West Africa Food

Kpalime Fromage

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

I am weak, my legs feel like there are spiders in them, and only because I saw some bad cheese. Kpalime is new to me, there are tons of stores, and so far, I have seen no stores owned by Lebanese people. The stores are locals, and there are too many to buy from, hard to choose, none appear to do good business.

I want a small grocery that does a lota of business, where there is evidently a lot of turnover of the food on the shelves.

I purchased some COPY of the Vache qui Rit, Fromage, something Bridell, I think, and then I proceeded to make a cheese sandwich. The cheese seem a little harder, and it was about 7:00 PM and it was already dark. I kept opening the little packages, and putting into a roll or T-bread, and about the fifth one, it looked like there was ants or black crap in the pack.

I looked closer and it seemed like there was mold on the cheese.

This cheese is sold, and left on the shelves, not in the cooler, if there is a cooler, it is normally sold this way. I worry all the time about it, and now I am weak feeling. I know myself, I will have trouble eating for the next few days, until I find a proper feeling store. There are too many places, and none so far feel safe, the products on the shelves could have been there for way too long.

I thought I had Malaria last time in Africa, however, the more I think, study and dwell on it, I think I had food poisoning. I am looking at the cans of food, checking the expiration dates, and trying to choose a grocery or store that has a lot of business. It is still complicated as they every store has something they somewhat specialize in, and I have never seen any specializing in this cheese I like.

I will need to buy food and look at it in the daylight, or in the room under good lights. I need to inspect, I did not want to bring the cheese into the room for he exact reason, I trashed the cheese. I did not want ants, or rotten cheese in my room. I tend to not eat in my room very much anymore, I do cook may cans of Vegetable, but anything sweet, or sticky, or with lots of crumbs like bread, I eat outside. I am hungry, and do not know where to go an eat. I guess I eat tomorrow.

Now a big moth flew into the room, now I have to set up the mosquito net, this hotel does not have screens, unusual for West Africa, normal for most of the world. Getting weaker, not stronger with the bad cheese on my mind.

Mosquito nets are hot.

Kpalime Fromage

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

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

West Africa Logging

West Africa Logging
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 2, 2007

I came upon an article of interest on the BBC about loggers in Peru and their fight with small groups of indigenous people.

I tend to believe BBC makes up a heartfelt topic, impossible to disprove and creates a way for the NGO to advertise for people to donate or send money to the for profit world of Non Governmental Organizations.

A Christian Catholic Priest stopped me in the streets yesterday, I say, I have no money and I do not give to people. I do not even need to listen, I know the story. I listen to check him, then brush him off, saying, go talk to the USA Peace Corps persons, they are naïve.

There is always an essence of truth, maybe 1 percent, and this is real. The truth is, here in Africa, I think they have already logged all the best trees and they are finished. Peru or the Amazon basin is more primitive than West Africa and the territory is much more difficult to log, therefore more expensive and take better equipment.

West Africa is more or less flat, the highest mountain or small hill in Togo is something like 1000 meters high, not even a foothill in Nepal, and in Peru, a baby.

West Africa was easy and the Germans, Dutch and seem to have taken all the good trees.

Peru is mountainous, and the Amazon is on the other side of the Andes and difficult to reach for the loggers.

The rain forest does grow back, but not big, somewhat smaller and brush like; I am hard pressed to believe the oxygen being made is not close or the same as the big trees.

I am worried about the world turning the planet into a rice paddy lake. The amount of water surface being created on the planet is crazy; they need to grow rice without being in water.

The burning of Africa is a problem, bigger than AID, or SIDA or whatever the NGO-ONG’s think is sellable to the naïve public. Africa is the poster child on the side of a Milk Box. A great way to raise cash from good people and do nothing.

28 percent of Ghana is farmed and 46 percent of Togo is farmed according to my Encarta Encyclopedia. I see about 95 percent of the land as being open or possible to be farmed. The loggers have cleared the land, then the West Africa people farm around the scrag, they are the worst farmers on the planet, but they do not need to do well; there is an overabundance of farmland, food is easy to grow.

Now, Togo talks about Environment, I want to see where they are re-planting the trees.

Stop. I have promised myself I will ignore the NGO-ONG of the planet, the worthless bunch of users.

