin, what, why Benin. We are at a police stop, I ask, is this the Frontiere du Benin, they say Qui….Yes, I am going to enter Benin, they then say, Pas or Non. I cannot get it figured, I am hoping I am not at the Benin Border. This is a small country, somewhat possible. The guards want something but they cannot get around to saying what. I keep saying, I am going the Hotel. Finally, the moto driver is very slow, he did not eat his Wheaties today and is afraid of the guards. I say, we go to the Hotel in French, they point, and I grab the moto and push it over the barricade stopper or bump, and get the driver to start it. What is wrong, we are at a Dam, not a police station, lets go to the Hotel. The one tourist in Togo is here.

The driver of the Moto says the price of the Hotel is 500 Francs or CFA. The one man at the border who is beat up looking and spoke English says the price is 5000.

Both of these prices are reasonable.

We go to somewhere, and it is bleak, looks like army barracks with no army, I am thinking this places it just too lonely, I do not want to be on a lonely planet. We stop, I descent in French, and go into the Hotel reception area, which more or less looks like a reception hall, two me are talking. I finally interrupt and say,


This place is boon Fck Egypt, there is nobody here, and two workers that cannot stop talking to greet the only tourist in Togo.

I go in, and I say,
- How much? -
He does a pause, then he looks at me, and I look at him, I am wishing I spoke as good as French as my Spanish, I want to say in Spanish,
- Cuidado. -

It is a game I play when I am negotiating with people that see me as a DOLLAR Sign. I like to say,
- Be Careful -
(I want to see how good of poker they play, say too much and I leave, say a good price and I negotiate, say too low and I like you.)

He says,
- 15 Mille - 15,000 CFA.
I turn, and walk out.
You lose, do not pass go, do not collect 200 Dollars, go to Jail as the game of Boardwalk works.

He did the greed move, went for the big banana, not the small one, he accessed me bad and lost. If he would have said, 10 mille, I would have thought maybe, I would then go and do this stupid game of looking at all the overpriced HOT room, cooking rooms in the Army Barracks or what feels to be an empty Army barracks in the middle of Texas heat.

Not a nice girl with a pan of water on her head for miles, just boys and men sitting around doing nothing as normal as can be. This is Africa and they do what Africa does, sit.

I am thinking, this is isolation, I am not going to pay 30-35 dollars to sit in an empty room and stare at the walls. Funny part, I think the signal was good, I could use the Internet GPRS here, there was electricity all would be ok, I need the girl with me to give me a Cadeau in the middle of nowhere, this has to be the worst place on the planet to go and have or give a Cadeau.

Photo of the Barrage or Hydroelectric Dam in Nangbeto, Togo.

I know, if I say good bye to the Moto guy at the Hotel, I have no way to return to Atakpame, and I will be surrounded by every person in the area wanting a Cadeau. They was hollering it as I went through village, white men have been here before, and gave like idiots, turned a nice people into a Cadeau.

You need at least two NGO-ONG people here and me, they can talk to the Cadeau or Gift askers, (beggars) and I can ignore, not going to work, only me. I decided,
- Return to Atakpame. -
I tell the motorcycle taxi guy.

Hippos, I had stop up stop trying, men with gates, men with uniforms and all the could do is not ask questions and talk. I have no idea, I think there are maybe Hippos if I wanted to sit around and cook.

Ok, I wanted to see Hippos, but not this way, I want to feel like I am in the jungle, a little bit. Not at a big dam, with a bunch of dam workers, who sit and do what these type of dam workers do, they sit and look at the dam. The trip to the dam was very nice, picturesque and all the cliches, definitely a place to bring some girl for a DAY trip, not to sleep, unless I missed the plot. The bottom line for me, I will go and see Hippos, maybe to the North of Nangbeto, the river Mono is the ticket, every time the word Hippo comes up in writing, they talk about the River Mono of Togo or Benin and Hippos. I do know what Mono means in Spanish, I do not know what Mono means in French or Kabria or Mina or Ashanti or whatnot. (Monkey)

I want to Frame the experience of a Hippo, the same as my first Rhino in Nepal, and the Elephant of Nepal. That had to be one of my best experience of my life, chasing a Rhino on an Elephant, tearing through the jungle in the Chitwan Park of Nepal, really just outside.

I want the Hippo experience the same as the Rhino experience or close to the same, I do not like to take a great animal and wrap it up in an overpriced, hot and isolated hotel, and full of dam workers, I have returned to Atakpame and got a room in a different hotel. I think I hit pay dirt, got inside shower, sink, and a new fan, and I am on the first floor with a concrete ceiling. The bottom line in what rooms are cool, you want to be on the first floor in the shade with a concrete ceiling and another floor to insulate above you. To have the sun blare on the roof of a one story building Hotel, when made of steel is a cat on a hot tin roof.

This room is cool and 3500 CFA, and for 500 more, I now have a wet shower in my room, maybe ok, hard to say, it is a shower and not a dip shower, I do not know where the toilet it, I hope not the hills again, I think this hotel is ok. Wish I could remember the name. I got the price down from 4500 to 3500, I am doing good in Togo on prices. Had to leave the hotel to get the price down.

Relais des Plateau is the name, I need to say Plateau and the driver of Motos know.

The idea of having a big Toyota land rover and a gun sometimes sounds like the way to be in Africa… hehehe

Maybe the vision of Africa in a way, however nothing natural here, his is the pond after the dam, sort of a marsh or lake is formed after the dam. I did not get past the guard and the Moto driver was too difficult to say, lets go look. I could not be bothered with him, this is a problem of Africa, too much interference you want to give up, and say I cannot be bothered.

The moto driver came into the hotel and demanded more money, The deal was 2000 one way to Nangbeto. I gave him 2000 to go, 2000 to return and 500 because he was confused and sat with the Dam workers and did not help. He wanted more, because gave too quick, I must fight for a cheaper price, they always think, he will give more. He gets into a conversation with the Manager of the Hotel, Paula, I think, what does the manager have to do with my Moto payment. I then separate them physically, push them apart from stupid talk and point at the door, saying PARTIR PARTIR and corral him out the door, and intimidate him until he leaves. Amazing how being a bully can work in Africa and pay fare wages only begets a headache.

I am glad I know Big Dog Theory of Alpha Male, the sad part here, is a big dog and take over, and that is not justice, I just want justice.

I will see you Hippos, I am coming, I have the rest of my life to find you on my travel terms, enjoyment of life. Remember you could 10,000 US dollars for a tour and not see Hippos.

Togo, Togo Animals, West Africa Animals, Animals, Hippos, Togo Hippopotamus Hippopotame, Cadeau,

Are Hippos in Nangbeto Togo

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

Decibel Scale

Decibel Scale
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
May 1, 2007

I have a digital sound meter I am carrying for reference, I purhased at Radio Shack in the USA for about 50 U.S. dollars. The hope to measure the level of sounds around the world. I sort of think in term or No Smoking or Smoking choices. I think any guide would be helpful to explain large source of temporary or regular noise.

The decibel scale is used primarily to compare sound intensities although it can be used to compare voltages.

Decibels Typical sound
0 --- Threshold of hearing
10 --- Rustle of leaves in gentle breeze
10 --- Quiet whisper
20 --- Average whisper
20-50 --- Quiet conversation
40-45 --- Hotel; theater (between performances)
50-65 --- Loud conversation
65-70 --- Traffic on busy street
65-90 --- Train
75-80 --- Factory (light/medium work)
90 --- Heavy traffic
90-100 --- Thunder
110-140 --- Jet aircraft at takeoff
130 --- Threshold of pain
140-190 --- Space rocket at takeoff

Decibel Scale, Noise, Annoyances, West Africa Annoyances, Hotel Noise, Hotel Room Choosing, Togo,

Decibel Scale

Auberge Atakpame Togo Hotel

Auberge Atakpame Togo Hotel
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Hotel Relais Des Plateaux

I am in room 105 on the bottom, as far away from the speakers on the first floor as possible, if I went up a floor, the same room up, and then should it should be quieter, yet I think the higher priced rooms.

I maybe had set a new record for music volume on my new Radio Shack Sound Meter. I have only been using and testing for a couple of months and great fun. I have discovered sudden abrupt noises, like the beep of a horn, or this many screaming in the microphone here the problem noise, steady noise like a fan I can ignore, although noise.

78 to 92 decibels in my room.
85-97 decibels maybe 101 in the reception area.
11:12 AM
May 1, 2007

The digital reader jumps tremendously, as the man has a PA system with a Disc Jockey type microphone speaker system. Right up there with the loud speakers of the call to prayer in the Islamic Religion, I had to move last year in Natitingou, Benin because of the speakers, and maybe the loudest room I have every been in was the call to prayer room on the eighth floor in Cairo, Egypt.

It is a Holiday here in Atakpame, maybe called a Fete, I ask what and they say, May 1.

Sort of like saying September 11, without saying Terror Attack on World Trade center in New York of the USA. Anybody reading 100 years from now would be clueless as to what is September 11.

We live in a world where we assume everybody understands, I do not think the world ever had empathy, I keep wanting them to have empathy, but I do not think it every existed in the first place.

I was a little worried last night, and not sure what they were up to, there was about 10 men, or younger men, older boys in the Hotel lobby reception area. This total single men group thing is always a problem anywhere in the world and here in West Africa a bigger problem. When I rented the room, just Eliza and Paula, a girl and a man hanging around.

I was having a kick last night talking with Paula about the price of Hotel rooms, explaining how I got Douche and Toilette mixed up, the prices on the walls, not normal said room with Douche or Chambre avec Douche for 4500, this is the one I negotiated down to 3500. I was thinking a Douche is a Toillette, but one is a shower and the other a toilet, this room is with a shower.

As Paula and me are talking a telephone rings at the recepton desk, one of the short boy goes and get a girl. She answers the phone, Paula says explaining the girl,
- Waiting for a man. -

I say,
Combien pour un chambre pour Boom Boom ici.
He thinks I say,
- How much for the girl walking away. -
He then says,
- I do not know do you want a girl; I can get a nice girl tomorrow for you. -
I say
- No, no, I wanted to know how much to rent room for love. -
He says,
- 1000 CFA per hour. -

I truly think every hotel I have every stayed in in West Africa has been a Boom Boom love hotel. There is always a person or girl waiting in the reception type area or out front for the partner to come, then later they go.

This is a good hotel, Paula is very helpful, asks my opinions, am I ok, tries every few hours to sell me very expensive food. He pays attention to me; the other staffs are same as normal.

I do not know about the Music, he said there would not be music tonight, for a reason I cannot understand there is a huge area behind the hotel, they could have an open air wedding for 200 people with no problem. The hotel is about half again closer to the Atakpame Market than the l’Amities hotel and 100 Franc cheaper by taxi.

I am ready to leave Atakpame, all fun and games aside, time to get out of Dodge, I know of very few reasons to come to Atakpame, except that it on the path and in the way. The hotels are too far outside any homes and normal cultures, the Amities is better than the Plateau here for normal culture, I just do not see taking a moto from the hotel to a market as being in Africa, like living in prison and they allow me out to go walk in the courtyard for exercise. Then I take a moto back to the room and go to my jail cell. This is great room, number 105 if the paint would stop pealing, I think if I stayed a few days, I would take a broom and clean the walls of loose paint, and the ceiling is falling on my computer and me.

It is a good place to stay, and go and look at Hippos on a day trip, I think a lot better than living with Hippos, but what do I know, I have not seen a Hippo.

Paula will never be able to stop the testosterone bunch from dominating the hotel tonight.

I wish I could say this is abnormal in travel, noise is the reason I purchased the sound meter, and I wanted to really measure how noisy some places I live or leave are. The music is different from traffic noise, I know they cannot stop traffic or beeping horns, and I know the music is done or helped along by the staff acceptance. The l’Amities had a speaker on the courtyard, never too loud, but loud enough to easily be heard in my room. Michel my friend’s radio was too loud, this is where I am and the culture I am in.

The roads of Nepal, the streets of India are louder, not always but louder.

Choosing a room, I saw the bar area, I chose a room as far away as possible from the noise, reception and other factors or variables. I like this hotel, however too much testosterone is presently living here, the owner and the manager cannot stop that. The people in a hotel will change radically, one time it could be great, come back a week later and terrible. I am thinking, the hotels managed by women in West Africa are calmer. The hotel staff has all their friends come over to visit, for me, a series of off the clock rooms are rented to men that are with their Cadeau girls. There is this extra pay thing, done both by men and women manager, yet the men have more male friends they can hook onto for money.

How loud is 100 decibels, I need to find a reference, however various types of sounds are different. This is like Thunder or Heavy Traffic.

This may seem petty, like you are on vacation and people party. I am living in this hotel. I do go home to escape, my art form is to figure out how to find my place to live for me, not for you.

Note as a funny, I moved out a noisy love hotel in Arequipa, Peru because the love noises never ended. Fortunately the West Africa culture is not noise this way.

80 to 92 decibels in my room.
94-97 decibels maybe 104 in the reception area.
2:04 PM
May 1, 2007

This is interesting stuff, I can somewhat determine the effect of concrete walls and echos, and the value of a wood door, or how much a close window stops sound.

They have set up a big disco in the very large area here.

As best I understand the music is a combination of Togo, French and Africa semi-rap, more or a steady beat Africa music. Modern, yet very small USA influence. It this was in Ghana there would be heavy American USA Rap, or Gang music, and the words would be about 50 percent more violent. Then a lot of Nigerian music in English. The French Black musicians are about 70 percent less violent than the USA Black musician music in the nature of the words and actions. I am not sure if Gangster rap apply in French. This is one of the reason I am traveling in the French part and not the English part of West Africa now and skipped Ghana, just did not need the influence of the USA music and the culture with it. This does not mean they do not love me, the all want to go to the USA and more in Ghana, however the music of the world is setting the ethics and morals, it is the example the world follows.

Togo, Togo Hotels, Hotel Room Choosing, Hotel Noise, Noise, West Africa Annoyances, Party, Music

Auberge Atakpame Togo Hotel

Badou Togo West Africa

Badou Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Van ride from Atakpame to Badou from porthole to porthole 5 hours.
Atakpame to Badou is 59.8 Kilometers as the crow flies and the road meanders like a river, so maybe up to 100 Kilometers.

07 degrees 35.093 North
000 degrees 36.586 East

287 Meters of altitude above sea level

Badou, Togo, RATS, aagh, I was hoping for 500 to 700 meters above sea level minimum, maybe these mountains will bring rain and cool air.

Badou is a nice village, sort of winding up and down and sideways, we came down from the mountains, entered the city full of small shops, full of all sorts of what looks like a Ghana - Togo border bring it across, but forget to pay customs operations. Many bearded men in the shops, I semi think the Islamic religion encourages merchants.

I am very happy, the ride down the mountain was like being delivered from an Amazon River Boat, onto the dock and a scramble is made for shore. As we came down the mountains I could see the village of Badou was in the Valley, the bad part is we came down from the mountain, I was hoping to go up. The temperature of my room for sleeping is better when I go up.

The Auberge a.k.a Hotel is 2500 CFA or 5 US dollars and a good barefoot Hobo choice, this area has many villages and Badou seems like a good base. I have GPRS internet in my room, the electricity is working now, the fan has velocity, and life is good.

I met two good souls on the way to this hotel.

The Van ride from Atakpame to Badou from porthole to porthole 5 hours. I left the Atakpame Hotel at 9:00 and got here in Badou at 3:00 pm, I am not going to the Gares or Bus Stations again, that was the last time, and they just make you wait they do not help. I am going to the road leading out of town and hitch or wait. A spring bolt on the van broke, we had and an18/3 situation when another one picked us up, 18 adults and 3 babies in the next van, They then wanted me to pay 1000 extra for the new pick up van and everyone else paid nothing. I was too tired to argue, the van did pick us up, and I was willing to pay and jumped in the Van, the others waited for some deal to be made. A moto ride here would have taken about 2 hours porthole to porthole. I am not big on dirt road moto rides, and I was not sure, did not want to do a winding dirt road on a Moto. I was wrong, the road was all tar or black top, from Atakpame here, and the road was nice, the edges were not close, for sure it would have been a nice Moto ride, or bike.

A Lebanese man stopped and asked us if we needed help what a good guy.

I entered the city; the Moto taxi driver did not know of one hotel, I am now positive there are at least three. A woman along the road stops and tells him about one, we go, on the way back after I refuse the first, and on the hill back up she stops him and tells him another the Cascade. What a great woman, intuitively she understood that a person coming into a city needs a place to sleep.

Intuition is a good thing, she understood intuitively my needs, or empathy as hers was on the high empathy setting.

Togo Hobo OK, Kilometer Marker, Togo GPS, West Africa GPS, Planning Africa, Togo,

Badou Togo West Africa

Africa Saying No For 3 Days

Africa Saying No For 3 Days
Badou, Togo West Africa
Thursday, May 3, 2007

I am on day one, two more days and the village of Badou may stop asking me for address, to sit, for talking or to take me to the waterfalls. I will go out of trend and they will just say, oh yea, the white man. Togo people do not sit around trying to get me to buy objects like say in India or other places, they more or less just try to get free money, I would not call it begging, more or give me a cadeau, I want to get over on you.

A village or city anywhere needs about 3 days before they accept you, and grow accustom to my presences.

No, Non, Pas

Fun to say no in a direct manner, I know the benefits, the whole village will soon decide I am cheap and will not give to them, then I am the same as them, they do not give either, then I can talk with the nice people who do not want something.

Culture West Africa, Entering A City, Togo,

Africa Saying No For 3 Days

Togo Body Talk

Togo Body Talk
Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 2, 2007

My body talks, I think the language of body talk here in Togo iis about a 90-10 ratio. What I say with words has about a 10 percent value and what I say with my body has a 90 percent. When the Togo people talk to me, they talk with their bodies.

I think the USA is about a 60-40 ratio, 60 percent with body and 40 percent with words, and words can totally over ride the body language. I trust body talk more than words. Here in Togo, words cannot override body language easily, unless accompanied by a lot of jumping and waving or body language.

When I walk by a Togo or West Africa person I say to them.
- I am Yeebow of White Man.

They holler at me.
- IF I turn my head

The are in control, if I do not turn my head, I am in control, If when they call, I listen and go over, they are in control.

I am spending a lot of time in negotiations, fun and hilarious to me, but intriguing as can be also, how to learn to talk 100 percent with my body language, and to remember not to use words.

I love to play, and this is play, I can tease, joke, flirt and control with my body language, or allow control. I like to allow a tour guide to control, it just makes sense. I do not allow a Taxi driver to control my life or destiny.

I normally try to listen to the Hotel staff more than others, and I put the guidebooks at the very top of my list of who I listen too. But that is not body talk.

Hmm, maybe I listen to me, the big I, myself first.

Body talk is fun, but I have to remember and remind myself to talk with my body, my eyes, and say what I want to say. I also have to remember these are big men, I try to remember to not tell to many bif one to go and F 93 k themselves with body language.

I also have to be careful with women, they follow me to the room, as I was not putting as much value on body talk as them.

I remember now, what I said… to the girl in the market with my body and actions, it was very clear, she saw my eyes.

Body Talk, Languages, Culture, Culture West Africa, Togo,

Togo Body Talk

Hot Air in Hotel Rooms

Hot Air in Hotel Rooms
Badou, Togo West Africa
Friday, May 4, 2007

The world makes rooms with concrete, close to 95-98 percent of the rooms I am in, are made out of concrete. This is good in tropical hot climates, concrete is cooler than wood or bamboo, in a way.

It has started to rain here in Togo, hard to say there is a rainy season starting, but that is what they tell me. I get near the window of my room and I can feel the cool rain air, I walk outside my room and down the hall and there is cool sense of peace. I walk back to my room and enter and I think, wow, this place is hot.

I want an exchange please, can you please take the outside air and bring in and the inside air and send out. Thank you.

I have been dwelling on this for years, why not buy a small fan and put in the window. I have one fan, but I need the include in the price ran blowing on my chest and body to keep it from over heating. With a fan blowing on me, I am happy, but I can feel it, the air outside is cooler.

The fan above is blowing out, hard to say, where the old in or out is better, not so important, or I am not sure, but I am blowing the hot air out of my room. Just a baby fan, 220 and cost 10 US, and sold in about any hardware type store in Togo. Perfect in a way, and transforming slowly my room from hot to rain cool. I am still in Beta phase of this game, but I think if this runs all night, in the morning the temperature in the room will be the same as outside.

It is usually cooler to sleep outside a room under the big sky, then inside your room. When you are in the Middle East and you see somebody carrying their mattress, think and remember, they are a going for the roof to sleep.

Togo, Heating or Cooling, Fans, Electricity,

Hot Air in Hotel Rooms

I Am Perfect Syndrome

I Am Perfect Syndrome
Badou, Togo West Africa
Saturday, May 5, 2007

A person brings a family heirloom with them traveling, the ring given to them by their grandmother and they lose it.

They buy 3000 dollars worth of gear and the backpack is stolen.

They trust some Italian guys who are fellow travelers and the steal your Ipod. Thanks Craig for that information.

A person has a man, women, somebody they have never met in their live copy photos taken from 10 countries, from a camera to a CD Rom.
1. The CD Rom is broken.
2. The CD Rom is corrupted or has a problem.
3. The man or women does not copy, and before they check the CD Rom, they delete the photos.

I am perfect syndrome, 100 percent guarantees you will lose items, forget, make errors, and you will deny it, because you do not want people to know you are human, you are not perfect.

I was laughing my butt off, as I read,
- Transportation Security Administration has lost a computer hard drive containing Social Security numbers, bank data and payroll information for about 100,000 employees. -

People have this really stupid, insane, and utterly ridiculous notion, idea and belief they never make a mistake. Then in their utter stupidity they carry around all the most valuable information on the planet on a laptop computer.

I am perfect.

People want me to buy gear, I think, why, so I can break it or lose it, I buy gear I know I am willing to lose, break, or leave in the room. Everything I carry is junk, I am ready to junk all of it, if it gets in the way of my day or enjoying the day, it is junk to make my life better, not junk to make my life miserable. I protect my junk, I care for my junk, but if it annoys me, I prove to it, it is junk, and I junk it.

I have a laptop, there is nothing on it, that is not somewhere else, or backed up, and then we have some dingaling with a suit on, who goes around carrying 100,000 peoples information on a computer or somewhere.

Transportation Security Administration
Is that word Security…?

I am not angry at the person, I think he or she who lost this is normal, they just cannot be trusted, nobody can be trusted with information anymore, it is too complicated for the average suit to understand.

I have lost 11 umbrella or broke 11, I am ready to buy number 12, the one I have is broke, accidents with umbrellas is 100 percent guaranteed in life.

There is no umbrella policy, it is a shell game.

I continually have people want me to agree with their decision making abilities, I could disagree with them 99 in 100 times and be safe. The older I get, the more I know, the better I know me, and you, and the world. The more I am positive, I am just a monkey that got out of my cage. You are just abbig monkey who reads, logic, common sense, and good redundant policies are 1 in 1000, a person 1 in 1000, the rest are monkeys wearing suits.

We all think or believe we are better, I get really angry to hear someone say to me, this person doe not speak English, or they cannot write, the do not know how to read. There is no correlation between reading and brains, it is just something a lucky person learns to do, or unlucky.

One of the smartest business men I ever met, a client of mine, could not read. He would call me up and pay me 50 dollars to come to his office and read a letter, explain it, and discuss it.

He said, why don’t you treat me like others, why does it not make you think I am stupid to not read. I said, anybody that can pay me 50 dollars per hour to read a letter of no importance, and have the ability to earn this much money so easily is stupid, you are obviously brilliant.

He accepted he was not perfect, and made a few million.

Up there with saying President Bush is stupid, I say, you may not like him, think he makes bad decisions, but nobody stupid gets to be the ruler of the free world.

One of the biggest reasons why a blogger lies is because they will not admit they are not perfect. Anything that sounds too good, it too sharp, it to clear, I get nervous, what is the problem, who are they trying to fool, I know I am not perfect, people do things perfect when the want to sell me something or to believe their lies.

I am perfect, I am perfect, I am perfect!

If you believe that, you will walk around with a computer full of 100,000 people personal information. Or it the truth, you think I am not perfect, but your trust yourself, I look for this in people, the person who knows the are correct when everyone else is wrong.

There is a fine line between confidence and being a monkey, I like to be a monkey.

My one friend told me some great advice,
He said,
- Andy, I tell women, I lie, I cheat, I drink, I smoke, and I run around with other women. -

- Then when they later tell me I am not perfect, I say to them, I told you that the day I met you. -

To expect perfection in people is to say they are God, I heard another saying, there is only one thing I know, there is a God, and it is not me.

I know one thing, I am on an endless vacation, and I lay money you are at work right now.

What is good advice, Togo, Webmaster,

I Am Perfect Syndrome

Wagassi Togo Street Food

Wagassi Togo Street Food
Wagassi Wagashe Wagasee
Badou Togo West Africa
Thursday, May 3, 2007

One man wrote it down as Wagassi from the Kotokoli language, but what does he know, he only speaks the language.

Street Food of Badou, Togo West Africa

I have considered trying to think of guidelines and a tip on how to eat safely anywhere on the planet. I believe the safest way to eat food is packaged or processed foods, like crackers in a package and any food on a shelf in a container of some type, I now check the expiration dates, and I go in stores that are selling a lot of food, eggs make me nervous.

Then second is to cook the food yourself.
Third is Street Food
Fourth is a busy food stand.

I think the more expensive the restaurant maybe the more dangerous the food. Numbers, what I feel I need, I need numbers, I count the people, how many people are eating the food. Here in Togo if I go into an expensive Tourist fare restaurant, I am probably the only person in the restaurant. This make me extremely nervous, unless a busy Tourist Fare restaurant with lots of tourist.

Busy is good, slow is bad. More food tester, maybe we all die.

Now, when the food comes out from a Tourist Fare Restaurant, it looks good, and it may be good, but how do I know how long that chicken was there in the kitchen, and when they cooked it. They may have cooked the chicken five days ago, it could have been sitting in a basket, on a shelf, and now they think, we will sell it or we lose money, so let us heat it up and sell it. They are happy to sell the left-over food, because why would they lose money to be safe.

I have traveled for 10 years, I see this all the time, every day of the week, the food that was not sold yesterday, is served the next day. I took a photo of cooked chicken in Thailand at 7:00 in the morning, this is normal, not abnormal, and do would you trust a leader in Africa, and you trust the cook.

Street food, I like street food, I can see them make it, I cannot see goulash, or sauces, or complicated foods being made, but if I can see many people eating it, if the place is busy, I know, there is a good chance this food is fresh, because it will soon be gone.

This is a very happy and fun lady just as I clear the parking lot of the Cascades Plus Hotel here in Badou, Togo. She is selling as best I learn and surmise, cooked cheese.

One piece is 25 Franks and 10 would be 250 Francs or
50 Cents US. How much does cooked cheese cost in a restaurant in the USA?

I had an opportunity to eat this at a stop along the road when coming from Atakpame to Badou, however, I could not see them cooking it. Plus not much fun to watch all the locals squeezing the cheese as the reached from inside the van, then grabbing many pieces, squeeze food and put back on the plate, normal for them, touch the food, not normal of me. Why are you touching the food, have you no manners, oops, I am in Africa, this is about what maybe 147 down on the Human Development scale, they did not get that far down the list by being developed, they are under developed.

This is Wagassi, I would say there is maybe no correct way to spell and if there is, then so what. I trust the man today who offered to write the name down for me, then demanded a Cadeau for the service, I ended up giving him my pen, what a pain sometimes to talk with people, everything has a price on it.

I like this food, great to eat, the fat lady was fun, and the man who wrote the word down was ok, in a twisted, you have to love them sort of way.

He says the language is,

Never heard of this, and not sure where it came from, not sure I care, it I cared about what I seen everyday, I would need to go home and relax after one day of travel. The world is endless, there is more than I can every learn, but great for a curious sort like me, and I do get hungry.

Food, Togo Food, Street Food, Togo,

Wagassi Wagashe Wagasee
Wagassi Togo Street Food

Togo 2nd Worst Toilet Design

Togo 2nd Worst Toilet Design
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Saturday, May 5, 2007

I am nominating this toilet design as my present choice for Second Worst Toilet Design on the Planet Earth.

This toilet is located in the

Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Hotel de l’Amities
3000 CFA for Private room with Shared Bath
GPS reading taken April 25, 2007
07 degrees 31.315 North
001 degrees 08.952 East
297 Meters of altitude above sea level

This toilet does not function properly as a toilet. This toilet fails to accomplish many goals of a toilet connected to public water supply. This toilet is connected to the city water.

The goal of a toilet is to flush away or slowly wash away any human excretion or other debris. The way this toilet is designed, the water does not wash the bowl of the toilet, anything to the front of the bowl whether urine of feces remains, because the water does not wash the bowl. The second goal of a toilet connect to water is to wash or flush all excretions past a trap or water catch, then the fresh water replaces the dirty water, and create a fresh water buffer between the sewer gases and the toilet area, this is not accomplished either. The water does run, but it does not wash away, is jut runs slowly and half cleanses. The water is not fresh water or the water is not replaced.

Being that there is the idea that if your turn the handle, start the water running and it will clean the bowl and this does not happen, this entitles this toilet to be my second worst toilet design on the planet. Please do not confuse this with being the worst toilets, the worst toilet without long introspection are in Mexico, whereby some hostels even advertise they have toilet seats to attract clients.

The First place contender is in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia or maybe Ulan Batar, as you wish, the Hostel I was in there is my number one choice for worst toilet design.

Note, that fortunately the toilet was not used much in the Hotel l’Amities, and the staff would clean it regularly, under heavy use this toilet would be a problem child.

Note, man toilets are of simpler design and require a bucket flush, if this toilet removed the water supplied to the toilet by public water supply and gave a bucket of water, it would not qualify as the second worst design on the planet for toilet design. The installation of the water into the toilet and not functioning as the goal of toilet desing, sort of a false hope, and African Almost make this a contender.

Toilets and Showers, Worst - Best, Worst Toilet, Togo,

Togo 2nd Worst Toilet Design

Togo Has Good Showers

Togo Has Good Showers
Badou, Togo West Africa
Saturday, May 5, 2007

I think a shower is invigorating, especially in Togo.

This is a friend, she invited me to her home and I met the extended family and half the neighborhood.

She wanted to accompany me to the Cascade Akloa or the Waterfalls about a 500 CFA, 1-dollar USA, by Moto ride from here. She says to wait, puts a chair in the shade, I sit down and she fetches a bucket of water, puts on this wrap around ballooning dress they wear and enter the shower area, then put up the curtain.

Showers are invigorating.

This shower is located just to the side of the road, and the shower drains in the open storm drain. A good location and good water management. Sometimes these showers are located down the hill from my hotel, I am positive the Togo people or at least the women and children shower very well.

I was actually admiring the shower, I think the location, when this boy whips it out and lets it fly. He is just to the left of the shower and the shower is now downhill from him. If your camera does not power up fast, you will totally miss the photo. If the Sony 12 X had been one second faster, the waterfalls would have been here.

I sometime holler at the men, hey, do not P up hill as I see them do sometimes, at least this young man was smart, he understood water flows down hill.

I for one second, thought, I will go and see where this boy urine is flowing, then I thought,
- No, this is an invigorating shower; I do not want to disturb my imagination. -

Many people think of Africa as primitive, I sort of think of it as more natural. Strangely, the hotels in Africa are some of the best on the planet for backpacker grade. I really am living the good life.

Togo Girls, Girls, Toilets and Showers, Togo, Shower,

Togo Has Good Showers

I Travel to Agbo Kope Togo

I Travel to Agbo Kope Togo
Badou, Togo West Africa
Saturday, May 5, 2007

I think tomorrow I go off the cell phone internet grid for a couple of days. I am going to leave Badou, and go East towards Atakpame to the village of Zoubega Ouga with a Moto, I think the cost is 700 CFA or about 1.50 U.S. Dollars. When I get to Zoubega, I will turn right, or South, from there I am guessing, the moto should or will cost about 1500 CFA, but who knows until I enter the fray.

There is supposed to be Auberge or Passage de Chambre called Chez Momo there, all information is dodgy, and assuming. I will do this by Moto or Motorcycle Taxi. It will be easy to travel to Zoubega, then going South I hope to keep the driver going slow enough to enjoy the trip and travel slow in the ruts.

No price, everyone assume I have a car or bike, just says the road is ok, and paints a pretty picture, I wish life was a lovely as a picture.

I wonder what the elevation is and do they have electricity. I can see that most cities here about 250-300 Meter high, this is not cooking hot by any means, but the rain helps. It is raining a little more, but not really enough to lose the fan.

Everything is Great, I am FINE:

There - STOP- THREE men came to the door, and started SCREAMING at me, I am now in Atakpame, Togo, plans changed again, oops.

Everything is Great, I am FINE:

There - STOP- THREE men came to the door, and started SCREAMING at me, I am now in Atakpame, Togo, plans changed again, oops.

Everything is Great, I am fine and safe in a new location.

Maps, Togo Maps, West Africa Maps, Togo Itinerary, Togo,

I Travel to Agbo Kope Togo

Togo Beignet

Togo Beignet
Badou Togo West Africa

This is Togo Street food, found in Badou, Togo and other places I forget already.

Beignet d Haricot Piment Sel

One man says, or wrote this, it is a bread type of food, deep fried, and with an African type of pepper inside and salt. The pepper really is a good extra kick, I learned to like them before I knew they were made with Beans, Haricot in French is beans. If you would have said beans, I would have refused.

Literally this is

Fried Bread of Bean Pepper Salt

It is a little frustrating and sensitive to me, the Togo or West Africa diet has so many calories packed into every food. Pate, Fufu, Yams, Cassava, etc, then they put oil on the top of many things. This is an over packed country, the people are fat, there is no easy way to say if nourishment is correct, however if there is fruits around they eat better.

This is a lady in Badou, Togo, does not seem to understand French, is grumpy, and I am a regular customer. The way to buy food in Togo is often to just to give them money. Give here say 100 CFA or Franc and she gives you a bag with some amount you will learn the price after the fact.

My most cultural experiences and the best, I am have about a 1 in 50 chance of understanding what happened. I am slowly, it has taken 10 year of practice, but slowly I have learned how to understand a culture fast. This food as explained by one man, maybe the information is correct, maybe it is not, learning about food and culture is a process, not an event. I like the pepper taste of this bread like food.

I eat what is tempting to me, not what someone tell me is good. I do not like the Pate or the Fufu, therefore, I do not want to learn about it. I want to learn about what I enjoy.

The food of Togo is difficult, either I am in restaurant that is twice as expensive as the USA, and the same as France and the food is terrible or I am in the streets. There is very little middle ground, I like the street food 100 times more than feeling like a victim to an overpriced Tourist menu with bad food.

This lady prepared these perfect, strangely I had one on a moto trip to the Ghana border, and had to throw them away.

I have discovered by in Atakpame, it is rare and difficult to find the cooked cheese called Wagassi, I am sad or hungry or both.

Food, Togo Food, Street Food, West Africa Food, Togo, Togo Budget,

Togo Beignet

Movies About Travel

Movies About Travel
Atakpame, Togo West Africa

A person wrote, and sent a link with a list of movies related to Travel. I find this interesting, and would love to have a country by country breakdown. It is both good and bad, however movies are the education to the world of about countries. The bad part, movies are the imagination of a producer, writer, and is fiction. However, movies are more correct than BBC or CNN or the news.

I sometimes say to other travelers, you saw that in this movie about the USA, please try to focus, it was a movie, it was fiction.

However, on the good, movies do show us views of other countries, still normally some form or either romantic or tragic, but nonetheless normally a small part is true, not much.

The world as a whole is normally boring on a day to day basis, nothing like the movies.

Andy in Atakpame, Togo


Hello Rochelle,

I think you may be inspiring a new category for the site.

Books is semi the same idea, but for book. But you have made a list of movies, very good, Note, the reason I have never done the movies, is because I needed to make a page like yours to start people thinking. This page is excellent, I am not sure why some are up there.

It would be nice to have a small blurp or the reason why it a travel movie.


Name: Rochelle
Country: USA

Hey there. We have an extensive list of Movies that inspire or are about travel but nothing in category yet and don\-t know how to submit our list.

Happy Travels,

Movies About Travel

The Trouble with Travel

The Trouble with Travel
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Ironic coincidence, is this a proof of Gods existence?

I received this comment in an email:

It is an amazing relationship, isn't it? The fixer and the rely on those that can’t be trusted. Does it get exhausting? Is there anyone you can release yourself with, where you aren't worried,
fearful, plotting, manipulating or being manipulated, someone you are not having to bargain with just to get by? Anyone you can just BE with, where presence is a mutually shared gift?...I guess I'm now writing about you, the forever traveler, and not just someone going
on a month-long vacation.

Until journeys!


I would say in a brief paragraph she has explained the trouble with travel, not the fixer, the whole experience. (And to always sleep in a different bed.)

My relationship between me and the people I meet on the planet earth. A good person does not walk up to a stranger, a foreigner, a person they do not know. It is the people with bad manners.

Maybe the started after this post:
I have been having this email conversation with Sarah, most of the emails are posted somewhere in the Help Center.

This comment is ironic; I am in Atakpame to take a vacation from all the concepts in the quote:

I become exhausted with people, the people of the planet can be extremely trying, they can be so frustrating you start to envision or have a desire to capture them, tie them up, then turn over to God and get a bounty for finding sinners. When a new person, ME, enters a culture he or she is not protected by the culture, this means any nefarious, bad, evil person that wishes to come up and try to manipulate, maneuver, sell me something has an opportunity. Nobody is going to say, do not do this to the person.
- They often think, allow Joe with no money to make some money, he need it, and will help or encourage the person. -

On 20 percent of the planet, not where I travel, in the so-called developed world you can turn them into the police. On the rest of the planet, they are normal people.

The art of travel in so many ways to avoid the bad people. If you avoid the bad, then what is left over is great.

I become very annoyed with Guidebooks, Travel Writers, and Adventure Writers who do not give me hints. Hell, I do not want hints; I want to know specific clear ways to identify the scammers and avoid.

I want to know who to avoid, MORE than what to do, what to do is easy to learn, everyone is writing about that. I want to know how to avoid people. I know in West Africa there are two easy ways, one is drive a car, and he second is to live in Tourist Hotels, the ones that cost above 10 Mille or about 20 US per night. Then life is insulated. The car would easily insulate me from the people. Then why come here?

I have seen very few people, I think one Swiss girl, maybe two French Canadians in my travel experience in Africa using public transportation, and me. This is three people in about 6 months of my life living in West Africa. In Ghana you have many volunteers that travel or leave the project and go on brief trips, they are not crossing borders. I have met one bike rider.

Africa men are very annoying, the closer I get, the more they know me, and the more they annoy me. I would suppose the Philippines men are often the same, and this makes the women love me here and there.

I am taking a pause here in Atakpame, Togo, I am in a controlled environment, and I am in a place where it is difficult to have a casual annoying conversation. I must pay a moto taxi to take me to the annoying cultural conversations. (Also boring, but good.)

This is a vacation from what you perceive as a vacation. I actually live here today, then tomorrow maybe somewhere else. I do not get to go home and recharge, I must re-charge here. No go home bivouac.

I love West Africa, the genuine normal people after I am able to somehow avoid the large gauntlet of annoying men, sometimes women are fun. Innocent, joyful, playful and curious, they do not now foreigners. I think the reason is also because they do not want money. They think 99 percent of the time about eating, talking, enjoying life or lying around like a big dog. What a wonderful society or culture, the majority of time is leisure. The do their leisure while disguised as work.

This is really 80 percent of the world, the under-developed part, the 20 percent in the USA, Europe and Australia etc are crazy, no time, I have no time, call me later. Here in Togo they would stop and talk all day if you would talk. The always have time, they do not let work interfere with the enjoyment of life and food is plentiful as the Garden of Eden, you can see the fat on the body, they do very little exercise and eat tremendously, if they have a problem, I think it is boredom.

I am going to give an example of a list I am making, I thought I already posted, maybe I did, and I cannot find or remember clearly.

I am making a list of how to avoid the problem people in West Africa. Pretty much, it goes like this, if a person does any of these things, pretend you did not hear, and continue to walk. They will give up quickly and forget.

IF you obey and avoid these comment, what you will have left over is well mannered and good people.

Togo Starting A Conversation - How they start an annoying conversation.

Yeh bow by an Adult - It means White Man
VA - I means come in Ewe or Kabrye, etc.
Spsssst sound
Cadeau - Gift
Donnez moi - Give me
Horn - On moto
Call Andre - Somehow learned my name.
Stare at me
Rastas - Always annoying and believe I want to talk.
Speak English to you.
Follow you
Grab you
Patron - Means like owner or boss
Blanc - White
Holler until I turn around, then demand I come
Tell someone else to holler at me, that is closer.
Walk into you - This is done as macho tactics.
Shake you hand - Pretend not to speak any language they know.
Have a friend introduce you, - Do not talk -

OK, this is a great way to avoid everyone.

How do you meet people.
I listen to the voices, children, and happy voices, inquisitive voices; there is also the polite person. I had a girl following me in Kpalime, she was a pain, she was so polite, and it was close to impossible to avoid her. She did everything right, the problem was she was 17 and wanted to come in my room to get a Gift, I was successful, I talked politely until she gave up. I find that about one day is the diligence level of West Africa, three days is an exceptional person. To annoy me for three days and me consistently say no is difficult.

The other good thing now, my French is improving, I can say no easier.

I am on vacation, the trouble with travel is the people you meet, and I guess I am tolerant, or I would leave. There is this somewhat idiot idea that tolerance is good. Tolerance enables people to continue to act badly, and intolerance of bad manners is what the world needs. Not a tolerance for bad manners and un-civilized behavior. I try to make a one-path entry into my life, by good manners only, if no manners, not behaved, they do not enter. What is amazing to me, the lesser the education in West Africa, the better their manners.

Togo Annoyances, Togo, Planning Africa, Annoyances, What is good advice, Why Travel, Why Not Travel

The Trouble with Travel

Off the Grid

Off the Grid
Badou, Togo West Africa
Friday, May 4, 2007

Off the grid of the electric company, or is this not participating, what if there is no grid.

I think this is the jargon or buzzwords of the solar, hydro-electric, wind and any other ways. I am not off the grid, I am going where there is no grid, or I am slowly trying to go there.

Electrical Grid

I am coming to believe the problem is simple math.

Take the electric bill and figure out my yearly kilowatts of electricity used. Divide that by 365 days, then I have how many kilowatts I use per day.

Go to the world of solar panels and say, I want to produce and store this X amount of solar energy per day, l think the sun shine hard for about 4 hours per day. How much for the solar panels to produce, and how much for the batteries to store, and please include all the other toys needed, like inverters, wires, etc and such.

There are people that just love to do this type of math and answer these questions that work with solar toys.

I have a village in Togo, it has 50 homes, how much does it cost buy the solar panels, and batteries to put two 25 Watt Light bulbs in the home and run all night. The technology exist, this is not difficult science.

I was just in this village of Akloa, there is a Cascade or waterfalls, theu are off the grid or as they say on the,
- Group -

This means they have a group generator, that supplies the one village from 6 at night to morning, this is not reliable information, but I do think they turn on the electricity at night.

I think, hmm, there is no need for electricity here, or they would turn on during the hours when a person work or not work. Sewing machine are those seesaw pedal things, not always electric.

Electricity is a convenience, not a need, unless you need it for work, I suppose I need it for work, to run my computer. I am trying to think of one job here where they use electricity and need it, nothing that I can easily think of, maybe this is a luxury, not a need in life.

I would need electricity to read, still a luxury, and I would want my children to read. I do not see reading materials, they do not read much, not like India, a newspaper everywhere for the cows to eat and the people to read.

Bottom line in the USA, if I could invest 2 years of electricity payments and go off the grid, I would say,
- Do it. -

Math, I think a solar energy person should be able to calculate and it they cannot, seems like the wrong person.

All this work, solar, water, wind, etc is not really the essential problem, the problem is to get the governments of these countries hand out of the pockets of the citizens. Any good idea and the country will put there hands in and want money.

I really appreciate the USA, a government official cannot just walk up and ask me for money, 80 percent of the planet they can and they do.

Off the Grid, Electricity, Water Power Electriicty, Solar, 12 Volt, Togo,

Off the Grid

Mesonges du Tchoukoutou

Mesonges du Tchoukoutou
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Sunday it the day for Tchoukoutou in Atakpame, Togo

Tchoukoutou is some type of corn mash beer, and Sunday is the day to partake.

This girl went to visit her parents and drank some Tchoukoutou, then proceeds to tell me she only drain half a bowl. I said, Tchoukoutou Mesonges, however she corrected my French and said, Mesonges du Tchoukoutou

More or less the lies of the home brew. She says she speaks Kabiye.

Sobabi is the high powered brew or distilled drink they make, I have started noticing signs on building saying Sobabi. More or less come buy moonshine here.

Beer, Drinks, Food, Street Food, Togo Food, Togo

Mesonges du Tchoukoutou

One Word of Common Sense

One Word of Common Sense
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Will Rogers
Mark Twain
Benjamin Franklin - A penny saved, is a penny earned.
John F. Kennedy
Winston Churchill
Jesus Christ

I am search for a concept, I want the way to explain, I want to know how to simply explain a type of reasoning used to solve a problem. This is a short list of people who could say something simple, and explain the big picture. They understood the art of common sense. The understood this type of reasoning, for which I have no good name.

Somehow, common sense is evasive, I search for it daily.

People plan for years to travel to a place for one month, in reality; they only need a passport and some money, buy the plane ticket and leave. Everything they need to live in the next country is already waiting for them when they arrive, just go and buy it and funny, 10 to 20 times cheaper than the USA and fun to do.

It is like taking Malaria treatment to West Africa… Duh, come on, they sell it here, and a lot easier to buy.

Pivotal Ideas - Is this a good name?

The idea for which all ideas pivots around, the essential idea, the benchmark reason, there is a way to explain this, and I will find the words.

I search for solutions to answers.

I learned today a funny lesson, a friend uses the insect spray in her home, and it cost 800 CFA for a can. She does not have a mosquito net because it cost 2000 CFA, and she has insect killer for 800 CFA.

The competition of the mosquito net is the insecticide, now the company that sells the insecticide is smart. They price it at 800 CFA per can; the price of the Mosquito net is 2000 CFA.

2000 CFA is about one weeks pay here.

The idea of business is to sell Mosquito nets and have everyone use one, the price must be about 500 CFA or one dollars US to be a viable option for the Togo people.

Or if the NGO-ONG would think, using insecticide as a repellant, and that is what they do, this has got to be toxic, bad for me, I use insecticide then leave, come back and turn on the fan, open the doors. They use it, then go to sleep, they do not try to kill all of them, the repel them. I think they need a sign, insecticides are toxic!

All the noise above is has one pivotal need to remember, the cost of a mosquito net has to be 500 CFA to be workable or sustainable.

I think there is a need for the world to grasp business first, and then try to save the world. Sustainable means it works as a business investment, not as a donation.

I wrote all this crap about Mosquito nets and hope, please stop thinking about Mosquitoes and focus, I want to know what type or reasoning this is? I do not want to know about Mosquito nets. IF a person puts a comment on this about Mosquito nets, I will delete….

Research, Logic, Problem Solving, Togo,

One Word of Common Sense

Electricity I want for Travel

Electricity I want for Travel
Atakpame, Togo West Africa

If I put a solar panel outside my room, someone will steal it.

I am not going to wear solar clothes, I already stink enough without wearing the same clothes every day.

I need a continual source of electricity.

I do not have a river running through every hotel room to tap into.

The ONLY thing I know I do every day is walk, if I could harness the pressure of my every step and convert to electricity, then I stored on batteries, I could continually charge batteries to use for my camera, cell phone and computer. I really do not like the fact that my computer does not use AA batteries, what a headache. I live eat and drink on AA rechargable batteries.

If it is not run by an AA battery, I just say no to the gear.

Gear, West Africa Gear, Electricity, Togo,

Electricity I want for Travel

Planning for Population Density

Planning for Population Density
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I am going to give Nigeria a pass for now, I am not going to Nigeria on this trip, I did not come to Africa to live in a city. It may be the India of Africa.

Wide open space, wild savannas, and desert, Lions, Tigers, Elephants and Hippos. I dream of something Africa. I would click on this link and think, I want to go to where, and how many people?

These are sort of rough numbers per square kilometer, not by mile. My opinion on problems and violence is that the more dense the population the more travel problems.

USA 32
India 365
Germany 230
Philippines 310
Thailand 125
Peru 22

Ghana 92
Togo 105
Benin 67
Nigeria 145
Cameroon 35

There are some tribal problems that make a tribal situation sometime more dangerous than a city. Think about mountains, islands and deserts and how they influence the density. Peru as many mountains. Philippines has many islands, the cities are probably more dense.

Planning for Population Density

Cascade dAkloa Badou Togo

Cascade dAkloa Badou Togo
Waterfalls of Akloa Badou Togo
Badou Togo, Akloa Togo West Africa
May 2007

Togo Photos

Waterfalls of Akloa, Togo near the city of Badou Togo.

I took these photos of the waterfalls, an easy 400 to 500 CFA Motorcycle tax ride from Badou to the falls. I am told I was to pay 500 CFA entrance fee for the falls, however without a hitch, the man told me 1500 CFA, who knows what is correct. I then had to pay 2000 CFA for the man to walk us to the falls.

This is a local girl from Togo, I am learning, meet the family, make sure who they are and where they live. It is amazingly easy to get girls to go with you anywhere, I like this photo.

NOTE: She wore them flip-flops on the walk.

I was on a grab-a-girl and go tour, I despise seeing sunsets alone, or great waterfalls, or any type of beautiful nature alone, therefore I anti up and paid extra and asked a girl along, this helps to make a girl look rich, and I had some company to walk to the falls with and I was happy. I took a date of sorts, she was nice.

My experience has taught me, if you want to pay more than normal, find some local girl to use as a guide. She will then show you off to all her friends that you are rich, and all the prices will be double, while under the assumption for you that a local would get you a better deal… Wrong.

I had a great time, and the jungle on the well marked, path complete with hand rails and bridges was great. They even cut steps into the hills for people, it was not easy, but I would recommend this trip for sure, because hard to find any jungle left in Africa, and maybe this is the last.

The pool at the bottom of the waterfalls, a great place to lay around.
Cascade dAkloa BadouTogo or Waterfalls of Akloa Badou Togo

All the locals said there were some Spanish people, at the falls, I was thinking great, however they were Belgium, because Belgium people speak good English.

Cascade dAkloa BadouTogo or Waterfalls of Akloa Badou Togo

This is a real tourist attraction, one of the few times I have seen Togo try to accommodate the tourist. The path is easy, well marked, and has bridges, hand rails and steps.

There is some good jungle on this path, although not rainforest think it is thicker and better than most. We met along the path some loggers doing what Africa does, cut down all the trees.

Cascade dAkloa BadouTogo or Waterfalls of Akloa Badou Togo

The Togo Jungle in West Africa, I am sad to see the scrub lands of West Africa, this is nice, closer to natural. A person has to go to a park, or on top of a mountain to find jungle here, if a person wishes to have a good feel, go to the water falls of Akloa, near Badou, Togo West Africa.

Waterfalls, Togo Tourist Attraction, Togo, Jungle,

Cascade dAkloa Badou Togo

Savior Syndrome of Africa

Savior Syndrome of Africa
Badou, Africa West Africa
Friday, May 4, 2007

You did not come to save me.
No, I am just a tourist, I am just a friend, and we are equals.

LONG Awaited Messiah Syndrome

Palm Sunday (2)
- On Palm Sunday, Jesus and his disciples entered the city of Jerusalem, where people were gathering for the Jewish festival of Passover. As word of Jesus’ arrival spread through the city, it aroused great excitement because many believed he might be the long-awaited messiah. People welcomed him by spreading palm branches as a carpet before him. Palm Sunday commemorates the event. -

My African epiphany is, the people of Africa think I came here to save them. The epiphany for Africans is when they realize I did not come to save them.

Epiphany Defined:
sudden realization: a sudden intuitive leap of understanding, especially through an ordinary but striking occurrence
It came to him in an epiphany what his life's work was to be.

2. appearance of god: the supposed manifestation of a divine being

act of saving from harm: the saving of somebody or something from harm, destruction, difficulty, or failure
The business was clearly beyond salvation.

2. means of saving somebody or something: somebody or something that protects or delivers another from harm, destruction, difficulty, or failure
Those long walks were my salvation.

3. christianity deliverance from sin through Jesus Christ: in the Christian religion, deliverance from sin or the consequences of sin through Jesus Christ's death on the cross


Rescuer Defined:
rescuer: somebody who rescues somebody or something from harm or danger
Salvation from (2) Encarta Encyclopedia
- Salvation, the idea of being saved, as described in various religions. In Christianity, individuals are thought of as being saved from eternal punishment through Christ's death on the cross. In Buddhism, especially in Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, people can be saved from the endless cycle of reincarnation through bodhisattvas or through Amida Buddha. In Hinduism, especially in the bhakti tradition, devotion to a god can bring salvation from reincarnation and is open to those who have realized their true nature as brahman (spirit). -

I do not need saved and think the idea of saving a person seems, well, I am not sure of the word, it sounds sort of racist, like I have the power or superiority they do not. I have been lucky and have a more worldly education, but brains are brains for the most part.

I sort fell though the racism is a reverse here, they do think or believe a White Man can save them, and I am sure, some White Men, mainly women, think they can be the Messiah and bring Africa out of, this is too stupid. I keep realizing.
I think Africa may be the Garden of Eden…

I do a walk like a duck reasoning a lot, you know, if it walks like a duck, quack likes a duck, talks like a duck, it is a duck.

In the Garden of Eden, God would allow me to:

Not work
Pick Fruits and eat
Free from want
Talk with the Serpent
Wonder around naked from shame
I guess he allowed the first sin, so sin is included.

So the women, she tempted me, I ate, and he through us out, I am still very close.

Togo people and Benin for sure, to use the Duck reasoning.
- Do not work very much.
- Pick Fruits and do not weed them, food is abundant.
- Free from want - I only hear they want a cell phone and free money in the form of a gift.
- Wonder around naked free from shame, clothes are a fashion here, more than a need,
- Sin, not a lot here, but coveting is a problem, or something to do with love and the S word.

This place walk like the Duck of Eden and to me is Eden.

The proof here of Eden in Togo is the number of ugly street people, there is very few ugly street people, the number of out-cast is small, and this is not a society that takes care of the weak, the opposite. If this were bad, these people would be running around like in Lima, Peru or Belize City in swarms, not so, hard to find. Every easy to find a person that will jump up and take free money given to them for no work, but do the same in the USA, offer to give free money, and the same is true.

I think the whole world is waiting for happiness to arrive, continual happy moments.
Freedom from Want, now when I hear this noise, I know there is some child talking to me about fantasy and never never land. Want is the problem, want begets wants, and give a little, the want more. Look at the USA never stops, wants to consume, never ending consuming.

Africa is free from many wants, we are teaching them though, soon they will know, and want what we have, natural.

I would love to change the world if I could, if I only knew how. I think the world is made perfect, and imperfection is part of the world. It is fun in Africa to just enjoy the free time of life, I seem to have 10 times more time to enjoy my life, as I spend 10 times less in the consuming and buying, need, wants, hopes.

I never knew I was poor until someone told me.

Someone told them they needed saved, and someone was coming, what a dysfunctional reasoning process. Talk to any 12 step program and the first thing they say, we do not save you, you save yourself.

This is what happens when you allow a committee like the United Nations design a Duck, the take Eden and try to change it to Hell. I am here, and keep looking around, maybe I am in a bad place, I keep waiting for the hammer to drop, to have it unload, for the place to hurt me. I just have to stop looking, I am in the Garden of Eden, and that girl Eve is everywhere, and she has sisters.

Savior Syndrome of Africa

Buying Back Your Life

Buying Back Your Life
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Thursday, May 10, 2007

I have three friend who are now searching for jobs.

One needs the money.
One doe not need the money.
One lies and says he does not need, but he needs it.

I continue to bargain with my life, the stake are high, if I lose I continue to live and life goes one.

I live on a residual income receive from Advertisements on my internet pages. This has been the same level for two years, does not make me feel good, I want it to grow, not recede, but progress.

I bargain with life, I will continue to be lazy, sit in countries full of exotic this and that and play at work and hope I survive, and if my income ends, then I need to get a job. I calculate how much money, how much do I need to retire, and think of a number, when I have that number I then can stop worrying, however I will continue to play at work, because I am not working, I am playing.

I do not want my face to be famous, or I would put photos on the page of the big I, me.

I just want to sit and think, dwell on my navel, and contemplate the stars, and think about fun projects like Solar Energy, Hydro and why people get so fat. What do people think about in factories and should a person urinate in the shower.

I do wonder too much what people do who go into the bush to do the number two and I know they have no toilet paper. I do think India people lie about the washing of their hands, I cannot find the soap.

Is God playing tricks, and is Religion the reason for all war, should some people die, it this normal for evolution of man.

I need time to think, I need the peace of mind to relax long enough to listen to person tell me about who they are, I am in negotiations to have guarantee I have extra time, a surplus of time. I am jealous of the African and underdeveloped people, they do not feel guilty doing nothing, I do.

Maybe I am supposed to do something with my life.

I think this is the question, are you supposed to do something with your life, and when I die, will I think, that was cool, but sort of a waste of my life.

The existential desire to make or define a life as having value, a life less normal, this is what I hold onto in the dark, I am sometimes weak and think, there is something wrong.

I am trying to convince a few of my friends to buy a moment from their jailors call the culture, tradition and society and have an introspective epiphany, get out of the box, stop thinking out of the box, and get out, hell break the box.

Some of you do not have to work, if you just stopped. To get a job and pay a person to be your boss with the sweat of your brow, I know some of my friends, they would be happy working at nothing all day.

I want a person to live the way they wish, however, I am positive some of my friend never needs to report to work again, they have won, the battle has been fought, and they can retire. There is no rule you have to wait until you are 65 to retire, 30 sounds good to me, any age is good when the battle is won.

I try to think of a wise word to tell a few friends, come out and play, you have won, count your chips, pile up the money, buy your freedom, you can pay to be let lose, you have your get out of jail Free card. (Game of Monopoly.)

Jobs on Trip, Togo, Henry David Thoreau, Traveler Culture,

Buying Back Your Life

I Want an Internet Addiction

I Want an Internet Addiction
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Friday, May 11, 2007

Do you think of yourself as an expert on staying connected anywhere in the world? Are you connected when walking around with a cell phone or Blackberry, maybe other methods? Do you continually search for faster and better ways to stay connected anywhere? Does the first thought that goes through your mind before going on vacation happen to be?
- How will I connect my computer to the internet? -

Have you worked 10 hours trying to connect your computer to the internet? Do you have a super good chair in front of the computer, a chair made for comfort, then all sort of small toys, special lights, telephone place strategically. Is the first thing you do when you wake is check your emails. Are you addicted to a 24/7 high speed ripping fast internet connection?

The Monkey is on your back you are addicted to the internet.

I can feel the patterns of addictions, I was addicted to Alcohol, I am a recovering Alcoholic, and as we say,
- An addiction is an addiction, all the same. -
- It takes and addict to know an addict. -

Strange as it sounds, I am not addicted to the internet. I think I would have severe problems traveling if I was addicted. It is possible I am addicted and the process of breaking the addiction is easy. I would maybe think I am addicted to the computer, however not the internet.

I can see the pattern though, I am having troubles, I can spot an addicted person from 50 feet away, and I think I smell and feel them, you can fool a normal person, but you cannot fool an addict.

Therefore, upon the acceptance you are an addict, how does one continue to get a fix, how to stick the needle in my arm, and connect the juice to my computer and say, ahh, that feels good. I have a connection.

The rush is when hear yourself say,
- I am connected. -

Give up, I am not sure you can travel yet, you need to stay home, but maybe soon, very soon, I am have heard some stories of 24/7 internet connections on the planet. I am not talking some stupid WIFI in a bar; I am talking some high-speed connections on top of mountains.

A friend said he was in Australia and had something maybe called EDVO.

A friend wrote me from some hotel in the USA with a Sprint card that works anywhere, and I think he pays 60 US per month.

The worst connections I presently have on the planet is when I return to the USA. My parents Verizon dial up account, and high speed is not offered in my small town, I continually check, my home connection is terrible. I cannot send emails with my Foxmail email client because it blocks my access to Yahoo Mail, then I share the telephone line.

Here in Togo, the connection block FTP, I cannot use Cute or WS-ftp to publish photos. I can attach a photo in blogger and upload in this manner, but horrendously slow….

Slow, this is the addiction problem, when an alcoholic needs a drink, the best remedy is a shot of whisky, get that warm rush faster. An addict to the internet needs a fast click, a fast load, a fast, a need for speed, better not travel… hehehe or stay only in 5 Star Hotels.

I have been thinking about my addiction, I want to be addicted to the internet, I want to have that 24/7 fix. I on the other hand do not want to sit in front of the computer; I want to know it is there when I want. I want to protect it, I do not want to use it, and I want to nurture and know, there is a connection. When I return to my room, I dial the GPRS here in Togo and check, the say to myself, yes, I have a connection, and then of course, I download my emails. I have symptoms of addiction.

I would suspect the addiction to the cell phone or making phone calls is 10 times worse than internet. This person returns home from vacation with a 500-1000 dollar cell phone bill… hehehe

I am the sum total of all my dysfuntional behaviors.

Togo Internet, Internet, GPRS, Addictions, Togo,

I Want an Internet Addiction

Door Installed on Mosquito Net

Door Installed on Mosquito Net
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Friday, May 11, 2007

Today I went to sewing shop and supervised the girls while they used their machines to sew a door onto my mosquito net. I have lost most of my desire to work with foreign cultures on projects However; I wanted this so I did so… First, I cut all the pieces, and then cut the hole in the side of my mosquito net. I should have pinned it all together or maybe lightly sew together so all they needed to do was use the pedal powered machines to sow up and no thinking.

I have the basic entrance now sown into my net, now I need to somehow set the net up and test. The room I am in where I presently live is lacking one nail need for a fourth corner test, I am having problems doing a good test or taking photos. The room has no need for a mosquito net, because it has screens on the windows, however this it not important, the rooms that need mosquito nets do not have nails either. Chris is sending me some small concrete drill bits and I am going to make a tool to drill holes into the wall by hand, I hope.

This is a funny, I needed net material for a mosquito net, so I purchased a new one for 2000 CFA, and then I had to pay 2000 CFA to have the door sown on.

I can buy a new one for 2000 CFA.
I make a small alteration and it costs 2000 CFA.

The cost was 1500 more than what was fair or just, but that is ok, I am tired of boxing with them. This is a unique item, the cost is not so important, it the items of big expense like the cost of a room which really eats money. My room is 3500 CFA per night.

I am going to go and purchase a needle and thread and super sow up the mosquito net now, I am sure the stitching quality is bad, and will not hold. My patience in supervising the girls was at end of the rope, I was ready to leave, and was tired of slow work and bad quality. I think maybe I can find some shoe repair string that will really wrap this up, and I can also sow shut a couple of small holes.

I think the holes were caused because I needed to enter the net under my pull string and I pulled the net while still tucked under the mattress. These mosquito nets are very delicate and great care must be taken so I do no rip them.