My guess is Togo and Ghana farm about 15 percent of the available farmland. This is not to say, there is just an empty field, it is land that has been cleared of the big trees and brush and junk trees and plant are everywhere. It need finished and made read for large scale farming and if not, replanted to trees, but more just sits and the people use to hunt for firewood to cook.

West Africa Logging

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


Kpalime, Togo West Africa

Hello Dan


Name: Dan (Edited)
Country: USA

Hi Andy, thanks for the great website.

Can I ask you to NOT list WalMart on your website? It is a wretched, evil company that destroys communities, towns, small businesses, the environment, people and their families. I wish more people were aware of exactly how terrible the situation is with them. It sickens me.



I think, I am not sure, you are referring to my gear page here:
(Site has from 25,000 to 50,000 pages according to your perspective.)

Yes, Dan you can ask me to not list Walmart on the website. I try to understand people and to listen, I try to take into consideration all points of view and I think when a person disagrees with me, I try to listen harder. I suppose by me saying, yes you can disagree with me, I am saying I disagree with you.

It is possible you know many facts, data, reports, explanations and in your excitement just forgot to send, if so please send at least as much information as statements of opinions, I do not know you, I have no reason to feel impelled to trust you. Thanks for reading my site, and liking, however not a reason to believe you.

I would recommend a person read my blog for a couple of months, then decide, do you not like me, and disagree or do you think I tell lies.

Walmat is a company I recommend to people in other countries to go and visit when they visit the USA as a tourist.

Ok to the start, you made a statement, you told me an opinion about Walmart, and gave no specific reasons, validations, explanations or better yet a scientific study about this, and I am almost positive you could find one. Instead, as in a way normal in out new world there is this idea of opinions are of value without some explanation.
(The evil part was over the edge.)

I personally have adopted a new term, or set of words to explain this that somehow I came upon, it may have be from Michael Crichton as he explains a lot about the lack of good study and scientific methods in his book - State of Fear - An excellent book and many footnotes, reference and whatnots at the end of the book, and he is substantiating fiction, not a requirement for fiction.

Junk Science -

Junk science?
"Junk science" is faulty scientific data and analysis used to advance special and, often, hidden agendas. The junk science "mob" includes:


Why do I recommend Walmart on my site, because this is where I a traveler, and it is my opinion recommend and buy a lot of gear for me to use and carry in my backpack? I do not think most people would call it gear, but 99 percent of the stuff in my backpack is not sold in Travel Gear shops, so I would call gear the 99 percent and not the 1 percent.

I see gear shops as needing to sell specialty gear, like the ropes to climb mountain, but this is not for travel, it is more or less sports gear.

I will try to give one very good reason I recommend Walmart, and it is right here in Kpalime, Togo.

Wal-Mart sells very cheap products and drives the small retailer out of business because they sell so cheap. This is free enterprise, competition to sell the cheapest to the public, and a very good system that has proven to be a success.

Now, who wants to be driven out of business, not me? However, it is a fact, I compete for search engine traffic, and this is my competition, other people using the same search words. Stop picking on a hobo…. Duh, that is pretty stupid.

I am in Kpalime, Togo; there are about 20 small food stores from the corner of my street to the Texaco station. I have been in every one of them trying to search for canned vegetables to buy and eat. I actually have gone in maybe 50-70 small mom and pop stores here in Kpalime, they rein as king here.

I have found 1 in about 50 stores that carry corn; I have found about 1 in 70 that has a can of string beans. About 45 out of 50 have Petit Pois or canned peas, and none has the Haricot Rough or Kidney beans I like and can buy easily in Lome.

West Africa and all of Africa may have a problem with Malnutrition, I am not positive, but sure in Niger they do, I suspect the do in Togo, but then again AIDS is the issue-per-jour here, not the true problems.

I am not worried about West Africa first, I am first worried about me, Andy, I think I got very badly malnutrition in India and it became worst in Tibet, took me years to bring my system back up to happy.

I am going to eat my vegetable and fruits, take my vitamins and stop eating so much bread and peanuts. (That translates to peanut butter sandwiches.)

Where is Walmat, I want selection, I want the big super Marche to come here and sell a variety of foods and drive them little business to the moon. All it would take in this city is one larger store with a selection to drive stop many of the smaller stores.

Strangely, the Africa people do not do this, the Lebanon people come from Lebanon, start grocery stores and start to feed West Africa. There is no Lebanese people or few here in Kpalime, therefore we have this 50 small and no variety, all selling the same products, NOBODY, making any real money and thriving.