I am happy and will see how this design works; the next effort in this design will be to make the rectangular square top smaller, while keeping the rectangular bottom the same. I am trying to decrease the amount of mosquito net I need to carry. Then there is the four-corner rope problem, it is easier to increase the length of string than to find a wide room for the top.

The present design semi requires I use clothespins to close the door after I enter, but I will see, there is a long bundle entrance.

Mosquito, Mosquito Nets, Gear, West Africa Gear, Togo,

Door Installed on Mosquito Net

How Fast Is The Internet

How Fast Is The Internet
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Friday, May 11, 2007

Travel -- For Travelers

People write me continually and ask, how fast is the internet, they want to know what the transfer speed is, or I guess the MBPS, I think this is Megabytes per second. I do not like Acronyms sort of like talking in codes, nobody understands.

THE BIG … Not a lie - The big, BAD information.

Eureka, I have found it, the pivotal or essential questions all these children should be asking, and not this MBPS question. I keep telling them MBPS is not important and they never stop asking, they remind me of children.

This graphic below means almost nothing, it is only a guide, I continually ignore!

Look a graphic below, and and when you are tempted to ask someone in another country how fast is your internet stop and think.

11.0 MBPS is CRAP, not true, the big lie, there is an amazing the number of ways this show a big number and is not what you think or is not true.

The correct question to you need to ask for speed is this?

Can you talk on

I really hate to give a plug for the VOIP, or Voice over IP, or I think internet protocol. with talk works also, and so does Yahoo Messenger voice over IP, although the only one I have used to make a call home with in the world recently is

The speed rating above in an internet café or on GPRS is of no value, if you really travel and are required to use any and all forms of internet access, then you will learn this.

What is important to know is what you CAN do. What benefits of the internet are possible. I normally go to an internet café or cyber café her in Africa the moment they open in the morning, this is the fastest speed possible, after that it continues to get slower until about 7-8 PM at night you have the slowest speeds possible.

The little 11.0 Mbps will say this all day, and continue to say this, and you will have such a slow connection you will feel like you are paying to sit in a chair. It is not really important to know all the reasons why, maybe you understand and maybe you do not, but the bottom line is the speed above is of little value. They internet café will have 50 people sharing one connection, I do not know, but at night, everyone used their cell phone and my internet speed drops to nothing.

I suppose there is a speed rating for an INTERNET CONNECTION, this changes for every connection, every computer, every way of connecting on the planet. How fast is your connection?

Ask a person in another country this, the worst answer possible is…

--- I have never heard of or talking over an internet connection. ---

1. No, too slow to connect to, there is no way to connect, it will not connect.

2. randomly or often connects and chat is available.

3. telephone talking works, but only between midnight and seven in the morning.

4. works all the time except between 7 and 11 at night.

5. works 24 hours per day.

Using my GPRS internet connection, will not connect here in Togo randomly, while Yahoo Messenger will always connect, is random and only for chat.

How Fast Is The Internet

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

3000 Blog Post Made by Andy

3000 Blog Post Made by Andy
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
May 12, 2007 Saturday

Today, I posted my number 3000 Blog post on the Andy Travel Journal.

49 per cent of my the daily visitors to the site come from the USA. To me this is nice, it somewhat says, I may really be a citizen of the world, a Hobo without Borders.

Or homeless...

Andy in Togo Africa

Life in Africa is Good

Life in Africa is Good
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
May 12, 2007

I have this self policy of trying to avoid people I do not respect, it is better for them and better for me, I have found my life amusing lately in Africa, as I do respect the women of Togo.

Life in Africa is Good

The New Free Press

The New Free Press
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Sunday, May 13, 2007

I have been telling trying to tell people in corrupt countries for years about the power of a camera or the press, and finally it has arrived.

They do it for fun, and they can change the world.

Not exactly the way I thought it would evolve, but great. I welcome the new press with open arms. I know I cannot trust the present News Medias, they have lost the plot, and they are no longer trustworthy. There is a power in a camera that exposes the truth and is hard to fake, I am sure the people of will soon learn how to fake videos, however these social networks are very harsh and the members can be wildly violent. The one member who fakes a video, can not win against the many. While the big news sources of the World like BBC and CNN are dangerous, they are the Fourth Estate and out of control, they are the many, they are making the news up, and not reporting the true news, more their fantasies to earn money or to be famous.

This is great, the end of hiding your dirty laundry, all if exposed into the light of day.,,2078503,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=11

News of World,, BBC, CNN, Corruption, Togo,

The New Free Press

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

Primitive and Uncivilized

Primitive and Uncivilized
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Monday, May 14, 2007

The world pays for a tour to natural, untouched by modern man areas of the planet. Then are angry when the are not modern and civilized.

Then, when another person travels to a place that is uncivilized and primitive, the persons who goes is required to ignore what they see, and report back that the people behave civilized, polite, and held the same value of human life as a modern culture. This is a pandemic mental illness of dysfunctional behavior in the modern world.

This dysfunctional desire of University researchers and the News Media of the world has created a body of non-intellectual and ignorant, close-minded social stigmas for any person who tell the truth. There only prejudices are held in high esteem by their colleges, and wow, this is dysfunctional. What you see is what you see.

I keep thinking about a quote in an article in the Encarta Encyclopedia explaining the topic of culture.

QUOTES from Encarta Encyclopedia topic of Culture, this is all online, I believe. The whole article is here.

The specific link or quote is here:

This quote under this section of the page;
B 1 Kinship and Family

-All people in bands generally respect each other as equals, though children must show increased respect for their elders. The eldest group members often earn special recognition for their knowledge. Men and women in bands also commonly regard each other as equals. -

- Bands consist of nomadic (not settled) groups of fewer than a hundred, mostly related people.-
This statement,
- All people in bands generally respect each other as equals.-

This statement is some type of some extremely moderns societies failure to accept and believe they are more advance. Somehow the world has derived this universal idea that that is pandemic dysfunctional in thinking.

The modern consume world is safer the less develop places on the planet, are safer, while less develop are the most dangerous, un-equal, racist, violent societies on the planet, and I would believe the society of band would be the worst representative of an equal society on the planet, an maybe Norway as HDI says is number one.

Bands of people are built around extreme capitalist cultural behavior standards, or a quid pro quo, you either give me something, and I give you something back or I will hurt you. The concept of giving or receiving without some return on the investment is violently enforced, not benevolently. Then if one member of the group is extremely large or physically, bodily, strong and powerful they can demand un-fare tribute or to receive and not give back.

If Bands were civilized, and the levels above, nobody would be Afraid of Africa, Amazon, Borneo or all the on the end of the planet locations. Contrary to any dysfunctional pandemic in nature mental and social agreements, the less developed people are not more respectful on about any level of behavior.

The strong rule, not by brains, although for sure brains can slowly beat brawn, but ask the opinion of a nerd…

There is nothing wrong with being uncivilized and primitive, it is ok, I come from Indiana, I am a Hoosier, many people from the East Coast think all person in Indiana are less cultured or less sophisticated, every person lives within their own sphere, it is only possible to learn what the sphere offers. To expect a person to know outside the sphere or to think a primitive person from Indiana is stupid is ignoracne, the nuture did not give the opportunity, the brain is the same.

The person who thinks I am stupid because my Grammar is bad, has the same type of dysfuntional problems. Brains has nothing to do with Grammar, one is nurture, the other is nature. ideas on cultures:

UnCivilized, Primitive, Modern, Civilized, Togo, Culture,

Primitive and Uncivilized

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

Voiture de Afrique

Voiture de Afrique
African Car or Transportation

Africa transportation is difficult, however this is not the true problem, the problem is how to ask in French for what you want. If I say Voiture, this means about anything with four or more wheels.
I found out, the better way, may be to ask for the number or seats.

5 place
Small Car

9 place
Station Wagon

15 place
Van and miserable trip

30 et plus
A larger bus or a normal bus, hard to find in Togo,

I am going to leave Atakpame, Togo soon, I need to maybe take a Motorcycle Taxi to the Fwee (I do not know French for this.) or the Police Checkpoint as you leave any city, and this one leading to Notse or Lome and then turn back towards the city, and go to the first gang of cars waiting to leave the city.

Then find or ask for a 5 place car that is almost full, I never enter a car until it is full, or they believe they have a reservation on you..

A friend said to me, you need to go in the morning, I say, what time si the morning to you. She says,
5 to 5:30 and by 6:00 am it is getting late.

The Western world is doomed to take bad trips, this is three to five hours before the normal backpacker leaves a city.

I am not sure what time this is, but I am sure if I knew the sunrise time here, and I left about 10 minutes before sunrise, I would do well to get the early bird rides. My new strategy is to take the cars between major distance or over about 35 kilometers, then under 35 kilometers I will use a Moto or Motorcycle taxi. I am not going to the Gares and I have written off the using of vans or paying in advance.

I will go to the edge of the city, very early, like I was hitchhiking to the next city.

Tranportation, Togo Transportation, West Africa Transportation, Togo,

Voiture de Afrique

Togo Closer to Perfect

Togo Closer to Perfect
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I sometimes feel like a Preacher, I debate whether I capitalize the word Preacher or is preacher correct.

I have two Togo friends, Michel a man from Ghana and a girl in Atakpame, Togo. I feel semi-weak, maybe sad; they both have expressed the same sentiments to me. They say,
- Andre, I do not want you to leave, I trust you. -
Then continue and say,
- I like this. -

I have this lead us not into temptation speech I use and it hits a homer here in Togo as at the base, most people feel a deep need for religion. This mean in their ideal world, or if they had a perfect world they would be closer to God. They want one person to be honest with them.

I am no saint and have no desire for the job; however, I truly do work hard to avoid feeling guilty. I feel that guilt is hell, and if there is a hell, it the facing a person after you have sinned at them. Done something unfair, unjust or hurt them in a willful manner. I had this conversation about lies, and said, hmm… Please do not lie, it make me lose confidence in you.

I will work harder to avoid guilt than I will to be good.

On most of the planet a small white lie or real good lie is given in every sentence, and very annoying. I told my friend, please do not do give me petty and silly lies, please think a little, and when you are tempted to feed me some bullshit lie, just do nothing. Do not accept the temptation to lie, say no, and it is easy, just do nothing.

There is this cultural need here to feel everyone deserves an answer. The problem is the answers are about 90 percent not worth listening too. If I ask a person here a question, and I do not see an instant look in their eyes of understanding, I move on down the line, otherwise I will be there ten minutes later listening to totally ridiculous comments, then soon there will be three, then five people, next thing I know, I am in a soap opera and I am the lead actor.

I rely totally on my bullshit meter, a surgically inserted meter, in my heart and soul that says to me,
- True -
- Not True -
- 80 - whatever true? - Maybe

I am amiss why people do not trust their feelings, they seem more reliable than brains. A brain is full of convoluted waves of abstract ideas, and it takes a long time to find the calm waters. With my feelings, I can just sense, this feels good or bad, if I am not sure, and then the answer is, it is bad. Yes, I do lose or miss some opportunities in life by these instant decisions, however the good people continue and the bad people avoid me as a bad person really is looking for bad, and good are looking for good. It is a natural preclusion of culture, we find people that are like us, and we do become the same as the friends we keep.

Closer to perfection, the amusing aspect here is a very bad and sinister type person from the USA, could be of higher moral turpitude than a normal base level person of Togo. There seems to be a belief in the USA that perfection is possible and a good goal.

Europe has this we will fail attitude, they believe all marriages fail, and people in the Middle East need dictators to keep them in line. There is no trust in good, that a good idea can take hold. The cultures of the planet are somewhere on a continuum between evil and good.

I truly believe some cultures are more evil than others are, or more good than others are. Togo is a good culture, very little true problems, they just are overwhelmed with the small lies and the big type of sins they rather avoid, however there is not many needs here, they have few wants or desires, they have what they need.

The best way though to lose friends on the planet is to encourage them to behave and stop being bad. The best way to get a friend that will never leave you, is to be closer to perfect, amazing how one small white lie can destroy trust.

I guess there is a bargain, if I tell you the truth, will you continue to like me. I personally make this bargain, you need to like the brutal truth, or you cannot be my friend. I do not have a shortage of friends, even my enemies trust me too much now, and it has not always been this way.

Nothing worst than having an honest person talking about you, everyone will believe them.

I remember a women saying to me, a long time ago, to a group of people getting on the elevator. One, said, I never ask Andy’s opinion, why would I do that, he would tell me the truth, I want to hear what I want to hear, not the truth.

Not lying is so easy, just do not talk.

Note for travel safety, if you are in a place where it is dangerous, the social group, the neighborhood, the band, the community will protect you if they believe you are good person. If you are bad, they will allow what happens to happen, they have to believe you lend good to the culture, not bad, and strange at it may seem, bad people respect good people more than they respect themselves.

What is good advice, Togo, Honesty, Truth, Lies

Togo Closer to Perfect

Africa Iron Age

Africa Iron Age
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I am interested in how cultures develop or do not develop, I want to know who I am or was.

QUOTE form Encyclopedia Encarta:

- Iron Age, period in the development of any culture, when iron was commonly used for making tools and weapons. As one of the three ages (See also Bronze Age; Stone Age) into which archaeologists divide human prehistory, it generally follows the Bronze Age. Chronologically, the term is only of local value because iron took the place of bronze at different times in different cultures. -

- Making tools -

This is a common site in Togo, easy to find, they are making tools by the forging of steel, I think technically steel and iron are different, but they are making tools.

Does this mean there is part of the culture that is somehow still in the Iron Age?

I receive an email from a person saying is New York or Paris, London primitive under the consumer items. This is interesting how the world denies we are an animal first, and then something civilized second.

I would guesstimate the animal part of humans controls about 90 percent the day of the average person in New York, Paris or London, and the separations between Togo and these cities is not as vast as you believe.

Animals get hungry, and then they eat, try to stop this desire.

I would say reactions are animal, pro-active and planning are not, try to get a reaction from the worker next to you, I bet it is easy.

Africa Iron Age

African AIDS and Corruption

African AIDS and Corruption
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I ask a girl two weeks ago,
- How many people die from AIDS. -
- Many. -

I say tell me the name of one person.
Two week later and she still cannot tell me one name.

I said,
- How many people are killed by the government? -
- Many -
I say,
- Tell me the name of one specific person. -
She thinks and then about one half hour later says,
- I know, but why do you want to know? -

I said,
- You know one name. -
She says,
- Two. -

I say,
- Ok, I understand, do not tell me. -

African AIDS and Corruption

Should Hobo Experts Answer Questions

Should Hobo Experts Answer Questions
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 16, 2007 site has developed a way for experts to answer questions easily, just by responding to emails. Each email answer is posted or filed in a way readers can find, therefore another reader does not need to sift through piles of comments to find their answers. There is a logical filing system or the hope of one.

A Forum can be great; however, for a person like me who is using the Internet and is paying in an internet café a forum is not good. I need to know today, not tomorrow, or at least soon, and the hope of help.

An example,
- How do I get a Visa to Cameroon? -

A good place to find the personal answer is the Lonely Planet Thorntree Forum.

I can find the answer to this question, how to get a Visa to Cameroon in this forum, and if I pushed, I would know the answer to this question after say about two weeks, for the Congo, maybe never. If for France, Peru, or common country, where I do not need an answer, today. A form is random and impossible to find answer, and amazingly they delete old and very good answers because of age of the post, more of a social network than a way to find good answers.

I have questions, which only an expert can see or understand all the implications and give a broad open answer with options.

Here is an example, I have asked many travelers, how to do I fly from Europe to West Africa, this is an expensive path to travel.

I asked a Peace Corps person how to fly from Europe to Togo and she said,
- Air France. -

She said something like, I flew with American Airlines to Paris and then with Air France to Lome, Togo.

I think… to myself, Oops, I asked the wrong person, then she goes on to explain how easy it was to buy the ticket, all the travel agents sell them and how many flights per day or something. Then she tells me Air Franc is the Airlines the Peace Corps uses to fly to Africa.

I think to myself,
-- There goes my tax dollars! ---
I say nothing; I wanted to end the conversation.

A better answer would have been Air Moroc, and one-third the cost or something.

If she would have said,
Afriqiyah Airways

I would start to think, she knows a lot, if she gave me some real weird option like take a charter flight to Agadez, Niger, then go by Togo Embassy bus from Niamey to Lome, I would say, voila, an expert on Flights in Africa.

When I ask what the best way to fly is, I mean and imply, what is the cheapest, not what is easy and expensive. I am always amazed a person will recommend a flight that cost more than 1000 US or one that cost 3000. I semi-think anyone who pays more than about 1500 Dollars round-trip for a ticket anywhere on the planet is somebody I have a bridge to sell too.

I can find some experts with no agendas, who love to help, and they can earn money with the ads that surround the post. The contextual advertisements will give them some small cash, and eventually big cash. The person can help to drive traffic to their only pages and we weave two sites together, or many site together. This would allow me lend my skill of making good SEO pages for the search engine, and allow the person to be an expert, and not think about how to make pages.

The task here for me, is to find experts who will not lie to make money, that do not have a money agenda that overwhelms them to give bad advice in the hope of money.

I think I have the technology and now I need to find the people, I am asking for opinions and ideas here, if you want to write to me personally, write the help center.

This is also the area of the site where I could put Experts to answer the questions.

I need these experts, I need expert advice, an expert is an expert on one area of focus, not the whole planet of questions.

Should Hobo Experts Answer Questions

Low Cost Carriers LCC Search Tool

Low Cost Carriers
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 16, 2007

LCC - Cheapest Tickets on the Internet, maybe I have a search tool.

Low Cost Carriers or the LCC are a windfall for me and the world of travelers, or a curse if used wrong.

A LCC is a cheap airplane fare, not sold by a travel Agent, normally only sold on the internet, and purchased online using a Credit Card or Debit Card to pay, then you are issued an E-ticket.

The Tickets sold by Travel Agent are more expensive, however can sell combination and other constructed tickets easier. Plus you get advice on Visas, etc, and told many fun lies.

What would be nice is to search for LCC Low Cost Carriers from one city to another. I do not know how, presently go to this page of Wiki and find the country, and then spend a lot of time clicking.

Maybe this works, not sure yet, this needs a Beta Check by the Hobos.

Some person Rudy, profile on now shown, posted and off topic comment, then did not make a functional link, so I refused. However, the idea is novel and if it is true, is a great idea.

Search for a LCC from one city, then find where they fly?

I think it works, just did Bangkok, and all seem a go, a great tool. Craig of in Bangkok now, could figure out how to escape Bangkok cheaper.

Africa is dominated by expensive carriers, and seems to have a lock on the idea of making Air Tickets expensive; however, Europe and Asia are perfect places for LCC Flights.

WARNING: Check the weight, I purchased a ticket with for 4 pounds in the UK, and ended up paying 120 pound because of all the extra weight and other problems. Also, include the cost of getting to the LCC airport, the cost of a train from central London to Stansted was 15 pound.

The LCC will get you on the weight of your bags.

The link to the left should explain how to make a link function or clickable.

Low Cost Carriers, Airplane, Airfares, LCC, Togo,

Low Cost Carriers

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

Commonality of Values

Commonality of Values
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, May 18, 2007

I walked in the TV room of the Hotel Galion, here in Lome, Togo.
I semi-disagree with their prices, but he French are my Sister and we do have Commonality of Values.

There were these three Chinese guys, speaking very loud and watching CNN, where George Bush and Tony Blair was talking at a press conference in the USA

I have never noticed how loud they can be, but I suppose true, the Koreans, and Japanese are segregated on floors in Bangkok so they do not make so much noise as to annoy the other guest.

The Chinese were Watching CNN and sharing the Commonality of Values of mine, not that I trust CNN, but it is Free Press, so what can I say, better they lie and be free than the other choices.

I walked up close to the TV, and listened to Tony, what an amazing man; he can dig deep and touch the pivotal truths, the bottom lines of life. Tony is speaking of the Commonality of Values shared by the USA and the UK and why we must always be friends. Personally, I refer to the UK as my brother, my mean older brother, but nonetheless always my brother.

He also talked of loyalty and the need to remember not to just desert friends when the friend is involved in issue of political problems.

I do see that George W. Bush and Tony Blair will be two of the most famous, and popular, well known and well spoken of leaders of this age, only history will prove me right. They both sacrifice for the love of their people; they gave up the ability to be love by their people, and short-term admiration by the people. They both became hated men to hold to their ideals and the Commonality of Values shared by both. The did the right thing for their people at the cost of their short-term polls and public approval ratings. It was stirring to listen to Tony explain this, how easy it is to pretend you are not a friend when the friend, although doing the good deed, will make you also look bad if you say, this is my freind, even though you know your friend is right.

There is,
your way,
my way,
and the right way.

Politicians seem to often add, the way that gets them the highest public approval rating. I did not hire the President of the USA with a vote to make me happy; I hired him to do the right way. I would personally Thank President Bush and Tony for holding the path. I voted for them and I am responsible for what the do.

Commonality of Values

This is such a pivotal use of words, this is why I was in the TV room of the Hotel Galion, and I came to find some Commonality of Values.

I have realized as I travel Africa, there am a vacuum here, the values of mine, and are different from West Africa. Many are the same, the Christian part of the lower ocean part of West Africa is almost he same, and essentially the common person in the Islamic areas is the same. There is very few Backpacker Ghettos or Centers of the Backpacker Universe, more French Expat communes.

The big divergence between the my values and Africa is this I am King attitude of Males or leaders, and then how they use this systematically, legally, religiously and in the nuclear family against the women. I would say also Racism is rampant between ethnic groups.

Nevertheless, core they are about the same, then we have some serious Commonality of Values problems, but they will come around.

The USA and Europe, Canada, Aussies and New Zealand are so close culturally it is almost impossible for me to say they are different, they are annoyingly the same. East Europe has some big moral issues and drink too much; however, the whole EU is the same culture and has this Commonality of Values with the USA, etc. One reason I do not visit much, like traveling in the USA, and I cannot understand them because they speak a different language, but eat Pizza the same.

There are some core values shared like in the Western Countries:

Not to kill people
Not to beat your wife
Sex with children is taboo
Women are equal
All Races are equal
The Beatles - Music Group
The police are safe and will protect you.
Women can drive cars
Inter-religious dating in possible and they do not kill you if you do.

The countries above share these Commonality of Values, and then you have countries that celebrate the suicide bombers, or the countries where women are just property. 80 percent of the planet, the most dangerous person you can meet is a Policeman.

The camera, interactive internet, TV and creating a great globalization or Common Values. The best thing about TV, it creates global values, look dear, that man treats his wife with respect.

Thanks Tony, a great speech, send me a copy, I think I need to keep is close.

Commonality of Values

Hobo Cluster of Travel Needs

Hobo Cluster of Travel Needs
Lome Togo West Africa
Friday, May 18, 2007

This is a comment I feel is referencing what I call the Traveler Nest or maybe now the Hobo Cluster. There is a bundle of needs I have as a person that continually travels. The pivotal or essential grasp a person needs to get their head around to understand me is,



Just came across this while looking at LCC's and had to pass it along. You may already be aware, but Low Cost Carrier Air Asia's Chief Executive Tony Fernandez has recently started the Tune Hotel chain in Kuala Lumpur. More locations are in the works, but prices start at 9.99 Malaysian RM or 3 USD.

It's a no frills deal like the airline, but on the property it has a 24hr food store, a cafe, an ATM, 24hr free internet, and public transport at the curb. The flagship is in a KL central location to boot. Kind of like a ready made Hobo cluster.

(Edited the link, maybe bad. This one is good.)


Hobo Cluster of Travel Needs

The needs in my Hobe home are:

MY Kitchen to cook a Pizza or Cheese Omelet
A private room to shag my girl.
Internet Access 24 hours
Books, Movies
I can wash and dry my clothes.
Nobody tells me what I have to pay for!
I want a living room, a common area, a place that is NOT a bar, not a restaurant; I want a TV room with a clicker.
NO Reservation needed, I just go home.

What I do not want in my home is.

- A bar that dominates the place
- A restaurant that dominates the place
- Tour Packages being sold in the Hotel are almost a NO NO, I just have never seen the management respect or help me.
- Reservations needed.
- I do not want to give my credit card to ASIA.
- NOT a dorm bed.

ATM is an interesting idea, I am so so on the need in the hotel, but would be nice.

IF this is 3 US, and feels like my home, then great. is one of the tricky LCC, so I am cautious, they are not just shooting straight arrows.

Travelers Nest, Traveler Culture, Hostels,, Togo,
Hobo Cluster of Travel Needs

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

Never Say Goodbye

Never Say Goodbye
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, May 20, 2007

Love means, I never say goodbye, you never leave.

My parents proved yesterday that marriage works, they celebrated 55 years of never using an excuse to leave. Words, noise, talk, arguments, and there was never an excuse, I am going to leave you that worked.

I love my parents and know that love works, it is the reason, it is the hope, it is our search for life.

I believe there are many ways of loving a person; however, the two that always mean so much to me are,

When people never say goodbye.

And whey, I ask a person a question about their man or wife, and they just cannot remember the time the person hurt them, they just are incapable of remembering something their love did that was bad, they just continually explain some interesting and good stories. Yes, of course, they remember, but they will not give it value, by putting it into words.

Never say goodbye, are words, I like body talk.

Thanks Mom and Dad.

Never Say Goodbye

Women Working in Africa

Women Working in Africa
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, May 20, 2007

I met this man on my first trip to Togo, he explained to me more in 10 minutes of clarity about Africa than most NGO-ONG people explain to me in a week of noise.

19 years of in and out of Togo, with a Togo wife and a Togo child.

He was commenting on women working in Africa, he said,

Two Thirds the

Four Fifths of the work here is done by women in this country.

What a small change, but precise and he felt he needed to make this small of change to the estimation.

West Africa Economic, West Africa Economic, Togo, Women Working,

Women Working in Africa

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

Travel Rug a Small Towel

Travel Rug
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I think I should be, or maybe I am out of the Beta testing phase of my travel rug. I am somewhat saying, I recommend this; however, there are still some problems to work out.

RUG - This is my news hotel room RUG.

I am thinking, if a person sent me gear to test, what would I do? First, I would never want to admit I knew them…. Hehehe

Sending me gear, or travel writers, or any person who could say, write this piece of gear is good or bad is full of landmines, for both the company sending and the person they want to endorse their product.

Example the products I would like to have for free are the big money items, send me a BGAN Satellite System so I can access the internet from anywhere on the planet. PLEASE.. However, what if I really do not like this very expensive piece of equipment, what do I say?

BGAN - I promise I will only say good things and never tell the truth!
(Fingers are crossed.)

Endorsing Gear, my guess is 99 percent of people endorsing gear is liars and the other 1 percent are naïve.

I had a person write me two days ago and want me to endorse their travel newsletter, or worse yet, they wanted me to promo-up, I send an endorsement for them in my newsletter and they will send an endorsement of me in theirs. (Saying some company is an implied recommendation.) I was polite, I tried to be patient, please send me the archives, how to subscribe, who, what, where etc and I will subscribe and who knows, maybe in about six months, I may fall in love with your newsletter. Then I will do free and you do not even have to put mine in yours. I have received a person reply again, however, I still am not clear what I am doing… or supposed to do.

I feel they assume I would be happy for a no-money type of promotion of my site. There are these blanket letters sent to me, they start out, I am a reader, or I was on your site…hehehe

I am out of BETA, testing of real gear.

I will recommend a person use this gear, I am not sure how many type of services, I will say are good, and there are some problems. Yet, for sure, this is a good idea; I have stumbled onto a solution to many problems I did not know annoyed me.

The people who send gear to be tested assume the person will say good comments. I regret recommending about 10-20 percent of my ideas and close to impossible to take back or remove, so I am recommending today about 10 percent something I do not want to recommend, what a problem to solve. I will recommend this rug, I do not expect ever to have a problem.


I never knew I needed a rug, until I had a rug. Note - COTTON is bad, Nylon towel here is good, a cotton one will never dry and a nylon one dries very fast.

- I can double up and use a broom
- I can put in front of shower and keep the water down; this slows the bugs, insects and ants.
- I can put in front of bed, wipe my feet and keep dirt or sand out of bed.
- In the door to room it stops me from spreading sand in my room.
- I can use as rag to clean the shower, toilet, wipe down the furniture, or clean all the stuff they never clean.
- Padding in my backpack, I can use to pad my computer.
- Curtain for room, this can serve as curtain.
- If they give a towel, you can use the hotels.
- I do not have to walk on that smelly throw rug now in the room, I can throw it out.
- I can use to line my bag, so a person cutting the bag has one more level of problem to reach me.
- I can wash dishes with the towel.
- It become to rancid, too dirty, you do not like, walk to any cheap store and buy another.
- WATER - too much water and bugs, too little and no bugs.

- Takes up space
- Needs to be dry or will mildew in bag, and it is usually wet.
- Need to clean.
- You have to admit, the rooms of the planet are dirty and need cleaned, and you must do it yourself. The illusion of yours that hotel are clean is removed,

This list of uses, I did not know I had, it growing so fast, I needed to remove this from my Beta testing, I recommend a person carry a small towel, nylon, terrible for drying you body, does not absorb well, but cleans good. Those quick dry travel towels would be perfect, except ridiculously high priced, this cost about one U.S. dollars and I can replace anywhere they sell bad towels.

Gear Hobo OK, Togo, Gear

Travel Rug

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

Discovery Channel Email Received

Discovery Channel
Lome, Togo West Africa
May 24, 2007

I received this from I hope from the Discovery channel, I think it is best I encourage the public to watch the National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. I am never too sure what to do, I am not capable of watching these shows, I do not have a TV.

Name: Jennifer Winter
Country: USA

Good afternoon,

My name is Jen Winter and I am working with Discovery Channel on their hit series, MAN VS. WILD, which follows explorer and host Bear Grylls. I thought you and your readers would be interested to know that new episodes of MAN VS. WILD begins June 15th!

If you have never seen the show, each episode of MAN VS. WILD is based on real-life events where people fought for their survival after finding themselves in danger in popular wilderness locations. A seasoned adventurer and former British Special Air Service soldier, Bear demonstrates the basic survival methods for specific locations -- including navigation, making fire and finding water and food -- and goes one step further. As he explains, the people who stand the best chance for survival are those who are prepared to push the limits, and he certainly does so himself.

For your convenience, please feel free to download images from previous episodes, a press release, and Bear’s bio located here:
You can also visit
for more information.

Please let me know if you would like to receive further information about the program, such as episode guides, clips, images, and more! I look forward to working with you!


Your Welcome.
Andy of in Togo, Africa

Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Togo, Travel News

Discovery Channel

Chambre du Passage

Chambre du Passage
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, May 24, 2007

Chambre du Passage or
Room of the passing. …

or maybe Transit Hotel, it is not an Auberge or Hotel, it is for sure different. I am not confident of my French, and from my experience of learning Spanish, I know, I should never assume I understand a word or phrase.

Maybe, I have been using this French phrase incorrectly. I thought is was a like a way house or Inn, a place where you flopped simple for the night and moved on the next day. More of a motel of passing people with no desire to stay a long time or pay a good deal of money, a transit hotel.

I am in Togo, Africa, this is not France, my friend Michel from Ghana was using it as a cheap hotel, however, we both knew or know that the cheap hotels are used by the locals as a love hotel to visit with their girlfriends. However, last night, I was taking with a German man, when a Lebanese young man came in with a Togo girl in tow. The went for the edge of the area and close to the stairs leading to the room. Then, someone lead them up the stairs. I was curious so I did the push with the one server, and I said in French,
- How much for one hour? -
I keep trying with a few hand signals explaining the love part.

She did not understand, and then the German man said,
- Chambre du Passage. -

I thought this was the phrase for a type of hotel, and it is, however, this is the second time, I know in Togo, this means I want to rent a room for short time.

Ooops, I have been saying,
- Je Vous, Chambre du Passage, Pas Cher, pour 3 or 4 Mille -

I want a short time hotel, not expensive for 3000 or 4000 CFA.

I guess I just need to say, Chambre, Pas Cher 3000 au 4000 Mille, I am sure they have been confused, why does a man alone, entering a village need a short-time hotel.

The girl server says, the room is 3500 CFA, Chambre du Passage.

I think my biggest challenge in West Africa, is to somehow convince them I am not French, not ONG-NGO and I want a cheap, reasonable priced African room, not some country club priced room to guarantee there are no locals in the hotel.

Technically I have not lived in a Hotel in West Africa yet, that I would say now, was not also a Chambre du Passage, this is the number one business, or the way for the manage to give himself or herself a bonus that never reaches the owners pocket.

Chambre du Passage

The Cell Phone and GPS Marry

The Cell Phone and GPS Marry
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, May 25, 2007

My friend Steve, a GSM, Satellite, knows too much about a cell phone, satellites, communications sent me this link:

Hmm, another way for me to feel old and not trendy….

They have kissed, soon they will marry and live happily ever after as one. The love of the Cell phone and the of the GPS or Global Positioning System is soon going to be consummated. I think in less than three years, the will have many babies.

What do you call this, a tryst?
Ménage à trios (Menage a trois), note, I am in a French speaking country…

I forgot what about the Palm Computer, it will also in this marriage, and this is polygamy and maybe some trans-gender something.


CELL PHONE - Mobile Phone
The telephone everyone is carrying and walking around with on the planet, in Germany they call it a Handy, in many countries a Mobile, in the French of Africa a Portable. It has no wires and is called a cell, because the antennae around the signal looks like a cell, and you must be in a cell to use.

GPS: Global Positioning Satellite
--- Oops, I think Global Positioning System is correct, a discovery
---- A handheld toy that allows a satellite to tell your Latitude and Longitude or the coordinates on the planet. I am saying toy, because this is not easy to use, takes time to resolve the coordinated, does not work well around tall building or in canyons or caves. Mine eats batteries so fast; I must feed it a set every hour.

This is baby computer, a small hand held device, or palm computer that you can store addresses and use like a computer, it often can recognize handwriting. The are quickly becoming as powerful as full-size computers.

The also couple with the maps of many internet sites.

All of these toys are marrying, they are having a tryst or love affair. This is not so secret, but maybe I am calling it a Menage a trios, as they are all doing this now for sport or fun, some close to semi-crazy need to be the first, to enjoy the cut of being on the edge. I am sure many are getting a sticker shock burn in the stores as they see the prices of a cell phone with GPS inside.

On the other hand, maybe to just brag, look at my new toy.

I remember paying 1300 US for a PDA or palm computer, a Newton by Apple, then later losing all the addresses in the thing because it was not married correctly with my computer. I used it for business and made money because I had it, a good business tool.

A friend said,
- Thanks for paying for new technology, so I can have it cheap in the future. -

So thanks to anyone today using these new toys, and internet sites, the new Beta tester of hard to use, difficult to learn, incredibly expensive stuff that will be commonplace in a few years.

I am waiting; I know my cell phone is going to call…

- Andy, we have detected a GPS marker here in Togo, you are now within 50 meters of the Bronco Beach Bar, a good place to sit, with a cool breeze and eat Beef brochette for 100 CFA. -

100 CFA is about 20 Cents US.

I just told my friend, I should take the GPS coordinates of this bar, so I can tell others in the future. However, I know in the future, my cell phone will detect the satellite, and it will call me.

Thanks for the future of the future.

I would love to allow readers to know my daily position on a map, however as of today, I cannot be bothered to devote the time needed to play. When it become a common place tool, I will jump in. The learning curve here is still Mount Everest, I am waiting for the Mount Ago or the 900 Meter hill of Togo go arrive.

Steve Wrote:

Many uses.

1) I'm in the souks about 1 km from the hotel. Where are you?
2) In the Everglades, where am I and how do I get back to the sea?
3) Provides exact latitude and longitude to any location within 10 meters.
4) Keeping track of the kids
5) In the car, I just put in the address of the store I am looking for and follow the map on the phone. It uses google maps, yahoo maps, msn maps, maps and provides both road diagram, Arial photo or combination.

And… also said:

Here is an image of the page you would have seen at

Mobile GMaps is a new free application that can be downloaded to GSM or CDMA cellphones that gives the location of a phone whenever the phone user wishes. See a map with those users who currently permit their location to be shown publicly at
and zoom to their location within 10 meters. The time of the last reading is also shown. Those readings older that several minutes means the application in the phone has been turned off.

The application can be downloaded by the phone at How-to info can be found at Forums are at

The Cell Phone and GPS Marry

Three Good Reasons to Travel

Three Good Reasons to Travel
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, May 26, 2007

Legal Notice posted on Beach - Maybe legal, or maybe just a wanna be legal notice.

Les Trois Interdits
The Three Forbiddens

Amende 5000 F or CFA
5000 CFA fine or about 10 US Dollars, about one-third months pay.

Aidez-nous a maintenier notre plage propre
Help us to maintain our beach clean.

My first thought,
- Why would you want to stop tourism? -

Come on, the truth is people travel to South America, Africa and all the remote or off the beaten path to see people behave this way, they want this… I guess and agree, it would be good for the Togo people, there are close to zero tourist here in Togo.

I have been sitting on the beach and watching many or two of three of these per day, maybe the WC is under control a small small as they say. However, it would take work to avoid watching a man urinate on the beach or about anywhere for longer than say 20 minutes, that is about the longest stretch of time before the next tourist show.

I personally enjoy more the walking around the markets shows, normal life and not the part you wish to avoid.

I thought, I will take three photos to match up with the sign, not what I like to do, but why not, something to do, then as I was walking around Decon looking for a 12 volt to 220 converter, I come up on this women. She is standing up and urinating. I never knew women could do this, but it is very common to see a woman stand to do so, pull their underwear to the side and squirt.

This one was more crazy, she was topless, bottomless and all sorts of interesting behaviors. She is standing in front of what I would call the central location of women of the night called Panini and screaming at people. I have been hearing about Panini from Togo men now for about two months, amazing what the men of the world learn about, then tell you, ask about a Hippo and the country has no idea, ask about Panini and they all know Lome. I was getting curious, what is a Panini. I thought it was a street, now I learned it is a bar. I still am not clear, but then again, I never wanted to know or listen.

Culture is the top, bottom and all layers in between.

I am trying to get my brain around why some of the crazy people in Africa just seem crazier than what is average and normal for the world. Crazy is normal, homosexuals are normal, many things are normal. Poverty, prostitution, and driving a carl like a crazy person is normal. The so-called advanced country, about 20 percent of the planet somehow pass and enforce laws to stop crazy.

However, I am not sure, African culture is more aggressive than normal, and I think you take a very aggressive person, then when they become truly nuts, crazy, this is a noisy and difficult person.

Tourism, Urination, Trash, Defecate, Togo, Crazy People

Three Good Reasons to Travel

Lome to Malabo Flight

Lome to Malabo Flight
Lome Togo West Africa
Saturday, May 26, 2007

Someday, I will make this trip, as of yesterday, it is again delayed, who knows when I will go this way…

I can fly from Lome, Togo to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea one way for about 125,000 CFA, this is about 250 US Dollars. Africa is a pain in the butt, the routes are not clean, mis-representation is rampant, and every person acts as though the trip is extremely dangerous.

People drive in countries where it is safe to drive, 95 percent of tourist in West Africa drive a car or motorcycle and many bike trips. It now is the only continent of the developing planet, the 80 percent majority of the planet where I am thinking about buying a motorcycle. It is like Europe, you need a van or motorcycle in Europe to avoid the tourist traps, here, you need one to drive to the great places where they have not eaten the animals of cut and burned the trees for firewood, plus avoid the aggressive taxi driver fights.

It is semi-amazing, I have now been in West Africa for about five months of my life, I have not sat in any major city in Africa and had tour companies offer to sell me tours of something in West Africa. I was remarking to my German friend, if a person here in Lome would put me in an Air Conditioned car and take me to see Hippos, I think I would pay between 100 and 300 US dollars to avoid the pain. In contrast, I think I will buy a motorcycle for 600 and just go myself.

Nigeria what a bad reputation this country has, it is the stone in the middle of the river of Africa. I am not so much afraid or worried about safety in Nigeria, I just do not like to listen to the continually scam offered, it is like listening to a use car salesman 24 hours per day, that you know 100 percent is selling a lie and junk.

Note, I have given up on miles, it is just ridiculous to talk in mile when only about 300 Million people do so…

Map of Route I will try to take, when I get around to it.

Itinerary West Africa, Planning Africa, West Africa Maps, Togo Maps, Togo,

Lome to Malabo Flight

Africa Sanctions the White Man

Africa Sanctions the White Man
Lome, Togo West Africa
Monday, May 28, 2007
I am trying to think, how to explain what I do not understand, yet this is the reason to write, to take confusion and transform to clarity.

I think I have discovered by reading about culture in the word to remember in Africa.

There is this common aspect of West Africa that I have continually felt, heard, and received from man of the people of Cote d Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Niger, I do not know the other countries.

There is a continual desire by the locals to enforce some sanctions on me, or to bring me into the norm of how they expect me to behave.

Common ones and problem ones:

1. If I ask for a gift of Cadeau you should give.
2. IF I say Va or come, you should come.

The sanction imposed I have learned if, I do not obey is:
- Mockery au Moquerie -

This behavior in the USA is similar as when one child is making fun of another. In the British culture, they often enjoy and continue into adult by a method called.
- Taking the Piss. -

It means to wind up a another person, to make them a little mad.

The sanction of mockery imposed daily by people in West Africa is interesting and intriguing, I semi-think the more education and power a person has, the more they do this mocking behavior. It is like a biting action of a big dog to a little dog.

The main problem is a group mockery, and group mocking that takes place can lead to a group hysteria, and violence. There is a desire for the whites to give money or cower.

A common sanction in small tribal village of the world is to throw rocks and stones, the mockery are difficult, especially if you do not understand the language. I have found, they do not want to be mocked or to have me do it better than them. I tend to ignore too well, but then again, I have had training in India, and for sure a person who has traveled in India and shut off another person fast or will go crazy.


Quote from

Key components of culture

Values comprise ideas about what in life seems important. They guide the rest of the culture. Norms consist of expectations of how people will behave in various situations. Each culture has methods, called sanctions, of enforcing its norms. Sanctions vary with the importance of the norm; norms that a society enforces formally have the status of laws. Institutions are the structures of a society within which values and norms are transmitted. Artifacts—things, or aspects of material culture—derive from a culture's values and norms.

Quote from

Africa Sanctions the White Man

Offshore Real Estate

Offshore Real Estate
Lome, Togo West Africa
Monday, May 28, 2007

I was a Real Estate Broker, Investor, Property Management Company, Developer and all these words involved for 14 years of my life and really more.

I have seena consistently increasing offshore Real Estate Scam being committed by Expats, similar to the Real Estate Scams involving the sale of land in Florida in the USA.

The scam works like this, the Expat predator is normally trying to sell a home over the internet that is in an offshore country outside USA jurisdictions. Normally they purchased the scam themselves, and they now want to get rid of it, the only way they can figure out to do so, is to do the scam again to the next person. There is also the more dangerous professional types.

The person reading the advertisement on the Internet is just an average person and wants to live in Resort Home or in the American Dream home And they are reading about a home in an exotic place that is twice as big as they own, however half the price as their present home. They cannot believe how great of deal this is, and they go down for a two week vacation and buy a home impossible to sell fairly.

There are many listing for the properties, normally by Expats and all are priced about 10 times the true value, however, because there are many listing and the reader believe because of the numbers they are safe. Plus, who would think an American or European would do this.

I used to have a Mexican man in Acapulco complain,
-The American come down here and complain about corruption, then the learn how to be corrupt, and do it better than us. -

These properties are outside the laws of the USA, and location of the exotic property is in country with no real estate appraisal laws or any protections for consumers. Therefore, now with invention of the internet they can go find victims in other countries, and prey on the unsuspecting person, all expats are trustworthy… That is why they left the country…

All forms of Real Estate valuation is often ignored. For example the cost of construction wages to build the home only being 3 US dollars per day or the money they are buying is Mexican.

When you buy a home in Thailand, you are effectively investing in the Thai Baht. Panama is better because they use the Dollar, for me to buy a Home in Togo, I would be buying the CFA , which I think today is tied to the Euro, I anticipate they will one day disconnect it from the Euro and the CFA will go down just like the Argentina Peso did when it was disconnected from the dollars.

Buying Real Estate is investing in the strength or currency of the country.

Buying Real Estate is investing in the validity of the legal system of the country.

Buying Real Estate is investing in the Government of the country. When was the last military coup?

Buying Real Estate is about the price of comparable properties in the area, if there is no comparable properties, maybe the value is zero, not what you would pay in the USA.

This statement has zero value.
- This property would cost X in the USA, this is just a stupid comment and only said by a person who wishes to scam you. - The property is NOT in the USA, so why say it?

Buying Real Estate is about buying a home where people want to move, why are they moving from Panama, Thailand, Costa Rica, etc to the USA when it is paradise?

Note, I think there are more deserted islands on the planted than inhabited islands. An island is not a prime piece of land, there is no economic value. People in Togo do not try to live on the ocean, in Thailand they do not try to live on the ocean, they want to live inland and safer, they want to live near drinking water, and often the cheapest land is on the ocean, you cannot farm it, so the land has no value, if no people close, no value.

Buying Real Estate is about the cost to build the same property and the ability to sell the property. If they cannot sell the property in the normal country, why would it be a good deal over the internet…? See the point, a good deal will always sell, but to prey on a person who knows nothing about appraisal, and knowing the laws of country allows him or her to do so is what is now happening.

The solution is simple, go and live there first, rent a home for about two years, after this time, maybe you can buy. I am not sure why? I am always wondering about this of buying, is buying a need. American and Europeans will indeed buy a swindle; they believe buying is always better. This is not true.

Offshore Real Estate

Iquitos Peru vs Lome Togo Africa

Iquitos Peru vs Lome Togo Africa
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Iquitos, Peru has been invading my mind and world lately; I spent a couple of months in this city and have a more than average number of email friends living there.

I was reading about Bird Watching… I know Bill, a good person.

Where to hang my hat or hats?

I think about finding places to hang my hat, I remember with fond memories Iquitos, Peru, however, I also remember the ever-present noise of the motorcycle tricycle taxis with no mufflers.

Conversations seems to be weighing higher and higher on my list of emotional needs, it is strange, I talk a lot here in Togo, however I am not getting the proper fix I need. I think maybe I have been in Africa now close to two months and maybe it is the need to speak French maybe it the lack of real down to earth conversations, there is some spark or something missing. I am not sure.

I feel a little lost and I know I have a tendency to complain when I am tired, lonely, or I just need to talk to English. There is an overwhelming amount of chatter talk, here however talk of substantial nature is difficult to find. Expats tend to drink too much, watch only sports, and sit on the corner of bars with small women next to them. I guess I am thinking of Asia, here in Africa they are robust and big in all ways, a woman and obviously a woman, but still on the corner of the bar.

I am going into Ghana soon, this will maybe be better, there are many English-speaking people in Ghana, and many Volunteers, and I do not think I can avoid speaking English in Ghana. I can go days and weeks here in Togo and never use an English word.

Hanging my hat, what is that, I think I wish to find that bar Cheers on TV, where everyone knows my name. I sometimes think this is Lome, then again I think is may be a false feeling as there are so many women saying hello to me or in someway talking, I think they are friends. African friends can be a little strange, hard to get a talking type of friendship, an intense physical friendship is easy, however to just talk, relax and enjoy is difficult.

Last night I stopped down to Belindas Place, a small Togo convenience stop that I have coined as Belinda Place because the tall 15-year-old girl who does all the work for the Mama is named Belinda.

The Expat man with me drank a lot of beer, the was closing, I got up and I paid for both of our drinks, then the Mama forgot to add on the one beer of my friend. These two people started having this close to hollering commentary discussion about his payment for the beer. I finally had to stand up and say,
- Please -

I paid, and the Expat said,
- You did not have to do that. -

I said,
- I paid to buy the quiet, why is there a need to holler about a paying for a beer. -

He drank it, we pay.

I long for quiet conversations, no over emphasized noise conversations just easy and comfortable talk. Two Australians were here the other night; they were like Tourist, the talked the tourist talk, where to go, what to do, although in reality they were Volunteers in Ghana who came to Togo for a Visa Run. They renewed their Ghana Visa and returned about two days later, they spoke zero French, so a little difficult for them. I remember how they was so quiet and no big talk, just small talk, no Expat noise, I did this, or I did that, just the easy Aussie way of talking.

Yes, that does it, I will go today and get my Ghana Visa, I am tired of Togo, and I need a change of the channel.

I had many conversations of value in Iquitos, Peru on hindsight; it was one of the better places to hang my hat. I was laughing as William the man from the Dawn on the Amazon page called it an
- End of the Roaders Place. -

There is an end to all travels, there is an end to the road, and it is where a person hangs their hat. I personally believe I will have about six ends of the road, those places I return so often it appears like I live there.

Accra, Ghana was a skip the last time in Africa, I was in a van and the traffic and people was so bad, I just stayed on the road and went to Togo. I think there may be some beach life there, so far only in the Grand Bassam of Ivory Coast, has there been Beach Life. Togo has beach bars, but to say beach life is a hard push, there is a place called Baguida or something like that out by the Port, I think past the big Lome Ocean Port where the richer Expats stay and where a few hotels are located. I should go there today and look around, search for a new hotel that does not tempt me to castrate it. The Group or the Generator is the problem, Togo and Ghana have an electricity shortage, and I do not want to live in a hotel that does not have a Generator. The problem is this; they will have a Generator, and then not use it.

Iquitos Peru vs Lome Togo Africa

No Police in Togo is Good

No Police in Togo is Good
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I am always tempted to think Togo is dangerous; however, I almost never see a policeperson or any person in government authority. I think truly they are too busy working at the gates to the cities, collecting the tolls to enter or leave, and the normal business of taking from people.

Would Europe of the USA be safe if there was no police?

I would say effectively there is no police in Togo, they are off doing something, but it is not protecting the citizens of me from harm, thieves and the normal type of problems. So how do I feel, I feel very safe, especially during the daytime, at night there is a random mob violence started by mockery and bully tactics. However, during the day, no police to be found, I would say this place is super safe.

I do not hear about robberies or thefts, or anything really, just a some small bribes and such, normal run of the mills stuff.

I think my mother is 10 times safer here than in Mexico. Turn you back in Mexico and they steal you shoes, but then poverty is worst in Mexico than in Togo, there is not a need to steal, food is plentiful and easy to find. There are too many Police in Mexico, and they are more than willing to intimidate a bribe from me, or my mom.

Hmm is Mexico of Togo full of more bullies, I would say Togo has more viscous bullies, while Mexico has bullies that never leave. Mexico is worst, this type of bully is living with you; I guess I would rather be bullied very viscously one time in a week by a person than daily as in Mexico, and normally by some police person.

I have a window with a screen on it, climb down the edge, punch the screen and you can steal my computer, cell phone and other small things, and you have to work to cut open the bag. When I am most countries in Asia, Central America, Mexico, South America, I lock my computer in the bag when I leave the room. I do not do so in Togo, I think I feel safer, they are not going to enter my room and steal. They are not sneaky thieves, like say in Philippines.

Lome has I think about 10 major crazy bums and beggars; however, they do not beg, they are funny, they act as if I am going to hit them with a stick if they pushed too hard. I would like to hit the ones in India with a stick, one like a baseball bat.

The asking for a Cadeau or Gift is every present, this is what can be perceived as begging or poverty. I really think it is a form of testing, they want to know how stupid is this white man, will he just give me money as a gift, or can I scare him, bully a gift out of him.

I told a girl, remember, the white man is a very violent animal, we came and dominated Africa with just a few people, do not think because we are calm and more polite, we are not in reality the more dangerous animal. I have said many times, the reason the Germans, Americans and Europe enforces the laws so well, is because we are bad, worst than some of the poor countries. We needed to develop laws and use the police or we would kill each other.
So what would happen in the USA or Europe if one day the police just did not work?

This is daily in Togo, this is normal, and nothing happens, just another day in Togo.

I also dwell on the thought, that maybe the people in West Africa are too lazy to steal. I know for sure, they will not walk to bully me, I have to stop and take it, if I continue to walk when the call at me, they do not follow, that would require effort, they do seem to lazy to move some days.

Police are the most dangerous persons on the planet for travelers, so with no police here, I am safer.

No Police in Togo is Good

Carpet Baggers and Scalawags of Africa

Carpet Baggers and Scalawags of Africa
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hobo is an American word, the English, Aussie and most of the European world just cannot come to grips with the word, they feel obliged to say bum and not Hobo.

A Hobo is not a bum.

Therefore, the word Hobo is best understood by an American, then are more capable of understanding the underlying culture, myths, misuses and limits to the word, however a German just has a full stop in their head and cannot normally open their brain far enough to understand the USA culture, therefore the world Hobo is always translated by them as a Bum. However, they are not correct.

Carpet Bagger is most likely understood best by an American, and unfair to expect another culture such as Europe to understand the far-reaching implications of a being a Carpet Bagger.

Words are great, I am learning the French Culture, as expressed badly in the French of Africa, but there is the French Culture here, a channel of the culture. I learn French; I start to learn the Culture of France. I 100 percent accept I will never know the French Culture; I will just be peeking in the window.

The word or phrase Carpet Bagger is a term used by an American to explain an American historical time in the USA after the Civil War.

What a great word, I have am finding the clarity I need to not be angry at the NGO-ONG world of Africa. I have a frustration-based anger.

The NGO Non-Governmental Organizations and the ONG in French. Then the related Volunteer Organizations that make people thousands of dollars to Volunteer in Africa, a person can pay up to 5000 to 10,000 US dollars to volunteer in Ghana to get it…

NGO in English
ONG in French - Same Same

The Carpet Baggers are here in Africa, they have invaded, I hope this dark time in history passes quickly, I hope the world can slow the progress of these Carpet Baggers and Scalawags as the move around the planet creating social havoc with the world.

The News reports a problem.
The NGO advertise to collect the money.
They are in collusion; the Carpet Baggers are traveling the planet.

They are the NGO of the planet.

Here is a cutting edge example of a fight again the NGO. The are trying to make the second Holocoust in Israel.

Interesting thing about a Journal or Diary, when a person types in a diary or journal, there is a desire to explain some confusing or abstract thoughts in my head. Therefore as I type, I explain to myself something I do not understand, it is introspection and very good for the soul.

I start to explain and write, and then I realized, this typing is not needed, as I am already clear, the NGO are Carpet Baggers and Scalawags. I am finished…

I need to say thank you to and the new world of GPRS Internet Access for opening a new window to the knowledge of the planet. I do not need to sit around typing what is already known.

Thank You, Togo, How to Blog, NGO, Types-Of-Travel

Carpet Baggers and Scalawags of Africa

Togo Lizards

Togo Lizards
Lome Togo West Africa

I took these photos of Lizards in Atakpame, Togo.

This colorful one is a constant companion as I travel the country, bigger and easier to see, however very fast and will leave my territory quickly.

This is a little bug eater, more difficult to photograph and quick to hide, blends in easy with the tree limbs or wherever it sits. Fun to watch them eat pesky small insects. I was trying to catch a few to put in my room to eat them too small to see insects.

Togo Lizards

Nigeria Number One

Nigeria Number One
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

At 7:06 PM Togo time, Wednesday May 30, 2007 Nigeria became the Number One country to achieve getting shut down for being bad on the website.

This page was completed disabled and stopped due to some Nigerian peoples corrupt and criminal behavior.

They were using one Embassy page to pretend to be official of the Nigerian Embassy and endorse frauds they were perpetuating against mostly the Indian and Pakistan people. They would off jobs on a different site somewhere, and then say they were legitimate companies, then the India person somehow needed to send money to Nigeria for Visa Applications and such.

Congratulations Nigeria, the first and worst of

This is a sign of success for the site, the more problems you hare having on a site, the more people on the site…. Hehehe

We are debating what the terms are called; maybe they are spoofing the India people, or Phishing. They were pretending to be something to ensnare victims.

Here is a list of the Phishiest Countries.

We will re-evaluate the page and try to decide how to help travelers, go or not go to Nigeria.

Nigeria Number One

Visa to Ghana Embassy in Togo

Visa to Ghana Embassy in Togo
Lome Togo West Africa
Thursday, May 31, 2007

I went to the Ghana Embassy at 8:00 am when it opened, received a Visa to Ghana the next at 10:00 am. It is relatively easy, 12,000 CFA or about 25 US dollars for 30 days.

It was fun; I paid 400 CFA for a Motorcycle Taxi from the Hotel to the Ghana, Embassy. I am finally deciding, the most I have paid in Lome for a moto in the city is 600 CFA and the normal is fee 200 CFA providing I never ask the price before I get on the moto.

I needed four photos and one man had problems because of having a smaller photo, I am not sure, I was lucky to have two sizes of photos, I am carrying a lot of photos, however now I need a bigger size also to carry.

I took along an Hotel address to stay in Ghana, or the address of at Hotel, I am not sure, I think they needed it, but hard to say, I am not clear. I know the last time I entered, they needed a Hotel name and Address.

This was painless and interesting, some man from Australia, not too well dressed, wearing sunglasses or hanging his sunglasses on the back of his neck filled out the application in Green Ink. The one man came out and hollered at him, I gave him my black pen and thought; you do seem like a Green Ink type of person. The young man argued with the official man and I also thought, this is a great way to wait for a Visa for weeks.

The Sunglasses man was a volunteer, and I think every other white person in the room was a volunteer; we had time to talk because the made us wait for unknown reasons from about 8:00 am to 9:20 am when a man appeared.

I will never forget his words,
- No Visas today, I am already too tired. -

When I make an application for a Visa, I always allow close to five days of play time, I have discovered anywhere on the planet the application for a visa is a lottery on how the rules are enforced. If you are willing to wait, they will figure out how to give you a Visa.

I have three months to enter Ghana, after that, the Visa expires.

I repeated the too tired already to another person later and he said,
- Oh, he is not too tired, he is waiting to hear, I need it today. -
Then the man did this little hand gesture, I think it is the universal way of saying how to give a tip to the man. He did a twist of his hand, then goes submarine under the table.

I do not know, the man did look tired, the day before was a Fete or Holiday, this was the first day after a long holiday weekend, and for sure the man looked like he was dragging. I did not expect to get a visa the same day, so for me it was irrelevant. I truly believe a person should never plan to get a Visa in less than five days or they will be in a world of trouble. I never expect an rules or guidelines of an embassy to be obeyed, followed or to be professional, I am talking about all embassies on the planet, including the USA.

The Togo, Embassy to Ghana was nothing like the Ghana Embassy in Delhi, it was obvious here they were issuing Visas on a regular basis, and they were going to issue Visas. The Delhi, India Embassy serving the India people had this long list of onerous requirements and who knows which ones they would or would not enforce.

There are more than I would ever expect India people coming to Africa to work or live, I do not understand, they seem to come to manage a business, and there is less competition for workers or it is easier for them to find a job here in a way. Not really logical and common sense, but true there is more work here for people from India than in India.

No Visas today, I am already too tired... a great line.

Fun and games in the Embassy of Ghana.

Visa to Ghana Embassy in Togo

Best Tourist Investment is in West Africa

Best Tourist Investment is in West Africa
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, June 1, 2007

It is not often I live in a tourist destination where Hotels and Tourist services are consistent. There are almost 99 percent consistent in management, if possible, to do wrong, they do it 99 percent wrong. They are all living in the age of Colonization and King, Queens and Fiefs, there is a delusion that the good times will return.

West Africa Tourism, lead by the French are jumping up down on it, some people just step on IT, however some jump up and down on IT…

The number one advertiser for West Africa has to be the NGO-ONG save the world group. Therefore, maybe 95 percent of advertisements show Africa as being the worst place on the planet. CNN, BBC and all the news media coverage announces doomsday daily, this good tourist destination has a bad perception and nothing looks like it will change for the next ten years, the advertising money used to promote tourism is fighting a losing battle against the big money of the Non Governmental Organizations bound and determined to tell everyone on the planet Africa is dying of something, I am not sure, I have not seen it.

Then to boot, they have this European attitude of pay 10 Euros for bad service and say thank you, and you love it.

It has to be the easiest place on the planet to start a Hotel or Hostel and thrive, there is no competition. The French who you would think would be the competition are pricing their restaurants and hotels at European Prices, however then living in the poorest countries on the planet. There is no way the cost to provide a service here is even a tenth of the cost of Europe. The food is expensive, but labor is 2 dollars per day.

I am hard pressed to think of one hotel doing anything correct, as I mean a great value for the money in international terms. I can find a great priced hotel, then everything outside the room, such as restaurant, common area and entitlement is either abuse or non-existent.

Tourist Information Brochures - I am trying to think when I saw any tourist information brochures. Sometimes in Europe, there will be a ten-meter wall of brochures. I am looking at zero, I have none in my stack of normal junk to discard, nobody has even gave me their business card to a hotel, I have asked and received, however none have forced it on me, as they should… I mean, make it easy to have, sitting on the reception desk, or offered.

What an opportunity for an Americans, Australians, English speaking Canadians or New Zealand people. I truthfully do not think the European culture understands honest service and competition yet, they are all still in favor of monopolies and see Wal-Mart as the enemy. Hmm, the Chinese, they could possibly be good, and they are committed to Africa in a way. Europeans appear want the sweetheart under the table deal, they are not willing to go head to head with the competition.

Best Tourist Investment is in West Africa

Ghana GPRS Internet Too Expensive

Ghana GPRS Internet Too Expensive
Lome Togo West Africa
Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ghana is Not Ok for Mobile Office.

--- Unless you are a NGO with the normal unlimited budget.
--- About one-half months wages for one hour of surfing for the average Ghana person.

I am trying to find countries acceptable for a person who wishes to work by using the internet. I call this my Mobile Office.

David from has made a good page outlining the options to use GPRS internet in Ghana and all the other words. This is for people who want use a cell phone and connect to the internet with their laptops.

I was confused, therefore got some clarification on prices, the minimal cost with the cheapest provider in Ghana is 1 US dollar per meg, this is about maybe a third to a seventh the price of Satellite, therefore Satellite is maybe still a better option for the NGO - ONG pay-too-much people. For a normal tourist writing emails on Yahoo Mail or the cost would be roughly 30 US per hour, or more if you looked at any photos. Yes, a person can do many high tech tricks, however you have to be a whiz kid to use this cheaply.

I am told about the expensive price:
- This is Africa -

I thought, what does that mean, why is Africa so expensive, the average West African person make between 1 and 2 US dollars per day, so expensive no normal person from Ghana can afford to buy this, who is crazy enough to pay this?

Which I am told it means,
- Abnormal things are normal in Africa. -

I call this,
- Almost Africa. -

As normal in Africa, they make something that is Almost OK, but is not OK, good ideas but then refuse to give you good service or good value.

My recommendation for Ghana is to do the Ghana Africa Gouge thing, then when a person has paid in 30 US on a pre-paid card, then all kilobyte transfer afterwards to be free and unlimited. This is how Nepal is doing it; I think the best method of pricing for GPRS pricing, easy and transparent.

Mobile Africa is great page about Africa, sort of a digest of all headlines of GPRS in Africa, the explained and written well, however needs to work on using Euros or Dollars as common currency to understand and be a global community site.

Almost Africa, the electricity just went off here in Lome in the Hotel, the owner is out running around, a Frenchie guy, nobody can turn it on until he returns. Almost Africa, is almost ok, abnormal is normal, the most expensive internet in the countries that can least afford to pay it.