Thriving, I want people to thrive, Wal-Mart thrives.

Walmart good, bad, or who cares does what a good business does; they sell a product cheap for a good value. Therefore, I go there, and they have this quirk of the world, they refund you money if you are not happy.

I tell the world this, learn the word REFUND, in the USA, you can get a refund. If I buy bad cheese here as I did, from one of these Mom and Pop stores, they will not give me back my money; they do not make enough money to even stand by their products. IF I opened the cheese in the store and checked, they would give me new cheese, or something, but to leave the store and come back, they would say, you bought that somewhere else and lie.

Mom and Pops stores, small shops, small hotels lie, big stores have trouble, they can be sued and the person can get rich, not here in Togo.

Ok, Junk Science, there is not proof to your allegations, but then again it is your opinion, and yes you can say your opinion. I am sure someone can send links, and explain how the big Wal-Mart is bad.

I will continue to buy in Walmart providing the give me a great price, and a good product for my money. That is the deal I make with Walmart, they lose me the instant I can buy anywhere better, and I do not buy all things from Walmart. I go to Walgreen’s and Target and shop around.

Mom and Pop stores here in Kpalime, sell Peas for about 1.50 US dollars in one of the poorest countries on the planet.

How much does a can of Peas cost in Walmart in one of the richest countries on the planet?

Something is wrong here, and there is a reason why people want to go to the USA, and it has nothing do with freedom, and liberty all that crap, they just want to have a good life, thanks to companies like Walmart that sell cheap and drive these high priced small stores out of business. There is a shortage of jobs here in Togo, and the USA has many, there is a different in how the economics works.

ALL that I have said above is opinion; I have only done the 50 to 70--store search for vegetables here in Kpalime, Togo. To do proper research, I would need to list, document and explain, then go back to the USA and find the prices of Peas, Carrots, and all the other foods sold in Walmart.

This is sort of anti-junk Science opinions nothing to do with collaborated evidence. I could be 100 percent wrong, I think I am 99 percent correct, but that is my opinion.

Walmart is one of the eighth wonders of the world, or you can come here and eat the food, buy the clothes, and hurt. I purchased a shirt in the market yesterday, I wore it without washing, my neck broke out in a rash, I had to take a taxi home, and take a shower, and I was very worried. They had ironed or pressed the shirt with some unknown starch or liquid, I could have ended up in the doctor trying to clean my body of some rash because there is no Wal-Mart here.

Cheap and easy to purchase foods would help to solve the malnutrition problems in West Africa, but nope, that is not what the NGO push or shove or promote. The say, lets give them money, food, and make them beggars, the World Bank does more in seconds and much better than any misguided save the world ONG-NGO.

Someone told you about Walmart, and you are gossiping and telling others. Do not trust BBC and CNN, or the big news companies, they have an agenda.

Going to McDonalds overseas is humorous sometimes, why am two dollars for a Hamburger in Thailand when I can buy Chicken Fried Rice for 50 cents, then in France, I went to McDonalds every day.

Please some one come and sell the Haricot Rouge or the Kidney Beans here in Kpalime, Togo, I could care less how, I want to buy, market of one person exist.


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

Togo Peanuts

Togo Peanuts
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Sunday, April 8, 2007

Cooking peanuts or dry cooking the peanuts over a fire with some sand or soil intermixed with the peanuts.

This is
- Arrishide -
Peanuts in some language, does not seem to be French, but then again, I do not trust dictionaries. The word in my French dictionary says the word for peanuts is a Female and Cacahuète, almost the same as the Mexican word, and I think Argentina, while most or Central and South America say Mani.

Walking along, talking with Michael, and trying to locate the weavers in the city of Kpalime, when he stops to chat up one some girl. I wonder over to check out the peanuts being cooked.

How, I am not sure, they are not fried, this is not baked

They pop popcorn the same way in Nepal, very dry and not the best popcorn, fortunately they use oil here for the popcorn and the taste is better. The peanut come out good, and cooked ones are better than the boiled or raw.

The girls is wearing this very wear around the house, typical wrap around dress. The actually will wear it anywhere, but they tend to be closer to home. It is held up the same way, you would overlap a towel as you get leave the shower.

This tends to make them need to balloon it out and readjust, not the type of clothing that allows for rapid movement. Not a big worry about getting in a hurry or straining yourself here in West Africa.