Ghana GPRS Internet Too Expensive

Inca Kola or Irn-Bru or Cocktail de Fruits

Inca Kola or Irn-Bru or Cocktail de Fruits
Lome Togo West Africa

I would like to bring this soft-drink Cocktail de Fruits into the ring, I have seen this drink daily in Togo for two months, I feel and suspect it sells better than Coca Cola in the country of Togo, West Africa.

I think a new contender has entered the ring, Coca Cola has another challenger for who sells the most for another country.

There is always a tourist and traveler glee in saying,
- Inca Kola is the only soft drink in the world to sell more than Coca Cola in a country. -

This is gossip, now I am reading and it appears so does Irn Bru, in Scotland or somewhere.

The world of Coca Cola, these are the little mouses that roar, these are the little Trains that go,
- I think I can. -
- I think I can. -
- I think I can. -
- I think I can. -

Inca Kola or Irn-Bru or Cocktail de Fruits

African Freedom When is it Over

African Freedom When is it Over
Lome Togo West Africa
Friday, May 25, 2007

This was an ironic joke told to me a couple of days ago, trying to explain why there is small progress in Africa after the end of Colonization.

A man in Senegal says to an Old Papa,
- You are Free now.
The Papa says,
- Ok, when over? -

African Freedom When is it Over

Africa is Doomed

Africa is Doomed
Lome Togo West Africa
Saturday, June 2, 2007

I would think, many people would say yes, or agree.

I am learning to how to love listen to Volunteers in Africa, as they explain their experiences and their projects. I now see there is an epidemic in Africa of “Confirmation Bias.” The volunteers, ONG, NGO, and other project workers, the well intended ones tell me stories, and I try to be kind, yet I am thinking, where in the world did they come up with that one, and I think, they read about West Africa before they came, now they have found what they read.

Confirmation Bias:

In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias is a tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions and avoid information and interpretations which contradict prior beliefs. It is a type of cognitive bias and represents an error of inductive inference, or as a form of selection bias toward confirmation of the hypothesis under study or disconfirmation of an alternative hypothesis.

Confirmation bias is an area of interest in the teaching of critical thinking as the skill is misused when rigorous critical scrutiny is applied to evidence supporting a preconceived idea but not to evidence challenging the same preconception.

Decision-making and behavioral biases
Many of these biases are studied for how they affect belief formation and business decisions and scientific research.

Bandwagon effect — the tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. Related to groupthink, herd behaviour, and manias.
Bias blind spot — the tendency not to compensate for one's own cognitive biases.
Choice-supportive bias — the tendency to remember one's choices as better than they actually were.
Confirmation bias — the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions.
Congruence bias — the tendency to test hypotheses exclusively through direct testing, in contrast to tests of possible alternative hypotheses.
Contrast effect — the enhancement or diminishment of a weight or other measurement when compared with recently observed contrasting object.
Déformation professionnelle — the tendency to look at things according to the conventions of one's own profession, forgetting any broader point of view.
Endowment effect — "the fact that people often demand much more to give up an object than they would be willing to pay to acquire it".
Focusing effect — prediction bias occurring when people place too much importance on one aspect of an event; causes error in accurately predicting the utility of a future outcome.
Hyperbolic discounting — the tendency for people to have a stronger preference for more immediate payoffs relative to later payoffs, the closer to the present both payoffs are.
Illusion of control — the tendency for human beings to believe they can control or at least influence outcomes that they clearly cannot.
Impact bias — the tendency for people to overestimate the length or the intensity of the impact of future feeling states.
Information bias — the tendency to seek information even when it cannot affect action.
Loss aversion — "the disutility of giving up an object is greater than the utility associated with acquiring it".[2] (see also sunk cost effects and Endowment effect).
Neglect of probability — the tendency to completely disregard probability when making a decision under uncertainty.
Mere exposure effect — the tendency for people to express undue liking for things merely because they are familiar with them.
Omission bias — The tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, or less moral, than equally harmful omissions (inactions).
Outcome bias — the tendency to judge a decision by its eventual outcome instead of based on the quality of the decision at the time it was made.
Planning fallacy — the tendency to underestimate task-completion times.
Post-purchase rationalization — the tendency to persuade oneself through rational argument that a purchase was a good value.
Pseudocertainty effect — the tendency to make risk-averse choices if the expected outcome is positive, but make risk-seeking choices to avoid negative outcomes.
Reactance - the urge to do the opposite of what someone wants you to do out of a need to reassert a perceived attempt to constrain your freedom of choice.
Selective perception — the tendency for expectations to affect perception.
Status quo bias — the tendency for people to like things to stay relatively the same (see also Loss aversion and Endowment effect).
Von Restorff effect — the tendency for an item that "stands out like a sore thumb" to be more likely to be remembered than other items.
Zero-risk bias — preference for reducing a small risk to zero over a greater reduction in a larger risk.

NOTE: Africa is not doomed, it is actually in great shape.

Africa is Doomed

To be something A Great French Quote

To be something A Great French Quote
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, June 2, 2007

A awe inspiring quote…

Abbé Sieyes:

What is the Third Estate?

Everything. What has it been hitherto in the political order? Nothing. What does it desire? To be something.


I was looking at a girl walking into a the Hotel, she was proud, nice, and pretty. Then an Expat said,
- There is your banana girl, look at her shoes. -

I was looking at something, not a nothing, a person, a human.ès

So was the Quote from the music group "The Who."

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

Won't Get Fooled Again
by The Who

We'll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgement of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again

The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the foe, that' all
And the world looks just the same
And history ain't changed
'Cause the banners, they all flown in the last war

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
No, no!

I'll move myself and my family aside
If we happen to be left half alive
I'll get all my papers and smile at the sky
For I know that the hypnotized never lie

Do ya?


There's nothing in the street
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Is now the parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
No, no!


Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

To be something A Great French Quote

Send some Globalization to Togo Please

Send some Globalization to Togo Please
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, June 3, 2007

I am clueless; I just cannot get my mind around why the people in Germany and the world always protest when groups of world leaders try to solve world-based problems.

I would love to have Togo about five notches more globally aware of the world. I cannot even buy a book or a newspaper here. They think pissing in public is normal.

The biggest problem in the world is the lack of globalization of human rights. What is perceived as justice in the under-developed nations is amazingly racist, prejudice, primitive and uncivilized. Then the laws and religions help to enforce all the violation of human rights, I do believe some are universal values that need to be ram them down the throats of small countries. I do not like to hear about genocide.

Racism and abuse of women in 10 times worst in Africa than in the G8 countries, then protester want them to stop making decisions, I am not capable of understanding this, the protester seems be a bunch of children who thinks there parents are always square, not-hip, or un-cool or out of touch. Basic rights such as, you do not get to beat your wife is understood by even the incredibly stupid American. The will still do so, they just think they can get away with it, but the law does try to help the women. Here in Togo or most of Africa the law would assist the man to beat the woman.

The leaders are expected to discuss measures against global warming, the fight against AIDS and poverty in Africa, and the world economy. As in previous years, the summit drew protesters of various stripes opposed to globalization, capitalism and the G8 itself.

I am not sure, I am missing the point, what is wrong with Globalization, I sometimes miss the USA, this is one of them times, maybe I could call up some really smart people and see if there is any credibility to the reason to object to G8 wanting to fight against AIDS and poverty and try to keep the world economy working ok.


My only hope of understanding these issues is either a reader or the site, I find the travelers to young or trendy to want to discuss objectively the issues. The news services just write to cause problems.

These types of world issues is when I really miss being in the USA to be close to information sources and very smart people, who are not thinking selfishly or self-centered, and can see the many sides of an issue. I do see there could be some problems with globalization especially if the G8 tried to monopolize the economy to make money for the elite. However, I do think they are smart enough to not do this in a world meeting and it would all be done in secret, so why get mad at a public meeting. Secret ones do make me nervous a small bit.

LATER in the day…

He said, the world wants the G8 to be democratic and allow every country to have an equal vote. He said, the G8 has most of the money, so they are not allowing the poorer countries to vote to spend there money. Same problem as when you ask employee how much he or she is worth, they will always come up with a fantasy number, nothing to do with reality. The reality he says, the G8 has the money, they are not going to allow the small countries to spend if foolishly.

I have traveled enough to know, I am not going to give any leaders in these countries any money, they cannot be trusted.

Me, I would love to have globalization, I am tired of looking at people urinate in front of me.

Send some Globalization to Togo Please

Ask The Scarecrow Where to Go

Ask The Scarecrow Where to Go
Lome, Togo West Africa
Monday, June 4, 2007
Shortly, Dorothy pauses at a crossroads

Dorothy: Now which way do we go?
Scarecrow: Pardon me. That way is a very nice way...(pointing one direction)
Dorothy Who said that?
Don't be silly, Toto. Scarecrows don't talk!
Scarecrow: It's pleasant down that way too!...(pointing in another direction).
Dorothy: That's funny. Wasn't he pointing the other way?
Scarecrow: Of course, people do go both ways (pointing in two opposite directions),
Scarecrow: That's the trouble. I can't make up my mind. I haven't got a brain. Only straw.
Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven't got a brain?
Scarecrow: I don't know. Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't they?
Dorothy: Yes, I guess you're right.

Ask The Scarecrow Where to Go

I Once Was Lost but Now Am Found

I Once Was Lost but Now Am Found
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I have been lost wondering in the wilderness. It does not feel good be lost, there is a sense of being weak, traveling by nature leads to a feeling of being lost or separated from the pack. Yes, although we make a free will choice, I do sometimes feel like I am not included, I am being excluded from groups. I feel a little ostracized from my own tribe, culture, ethnic group or caste.
My goal to travel was never to escape my family, friends or many of the small social groups, I personally did not see it as leaving home, just living a different way. I probably talk more with some of my family by internet than I did when I live close to them, because we write letters. I did want to escape the I-HAVE-TO-WORK or I am not OK mentality of the USA.

I do not want to return to the USA, I do want some of the benefits. I have found that living abroad has some problems.

The rapid change of the internet from sending newsletter to RSS feeds and blogs has cut me off from reading the current news of the world. I used to be able to read many newsletters, now they are almost gone. I found a solution, to the lack of empathy for the world that makes RSS feeds. The real global world or 80 percent of the planet does not have a 24/7 connection, we still need to download and read emails to do so cheaply. Now I have a work around and can read their RSS feeds offline.

Cut of from the Internet!
West Africa internet café or cyber cafes are so bad, I would almost say, there is no internet in West Africa. Now there is, as I am almost positive within the next two years all of West Africa will have GPRS internet connection by using a cell phone, so I am back.

Cut off from the Travelers in Africa!
Africa cut me off from Travelers, I have not be able to find them, I was not excited to look, but I found it strange an a little unnerving to not be able to ask them a few questions.

This isolation from travelers or better yet, people doing multiple country trips. In Africa there are these wanna be something’s that travel or are tourist but just do a 1-2 or 1-3 country shuffle, they do not do a good 5-10 country dance. I think a traveler is a person that at least gets beyond 3, maybe I am making up some more rules… as I go.

I think I found the Travelers in West Africa; I keep reading the guidebooks and thinking.
- A person has to be a Fou, has to be a NUT, and has to want to die to live in a tent and camp in West Africa. -

NOTE: Just because you never heard of a person, dying when they are camping does not mean it does not happen! A missing traveler is only missed by his family and friends, they just vanish.

However, duh, it finally hit me, this is not for camping, it is for his motor home, caravan, 4-wheel drive with piles of junk on their roofs to park, it is not for camping, and it is for parking a motor home. Parking is the need, not the camping; they need to park their home, then maybe a little camping.

I am found 4 travelers, they are in a camp site. I can now make first contact with the multiple country travelers in West Africa. I will go to the Camp Sites or Parking lots for the 4-wheel drive people.

Nobody wants to be in any forced seclusion, I know deserted islands, it is not a great place, unless you want to go crazy, the perfect.

I can tell you many stories of people getting robbed who camped.

Maybe all this information in somewhere in the Christian Bible:
Joshua 5:9–12; Psalm 32; II Corinthians 5:16–21; Luke 15:1–3, 11b–32; III Nephi 4:44–52; Doctrine and Covenants 152:4a

hehehe, want to get brownie points with my Mom, quote the bible.

I Once Was Lost but Now Am Found

Going Crazy While on the Road

Going Crazy While on the Road
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I call it losing the plot, Alex Garland in the book, The Beach continually alludes to this danger, I think about it, I feel it, and there is always a creeping worry.
Will I go crazy?

Here are a couple of comments from people who wrote personal email to me about this real danger. I think they both wrote these comments as something to say, or as or of some sub-conscious knowledge of a real danger.

I have seen many people go crazy from travel, it is not a joke, I am not joking, and this is a real danger.


Hello Andy, I have been following your site and newsletter for many years- congratulations on staying human. (… )
Bonne Chance Tony
June 05, 2007

Peace, Andy. I hope you are doing well. I think often about you and your travels and the times that we met. Keep doing what you need to do to ward off going crazy while on the road
(… )
May 31, 2007


Why do people go crazy? I could write a 225-page book, full of the many ways and real example, I do not know where to start so I will finish.

If you can keep your head when all about you
- Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too; -
--- Rudyard Kipling

Going Crazy While on the Road
Traces Left
Lome, Togo West Africa
Monday, June 4, 2007

I have found traces left of a large West Africa overland trip by a truck. I was lost for words, if you knew me in person, you would know, I never stop talking. This truck is huge, I am going to have to put this one on the back burner of my brain and think. Why do they need such a big truck, I do not think it will be traces left, they will leave solid marks.

I think he said 17 tons.

These are the two West Africa or Africa overland travelers who are the owners of the truck. Staying in something called the Alice Camping in Baguida near Lome, Togo about a trip of 15 Kilometers straight east of the Ghana - Togo, Border a 2000 CFA taxi trip with no boxing.

Alice Hotel and Camping - Not correct name… more or less a German speaking Camp and Hotel, nice place in a German way. The German Expat commune seems to be in Baguida and the French one around the Galion Hotel area.

Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
06 degrees 10.079 North
001 degrees 20.426 East
8 Meters of altitude above sea level
Parking big enough for Whales
Ghana Border to Alice Camping is 16 Kilometers
Rooms are 3000 Mille - 6 US to start and no screen, Mosquito Nets.
2000 to 1500 CFA ride from the Ghana Board with Car Taxi.

Sequence of countries visited is being painted on the back of the truck. As I understood, they took three months to travel to from German to Ghana. --- Germany, France, Spain, Maroc, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, I guess about 10-18 days per country. Stayed three months in Ghana, now in Togo and will leave for Benin today.

This German Man Truck, same idea in Vehicles and the first time I have ever seen this type of cement truck trip, he did a Senegal to Togo route, along the coast. A unique trip, as he is the first I have met who has followed this path. I have to search for these people as they need large parking spots and appear to be doing large jumps. I do small hops of above 100-200 Kilometers while as best I can tell the parking dictates their trips.

There is some hazy logic being used on the budgets, I think more about controlling the quality of life than saving mone.

Doing Business With Liars

Doing Business With Liars
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, June 7, 2007

Is it possible for the majority of people in a country to lie more than the tell the truth? The answer is no, unequivocally no, but sometimes as a rich many in a poor country I believe the answer is yes. However, then you say to me,
- I am not rich! -

Sorry, I am sorry, perception is more important than reality, and the truth is you are rich walking around in 80 percent of the countries on the planet, and in about 2 percent you are poor.


Assume the average United States person earns 30, 000 US per year.

What would you think… if a person told you, I paid 60,000 US for a plane ticket to Africa? You say,
- You are RICH! -

You are rich, if you come from the USA, Europe, in some way took an airplane flight into West Africa, then you must be rich.


The average person in Togo is earning about 730 US Dollars per day.

A round trip ticket from Chicago to Togo should be about 1500 US Dollars, and wildly higher is you do not know what you are doing and an travel agent takes the advantage.

Congratulations, if you always dreamed about being rich, you can be, travel to India, Africa, Southeast Asia and you can revel in the joys of being rich. Taxis, cars, women, bars, all the debauchery and the fast life you could every want, you can be a jet setter, for once in your life you will not have to work for the man and you will be rich.

Also enjoy the good life, every person will come up and beg for money, ask you for favors and tell you many lies to try to earn money from the rich man. You will be famous, every person will stare at you, look at you and never allow you a moments peace.

These are the four major types of reason people lie off the top of my head with very little thought on the planet.

1. Lies for financial gain.
2. Lies to avoid to not be proven a fool. (Save Face)
3. Lies to increase appear a higher class level. (Not be low class)
4. Lies for protection of privacy, safety, and to remain separated.
(I am not from the USA) (I do not make much money.) (I have to leave, I have an appointment.)

Doing business with liars? Ok, who is a liar? I was a Estate Broker in the USA and I often am asked, why did you stop, I say,
- Who wants to listen to liars all day. -

Could you imagine being a car salesperson?

People think it is the sale person who lies, the truth is when it behooves a person to lie, when they believe they can say one small lie and make 1000 dollars.

Hello sir,
- How many miles doe you trade in have on it? -
Your answer is, no use in explaining, you now the lies you will tell.

Buying a home, buying a business, an the number is 100, 000, 200,000, 300,000 USA Dollars, one lie and the believe the can increase their gain by about 5000 US dollars.
In my estimation when I was a Real Estate Broker, at least 9 out of 10 people I did business with started the relationship with massive amounts of lies and slowly started to open up and tell the truth.

Hello, my name is Andy, how can I help you.
Blah Blah Blah and then I ask,
- What is your telephone number? -
The say,
- 523-0000 -

Thank you, I am looking at the caller ID and think, wow, they could be a little smarter, this one is on the slow side.

Did you lie on your taxes last year?

If the answer is yes, then please think, try to understand, so did all the other people you know, you can hear them brag about how they cheated the government out of tax money in the bar, the restaurant anywhere. I am amazed how people will just tell me, I did this and that and saved 20,000 dollars in taxes.

So how do you do business with liars? The truth is, you do it every day, all day, ever minute of every day. If the richest man the world walked into your life would you ask him for money, a small amount of money to set you up in business, or would you ignore him.

I am in Togo, I walk into a business here, I am the richest man they ever met.

You assume I cheated on my taxes, wrong, I did not, but I did lie, I showed I owed more money than was the truth, and then paid more last year the was correct. This is true. I did not want the government of the USA to think I was greedy, paying no taxes puts up red flags. Shame on me, I paid more taxes than I truthfully owed.

Lies, Business Section, Export Import, Togo, Money

Doing Business With Liars

The Ant my Travel Enemy

The Ant my Travel Enemy
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, June 7, 2007

A close up photo of some ants eating away at some unknown insect that is smashed and lying dead on the floor of my hotel room. There are many insects in my room, little flea types, ants, big one, little one and of course the world famous cockroach. I am starting to consider the cockroach as just an ugly friend, because I hear they eat bedbugs.

Nevertheless, I call the Ant,

MY Travel Enemy!

I thought I was doing well; I paid 800 CFA about 1.50 US to buy the insecticide to spray my room for bugs. I thought I was being clever, then what happens, I gave my number one enemy a free lunch, and I paid.

What happened?

I sprayed the room, as I hope I understand, I do not know, I was not watching this bug die. Ok, I sprayed the room, really good, I used the whole can, I think afterwards this bug fell onto the floor, I suspect I step on it and spattered it on the floor when I was making my bed. The guts and glory spread out on the floor, then along came the ants to feed.

Just when you think you got them, they got you, I despise ants, and I have totally stopped eating any sugar candy in room. If I have a wrapper from a candy, I would throw it out of my room. I will not put it in the waste or rubbish bin in my room; it is thrown outside the room.

I do not feed ants, I hate these mini cannot be seen so small ants, the crawl on my body, in my hair, I can feel them, I know they are there.

Ok, no more free meals, I am going to sweep my room.

Note, there is a big hollow space under my concrete bed, I do not like to look, I often find used Condoms, and I am not brave. I am going to have this area swept and cleaned of ant food.

Ants, Insects, Annoyances, Togo,

The Ant my Travel Enemy

Togo Time Travel

Togo Time Travel
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, June 8, 2007

A man says last night in the restaurant,
- I would love to get in a time capsule and see Togo 20 years ago, when it was the Hub of Africa. -

I sometimes explain who I am, and the feeling that I am an Empath as the term is use in reference to the fictional TV character Deanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation,

“Generally the term refers to a person who can feel the vibration of other people. There are many different degrees of clairsentience ranging from the perception of diseases of other people to the thoughts or emotion of other people.”

Ok, a lot of hocus pocus, however I do think every person can feel others, every person has a various degree or ability to feel empathy for another person. Some people are blanks and un-caring and insensitive to others, and some people will cry at hearing a person is sick. Because of some big pains in my life, I can feel the pain and not be damaged more.

What happened last night was funny, annoying and intriguing all at the same time. On the left side of me, was a person dreaming clearly and wanting to travel to a time 20 years before in Togo. On my right side was a very drunk man who lived in and out of Lome, Togo 20 years before, and had inside his drunken brain the memories, and maybe was damaged goods as a remnant of that time.

Two person from two world, and I was feeling both of them at the same time however the gap between the two was too great, and the one was extra drunk.

Old people, people have lived through difficult situation can explain, then when you tune in to their channel you can start to see their story in your mind eye.

I was fortunate; I ask my 88-year-old friend before he died, and who jumped of a boat in Normandy on D-Day in WW II,
- Marvin, what did you think about? -
I got to travel to that day with him, complete with anger, sadness and relief of survival.

To time travel to the past through the window opened by the people who lived through an age, people must slow themselves down to listen. In a world that is continues to increase the value of new and decrease the value of old, no one wants to listen to real history as told by real people.

My one acquaintance has given me a glimpse of Togo 20 years ago, driving down from Germany through Algeria, Niger to Lome, Togo. He also has all the wounds, scars, and pains of this real trip through time he carries.

Reference on the fictional Empath:

Togo Time Travel

Choosing a Translator

Choosing a Translator
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, June 9, 2007

STOP, please STOP

Hey, why are you adding ten sentences to my comment, I did no say that!

I despise having someone help me to buy something, I buy a horse and it looks like a camel.

I am trying to rent a house, whereby I can re-rent single for about 3000 CFA per room or 6 dollars US per day.

I have tried to use three people and one-half to talk.

1. German man who speaks English, and French.
2. Togo man who speaks some English, French and native language of Ewe.
3. Togo man who speaks Ewe and a little French.
4. Togo woman who speaks Ewe, French and some English.

All four will nod their head when they do not understand my English.

All four nod their heads yes when they do not understand my French.

Dysfunctional was once explained to me as two people who do not speak the same language walking around in a room. The two people talk and discuss many things, and never realize they do not speak the same language.

Dysfunctional does not function.

Meeting of the Minds

- Meeting of the minds (also referred to as mutual assent or consensus ad idem) is a phrase in contract law used to describe the intentions of the parties forming the contract. In particular, it refers to the situation where there is a common understanding in the formation of the contract. This condition is often considered a necessary requirement to the formation of a contract.

It is only when all parties involved are aware of the formation of a legal obligation is there a meeting of the minds. -
Stop Quote:

The can sure explain I words better than me… hehehe

Contract Law
This is saying. A contract is no good unless both parties understand what is in the contract. One way to do this is to demand the other person has an attorney with them, then when they say they do not understand, you say,
- Why did you pay the lawyer? -

Real Estate Brokers are mediators or arbitrators; their job is to create a legally enforceable contract between to people. Their job is also to explain why the property has the value, and why it will re-sell fast, after that there is a lot of personal noise and feely touchy things.

Meeting of the minds is needed and sometimes the other Broker, or clients have no mind, so how can they meet, and I want to say,
- Oh never mind, forget it. -

I want to know often if a translator understood my English, and I say,
- Explain to me what the word MIND means? -

If they get this, you are saying I am stupid look, then I know, yes, they are stupid, I need to know, I want to be positive, do you know the word before you enter me into a contract, you are me, you are my proxy, you are talking for me, and you do not know what the word is and refuse to tell me when you are stupid.

I say stupid; to me the stupid person will not say,
- I do not understand. -

I wish I had just 100 CFA for every time I say in a day,
- Pas Comprend. -
Je parler Anglais.

I do not say perfect, I am trying to test; I want to know if they are intuitively a zero. I want a person who can feel and understand me, and make the good choices; there is no way to translate perfect.

Unless we do the Vulcan Mind Meld, and as far as I know, this does not exist yet.

All I want is a meeting of the minds; I was that nice comfortable feeling of knowing in my heart, this person understands me. Therefore, I need to feel safe and comfortable with the person who is helping me to translate.

Choosing a translator is two things.
1. I talk to the translator.
2. The translator talks to the other person.
3. The person answers and the translator listen.
4. The translator tells me.

I try to think, I said 10 words, this person can use, I give permission to use 20, after that, they are putting words into my mouth, and are trying to talk for me, not translate.

I told the German man, do not talk, do not say anything, just stand there and say hello, next think I knew, the person I was meeting with was only talking to him and ignoring me, I thought, who is talking to whom. I got up and walked home, no meeting of my mind with the other mind; the translator is trying to rent a home.

My Togo friend, a fixer, the small boy as they Togo Rich men insult him and say, try to listen, but cannot culturally bring himself to say,
- I do not understand. -

He is very good, I can say,
- Explain to me the word rent. -

I do this one-minute manager thing, the one-minute goal setting. I was wanting to have a copy of the lease to read, I assumed it is in French, this was about five days ago, I have no lease to read, strange how one small item is a dysfunctional maze of meandering madness.

To choose a translator, I know I am doing well when the person speaks about the same number or words as I said. I will laugh when the person replies and the translator answers, not to clarify, but to answer for me, amazing sometimes the lack of care people have for the right of another person to speak for themselves.

It is better to not have a translator in about 90 percent of situations, I have had translators say yes, if I hear a Qui or Yes or some affirmation, I am worried, did this person just enter me into a verbal contract?

When I understand, I understand, and not before, when I have the meeting of the minds, when I feel comfortable that all people talking are on the same channel, and then maybe the translator is a translator.

I sometime think I should find listeners, listen to the conversation in my bad French and afterwards we will discuss whether the person understood or not. I know in the renting a home, I have the trump card, I will not give money until I know I understand, there is no amount of pressure possible that can force me to say yes to letting loose of the cash until I am sure I understand.

This is the goal of the translator to help me to understand, I have paid translators money and they got angry when I continued to say, I do not understand. I continue to say this until I do, and I will not nod my head and agree, I keep saying, I do not understand.

I think a highly intelligent person says, I could be wrong, I do not understand and a highly stupid person nods their head to say yes everything.

Walk up to a your translator, say something like,
- The moon is made of cheese. -

If the translator agrees, maybe you are dysfunctional…

Now, I wait, let us see who goes off topic first? Dysfunctional life is a Hobo Soup.

Hobby of mine is to listen to husbands and wives, then decide if they had a meeting of the minds…or just noise makers.

Real Estate, Translators, Translations, Languages

Choosing a Translator

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

Weasel Words

Weasel Words
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, June 10, 2007

"I realized that the purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity."
- Bill Watterson, Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat page 62 has become my conscious, my mentor, and what keeps me from straying from the truth, it has become my Philosophy, it is writing the rules of logic of modern man.

Philosophy as told to me is a clear and sustained effort to think clearly.

(I was a Philosophy Major in University and still to this day feel weak when someone asks, what is that?)

The new age:

To chunk down, extract, derives, argue, create rules, arbitrated the process of reasoning and logic, and requires critical reasoning. Congratulations, the string logic being used, the threads leading to the truth are a clear and sustained effort to think clearly.

Weasel Words


A weasel word is a word that is intended to, or has the effect of, softening the force of a potentially loaded or otherwise controversial statement. This phrase appears in Stewart Chaplin's short story Stained Glass Political Platform published in 1900 in The Century Magazine according to The Macmillan Dictionary of Contemporary Phrase and Fable : "Why, weasel words are words that suck the life out of the words next to them, just as a weasel sucks the egg and leaves the shell." Thus, weasel words suck the meaning out of a statement while seeming to keep the idea intact, and are particularly associated with political pronouncements. Weasel words are used euphemistically. The term invokes the image of a weasel being sneaky and well able to wiggle out of a tight spot. Weasel words work, ad nauseum, as in commercial lingo to glide over an uncomfortable fact (therefore "headcount reduction"" replaces "firing staff")[1]], or to create a sense of grandeur and inflated importance (and so "transitory staffing solution provider" substitutes for "temp agency"). Too many more examples of the widespread and indiscriminate usages of corporate jargon, inflicted scatter-shot on the unwary consumer, could be easily provided. Generally, weasel terms are statements that are misleading because they lack the normal substantiations of their truthfulness, as well as the background information against which these statements are made. Weasel terms are the equivalent of spin in the political sphere in British English.

Carl Wrighter identified weasel words in his book I Can Sell You Anything (1972). Earlier in his Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (1956), U.S. Air Force Captain Edward J. Ruppelt described astronomer Dr. J. Allen Hynek's report on the death of Air Force Pilot Thomas Mantell in pursuit of a UFO as "a masterpiece in the art of 'weasel wording'."[2]

Weasel words are almost always intended to deceive or draw attention from something the speaker doesn't want emphasized, rather than being the inadvertent result of the speaker's or writer's poor but honest attempt at description.

Australian author Don Watson has collected two volumes (Death Sentence and Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words) documenting the increasing use of weasel words in government and corporate language. He maintains a website [3] encouraging people to identify and nominate examples of weasely language, which gives many examples of dissimulation through excessive verbosity. Watson was previously a speech writer for Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating.

Stop Quote

I am often sad and confused when the force of my words misleads and guides a person on a path of absolutes. These are opinions I write, nothing more, and strive to separate by story the wheat from the chaff. However when a reader grabs a word or phrase and runs helter skelter into the world, fighting for or against, I sometimes wish I had never typed into the computer. There is little known, and what is known most certainly will be debated, and clarified by rules of logic now being set forth by organizations such as with the humility and steadfast diligence to edit and correct that which was thought to be known yesterday, so tomorrow is closer…

I am in Lome, Togo West Africa and I can see the knowledge of the world is closer... I am not so far away, I am almost home.

Weasel Words

Wanted Home to Rent in Lome Togo

Wanted Home to Rent in Lome Togo
Lome Togo West Africa
Sunday, June 10, 2007

I want to rent a home in Lome, Togo West Africa.

Map of Area

My experience of 14 years of being a Real Estate Broker in the state of Indiana, USA has made me afraid and cautious. I do not know the value of real estate until I know the real prices of home sold or rented in an area. The asking price is a guide only. I need to look at 3-10 homes before I can make a decision to rent or buy.

This phenomenon in the minds of expatriates induces them to agree that prices that I considered gouging are real.

I wish to rent a home, and then will offer it as boarding house or temporary home for travelers. I wish to rent the rooms for around 3000 CFA per day or about 6 US per night. This rental price number then forces me to back into the properly priced rental home and in my opinion semi-tells me the sales value of homes in the area.

A room for rent in this defined area will rent at the low of 5000 CFA per month for one room or Chambre in a Compound Home to as high as 30,000 CFA per DAY for a Hotel Room. I believe that 6-10 US is the fair asking price of any hotel room in the developing world. The prices of Hotel rooms in West Africa need a correction to be in concert with global rates and open West Africa to mass tourism.

To learn the fair price of a home to rent, one must first define the area. Homes outside this defined area are dramatically different and are not comparable homes. It is not good practice to use comparable rates of rent from an area farther than say two blocks away, it is misleading.

I first define the area, and then only look at homes in this area, all others are excluded, if I looked at only one home, then rented the home, I would not be able to understand value.

I therefore feel a need to know the asking rental price of many homes. I will not rent a home in any specified area until I have looked at and compared prices of many. I also must change agents to stop one agent from inflating the prices and keeping the inflated prices consistently high.

I speculate, I am not sure, please do not use this number, it is only a guide, however it appears presently a home in this area with three bedrooms and independent will rent around 150,000 CFA per month or about 300 US. This area is a tourist area, or expat area, I would believe in Togo the normal should be about one quarter of this price.

I have a friend in Atakpame, who rents room for 3000 CFA per month, a very nice room and the building is new.

Wanted Home to Rent in Lome Togo

Travel Cords are Tangled

Travel Cords are Tangled
Lome, Togo West Africa
Monday, June 11, 2007

I have many electrical cords in my backpack, they become entangle and knotted, I search for simplicity.

I use one long extension cord, and I make all other cords short.

I have a 14-gauge special made extension cord that is lightweight but about 3 meters long, it will go across the room of most hotel rooms. A common problem is an electrical plug is high on the wall and I want to keep my electronics on the floor or lower.

I continually worry that I will put the computer on a shelf, then will trip over the cord pulling the computer off the shelf and destroying it. If possible, I sit electronics on the floor or in the middle of a bed.

Before I cut this great Sony AA Battery Charger cord off, Sony gave me enough cord to reach a high plug on the wall.

This is after I splice the cord; I am learning I need duct tape to cover the electrical tape. Normal electrical tape starts to separate in hot tropical areas. It is possible, I believe to just use duct tape, however difficult to find or purchase in the under-developed countries.

This uses less space and weight less. This is also a great way to change the male plug when a plug breaks or burns up.

Travel Cords are Tangled

Who is the Keeper of Trends

Who is the Keeper of Trends
Lome Togo West Africa
Monday, June 11, 2007

Nothing matters and what if it did?

Maybe a life saving comment for me, and the concept that keeps me from being too serious, and right up there with Life is Good.

What matters in life, what is important in life, yes everything is important, and then I am not sure, I think 1000 years in the future a person could disagree.

I am involved in a business greatly influenced by trends, fashion and whim of the masses. I want to plan for the future, I these sites evolve and exist into the future.

I sometimes feel I need a person, maybe a job position.
- The Keeper of the Trends. -

Oh well, the more I think about it, the only person I know for this fuzzy logic position is myself. I am the person who predicts the future.

I have been reviewing all the ways of tagging, labeling, bookmarks, favorites, etc an other trendy toys. There seems to be no limits to the growth of these fuzzy type of filing or categories.

Nothing matters, and if it does matter, either way we continue on the path so I follow my feet

Who is the Keeper of Trends

Filing Emails

Filing Emails
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I am afraid for my nieces, nephew and friends; I want to protect them from the dark of night,

What I know, what I suspect, and what I do not know.
What I know if not of interest to me, I cannot be bothered.
What I suspect I understand or know is fodder for my muse.
What I do not know, this will be my downfall.

There is the dark of night, what lurks in the nuances is not known.

There is an annoying question asked in some cultures, for example, I go into a restaurant, and the waitress hands me a menu, then says,
- What do you want to eat? -
Hoovers over the table, stands looking at me as if I am stupid, slow and need to get a life, thinking, please tell me your order.

I want to say,
- Hello, sleeping brain, wake up and think, it is not possible for me to order because I do not know what on the menu, just because you hand it to me, does not mean I know it. -

Their reasoning is something like,
- I know it, so you know it. -

I am calling this class of person,
- Empathy impaired. -
They are incapable of feeling the perspective of another person, this is a self-centered personified.

I receive emails telling me I am stupid because I use bad grammar, this is the type of person I know I can sell the Brooklyn Bridge to, I really want them in my life, close up and personal I will make a fortune.

I was pick-pocketed on the subway in Madrid, Spain, a person says to me,
- How can an experienced traveler be robbed? -

Just recently, a reader writes me to say I am afraid of going crazy because I wrote about it. This is hilarious logic and just good fun to read, again the person who will buy the Brooklyn Bridge if I pitch it clearly.

I am not afraid of a barking dog, I am afraid of dogs that do not bark.

I am 100 percent positive one day I will be robbed of all my possessions one day, I just cannot do not know when.

Enough with the parables, maybe they are parables?

I see a murky future; I feel those in power, control, and of influence will soon be replaced by those who do know how to use a computer.

HG Well and a Halve and Halve Not world, those who live above ground and those who live below ground.

I would think anyone over 40 today, June 2007 is safe, their future is already decided, and therefore they are financially stable.

I could pole vault 11 feet, I wanted to pole value 15 feet, however, I could not run the 100-yard dash in 10 seconds, I was more of a13-14 second person, and I stopped pole vaulting.

When I have, friends say,
- The studied Computers in University. -

I will often say,
- So, what does that have to do with their ability to make a web page? -

There is close to zero correlation between studying computers and the real ability to use them, there are those who can, and there are those who cannot, and I suppose those who will not.

Selling is about making people feel safe.

Email is communications; I remember having a big executive from Frito Lay Company, one of them fly to New York, for two-hour appointments people, then onto Dulles for the next meeting pound ed on the table to me…


I recorded his phone calls to me, I new my survival was dependant upon how well I listened and could perform his orders.

I had a worker Steve who did too many drugs, he could not remember anything, and however he never forgot anything because he wrote everything down. Amazingly efficient man because he could not remember and he knew it, but better yet, accept it.

I just do not know where to start and where to finish, I am worried that one day all my family and friends will work in McDonalds.

I want them to stay in the queue, as the computer world will soon prove what they can do is different from what people perceive they can do. None of this matter much, I am not going to change people. However, in an effort to lead them to the water, I think I will start to write here in this area how to manage business or personal emails for a global world, if all was simple, what I just wrote would be 100 percent understood.

Filing Emails is not the solution, the solution is how to search for them, I assume you will not file the same as I file, we will not agree and that is human.

Filing Emails

Togo Food Biscuit Kolonto

Togo Food Biscuit Kolonto
Lome, Togo West Africa
Monday, June 11, 2007

25 CFA or about 5 Cents US per biscuit

The name for this food in the local language Ewe language of Lome, Togo is Kolonto, pronounced as you would pronounced French. Koh Lone Toh.

Interestingly the persons selling this corrected me when I said Ewe and they said Eva language.

This food is maybe made from wheat flour, however I have never seen wheat in Togo, maybe of corn or millet, hard to know. This food is more or less flours with water made into patties and baked, I think they add some licorice flavor or something, just a tinge. This is hard and stays fresh or ok to eat for days in these containers.

Lots of calories for a few cents.

Collecting information on language, culture, foods is like chasing rainbows, just when you think you are close it is further away. I read information written with too much force or authority, I do not want to portray confidence in this information. I am often very confused and it can take years to unravel the truth.

Who to trust, the educated people try to hide information and the one with no education cannot read or write. These simple street foods are often ignored as low class foods and not worthy to mention. This is a common food, easy to buy in Lome, Togo as you would walk around in neighborhoods, however, I do not see many Yebo walking around in neighborhoods.

In the USA or Indiana we say supper, this is a word in Indiana, a person teaching English should not avoid the real word, or the person traveling to Indiana will be surprised.

This is a normal food of Togo, normal is normal and special is special, culture is all things of a culture, not just special.

I read often about special foods of a country, I go to the country and never even see the food, I semi-believe what is obvious is the culture, and what is not obvious is history.

Togo Food, Food, Togo, Street Food,

Togo Food Biscuit Kolonto

How to Avoid Being the Ugly American

How to Avoid Being the Ugly American
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I was surfing around and stumbled upon some over-zealous pages trying to explain about something silly, and not a problem unless you make it a problem.

How to avoid being the Ugly American?

I was laughing to myself, this is really easy,
- Do not talk to Europeans or Americans and you will be loved. -

Can you imagine telling a French guy to stop acting French.
Can you imagine telling an African person to not act African.

This just is not politically correct, I doubt you would do it, it is bad manners.
Why would you allow someone to insult you.

What everyone wants is you, an American to stop acting American, and act European or whatever country they are from, come on, this is a silly suggestion.

Be a good fief, obey, they know they must obey, and they want to say no, this is all about power, not about this silly story of being Ugly, most Asian think all white people are American, and we do look the same to them.

I never apologize for being American, the greatest way to ask for huge problems is to act weak in a world full of abusive cultures. Then again, I do not sit around a listen to people insult my country, just is not a good mannered person, and to be avoided.

How to Avoid Being the Ugly American

Teach Me Bad French Please

Teach Me Bad French Please
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I am close to fluent in the Spanish Language; however, same as my English, I learned many bad habits. I studied Spanish for three semesters in University.

Maybe 15 years later I go to Mexico and start to learn Spanish again, and while I was there, I learned to say
- Mandi -

Como is correct.

If you go to Acapulco, live in a beach 8 miles north of there called Pie de La Cuesta, all the people on the beach when they do not understand will say,
- Mandi -
- Como -
What? What do you mean?

Now, I go to Spain and when I am there, and I rrrrr my R and the people in Spain point at me and laugh.
- Mexico. -

I have a Mexican accent, and as far as I know, the only country that does this rrrr thing is Mexico, and my teacher was insistent I learn. Three semesters in University and I thought was never told the whole world dos not do this rrrrrr thing.

When I teach people English, I try to teach them the bad English, for sure I teach the word Supper, they will say Dinner, then one day get to Indiana and be confused when someone says come over for the
- Last Supper. -

Making a joke, but the point is, supper is a word, maybe not sophisticated, formal, or all that elite crap, however a proper person needs to know the difference.

I want to learn bad French now, somehow or someone soon needs to teach me the bad French, so I stop. I need to stop today using some phrases I hear every day of the week from the Togo people. I am sure some are not proper French; it is not that I do not want to use them, I want to make the choice and know the difference, this is good French and this is not proper French, I do not want to learn bad habits.

It took me years to stop saying Mandi in Spanish and the truth is, when I am really rushed, not thinking, it will return, it is a habit. Habits learned are difficult to stop, I speak English the way I learned English, I will forever feel the English I speak is proper and sounds right, even when I learn 100 percent correct English, sometime is just does not feel correct.

I do not want to learn France French, I want to learn global French, I want to travel, and I do not want to live in France.

Example: Here in Togo before noon, they say Bonjour, after noon they say Bonsoir, the other day a French man walks up and says, Bonjour at about five in the afternoon to me, I am told this because it was the first time he met me. He does not speak Togo French; maybe he does not know the differences and never listened or talked with Togo people even though he lives here.

How good is my Spanish, I am not sure, but I am sure it global, I can say popcorn eight different ways.

Palamitas in Mexico
Poporopo in Guatemala
Popcorn in Panama and Peru
Pochoclos in Argentina.
Canguil in Ecuador
Pipoca in Venezueala
Crespitas in Colombia
Maiz de pira

Why, because they do not use the Spanish word normally, they use the local native language before Spanish, however how would I know that… I will forever uses Palamitas as I learned in Mexico.

Teach Me Bad French Please

Moonshine Travel Cooking

Moonshine Travel Cooking
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, June 10, 2007

I need cooking fuel, I need alcohol.

The pharmacies here in Togo are selling 95 percent alcohol for 4 US Dollars per liter or about 2000 CFA. I am annoyed, and in a way, it is difficult to buy, then I came up with the idea, this local Moonshine called Sodabi could work, and it does not good, but it works. I can cook with Moonshine with my alcohol cooking setup, and Sodabi is easy to buy. There are problems with this drink, I think the alcohol burns off the top and I need to discard the remaining, and my room smells like moonshine.

Quatre Heure is the name of this drink, a reference to a man.
That brown bottle full cost 150 CFA or about 25 Cent US.

Belindas Place Convenience Store
Foods, Drinks, Water, Biscuit, Sodabi
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
06 degrees 07.098 North
001 degrees 12.552 East
21 Meters of altitude above sea level
(Note this is not the true name, I just call it Belinda’s place because she does all the work in this store.)

Lint to Photos I took of a distilling process of Alcohol here in Koti, Togo, West Africa and related links about alcohol.

This is a bottle of Sodabi in a French restaurant, the cost is 500 CFA for a shot, I think smaller than the Togo size shot.

Explanation of what is Moonshine or Home Made liquor, there is also a lot of information about Nigeria Moonshine.

In Nigeria, home based brewing is illegal. Moonshine is variously called 'ogogoro', 'kainkain', 'abua first eleven', 'agbagba', 'akpeteshi', 'aka mere', 'push me, I push you', 'crazy man in the bottle', or 'Sapele water' depending on locality.
Stop Quote

Drinks, Togo Food, Alcohol Still, Alcohol, Togo, Gear

Moonshine Travel Cooking

Peace Corps Invades Togo

Peace Corps Invades Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

We come in Peace…

There are many Peace Corps Volunteers in Togo, West Africa, there is very large office within maybe 5 block of my hotel room.

There is an invasion of new American Peace Corps people, hmmm, are they volunteers, they are paid small and room and board. Nonetheless, Lome, Togo has an invasion of new Peace Corp Volunteers, I needed to move rooms to help the hotel accommodate some of them, they are walking around like fresh meat ready for the lions, and they are sure young.

I do not know why we, I mean the USA purchases Toyota Land Cruisers and not American made vehicles. I will be nice, however, I am being more cautious as they are driving around in my neighborhood, I have a real fear of being ran over by a big White Car in Africa.

I am waiting for the Signs of Peace.

I have been giving them a big American,
- Hello -
- Whaz Up? -

It would be interesting to learn how these young men and women have been trained. I think it is possible they have been trained to not say hello back, there is a very high ignore me ratio. Then again, I do suppose young people would ignore an older man in the USA also, I just do no remember.

Ambassadors of the USA in action, hehehe, what fun.

Hope the lions do not eat them.
I think of the sign of peace, is to shake hands in USA culture.

Peace Corps Invades Togo

Meeting my Travel Blog Readers

Meeting my Travel Journal Readers
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, June 14, 2007

Life is a work in progress, the rules are made up as we go.

I received a very nice email today from a reader of the noise I make on the internet, some call it a Blog, others a travelogue, I was defined by a page as a personal Blog. What you call me is not important; just do not call me late for supper.

I wrote a quick reply to say, no problem, then the mail server thingy did not work, went to make an instant coffee. While I went I rebooted my computer, which is required to make this GPRS connection here reset itself.

On the way, I remembered a couple times when people were searching for me, they was angry. I made blunt comment about the Thailand Police after the Tsunami saying I would not put money in their collection box on the corner of Khao San Road. I then received a few emails and said a,
- Whew, I am glad my photo is not on my pages. -


They were not happy, talking bad about governments, organizations, people or anyone can be dangerous. Somebody, I am never sure, however somehow connected with the box and the government wrote me a few personal emails, I do not think I posted them, however they did not like my comments.

In Thailand, I am more or less safe, because Thai people cannot read English well or easy. I am in Togo, and a country that uses French so safer than in Ghana. I said some comments that readers inferred were negative about Ghana and some reader threatened me while I was in Delhi, India.

While in Iraq, my Blog page, only the one page, the Blog page was shut off by, who knows whom…?
I cannot find, but somewhere in this mess are the clues to the page where I say something about the page being down.

I am not going to say the full name, however, Bruce something is angry, I am trying to get this volunteer organization list of who he is angry at, however in Cusco, there was a torrent off comments from a not so good Volunteer organization that was loosing money because former volunteers were posting complaints on my site, he was blaming me for what they said, and I was happy the site was stopping a one volunteer organization.

Ok… hehehe I am of the caste or tribe of Indiana, we trust people, and this is good, can be bad.

How to Meet Your Travel Journal Readers, I sometime need to stay on topic, but then again, this could be called a diary…
- The Problems to Meet Travel Journal Readers

I can think of off the top of my head six problems.

1. Anonymous Readers
2. Person wrote the first time
3. Ambushes by Governments or Journalist
4. Clever people that hate me.
5. I have no protection of the law.
6. I do not want my photo taken.

This is fun, I am going to write the person and say yes, and however, I am aware I need a self-enforced policy. Regular readers are easy, I get to know people, like Ash, Chris, Eric and I can feel them when they post comments.

The internet is an anonymous baby, a real annoying toy, that can slap you or me side the head and it can hurt, sometimes be dangerous. I do not like hate mail, and I do not like provoking comments, I learned the other day there is a name for these provoking comments on the Blog.
Interesting name, and made me laugh…

All is good fun, and then all is not good fun sometimes.

I have made numerous comments about the Peace Corps, I generally believe the Peace Corps is a good thing, however sometimes they do embarrass me, I am from the same country, and I do see them as working as Ambassadors, we all represent our tribe, there is no escape. I found a nasty comment about my Blog, however bad comments make better promotion than good.

I travel for fun, I do not travel to be well known, and I write a travel Blog to make money so I can travel. If I wanted to be famous, I would put my photo on pages and introduce myself to big hotels and try promoting me.

It feels good to have someone read your writing, I enjoy it when a girl flirts with me, I do enjoy it when a reader says they love my writing. Therefore, flattery sometimes opens a door, and then I soon wish it were closed.

I am not in Kansas; I travel in countries that often have limited or no freedom of speech. This is real life, not a game, I sometimes like it when nobody read my writings, and life was simpler. In the Country of Colombia the Narco-Trafficers target journalist, I am not a journalist, however forget I said that, I am person who talks, the world does not want people to talk, and for sure they do not want you to tell their secrets or lies to the world.

Ok, life is a work in progress, while I was typing this post; I went to my fancy new Help Center on and started a policy in the About Andy section… How to meet Andy of in person:

I love the internet, I can connect all the dots of my life and remember what I said, I am continually trying to find a way to post all my thoughts… this is easy, I want to post all my thoughts, then find and retrieve quickly, I need to post quickly and I need to search and find quickly. This is easier done with a computer, I think often of the amazing James Michener doing this without a computer.

Meeting my Travel Journal Readers

Thanks to Mom and Dad from Togo

Thanks to Mom and Dad from Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, June 15, 2007

I am the sum total of my personal history.

Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition and behavior, decision and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. Determinism may also be defined as the thesis that there is at any instant exactly one physically possible future.
Stop Quote

Any way I do the math, my parents contributed at least 18 years of the essential pathway to making my brain, this is the big lump of influence.

Thanks Mom and Dad, for doing good work, I am grateful.

I had this interesting dinner last night with a few influential people from Togo who speak English well, maybe a who’s who in the English Language world of Togo.

There was talk about walking down the beach in Lome, Togo, and wow, what a reaction from the group as I think I said,
- I walk down the beach. -
YOU walk down the beach! Like somehow a person should never walk down the beach in Lome, Togo.

I would say from the Ghana Border at the water or coast, to about 10 blocks inland to about the Palm Beach Hotel is my territory of muse walking wondering and wander. I would say I know this area well, however for sure I am the only white man walking around in the area, maybe though I have discovered one Swiss French person who owns a house and I am being to understand who he is and what he does is semi-amazing.

Ok, so why thank Mom and Dad? I am able to walk the world safely because of my brain is made by Mom and Dad, the tag says,
- Made in America -
- Manufactured by Mom and Dad -

DANGER - Some of my assumptions:
- Danger is cannot be avoided.
- To separate real danger from perceived danger is difficult.
- To not be robbed, mugged, and killed is a proof of people’s ability to avoid danger. -

Robbery is not one of my big problems, I am not robbed enough to be a statistical problem in my travels. I have 10 years under my belt of wondering around and no good story to tell about being robbed, two small ones, I have lost I think 60 US dollars to robbery and this was done by an Italian and Spanish man, never from a local in a country. For me, the European have robbed me more than the locals, the locals have done a poor job at robbing me, I trusted the Europeans a little more and they robbed me, this was my fallacy.

So thanks Mom and Dad, the makers of my mind, you did a good job, something in my brain works very well, I am able to make good decisions.

Thanks to Mom and Dad from Togo

Togo Africa Bat or Chauvesouris

Togo Africa Bat or Chauvesouris
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, June 15, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007

This is a big Bat, or Chauvesouris in French, I walked into a compound home today and these boys are holding this big animal.

Bat in English or Chauvesouris in French.

The wing spread on this bat makes me nervous, the man said, this is a small bat for the USA, you have bigger ones. I said,
- I never seen a bat this big in the USA. -

They have been watching too many movies or doing this everything is bigger in the USA stereotype thingy.

Animals, West Africa Animals, Togo Animals, Togo,

Togo Africa Bat or Chauvesouris

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

Four US Dollars Room in Lome Togo

Four US Dollars Room in Lome Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa

I moved today from a 12 US dollar hotel room to a four US Dollar home stay room here in Lome, Togo, it is often amazing the values a person finds the longer they live in a city. This is 2000 CFA in Togo money.

This room is a good room, with Fan, Shower, Hot Water, Toilet and pictures on the wall, I even have some hangers. Very private, quiet so far a great value, a much better room for one third the price.

The only possible problem is a need for a generator, I now do not have a generator in the event the electricity is cut, however the electric for the last week has been good.

I remember being in Mexico and paying 10 US, however by the time I left the beach my daily room cost was only one dollar. This is why I recommend a person live in any location one year before you purchase and I am not sure why to purchase, however the prices always goes down dramatically of all services the longer you stay, if you just do not sign up on day one, wait a year.

Four US Dollars Room in Lome Togo

Photos of African Food

Photos of African Food
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, June 17, 2007

Please send us some pictures of the grocery store. I love looking at
all the different stuff they sell. Snap the meat market area, vegetables and the check out counter. It will show what differences the culture is from here.

Interesting proposal or request, and not easy to do, because

1. 10 percent of food is sold about the same as the USA, the check out counter, the meat section is almost the same.

2. Then there is the 20 percent combinations of modern and traditional types.

3. Then there is the 70 percent normal world open markets, supplemented with small corner stores to distribute the imported foods.

The normal country of Togo is self-sufficient in they grow about everything they want or need, I think maybe a problem with Vegetable Oil and Rice, however everything else is here.

If I want to make the country look rich, I take photos of 1, if I want to make it look poorer, I can take pictures of number 3, and if I want be fair, I need to take many photos of all levels, and put on the same page. This is why I am often very annoyed with Journalist, I know they just took an isolated incidence and portrayed it a the normal situation.

To be fair is difficult, hard to make a very clean meat counter in a fancy Supermarket seem special, I will try to be creative and take more Togo and West Africa food photos.

Photos of African Food

Bodyguards and Secrets

Bodyguards and Secrets
Lome, Togo West Africa
Monday, June 18, 2007

I do not trust secrets and bodyguards to keep me safe, I do trust random behavior.

I know me, I tell, then you tell, then we have gossip and all sorts of fun things, it soon becomes Alices Restaurant.

I do not like secrets, too many secrets and I will call you,
- Dysfunctional. -

A Chat conversation between Boy Genius and me.

Secrecy is not Security

Andy: If they can find a way, they will find a way
Hobo Techie: Yes, but this is similar to open vs closed source
Hobo Techie: Both are at the same level
Andy: same level of what
Hobo Techie: Same level of being secure
Andy: yes
Hobo Techie: Open source is not more secure
Hobo Techie: Neither is the closed
Andy: So this is my point
Andy: Open is not secret
Andy: Closed source is secret
Andy: Closed is not safer
Andy: So why be secret

I want to buy a bodyguard.

I am pretending I am a Mafioso, maybe the Sopranos, however I have never seen the Mafia singers TV show, not enough to say I know.

How much to buy a bodyguard?
Ok Mr. Bodyguard, I would like to kill the body, hmm, I want to kill the body you are protecting. You have a choice, you sell me the body, or I kill you and the body, which you guard, maybe your wife, but I do not think you care, maybe the small child.

So, tell me a price, help me or we kill the both of you.

Hmm, the average person in your country makes 30 dollars per month, and you are making 60 dollars per month, therefore the going price to buy you is maybe five times your yearly wages, I think you can find a better job in five years.

Ok, we have decided.

60 dollars times 12 months is --- 720 U.S. Dollar
720 times 5 years is --- 3600 U.S. Dollars.

3600 U.S. Dollars and you live and the body dies.

Ok, thank you, a small price to guarantee that American does not get that Ten Million Dollar contract here in my country.

There is a price on your body, what is the price for your body?

I am more the hiding in plain site type of guy; I believe the best security is to not be worth anything, maybe a Hobo.

I remember in Iraq, getting an offer to ride in a Hummer from Arbil to Baghdad and I said,
- Are you nuts, you guy are targets, we will take the bus. -

We showed up randomly, got on the bus and left, then the only problem was the cell phones on the bus, one US made in Iraq translator made me nervous, I knew to buy him was cheap. I spent a lot of time talking with him and his wife and child, it I go, you go.

Maybe I should say, if you cannot stop them, help them as I would say in the permission to use photos on site… hehehe. I either give them permission or they steal photos, so I may as well help them and get some referrals.

Bodyguards, Secrets, Danger, Security, Togo, Webmaster,

Bodyguards and Secrets

How Boring is Andy of

How Boring is Andy of
Lome, Togo West Africa
Monday, June 18, 2007

How boring is my blog?

I have posted maybe 325 times comments in the Help Center or Letters to Editors section of

While in the same time, I probably posted about 50-100 time on my normal blog.

Therefore, Andy, a.k.a. Me, considers the blog so boring, that three quarters of the time now he-me steers his post to the help center because he, me, considers himself too boring to read.

What a great receptacle for idle thoughts and maybe some are of value to someone, I am a collector, I collect ideas, and I need a place that is safer than my computer, which is always under attack by rain, water, ants and taxi drivers, plus an occasional cup of coffee.

I just posted two Book Review, now only on a too much playing social network would someone want to read my book reviews. However I have a second goal, I want to remember which books I have read, and this will work, and maybe I can remember or forget the book.

I am trying to hand off the torch, allow some more Hobo to help to be pure, to be a Traveler, to share, to mark the path. There are people who will not or cannot remember to go home, or maybe those who dream of escaping the 9-5, there is a way, the world is ours for the taking, but we need to stick together, and remember, are dreams are not for sale.

Help Center, Writing, How to Blog, Togo, About Andy,

How Boring is Andy of

CNIA Cellular Network Internet Access

CNIA Cellular Network Internet Access
Lome, Togo West Africa
Monday, June 18, 2007

I think this makes sense, take the words:

Cellular Network


Internet Access


CNIA - Cellular Network Internet Access

I feel there is mass confusion, as I read of many ways to access the internet with the essential conduit being a cell phone. The information is being explained starting with a specific technology, then going to general, and it just does not make sense.

The Cellular Network is the pivotal idea! It is the essential ingredient.
I need the cell phone to access the network, then onto the internet.

The confusion or my clarity on the problem is this, I travel from country to country, I do not have many options or choices, and I must use the internet system that is available. I keep searching for a truly wireless solution that covers the whole country.

I have many readers who recommend something that works for them, when in reality I can only use what works in the place where I am at, what is used where they are located is not applicable. Maybe if I reworded the terms, I could find out what I want.

I do not care or what to know how it works, I just want to use my computer and a Prepaid SIM card and access the internet. I keep searching for more information and it seems like an advertisement on how much we know and not explaining in practical words.

CNIA Cellular Network Internet Access

Tell me what is available using a cell phone, the local cellular network and my computer together to access the internet?

I am not excited to hear, in Belgium there is high speed this, and that, I like them am wanting to help me and others go to Africa, etc.

Ok, I now want to know, how can I access the Internet in Cameroon using the Cellular Network. What options are available under the for Cellular Network Internet Access?



CNIA, GPRS, Mobile Office, Satellite Internet, Internet, Togo, Cellular Network Internet Access

CNIA Cellular Network Internet Access

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

Lucky Travelers

Lucky Travelers
Locus of Control Theory
Traveler Who Need to Stay Home
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Do you believe in luck.

I think a people who play the lottery may not make a good long-term traveler.

Locus of control theory is a concept that extends between psychology and sociology, which distinguishes between two types of people - internals, who attribute events to their own control, and externals, who attribute events in their life to external circumstances. For example, college students with a strong internal locus of control may believe that their grades were achieved through their own abilities and efforts, whereas those with a strong external locus of control may believe that their grades are the result of good or bad luck, and are hence less likely to work hard for high grades. (It should not be thought however, that internality is linked exclusively with attribution to effort and externality with attribution to luck, as Weiner's work (see below) makes clear). This has obvious implications for differences between internals and externals in terms of their achievement motivation, suggesting that internal locus is linked with higher levels of N-ach. Due to their locating control outside themselves, externals tend to feel they have less control over their fate. People with an external locus of control tend to be more stressed and prone to clinical depression(Benassi, Sweeney & Dafour, 1988; cited in Maltby, Day & Macaskill, 2007).

Although popularly associated with Julian Rotter after his publication in Psychological Monographs where he outlined his now classic "locus of control" scale (1966), work on locus of control actually predates Rotter's paper, as Lefcourt's (1966) review of the same year clarifies. Its roots can be found in the work on typical and atypical expectancy shifts carried out by psychologists in the 1950s.
Stop Quote

Lucky Travelers
Locus of Control Theory
Traveler Who Need to Stay Home

Can't Buy Me Love

Can't Buy Me Love
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Words from the music group the Beatles,
Lennon and McCartney

Can't Buy Me Love…
Money can't buy me love.

I moved into a new room and pay 4 dollars, I have a five times better room than my room for 12, if you think about the words,
- Can’t buy me love. Money can’t buy me love, -
Maybe there is a reason why this a better room, what I get for free is here...

What does a person want in a hotel, they want a hotel that cares. I have not figured out how to buy that in 10 years of travel, I am not sure I can pay enough to stop being a number in a big hotel, or ignored in most.

Since I moved into the room in two days.

The owner offered today to have water heated so I can have a hot shower.

The cleaning girl picked up my sandals and protected so the dog would not play with them.

The owner showed me two times how to use the key to the front gate.

The housekeeper washed all my clothes for 2 US Dollars.

The man came in a showed me how to turn on the lights, where the switches were located, and all the room adjustments. He apologized for water next to the toilet, and I was laughing, in my 12 dollar hotel I was using a bucket to flush.

Then, the daughter is gorgeous, bonus points.

This is the second cheapest room in Togo so far, and it for sure has the best service. I am sure, money can’t buy me love.

I see very little difference between a 2 and 20 dollar room, except for the 18 dollars, their is an expectation and the perception it was better. Because, well, I guess, well think about it, I did, I know I paid more, therefore it was better, maybe.

Can't Buy Me Love

Brave Travel Writers Write Real Budgets

Brave Travel Writers Write Real Budgets
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I do not like to read about travel, I become too annoyed as the travel writers avoid or do not know the real budget costs of travel.

I will admit, I have never tried to tackle the job of explaining global travel budgets. I write about specific costs, I do not go global; I stay in the specifics and have not tried to explain how to travel the world in one areas of the site. I feel I maybe think I need to travel to the Stan Brothers, Russia, Australia, Japan, Korea and parts of the Middle east before I can say, I know, or am close to knowing the planet.

The sad part is, let us be real, who has really traveled the whole planet, there are not many who have traveled on a backpacker budget, some who traveled on a Business Budget know the most places, not the cultures. However, off the top of my head, I know only one couple who I would say, comes close to knowing he world.

Why does a travel writer need to be brave to write about real budgets?

Easy, if you say or recommend Hotels for 500 US dollars per night, you just excluded about 95 percent of your readers. The same is when I talk about finding a room for 4 dollars; I have just annoyed about 95 percent of the click, browse, and click away readers. Say any specific dollar amount and some reader is annoyed and stops reading.

Recommend anything cheap and people complain, they want a Five Star Hotel on a minus One Star budget, geez grow up.

Why am I annoyed with travel writers, they normally only take the fantasy writing route. The fine dining restaurant, dream what I would do if I was rich and famous, Princess Diana, become a King fantasy adventure too safe to be an adventure trips. And a reader has to be brave to say a Five Star Hotel is bad.

I am laughing to myself; do you know why there are not very few travel writers in West Africa? It is because they cannot afford to travel here. Price an air ticket to Lome, Togo from your home round-trip and see if you do not get a little weak in the knees.

99 percent of Travel Writers make 1 percent of the money and 1 percent make 99 percent of the money. It is the rich who get richer and the poor get poorer scenario in as a nut you eat.

Annoyed readers is not a way to sell Books, Magazines, Newspapers, Expensive Tours, Hotels and Airplane Tickets.

I annoy more readers by talking about a 5 dollar room, then I talking about a 50 dollar room, I would annoy even less at 100 and start to annoy more at the 200 level and again to start really annoy if I say good valued rooms for 5000 per night.

Explaining how to cook rice with an alcohol cooker, buying bananas, how to cut up a pineapple in your room, or how I got sick eating does not make prime time travel readers happy.

If I talked about drinking wine on the French Riviera or having dinner in a with the USA Embassy workers in Togo French Restaurant, complete with wine testing, and clean table clothes, this would entice the fantasy travel reader more.

How could I write about real travel budgets? I first have to define the budget of my readers, and then write for them.
(I really thought first the words stereotypical tourist.)

I feel most wanna be travel writers dream about writing in one of these price ranges, and wanna be famous with some of these example of travel market stereotypes.

National Geographic Traveler Magazine Online

Rick Steves' Europe

Conde Nast Traveler on

New York Times Travel T Magazine

American Express

Journeywoman Travel magazine for women

Frommer-s Budget Travel Guides

Visa Everywhere You Want to Be

Thomas Cook

Geo Magazine

These groups are all focused on very specific markets, they are trying to appeal and write to a group with X amount of money, with this X amount of education and has this much time vacation and spend X amount of money per trip.

To write about a global real budget, I then make some general broad comment or copy that somehow appeals to each of ten price levels for real budgets, and then explain how to live within their budgets.

I would the need to explain all ten budgets to adequately explain how much it cost to travel the whole planet. Ergo, think, 10, this is why these magazines only try to manage one to three budget levels and normally where they can make the most money from the most people, it is about money, not about travel.

Learn a budget, ask a Business Traveler, and he will tell you,
- The company gives me this much per diem and I have this much money for room, they require that I normally stay in this Hotel Chain and kiss this mans wife. I can travel with these airlines and they allow me to get the Frequent Flyer miles so I can get a bonus. -

The will tell you their budget, this is what the writer has to keep as the top and bottom of their writing budget, they write about things to do inside this price range… hehehe If this was the groups you wanted to focus on, I would recommend you learn the per diem allowance for hotels for various cities of the planet as dictated by the US Internal Revenue, and have a laugh when you read about Lome, Togo.

I am a stereotype, however, the truth is, I fit in all the above categories better than I do in the one normally write about and truthfully everyone fits into all and none at the same time.

I be Hobo, who cares, I can do what I do, and be anything I wanna be, today, tomorrow or yesterday, because nobody pays attention to a tramp.

Which stereotype do you wish to be today? or maybe go Hobo...

Brave Travel Writers Write Real Budgets

John Debbins is Alive

John Debbins is Alive
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A good man is safe after a plane crash in Malawi over the weekend. I have mentioned or referred to John in newsletters. I hope all is good.

I do hope I have the correct photo, I have not seen John in about 5-6 years, I met him shortly in Brazil, a person your remember, a unique and happy person He is from the USA, who at the time worked teaching English in Paraguay, and has written emails occasionally every since, Andrea Debbins, his sister wrote me:


Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 11:37 AM

Subject: john debbins is alive and okay

Johnny called this morning to say he is okay.

The plane owned by the Nyika Safari company crashed on friday June 15th, 2007. The pilot, Christian, and 5 british tourists were killed in the crash. Christian is a good friend of Johnny's. Johnny called this morning to say he is okay but initial news reports he is the pilot because the Nyika Safari website has not been updated and lists him as the pilot.

Please spread the news that Johnny is okay and please pray for Christian and the other tourists.

If you google Nyika and John Debbins you can see the news reports.

Johnny and Lotte are going to the Netherlands this friday. I told him to call us when he arrives.

The names of the five British tourists killed in a plane crash in Malawi over the weekend were released yesterday as reports indicated they belonged to a larger group of sporting fans who were holidaying in the region.

The six-seater Cessna took off from the capital Lilongwe early Saturday afternoon and headed towards the Nkiya National Park in the north of the country but crashed shortly after 2pm. An investigation into the cause of the crash has been launched but early indications suggest bad weather may have been to blame.

I do not know, however small planes seem more dangerous than the larger passenger jets.

John Debbins is Alive

Agpe Popcorn Learning Togo Ewe Language

Agpe Popcorn Learning Togo Ewe Language
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I am becoming Togolese.

That is a scary thought, I hope to take the good and leave the bad, I am sadly aware I will take a little of both.

However, the good!
Agpe Popcorn.

I do a daily stroll through the neighborhood; it is how I become Togolese. I like the popcorn they sell, I have my own personal popcorn woman, she is nice, and I claim her as my popcorn person. The other day, I almost cried, hard to believe I can say that, half way do it, nonetheless, the truth is I was so touched by this women I almost started to cry.

I thought later, I am going go take her photo and try to say those words, some dream of writing touching words that explained what I felt. I started to, and I could not, she is not for sale, she is mine, and yours.

What happened?
I purchase two 25-CFA bags of popcorn daily, this is about 10 cents US, I try to give the lady correct change because I like her, I reserve the big money for the stores I do not like.

She knows me, I know her, no words are needed, she sees me, she knows I will grab two of the clear plastic bags of popcorn and give her either 50 CFA or drop it down into the plastic tub as is the custom here. They store the coins in the tub, or under the small towels that serve as table clothes. If I cannot find the vender, then it is self-serve, I just place the coin down, and I make my change and continue on the path.

The level of honesty at this level is amazing in Togo Africa, they leave money just sitting around in the open, one days pay here, can you imagine putting 100 dollars in the coffee area at work, and this is what they do.

I do the transaction, I say,
- Merci, -

This is French, I now she speaks the local Ewe Language 99 percent of her daily life, however I do not speak Ewe so, I say in the business language French,
- Merci -
Alternatively, thank you in French.

I look at people, I do not ignore people, as I give her the money, I grab my wrist as is the custom with offering of money, semi-do a small bow, she is woman of respect, older, I must be, I just must be… I am becoming Togolese.

Then it happened!
She looks back at me, nods her head, and says,
- Agbpe -

I look around, I can feel the piercing of my soul, this women just reached inside me, I can feel her touching me.

She is saying, I am you, you are I, we are together, however now as you are my son, you should say,
- Agbpe. -

I repeat,
- AackPay -
- AaghBay -

She repeats, I try to repeat, I do not have an ear for languages, this is tonal language, and I know I need to hear it many times to say correctly, I have to stop thinking, I am to repeat the word.

She has now adopted me, she is my teacher, and I am her student, as I become Togolese. I think, and I hope she said Thank You in the Ewe Language.

There is an art to learning about people, it may be you need to be touched, and allow them to touch you.

I was touched, and life is indeed good.

Agpe Popcorn
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 19, 2007
06 degrees 07.155 North
001 degrees 12.598 East
10 Meters of altitude above sea level

Three-quarters of a block North of Galion Hotel, Lome Togo
Please say,
- Agpay -

Do not worry about the spelling, I hope she will correct you…

For a real treat, watch her pop the popcorn, she will very so lightly add some salt, test the popcorn, shake it, add, adjust, then test again, she makes sure the popcorn has just the right amount of care.

Agpe Popcorn Learning Togo Ewe Language

Hotel Critics Guidelines


This is NOT a real organization, and is for educational purpose only.

Hotel Critics Guidelines

The following guidelines for Hotel critics and/or reviewers are just that —
guidelines suggested by the Association of Hotel Journalists. They are not
intended to be rules that will be enforced by the Association of Hotel
Journalists. The guidelines are provided to Hotel journalists and their
employers who are interested in ethical industry suggestions for reviewing


Good Hotel reviewing is good journalism. Reviewers should subscribe to the same
accepted standards of professional responsibility as other journalists. That
means adhering to the traditional Canons of Journalism of the American Society
of Newspaper Editors, the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional
Journalists, and the Code of Ethics of the Association of Hotel

Given the prominence — and controversy — inherent in reviewing, it makes sense
to check first when confronted with a doubtful situation. Consult the various
ethics codes or talk to an editor. The Association of Hotel Journalists also
serves as source of advice and support for reviewers who are members.

Reviews should be conducted anonymously whenever possible. Critics should
experience the Hotel just as ordinary patrons do. Reservations should be made in
a name other than that of the reviewer and meals should be paid for using cash
or credit cards in a name other than the critic. Take care to make reservations
from telephones outside of work; many Hotels have caller identification systems.
Just because a workstation telephone has a "blocked" telephone number doesn't
mean the call won't be tagged as coming from the publication. Reviewers who have
been recognized may want to make note of that in the review, especially if the
treatment they receive differs markedly from what nearby tables are receiving.
While anonymity is important when dining out, reviewers should write under their
real names, not a pseudonym. Readers should also be able to respond to the
reviews; a work telephone number or e-mail for the reviewer or the supervisory
editor should be included with the review.

Multiple Visits
Two visits to a Hotel are recommended. Three times are better. Service, Hotel
quality and atmosphere can vary, sometimes quite dramatically, from day-to-day.
Multiple visits give the critic a better understanding of the Hotel, helping him
or her to more accurately gauge its rhythm and spirit. Try scheduling visits so
the Hotel is observed on a weeknight and a weekend. Rooms on a Monday can be
vastly different from a Saturday night rooms, for example.

Reviewers should sample the full range of the menu, from appetizers to desserts.
Reviewers must taste everything ordered, or at least all the items they mention
in a column. Bringing guests along helps the critic by allowing the table to
order a greater variety of dishes. Two or three guests per visit are probably
the most manageable. Besides being fun, having guests along better replicates
the dining out experience. Order dishes that involve different cooking
techniques (steamed, deep-fried, sautéed); different ingredients (one orders
fish, another asks for beef); different styles (something traditional, something
eclectic). Is there something the Hotel is known for doing well? Order it. In
general, guests should avoid ordering the same thing. Order different dishes on
return visits. It's a good idea, however, to do a repeat order on a dish that is
particularly wonderful or terrible to see if the experience is consistent.

Pay in full for all meals and services. Don't accept free meals or use gift
certificates donated by the Hotel or a special-interest group. Publications
should strive to budget enough money for Hotel visits so the reviewer can do the
job without having to resort to personal funds to help pay the bill.

Reviews should reflect the full range of a region's Hotels, from neighborhood
haunts to luxury venues. Offer readers dining choices in a variety of price
ranges, cuisine, neighborhood and style.

New Hotels
To be fair to new Hotels, reviewers should wait at least one month after the
Hotel starts serving before visiting. These few weeks give the fledgling
enterprise some time to get organized. If, however, a

Hotel must be visited because of timeliness, enormous reader interest or
journalistic competitiveness, consider offering readers "first impressions."
This piece should be more descriptive than critical, avoid labeling it as a
review if possible. The emphasis of such a sneak preview could be on the
fledgling Hotel's clientele, its decor and maybe the chef's background rather
than a blow-by-blow account of the menu (though Hotel would, of course, be

Ratings should reflect a reviewer's reaction to menu, atmosphere and service.
Cost should also be taken into consideration. Have a sense of what a star or
other rating symbol mean. Here are some definitions to consider:

• FOUR STARS: (Extraordinary) Transcendent. A one-of-a-kind, world-class

• THREE STARS: (Excellent) Superior. Memorable, high-quality menus
frequently accompanied by exciting environs and/or savvy service.

• TWO STARS: (Good) Solid places that beckon with generally appealing

• ONE STAR: (Fair) Just OK. A place not worth rushing back to. But, it
might have something worth recommending: A view, a single dish, friendly
service, lively scene.

• NO STAR: (Poor) Below-average Hotels.

Although most readers have a sense of what the stars mean, every review should
run with a box explaining the ratings.

Some Hotels get better, some Hotels get worse. A critic should have some sort of
mechanism in place to make note of these changes. A full-blown re-review is
appropriate if the Hotel changes hands, wins or loses a high-profile chef or
moves to a new location.

Negative Reviews

Negative reviews are fine, as long as they're accurate and fair. Critics must
always be conscious that they are dealing with people's livelihoods. Negative
reviews, especially, should be based on multiple visits and a broad exploration
of the Hotel's menu. Following a consistent reviewing policy without deviation
may protect a critic from charges of bias or favoritism, while providing a
platform from which to defend the review.

Fact Checking
Follow basic journalistic precepts for accuracy. After finishing the review,
telephone the Hotel and double-check the spelling of the name. Confirm address,
telephone number, credit card policy and what types of alcohol are served.

Wearing Two Hats
Hotel reviewers who double as Hotel editors should try to keep the two roles as
separate as possible. Hotel editors who are reviewers should avoid writing
stories about Hotels, Hotel owners or chefs. It may be hard for a Hotel owner or
chef to speak as freely as he or she should if he or she harbors some resentment
because of a review. Conversely, owners and/or chefs may try to be extra nice in
order to win a favorable review in the future. If possible, utilize another
employee or freelancer to do those stories. If personnel or budget constraints
preclude another staff member tackling these stories, try to obtain the
information over the telephone rather than in a face-to-face interview. Also,
try to steer clear of interviewing the staff of Hotels that have been recently
reviewed or are on the immediate reviewing schedule. Critics should avoid
functions that restaurateurs and chefs are likely to attend, such as grand
openings, Hotel anniversary dinners, wine tastings or new product introductions.

Many Hotel critics do the job on something less than a full-time basis. While a
number hold other jobs with their employers, there are critics whose only link
to a publication is the Hotel review. Here are some questions freelancers should
consider before accepting an assignment.

• What is the policy on negative reviews? Does the publication expect
only "puff" pieces?
• Will the publication support the critic if a Hotel dislikes the review?
What if the restaurateur threatens a lawsuit? Will the publication give out the
critic's home telephone number and leave him or her to fend for themselves? Or,
will the publication field calls and defend the reviewer?
• Does the reviewer get to write under his or her own name or a pseudonym?
• How many times is the critic expected to visit a Hotel before writing a
• Who selects the Hotels?
• Does the publication have a policy about reviewing Hotels that are also
• Are any Hotels considered off-limits, i.e. chain Hotels?
• Does the publication have specific guidelines (Hotel quality, service,
attitude, price) that must be followed in evaluating the Hotel?
• Is there a policy on how many people a reviewer can take along to a
hotel? Do guests need to pay for their own rooms?
• Does the publication pick up the tab? Is there a cap on how much a
reviewer can spend on the room? Will the publication pay for room? Does the
reviewer have to use a personal credit card or pay cash?
• Will the critic be paid a salary plus room reimbursement or just room
• Will the reviewer receive mileage?
• How long must a reviewer wait before getting paid? Will the publication
pay for credit card late fees or interest charges if the reimbursement is not


Comments by Andy of

The 1-5 Star Hotel Ratings,system of Hotels evaluation is inherently flawed and suspect. The information is an example of what is needed, and for instructional reasons best explained in this manner. To the reporting of restaurants and food is professional, while the Hotel Industry and assorted names for short-term lodging seem to go unchecked.

Hotel Critics Guidelines
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, June 22, 2007

Way too much thinking for a Hobo. I really like to hide in the Hobo mystic and behind a boxcar… or as Eric likes to hear, I like to hide in plain site. However, we at the site are trying to create an areas to log in and create Hobo biography page, and we want people to choose Hobo Names. I was trying to explain to the India techie and this takes a left turn more than right turn, and this is way too much thinking for me, Andy, a.k.a. Hobo.

What is a Hobo?

What is a Hobo, this word is,
- Made in the USA -
A who could understand an American?

Not easy to translate, difficult to understand and if you want to explain to a techie in India, maybe could takes time to understand. The culture of Hoboes, the feeling and the concepts of Hoboes sometimes takes a left turn when a person should be turning right.

Hobo Names

Hoboes had names, they took Nicknames, they took Monikers, I think many hide behind the name. I hide behind,
- Andy - or
- Andy of - maybe
- Andy the -

If you was a Bank Manager and lost your job, then became a Hobo, Bum, Tramp, ran off and deserted the wife, maybe best to use a different name, hide, escape….

Well, if you are German, French, Arabic, Chinese, then you know, to understand slang, jargon and colloquial phrases could take a life, and maybe you have to marry the girl to understand the words of a culture.

This excellent site explains by example what a Hobo Name is, and gives some great images to further explain.

Go Hobo

Hobo, Togo, Hobo Names,


Selfish on Saturday

Selfish on Saturday
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, June 23, 2007

Comments on my blog are an incredible phenomenon to study, I really enjoy people watching, and blog post are good fun.

There are comment off-topic, yet interesting.

There are many advertisements disguised as post, which normally the readers never see as I refuse to publish.

Then there is the time or day of the week phenomenon, which day of the week I blog will influence how many comments. I do not try to elicit comments, I try to give a beginning, middle and end. Then hope maybe a comment is on-topic an adds to what I know, so I can learn.

Selfish on Saturday is my awareness, that if I post today, Saturday in Togo there will be less comments and I will not get feedback. I sometimes feel like an editor, thinking to myself,
- Hmm, that was pretty good, maybe I should wait until Wednesday to publish so the readership is better and I can get more feedback. -

I say selfish, because I am not doing this for the readers, there are times when I want comments on subject more than others.

Selfish on Saturday

Comparing Danger of USA and Africa

Comparing Danger of USA and Africa
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, June 24, 2007

There are two type of danger in my mind, or at least big categories.

Danger of getting robbed.
Danger of being killed.

I have been conversing with a nice American couple around age 30 who are going to Kpalime to Volunteer in an orphanage. When an American has an opinion I am more critical, I expect more from my own culture, as does the world in a way, however, I compare them to Europeans.

I keep hearing myself say,
- Compare -

I said last night,
- What is poor? -

They will go a work in an orphanage in Kpalime, and I said,
- What is an orphan? -

Everything is a… Compared to what or where?

I would say Togo is rich compared to most of India, South America, and a lot of Mexico, life is very good here however poor compared to the USA and Europe. But in India they have more consumer items, and Togo has few radios.

Robbery Danger - I AM

Less likely to have my room robbed in Togo than in Thailand.
I am five times more likely to have my room robbed in Europe than in Thailand. Central America is more dangerous for robbery than South America. The USA inner city ghetto is more dangerous than about anywhere on the planet.

Togo is safer than Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean.

Danger of dying

The USA ghetto is the most dangerous place I know.
The Mexican police are the second most dangerous.
Belize City is dangerous, but the Islands are not so dangerous.

West Africa does not have guns, and they also do not have police, therefore nobody is around me with a gun. The Military in Mexico and Bolivia or many countries get drunk, kill, and rape people. It is hard to see a gun in Togo, just at the banks, and they are relaxed.

Asia is safer than Togo for violence; I am less likely to be killed by people in Asia, than in Togo, however more likely to die in Thailand because of getting hit by the too many cars.

Anyway I do it, I need to make some bad decisions to be killed or robbed Togo as it is safer than most places, however the groups of men are more dangerous. A person makes bad decisions when they feel too safe.

Americans are robbed all the time in Europe because they think petty crime or mugging in Europe is less than the USA or somehow safer, it is not. USA is more dangerous in the ghetto, however safer outside the ghetto, and for sure places like New York City and Miami can be nuts. Europe has a constant robbery thing going on in the cities, while in the USA it is parts of the city.

Driving a car to me the most dangerous thing to do on the planet, I can drive right into the ghetto and I also can get in a car accident, there is nothing more dangerous than driving a car. I am thinking about buying a car in Africa to travel around because it is so safe. I will not drive a car in Central America or South America and in Asia; I would get in too many car accidents, as I cannot understand the traffic signs.

The normal way I see people being killed is by riding motorcycles in Thailand, being hit by cars in Asia or South America.

The girl who spends all night with a man, then does not have sex is the most dangerous situation on the planet. Drinking, talking, flirting and not putting out are the most dangerous activity on the planet, but for sure, a car is more dangerous than this, but the one is a choice and the other is hard to avoid.

Walking down the street to me is extreme dangerous, I would say bike in Africa is much more dangerous than a motorcycle; if I am in a car here in Togo I am extremely safe. There are very few cars, and the do not go fast, speed kills.

To go more than 35 miles per hour here in Togo on a motorcycle is difficult.

I am rambling to explain all the comparisons, there is not yes and no a person is always in danger and not in danger, but when I feel safe is when I start to worry.

Want a comparison between two areas, comment and I will try to compare countries for you.

The USA is safer than Africa, but the USA is 10 times more dangerous if you went to an inner city hood as they say.

Comparing Danger of USA and Africa

Kpalime Togo

Kpalime Togo
Kpalime Togo West Africa
Sunday, June 24, 2007

I have left Lome and traveled North to Kpalime, Togo, it looks like I may soon start rent a building for a travelers rest house in Lome, and I think Mike here in Kpalime would be a great manager. He speaks Ghana English, French, and Ewe, therefore has enough languages to talk in Togo. So I am going to talk in his ear and see what comes out.

I am working diligent on a game plan on how to manage some rest houses I start, or guesthouse, maybe Apartelles or a nice place to hang a hat. I am longing for the road, I keep here in a train whistle and I know it is getting closer, time to hop.

The Volunteer girl from America said, I talk like I write, that is not a good way to make friends and influence people, it is safer to be cavalier with the written word than my mouth.

Kpalime Togo

Togo Travel Golf or Chess

Togo Travel Golf or Chess
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Monday, June 25, 2007

I had a very enjoyable trip yesterday from Lome, Togo to Kpalime, Togo in the back seat of small van with three others people from the USA. I was able to talk natural English for three hours and this is a rare experience for me.

It was a humorous day, one of them days where I remember, the journey is more important than the trip. I plan my travels like a chess match or a round of golf, although I do not really play golf. I plan my moves and hope to anticipate the moves of the opponents, or avoid the sand traps.

There is all game playing, hypothetical thinking and strategic planning; sometimes the military jargon is best.

Yesterday I lost, it was a complete loss, and maybe one of them SAPFU’s for Travel Gaming.

SAPFU - Surpassing All Previous F-Ups.
(Togo Travel Only, I am sure I have done worst.)

Normally, I am playing the game alone, however, I do have to admit, and it more fun to lose as a team than as a solitary independent traveler. There is an enjoyment in losing together, however, I suspect the other three Americans thought it was a victory, hard to say, the game is my game, and normally everyone around me is oblivious I am playing or see travel as a challenging game.

In Travel Golf, one needs to remember and focus on a couple of simple assumptions.

1. Five Star Comfort is the goal.
2. The opponent will give me MINUS five star comforts to make money.

The African people want to make money; I want to go simply from point A to B, quickly, efficiently, in comfort for the least amount of money, yet the most amount of enjoyment. I want optimize my travel by playing a great game of Travel Golf. I see there is a fight in my mind, the games is easier to explain as Golf, but the thinking to me is more of a Chess match.

I got a real thrashing on the trip from Lome to Kplime and for sure, I am not happy about losing a long-term goal of mine. I have this goal of not paying for my bag, yesterday I lost and was abused into paying. I paid 500 CFA for my bag; I have prided myself if refusing to pay for baggage in West Africa, now I have lost one bragging rights.

This explanation is now being interrupted by another game starting, as I need today to travel from Kpalime to Atakpame, Togo.


I would say the three major ways to say I won or lost.
1. Total Travel Time from Hotel to Hotel.
2. Total money spent.
3. The smile on my face. (Priority number one.)

Comparison of winning and losing matches.


3 Hours and 1800 CFA

6:09 AM, I Left Auberge Mandela, in Kpalime, Togo
9:11 AM I arrived at Relais de Plateau Hotel in Atakpame, Togo
Three hours more or less travel time.
95 Kilometers
Cost 600 to Adeta and 1200 from Adeta to Atakpame or 1800 CFA Total


5 hours and 2350 CFA
I had a Smile on my face so I only lost 2 of the three signs of victory and the smile is most important.

9:50 to 12:34 then 3:00 to Kpalime
5 Hours
110 Kilometers
1750 and 500 for bag Total 2350 Total


List of Hazards, Problems and Variables

- Porthole to Porthole, I define this as Hotel-to-Hotel.
- I cannot be Bothered, there are trips when the work needed is too much to be bothered with and afterwards I wish I would have skipped the trip. I want a trip not overwhelmed by working, this often happens to me in Europe as my ability to wonder is reduced from my normal 95 percent ability to wander around to 5 percent. In Europe, I need to plan and reserve everything or I end up sleeping on the train or in the airport…
- Lies - Did I believe any lies and accept them as truths.
- Annoyed by other passengers
- Food, was I able to eat naturally.
- Care for others and not be selfish with my decisions, there are times when I must desert the new friend for safety reasons, or they are going so far off track I am wanting to slap them. This is when I remind myself, nope, do not slap them and do not chastise them. They are not trying to make my life difficult by the constant bad choices. If the travel partner is angry afterwards, then a point loss.
- Safety. I make only safe decision; if I have a choice and all things are, equal I take the safer trips.
- Do not allow lesser to make decisions, there is a problem when I allow the less experienced or a local to make a decision for me, I must think is this person knowledgeable or are they just talking this way. A local does not know about hotels, they do not know maps, they may know about the food.
- Do I have the correct change ready to pay the transport so they do not try to keep the change?
- Saying goodbye to Friends was I able to depart, say goodbyes, thank you ok, and did I leave the Hotel gracefully.
- Interference or willing to sacrifice creature comforts for good trip. This is the number one reason travelers lose at travel gaming, they refuse to wake up early or skip breakfast to travel at the proper times. West African people wake up at 4-5 am and catch a car just after sunrise from city to city; this is the best time in Togo to depart.
- Did I have to rush?
- Did I have to react to people and jump for them?
- Number of Call Audible, this is a change of plans while on the trip. I made a call audible while leaving Kpalime, I was going to grab a car direct between Kpalime and Atackpame, however it was starting to rain, so I took a car to Adeta to avoid the rain and hope it stopped.
- Preparation the night before.
- Which hotel am I going to, what is my next projected porthole or hotel, what is my target.
- Weather - Normally I abort any trip for rain, if caught in rain it for sure is a loss.
- Alcohol problems, this is a hazard for sure, whether the driver shows up late because of drinking, travel partners are hung-over, or there are passengers on the bus who are drinking and annoying.

This was an off the top of my head list and for sure is not complete, I think I would need to sit down with a few cockroach level traveler who have been out for over a year and I could refine the list.

I think on the trip from Lome to Kpalime, I failed the majority of problems listed above. Note, it is not acceptable to blame anyone for failure, as the choices were mine, the big hazard is people.

I suppose I could say, I travel par from Kpalime to Atakpame, I was not under par, I was only a par trip, but acceptable.

Togo Travel Golf or Chess

Togo Africa Wicker Chairs

Togo Africa Wicker Chairs
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wicker couch for sale in Lome, Togo, I stop daily and see what they are making on the way to buy my morning Baguette.

I started to use the word wicker and thought to myself, what is wicker?

Wicker is any sort of hard woven fiber formed into a useful object. Wicker is usually used for baskets or furniture. Traditional wicker is made of material of plant origin, but nowadays also plastic fibers are used.

Ok, I think this qualifies for the wicker definition; this is some type of stringy fiber they slice up and use. I asked how much for this couch and they say 75,000 CFA, this is about 150 US dollars and I would say,
- OUCH! -

This is asking price and with shipping this couch would be in the 400 US dollar range to buy and ship to the USA or more…

I think it takes two men about three days to make so the labor cost is about 2000 x 3 days or about 6000 CFA and maybe 12 dollars US in labor, I would say there is about 12 dollars in materials so about 24 dollars is my guesstimate of cost to make. Therefore, there is a Yebo inflated cost to consider, a White Man will have trouble getting the price down to something closer to reality. My guess and I am guessing with a some work I can buy this for about 50 US.

The best way to buy something like this is to come by everyday until you can see how long, how much, and slowly understand the whole process. It then become more fun as you will know the workers, know the owners and it become more personal, not just a purchase.

I think Africa is maybe triple the cost of Asia for this type of product or furniture.

I have yet to find any items to purchase that I would say, shipping to the USA sounds like a good idea. A few items I could purchase and carry back on a plane, the wood statues are unique and some are special. To buy a practical, I will use at home product is very difficult to find as the cost of products in West Africa are not cheap when compared to Asia or South America.

Wicker Chair Sales Lome Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
06 degrees 07.280 North
001 degrees 12.488 East
9 Meters of altitude above sea level
On Duisburg Street across from Angola Embassy
Landmark to say to Taxi is: L'ambassade de l'Angola

Togo Africa Wicker Chairs

Togo No Nest No Books No Electricity

Togo No Nest No Books No Electricity
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I continually try to set up a traveler nest, surrounding myself with all the small things that makes Andy happy. Today in Togo, I remembered my thoughts about Traveler Golf or Travelers Chess, and I realized, and sadly thought, Togo has been beating my butt on a steady basis when it comes to getting CHEAP functional hotels, I am doing good with cheap, for around 3000 CFA, however I need to do better with electricity.

My Hotel situation has continually been random, the rooms are good, however the electricity is way off mark, plus there is no English books to read in Togo, a couple at the Hotel Galion, but I have read both of them.

I feel like a surfer waiting between waves, and instead of riding the wave, it crashes on my head. I keep stalling between electrical blackouts and thinking this will soon end, but it does not. The say there is not water in the Dams therefore the Hydro Electric Generators cannot produce enough, however it has been raining a lot and there are continual problems with electricity. India has a constant problem; however, they have generators in the Hotels and generally use them without a shove by me.

I purchased an Electrical Generator the other day in Lome, and now I am in Atakpame and the Generator is in Lome.

I need to think on this problem. I am not going to rent a room for 30 US just to have electricity for a fan, this seem crazy. I need that care package I that is now sitting in Boston full of Electronic toys that will help me go off the grid.

Togo No Nest No Books No Electricity

How Crazy the World has Become

How Crazy the World has Become
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The other night there was what purports to be a news show and fifteen minutes consisted of showing videos that had been made using police car dashboard cameras. One driver jumped out of his car and shot a police officer; another driver pulled away and dragged a police officer for half a mile; another driver put the car in reverse and rammed the
police cruiser; etc.
Stop Quote
- James a Reader of Blog

I think you would agree the world has become crazy… How crazy the world has become is easy to see…

I could imagine viewers thinking: Wow, how
crazy the world has become. I suspect a more accurate statement might be: "Wow, it's interesting how the use of dashboard cameras allows us today to document how crazy people are and I wonder if this behavior has been going on all along and we just didn't know about it." The news shows are all about generating revenue and people don't want to watch news that focuses on the debate over the European Constitution.

Thanks for the note. Agree that the dissemination of information has
made people more aware of the bad things that happen in the world and often is not a reflection of more bad things happening.
- James a Reader of Blog

I remember the Hippies; there was a theme more or less saying,
- Never trust the establishment -

What this has done is enabled a new generation of liars to emerge, the people speaking for the Hippies, however again controlling the people with the power of suggestion. As long as a person says or represents the side whereby they do not represent the establishment, they can misrepresent all the facts.

The world is a very safe place to travel and almost boring some days.

How Crazy the World has Become

Solar Something That Works Works

Solar Something That Works Works
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This type of solar cooker cost between 75 and 500 US Dollars to purchase, someone probably hauled it all the way from Germany to this Hotel in Lome, Togo called Alices Camping or something in Baguida. This solar cooker looks to be lonely and forgotten like a Christmas toy that has lost it joy.

People do not discard cooking pans, they use them, however there is a reason nobody is using this solar cooker.

I am in favor of Solar Cooking and Solar this and that, however I think we need to do some thinking and realize we cannot talk our way to a solar planet, we need to develop ideas that people want to use, not ideas we want them to use.

Something that works, works.

Solar Something That Works Works

I Dream of Safe Drinking Water for Travel

I Dream of Safe Drinking Water for Travel
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, June 28, 2007

I think a more accurate statement is,

I dream of a day when I can stop listening to the endless drone of travelers explaining how to drink purified water, or this is safe and this is not.

I heard and explanation the other day how to make Fufu here in Togo with purified water. Then the next comment explaining how the small sachets or bags sold are ok to drink, then the next saying how the small Visage (SP) frozen drinks are ok, it went on and on and I was in the middle between two people, I could not walk away.

The truth about drinking water is this, nobody knows, they are just guessing or gossiping as an authority. I drink the water in every country unless is taste bad or smells and know they always wash dishes in the normal tap water, so I cannot avoid drinking the water. I think the problem is food, not the water.

However, my dream is getting closer to reality; I want to know is the water I drink here in Togo safe? I would say the water from the tap here in Lome is some of the best on the planet.

Thanks to my CNIA - Cellular Network Internet Access here in Togo, I was able to search until I found some laboratories that test water in the USA. I will now write or call many to learn.

How do I collect the water samples?
What is the price to test the water?

This page has a list of state laboratories that test drinking water.

After I find a couple of good labs, I will take the samples in every country I visit, then send to the lab and hope others will help.

I am annoyed, I can find endless pages explaining the problems, however difficult to find pages that say,
- This is how you take a water sample. -
- This is where you send. -
- This is the cost to test -

I am hoping there is not a huge time problem, maybe I need to take the sample and they need it within three days, this could be problem with shipping from Africa to the USA.

I am going to take samples of the most popular purified water sold in countries, the tap water from my hotel and document this in the best scientific and statistical methods I can derive.

I want to know the truth, I want to know which water sources are safe and which purified water companies are selling bad water.

If you get all excited, call and find out how to sample and the cost,

I read this page and think this is nuts, the information has correlated and was derived saying more or less, you are poor, therefore you have bad water, sort of junk science with a twist.

I Dream of Safe Drinking Water for Travel

Thailand Tattoo

Thailand Tattoo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, June 28, 2007

Freedom of expression is great, I hope everyone goes to Thailand and gets a tattoo except for me.

If you really want that kind of tattoo, you will have to go far and wide. …
Stop Quote

I know where far and wide is, go to Thailand for a Tattoo and your mother will stop talking to you for the rest of your life.

Thailand Tattoo

Togo Group Generator for Electricity

Togo Group Generator for Electricity
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, June 28, 2007

I purchased this noisy little, smoke making 2-cycle gas powered generator for my room in Lome, Togo.

This is a Group in Togo French, it is not a Generator, and they call it a Group.

This cost me 35,000 CFA for the Generator, and I made a 6 meter cord that cost me 3000 to run a good wire to the room. The gas cost about 1000 CFA per day.

38,000 CFA or about 80 US in the purchase.
1000 or 2 dollars per day in Gas.

I now have a toy; it makes 220 AC or 12-Volt DC and has some small plug for a cell phone.

Cost of room in hotel with Group Generator is 6000 CFA; I am in a room for 2000 and 1000 for the petrol

38,000 dived by 3000 net saving it will take 13 days to break even and then after that I am saving a lot of money per day. Now, if I could figure out how to put in a backpack and carry gas easy, life would be confusing.

Togo, Generator, Electricity, Togo Budget,

Togo Group Generator for Electricity

Photo Censorship Sexist Culturally Imperialist

Photo Censorship Sexist Culturally Imperialist



Hello, Andy --

I like your travel blog a lot. One detail leaves me a bit perturbed, though: the censorship of yourself from your photo journals.

I can understand wanting some anonymity, but to delete images of yourself while freely taking pictures of other people smacks of a double standard -- i.e., that your privacy matters more than theirs, or that other people can be asked to let their guard down in a way that you are unwilling to do. Although you make a point of trying to understand the world through direct contact, withdrawing yourself from the visual record of this contact risks making your whole effort come off as an elabourate form of voyeurism. Not good.

The omission/deletion of yourself in your photos has some sexist and culturally imperialist overtones, too: you feature a blonde woman on the beach (-quot-things that are important to Andy-quot-) and a cute girl from whom you are trying to get a kiss, etc., and expect them to be amenable to being photographed, presumably without asking their permission. If you do not reciprocate by letting your own guard down, then you are just a spectator, not a participant, which breaks the world down into -quot-me-quot- and -quot-them-quot- instead of -quot-we-quot-, which is, I think, quite counter to your intention.

So, I encourage you: reveal thyself!



Photo Censorship Sexist Culturally Imperialist

Sexist and Culturally Imperialist

Sexist and Culturally Imperialist
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, June 29, 2007

I read two emails this morning from people with intriguing combinations of interesting and intriguing combinations of words before I started to type,

First Email:
Template Format
Message Format

Second Email:
Photo Censorship
Sexist Culturally Imperialist

I can see I think and focus on the more recent thoughts, therefore I will then go write in my journal about them. I suppose if I get angry or frustrated I will over emphasis the importance of something to me.

The First Email about Template Format and Message Format is more about business and website design; therefore, I will post away in the help center on this subject. The Second Email is about policy adopted in Venezuela about the January 2000 or maybe seven years ago and really a re-hash of an extremely old topic.

I think there is a need for try to remember the difference between a Journal and a Blog post. A personal journal or diary is normally assumed private, while a blog post is public.

I do not edit or think much when I type, I somewhat free flow typing into the computer and I am tying to help myself, and sometimes a desire to help others along the path. Often a photo here and there to make my Mother and Father happy and to make readers happy so I make more money. I will also choose better SEO titles that will also make me more money.

To be happy is my goal, to earn enough money to travel is a goal and to write in my journal, whereby I can clarify my thoughts as I take abstract ideas and transform them into words that semi-demands consistency and clarity.

I enjoy the game of life, and laugh at myself more than I take myself serious. I was thinking and laughing to myself.

This title:

Photo Censorship Sexist Culturally Imperialist

The title
- Photo Censorship Sexist Culturally Imperialist -
Is a maybe 100 times more interesting than a title that would say,
- Template Format vs. Message Format -

Controversy, anger and lies makes more money than the boring, truthful and real words of daily life. I on the other hand try to squash, censor and stop arguments on the site, however try to provoke thought.

I admit to myself, I play too much, I am not serious and many readers are too serious, therefore they want me to have an agenda. I am supposed to be talking at something and wear a hat.

Today I am Traveler Expert, or Canadian Traveller Expert.
(Sorry, I am from the USA and was playing.)
Today I am anti-USA.
Tomorrow I am pro-USA.
I am 100 percent in Favor of the Peace Corps, therefore, I am not suppose to complain…

Ok, there is a problem, which is starting to beg a solution. I have a few consideration or aspects of me typing in my diary.

1. Typing something so boring my mother writes me frustrated emails.
- This now goes in the Help Center.

2. Tips that I think are important, however only to a very small group of people. Example of a post yesterday about WIFI in the Bellview Hotel here in Lome.

3. Post to get opinions, as this example;

4. Photos and Tips for fun and to help people travel.
Normal blog

5. Posting in the blog to make it famous, whereby I have unlimited money to travel, the running of a business to make money.

Introspection is a form of self-Editing.
I introspect
I introspect about my blog.
Therefore, I edit my blog

I try to fix some grammar, spelling, and lack of clarity problems, and I learn how to write so I could write a book.

I collect a lot of information, I must this is what a website does, it take information and tries to process, package, and present to readers in a format they enjoy.

I do a lot of what if thinking or speculation on subject and this type of thinking annoys the mass of casual readers.

Ok, I will try to formulate a plan for my website, I will try to figure out where and how to blog for the maximum enjoyment of readers and myself. I will give myself a pep talk here, I will try to steer my random typing towards areas that are more specialized.

I am thinking, I post about a 7-1 ratio of comments or blog-like post in the Help Center and one to the blog. We just implemented a way for a reader to make a comment in the Help Center, so that area has interactive blog features now.

I love to make the world complicated for myself; it keeps my over-active brain from getting bored.

Note, I will remind myself not to behave and be predictable.

Sexist and Culturally Imperialist

Economic Feasibility of Travel Videos

Economic Feasibility of Travel Videos
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, June 29, 2007

How would you like to see real videos of Togo?

There is hope, and I found some today. I read,

CNN has shut down its CNN Pipeline service,… The pay-service which allowed news from the channel to be viewed online will be offered at no charge to online viewers beginning July 2, 2007.
Stop Quote

There are paid and non-paid services offered on the internet, my feeling is free services paid for by advertisements have about 50 times better chance of succeeding than the pay to play options. With the switch from paid to play, to free CNN is setting a standard. Paid Videos are not going to work.


The time to make a 5-10 minute well done clip while I am in Togo could take between 3 and 20 hours according to the quality. If I paid myself a minimum of 6 US dollars per hour

3 hour to make is 18 dollars
2 dollar to publish to the internet.
20 dollars in production cost and at the bottom of the barrel wages and estimations of cost.

I guess or believe I make about 80 CENTS US per page, PER YEAR.

Voila! As they say here in Togo, I make a nice video and I lose 19 dollars.

What is needed are very good video tools and then agreed on video standards. I am thinking the MPEG format is winning, being I cannot watch these videos because of bad connection I am never sure.

CNN is saying, paid did not work; we are going to do Free.

The evolution of travel videos is on.


For 50 US Dollars I could produce small video clips of specific topics.

Making Fufu in Togo
Hippos on the River Mono in Togo
AIDS Clinics in Togo
Orphanages in Togo
Buying a Home in Panama

Hmm, I do not mind losing money; I do not want to continually lose money. I think it is time to try again; maybe I could make a video and look for a sponsor for the video after I am finished. Somewhat a good will way of making a video and if someone likes, they can sponsor.

Any request for videos?

Economic Feasibility of Travel Videos

Togo Electricity Has Me Locked Up

Togo Electricity Has Me Locked Up
Lome, Togo West Africa

Togo is Hot.
Thailand is Hot.
Ecuador and Peru can be Hot or Cold according to elevation.
Mexico is Hot.
India is Hot.
Basra, Iraq is too Hot.
The USA can be extremely hot and humid, maybe humid is worst.

Ghana is Hot.

I have encountered a new obstacle or a new problem that needs solved so I can travel freely in West Africa or maybe all of Africa. I wish to wander and wonder, not wander and cook myself.

--- I never knew why the USA was good until I stopped living in the USA.
--- I never knew why I liked Electricity until I stopped having electricity.

I live my life on a precipice, very close to the edge, I am grateful to the good Gods that no car has suddenly swerved to miss a motorcycle and ran over me here in Togo. I know my life can be terminated that quick.

Lome, Togo is presently had about five days of consistent electricity. For five days minimal, the electricity has stopped during the daylight hours and started at night, somewhere around 7-8 am the electricity will stop and around 3-5 pm, it will resume.

The Hotels and Homes in Togo are modern, they are designed to use electricity on a 24 hours, 7 days per week schedule and not a 18/7 schedule, I like the 24/7 idea, seems to work for me.

I think only Fan Milk or the FanYogo Ice Cream or Frozen Treats Company is concerned. The major businesses in Togo all seem to have Generators or Groups big enough to provide themselves electricity.

I am trapped in my room, and protected only by the generator I purchased.

How can I wander around West Africa and just stop, live and feed my addiction to electricity and a fan. I am not sure what I like more, the fan or the electricity that runs the fan.

The only simple solution I know is to buy a Van or Motor Home whereby I can haul around my own personal gas powered electric generator.

Chris, my way to smart friend has put together a great care package full of electronic toys.

Electricity making Solar Panel
12 Volt Automobile Battery Charger that runs with both 110-220
AA Battery Charger that does 10 AA Batteries at one time
- I hope it works off both 220 and 110
12 AA Rechargeable Batteries
Laptop Computer Powers Source - Allows me to connect computer to Cell phone car charger for Motorola V555
Miscellaneous 12 Volt Connectors

However, I have no way to ship this package to Lome, Togo or West Africa without paying from 500-1000 US dollars in shipping and fees to something government related.

My friend Gary is says he is coming to Togo, I think that has about a 20 percent chance of happening. The care package, I desperately need is now in Boston with Gary who is on vacation. What a cluster bomb of problems.

I really hate to say it, but the only comfortably way for me Blog, work, and stay cool is to travel in:

West Africa
(I think maybe all of Africa.)

Is by small van, caravan or motor home.

I am trying to find a sidecar for a motorcycle, or a small trailer, this is a possible solution if I could make a cart for a motorcycle so I could carry a generator. The care package is smaller, if I had it, I could just continue the way I am, and hope the experiment of mobile electrical sources worked.

The easy solution is to come and stay in a Five Star Hotel and never talk with the locals or go to their villages. Leave in an AC Toyota SUV and come home in the SUV, never leave the resort, then say I was here.

I am told Ghana is worst, and I think Benin is the same as Togo, I could fly to Dakar, Senegal or Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, but not a solution just a way to avoid. If find very few people solving problems, I think the majority avoid.

I believe researchers, NGO-ONG need to find low-cost solutions, and user-friendly solutions to this problem to actually study cultures properly.

Togo Electricity Has Me Locked Up

Do Expensive Hotels Help Africa

Do Expensive Hotels Help Africa
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, June 30, 2007

I have no desire to Volunteer in West Africa and believe 98 out of 100 Volunteer Organizations are not to be trusted.

This is me. I am probably this eco-friendly, save a whale, hug a tree culture, the children of the granola for lunch bunch that is out and about spreading noise.

I am a good guy, I know that, I do not need to volunteer to atone for my sins, I do not have middle class guilt, I am positive many poor people are bad, nefarious characters that need locked up to help society and so do many rich people.

Poor people are not all good.
Rich people are not all bad.

I am 100 percent in favor of Super Expensive 5-7 Star Hotels and Resorts, I think there is nothing better than to lounge in luxury. However, I enjoy cultures and like to learn how real people live and feel the best way for me to do so is to immerse myself in the cultures.

I can hear and feel a ripping sound in my head here in Africa.

I am hyper-aware of tourist issues like Eco-tourism, save the trees of Africa, teach Africa how to use a condom and that everyone think Bob Marley likes white folks. I hear the same songs on all continents, I see the same T-shirts, the X Generation, MTV Generation are globalizing the planet at exponential rates.

90-95 percent of the White People I meet in Africa that are not here for business reasons are volunteers or working for Non Governmental Agencies the rest are sort of end of the roader expats who forgot to go home.

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.
Stop Quote
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

I know congruency, consistency is probably not a human characteristic, more something I expect from a machine and computer.

However, please I would like a little congruency, I feel the rip in my brain, my ticker keep banging, this does not computer, this does not compute, there is a problem, the algorithmic processing unit in Andy’s head has severe overdose of cognitive dissonance, nothing is mashing, mixing or resolving correct.

Then again, maybe this is Middle Class Guilt and how it works.

We go drink and eat, and then go atone for our sins…
Like an addiction...

Do Expensive Hotels Help Africa


Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, June 30, 2007

I ate Tapioca here in Togo today.

It started yesterday, as the polite cleaning girl here in my quasi home stay rental room in Lome, Togo asked me,
- Do you want to eat La Bouillie de Tapioca? -

This is a photo of the tray brought to my room around 7:30 am, after I opened the door to a very quite tapping on the door. I was told the day before, however I thought she said, rice, I now realize she said both rice and La Bouillie de Tapioca. I am debating, maybe this means baby food or maybe it means boiled, my French dictionary and Systran Translators is not helping clarify.

My literal from French to English is
- The Baby food of Tapioca.-

This is a photo of the Cassava or Manioc Tapioca served to me, then I poured into a cup, they kept asking is it hot. I poured some onto the plate, so I could take a better photo. They say the word cassava, and then add the word manioc to me; I then try to learn the word in the Ewe Language.

This is a photo of words the cleaning girl or servant girl Adjo politely wrote down for me.

French Language: La Bouillie de Tapioca
Ewe Language or the Local Mina Language: Tapioca Zogbe
English: The Baby food of Tapioca

If I desire to eat the same food repeatedly, it is best to learn the local word for the food, then I am able to purchase or have made faster. They call this food in Ewe, Zogbe, although the e is not an e, if you look close, it is written different.


Tapioca is an essentially flavourless starchy ingredient, or fecula, produced from treated and dried cassava (manioc) root. [1]and used in cooking. It is similar to sago and is commonly used to make a milky pudding similar to rice pudding. Purchased tapioca comprises many small white spheres each about 2 mm in diameter (althugh larger grain sizes are available). These are not seeds, but rather reconstituted processed root. The processing concept is akin to the way that wheat is turned into pasta. These tapioca pearls are made mostly of tapioca starch, which comes from the tapioca, or bitter-cassava plant. In other parts of the world, the bitter-cassava plant may be called "manioca" or "yucca".

Cassava is native to South America. The balls are prepared by boiling for 25 minutes, until they are cooked thoroughly but have not lost pliancy, then cooled for 25 minutes. The pearls have little taste, and are usually combined with other ingredients, savory or sweet.

Tapioca is a word derived from the Tupi language of Brazil (from tipi'óka). [2] This refers to the process through which cassava (Manihot esculenta) is made edible. We should note, however, that as the word moved out of South America it came to refer to similar preparations made with other esculents: 'Tapioca' in Britain often refers to a rice pudding thickened with arrowroot, while in Asia the sap of the Sago palm is often part of its preparation.
Stop Quote

Note: For you SEO junkies, I went for the one word title of Tapioca, this means I hope to get in the top 10 search resuts, I normally target farther down.


A Record of my Opinions as I Look and I Feel My World

A Record of my Opinions as I Look and I Feel My World
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, July 1, 2007

This is the description of my Blog at the top of this page; I realized yesterday that I confuse readers, when I post a Blog. I say look as in the present tense to say, this is what I am looking at today. I say feel because I am trying to explain how I feel about something I look. I cannot say looked, or do not wish to say look because it is always in process, my life is not and was not an event that passed, it is in the present, it today, real and authentic.

I am not a journalist, I am not reporting events, or new things, and I am not trying to report the new. I am saying what I feel, this is opinions of my feeling, this is a report of my feelings, not a report of facts. I do not feel obliged to tell a history of my life, this to me is arrogant to believe what I did is important; I strive to propose ideas in the hope of opening doors.

Life to me is mostly explanation of dreams; the facts of life are mundane and boring.

However, whenever, whatever…whyever, whoever…

90 percent is conjecture and 10 percent is a report.

I make propositions as a record of my opinions as I look and I feel my world.

A Record of my Opinions as I Look and I Feel My World

Africans is for Warriors

Africans is for Warriors
Africans are Soldiers
Les Africains Sont Des Soldats
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, July 1, 2007


Most cultures are warrior cultures; however, we deny and hide behind words, then try to suppress our nature. Africa is less developed therefore one can see the bully, direct, war like, and macho culture of West Africa.

Contrary to popular opinion in the developed countries, the Whites from Europe did not start the slave trade.

Trade in slaves, like most of the world, has carried on for thousands of years in Africa.
Stop Quote

Speculate and dream of various type of management.

Slavery is a social-economic system under which certain persons—known as slaves—are deprived of personal freedom and compelled to perform labor or services.
Stop Quote

I have attempted to list from the most severe form of slavery to the least.

Forced labor
Chain Gang of Prison Workers
Low Caste
Indentured servant
Child Labor

Soldiers is a system under which certain persons—known as Soldiers—are deprived of personal freedom and compelled to perform labour or services.

Africa is a land of Chiefs, and severe class systems. When you have a King, Queen or a Tribal Chief with it comes, the right to demand services be rendered, however not any more…

The complete economic system of Africa seems askew, it is not clear, there still exist the soldier class and there still exist the Chiefs, however, they long ago stopped working together.

The Chief no longer has the power to get something done, however the people still want to be Warriors and Soldiers, Everyone is sitting around waiting for the next war, or soccer match, or the same, but different.

Africans is for Warriors

Dysfunctional Travel Expert

Dysfunctional Travel Expert
What is an Expert
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, July 3, 2007

How to become an EXPERT?

Rent an office
Hang a sign
Buy business cards
Tell everyone
Get a website
Write a book
Get some letters after your name PHD, CPA,
Join and organization
Major or get a University Degree
Buy an NGO or ONG
Say you are…

ALTERNATIVELY, to be quoted somewhere… hehehe

I get a bullshit is coming on feeling every time

I say I am an expert in
…Travel, Internet, Real Estate, Dysfunctional Behaviors

I hear someone say
…. I am an Expert

I hear someone say,
…This person is an expert

Or the worst way to decide a person is an expert…

This person is an expert because, they have a Master, PHD or Degree in this on X subject.

I am saying, and I did say, I get a bullshit is coming on feeling every time I say about myself, I am an expert in I say I am an expert in
…Travel, Internet, Real Estate, Dysfunctional Behaviors

I think it is the number four on this list, that make me know, saying I am an expert is bullshit. I was having and I am having one of them shake all over and try to say, do something days. I went by accident yesterday to a page in the online encyclopedia.

I have an account, I can edit, however I read the comment at the top of the page.

I started, then I stopped, I wanted to re-write the introduction that in my opinion is 100 percent backwards.

Correctly said,
Family members develop addictions, these are the symptoms of people who have behaviors that are dysfunctional or come from families with shared dysfunctional behaviors.

This page dysfunctionally attempts to define a dysfunctional family… I was having a good laugh as I thought what dysfunctional page. First, you have two words in Dysfunctional Family, the words

-- ? Where is the link?

To function here they need to first define and make a link defining the word Dysfunctional and then at the link to the word for family.
Simple as it gets a dysfunctional behavior does not function. The person asks for a horse and family member gives them a camel.

I am for sure a Dysfunctional Travel Expert, and for sure, I know the answers I write in the help center are often very dysfunctional. I know they do not work for the person, they are just answers to guide, not to answer.

If you have traveled in other foreign countries, you may laugh and tell the funny stories of your trip. A great book and one that to me explains the dysfunctional nature of travel is the book "No shitting in the toilet." By Peter Moore.

As I understand, I am not positive why he named the book this, but I think what happened he was in Japan or somewhere on the planet and he came upon a sign on the toilet that said,


I would say this is about as good as it gets, this is one of the best explanations of travel I have ever read. By example, he explains how travel is inherently dysfunctional. This is my life, I ask how much the room cost and they tell me how to get a massage. Therefore, when people ask me a question, I know I am answering wrong, however I just give it a try and hope the answer flies.

I have people ask, how much do I buy a ticket from the USA to Thailand?

I think to myself, hmmm, I sure hope this person does not want me write a book on the subject as an answer. The question is toogeneral and all I can do is answer in very broad and general terms. I know he or she is not going to be happy. They are doing the dysfunctional thing; they want someone to take responsibility for their work of finding a ticket. To be functional, they need to ask extremely specific questions, and then maybe I could give very specific answers.

What gear to carry is not a very good question, however what gear to take to Togo may be a good question, or better.

I have been having fun, I know the site, I know them, I will not volunteer to be a victims of an editor, I know I do have not written a book on the subject of dysfunctional families, however, I am know this subject. It would be very dysfunctional to correct a page, then have the editor remove the comments, it would not function… hehehe

The functional answer, the answer that is not dysfunctional is the answer that works for you, however remember, you may be dysfunctional and what is wrong may seem right. Too much fun for one day.

(Too much fun for one day is a sentence fragment, but think, did it function?)

Dysfunctional Travel Expert

The American Dream is Contagious

The American Dream is Contagious
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Birthday USA
July 4 is Independence from England day in the USA.

I was having a discussion with the two Americans last night here in Lome, Togo. The couple signed up and paid about 1200 US dollars per person to volunteers at an orphanage in Kpalime, Togo.

They stopped being volunteers for many reasons, and why they stopped is not as simple as it was a bad experience of it was this or that. I listened and tried to understand why they quit, I want to the travel Lies, truth and honest opinion of their experience.

I listened with the desire to hear some statement or opinion that I could feel is obviously correct, or self-evident. In this statement from the United States of America Declaration of Independence from England it says,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain Inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

I am sure people can pick, debate and choose statement and problems however there is one phrase that I do not think anyone would want to argue over, this the right to the
- pursuit to happiness. -

I search for these little comments, these phrases, these are consensus statements or comments that when in a group of people, few wish to argue about.

I know after talking with the two orphanage volunteers last night a few things.

1. They stopped because they were not happy with the situation.
2. They were not 100 percent positive there was an orphanage.

Number 2, is the pivotal problem here, and if your goal is to volunteer at an orphanage, and have questions whether it is an orphanage, then there is a problem. When traveling I discover things I believe, not just hope to believe, I believe, and I feel the truths to me are self-evident. I search for these self-evident truths as I travel and try to not listen to extra noise or angers. These are the truths that function, they work, they are reliable, they can be used by me.

My mother wrote.

Happy July 4th Andy, Independence Day for the good old USA of America. Tomorrow we will hang the red white and blue out and celebrate. The only country in the world where we can do and say what we desire and not have to worry about getting arrested or thrown in jail. I know lots of bad things go on but we still are the greatest country in the world. If we were not all these strange people would not be crossing our borders to try and have a better life all the time.
Stop Quote

I would say this could be a very controversial comment and I am sure I and find many Europeans would love to argue about, however, the comment here that jumps out is,
- If we were not all these strange people would not be crossing our borders -

I believe there are many people crossing the USA border to enter, and this says, they want to be on the USA side more than the Mexican side. I feel safe in saying, the Mexicans that came across the border wanted to be on the USA side more than the Mexican side.

My mother dreams in Red White and Blue, she is, and I am all of this dream, which is the American Dream, I am my mother’s child and I know this, I know she is optimistic about the USA. This is what being an American is, she believes it is on the right path, she believes in the country, over 70 years old and still has a contagious dream.

The world has an American dream, it is fuzzy, unclear and un-touchable, and I hear and feel the dream from the Togo people. The dream of something easier, of something that is to them obviously good, when they dream of the America it is a dream of what they think is better. Right or wrong, there is the self-evident truth; people want to go to the USA.

I am always happy to say, I am from the USA, to a Togo person, I can see it in their eyes when I say,
- I am from the USA. -

Their eyes say to me, please give me some of the dream, I am not sure what my mother and father put in me, however I know I am the carrier of a dream, I do hope it is contagious.

I am sure tomorrow I will hear endless stories of what is wrong with the USA, however I can always remember more people want to enter the USA than want to leave, these observations stop the travel noise I hear, many refuse to catch this dream, the more they tell me there is no dream, the more I am positive the dream is true. The people outside the USA know it better than me, I am the dream, they have the dream. I do not sit around dreaming about the USA.

The American Dream is Contagious

Volunteer in Africa

Volunteer in Africa
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, July 5, 2007

I am working with a few people to open a few Hostel Homes in West Africa soon. Last night the two American volunteers were randomly listing things the Hostel Home should provide or sell.

Taia 28 and Marc 34 presently living in Denver CO, but are both raised in the Midwest. Taia from Kalamazoo, Michigan and Marc from Madison Wisconsin.

Maps to Togo


Note: Hobo OK
Richard Trillo the Editor of “The Rough Guide to West Africa,” is in love with West Africa. When I choose a guidebook, it feels good to know the Editor loves the countries I am visiting. When searching for dreams, better to follow a path laid down with love.


I interjected some ideas about how to create a spider web network of small trips to the various West Africa cities, whereby groups of tourist could share a van and go visit.

I was laughing about the need for a clean toilet by Mark and Taia or is it Taia and Marc; nonetheless, they presently have a real and present need for cleanliness. West Africa has some of the cleanest Hotel rooms on the planet, and somehow these two found the worst rooms in Togo and volunteered to pay for the experience…

I am listening in sales mode, thinking, what these two want, what could I sell them besides super clean toilets and it kept creeping into my first conscious level and out of the lower sub-conscious levels. These two have a real need to volunteer in Africa.

I am semi-frustrated with this need, as I think a desire to save the world is somehow misguided and try to say more or less,
- Africa does not need saved. -

They do not want to save Africa, however they volunteered some ideas.

--- We are overwhelmed in the USA with the idea that Africa needs help. We want to give back, we feel we need to give, we are so lucky.

Ok a fuzzy need, not clear and defined, however you word this need it is not important, they are not going to be happy until they give some good energy to the people of Africa.

Ok, I will put this word Volunteer on the list of things to help provide in a Hostel. Aagh!

This is like saddling up next to a horse thief, then riding along with the horse thief as he steals a few horses, than when the Marshall says,
- Did you help him steal them their horses? -
I would say,
- I had no idea what he was doing Marshall; I was just riding my horse with him. -

The problem for me is this, when I think Volunteer Organizations, I think Horse Thieves, I am not fond of the idea of helping the bad ones, by just riding along, as maybe people will think I am a Horse Thieve by association.

I will help these wanna be Volunteer in Africa find ways to get a good Karma rush by Volunteering in Africa.

I keep offering the one idea,
- You can go give them certifiably crazy naked people walking on the beach here in Lome some clothes and a shower. -

I can only think of one thing, maybe two, but with some work, I am sure I can find 10 or more good volunteer projects in Africa to satisfy this fuzzy need of tourist and travelers to Togo to Volunteer in Africa.

To be a Volunteer in Africa is good, to give back what you was given in noble, however go walk up to proud people and say, you are poor is bad manners.

Volunteer in Africa

Togo Photo of Travel Gear Shop

Togo Photo of Travel Gear Shop
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, July 5, 2007

What is a travel gear shop?

It is a place I buy products to carry in my backpack. Which travel gear shop do I buy the most travel gear from in the USA?

Which Travel Gear Shop in do I buy the most gear from in Togo or West Africa?

What have I purchased from these West African portable hardware store or gear shops?

1. Need nose pliers
2. One-Cup coffee cooker
3. Alarm Clock
4. Electrical plug male and female
5. I saw coat hangers, however did not purchase, when I am in a location where I would want to stop for longer than normal, I will purchase them.
6. I saw some small speakers I could attach to my computer.
7. Rope to use on my travel bucket.
8. Rope to use as a clothesline.
Funny how the words Travel Gear can make people go and buy things they do not need, and the things they need and want, they do not buy.

Togo Photo of Travel Gear Shop

Writing Two Lease Contracts in Africa

Writing Two Lease Contracts in Africa
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, July 6, 2007

I was on the Island country of the Barbados, I stopped in a small bar close to my room for a drink, many on the corner of the bar expats where there. A man asked me where I was from, I said,
“The United States of America.’

He was expecting me to say,

He started to laugh and said,
“I think you are the first American to say the correct answer to me, they also assume I know they are from America.”

Well, since I know the game, and I knew he was being a smart ass, I gave him the tit for tat, I said,
“And you do know, you should not call us Americans you will make all the South Americans and Central American and North Americans angry.”

They will correct me in these areas of the world if I say American, as they are Americans also, one of them Politically correct geography lessons where people do not listen for intentions, they are trying to find a reasons to argue.

I am here in Lome, however today I leave for Kara, Togo, and then over into Ghana or Benin, maybe both. I am trying to rent a home or two in West Africa, and am taking a long time to arrange and write a lease. I am going to lease the property for 12 years with some renewable clauses, and incremental increases in rent, and all sort of real estate legal words.

The Lease will be written in Togo French. I will read it in Togo French, and understand in the USA culture. The owner will read in Togo French, and understand in Ewe Mina Culture. The French man who has lived for 17 years in Togo will read in French, understand two thirds in French culture and one-third in Togo culture. The Togo Real Estate agent will not read it; however explain it in Ewe Mina culture.

I was a Real Estate Broker in the State of Indiana, in the country of the USA for 14 years, and purchased, sold, rented many properties. I think I was involved in as best I can guess about 1200 Real Estate contract negotiations.

1200 contracts and 2400 people.
I have seen about 25 people read the contract,
I think maybe five understood the contract.

I believe that all 2400 thought they understood the contract.

If you know a person that sit at a Real Estate closing and read all the papers they signed, the closing would take about five to ten hours. We sign the contract because we know we are all from the same culture and language and