There is often the Midwest shyness thing, and I often feel like I am walking in as a girl is just coming out of the shower. They do not mind, so I my best.

I took a few photos and the girl pretends to ignore me.

Togo Peanuts

300 AD Bananas in Africa

300 AD Bananas in Africa
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 9, 2007

Nothing more interesting than to take a stereotype and discover it is couched in time, Bananas do not orinally come from Africa.

I was reading in my Encyclopedia and I discovered about the introduction of Bananas to Africa in about 300 AD.

Austronesian mariners introduce bananas to Madagascar and sub-Saharan Africa, thus making additional food supplies available and setting the stage for population growth. (2)

Austronesian I guess means the area of Malaysia, Southeast Asia, and mariners means sailors. They are trying to say that people on boats came from the Southeast Asia area of the world and showed a part of Africa how to grow bananas. Which is now one of the cheap, common staple foods of Africa.

300 AD Bananas in Africa

Incredibly Rich West Africa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is no BACKUP.

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are some indicators of need.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Incredibly Rich West Africa

Goodbye to Electric Hotplate

Goodbye to Electric Hotplate
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 28, 2007

I am saying goodbye to my save money product, I am saying goodbye to my electric hotplate and going to use the alcohol cooker.

I am using just the base that holds the alcohol of the Alcohol Cooker. Yikes, I just learned this gift I received cost about 15 to 40 times more than my can of Tuna cooker.

I guess they call this the Trangia Burner.

I think it cost 15.95 for just the base, I do not think the average person need the rest unless they go jungle for months, and I stay in rooms. A windscreen can be made out of trees. A nice gadget, however I think I would use the tuna can, my friend Chris sent it to me.

Alcohol is very heavy!

I have been using an electric hotplate for years, and it is cheaper to use than the alcohol cooker. The problem is I cannot use 100 percent of the time, however when have no alcohol, I cannot use that cooker…
Note: Arabic countries make alcohol almost impossible to buy, because people would drink it and they are Islamic.

I think I need to try gas, normal gas, I can always buy it. I am not going to carry gas in my bag. But I could buy quick and easy.

There are many problems with a hot plate.

- It will burn up the wires in your room, and you will have no electricity in a badly wired room.
- Blows a fuse about 10 percent of time
- Blogs a breaker about 10 percent of time
- Burns up wires about 1 percent of time.
- Breaks about 1 in 50 uses, so I have to rewire it.

Cheap to buy, an electric hot plate in the world is normally under 5 US dollars, and you can buy them most places. Africa is difficult, because they use wood about 99 percent for cooking fuel, and electricity is considered very expensive. I do not know, about 100 Fran per kilowatt.

I have tried to make a few of these; I just cannot find the asbestos material to make a small 220 electric cooker that works also in 110 but cooler. This one I purchase in India broke about 20 uses, it is too big and has many sharp edges, and the sharp edges it not normal. I can fix this, but I do not have the will.

I like the alcohol cooker, not because it works better.

Because I do not have to hide it, owners of hotels get Hotel Hostile when the see an electric cooker. About 60 percent do not care because they steal the electricity and do not pay. However, I do not show them my electric hot plate.

Africa has a problem with electricity here and I am opting for the alcohol stove. It is smaller and easier to carry, maybe this is not true, and the carrying of alcohol is a serious problem. I have found a special bottle.

I would not be changing, if I had not found that Togo sells this special bottle, and I think I can continue to buy it, so if I lose the bottle, I can buy or replace. Replacing the container is more difficult than the stove; a can of tuna will replace the stove.

Alcohol here cost about 4 US dollars per liter, this is not cheap, but it says, 95 percent alcohol.

My alcohol cooker unit is on the left, I have the other half of what I think they call a Dutch Oven or something, you can buy on

I cannot find it, but I purchased three there, maybe discontinued, there is a top and a bottom, the pair together and make the safest place in my pack for delicate items to be stored. To kill the alcohol, I sit the pan of vegetable on top and kill the oxygen.

They have a funky; I would never buy Hobo Knife and Fork.

Oh, rectangular items are easier to pack than round or oval, and a ball is ridiculous. I like this cooker because it optimized the space in bag.

One of the worlds most difficult to buy bottles. I have two shampoo bottles I have been protecting with my life for years. This could work for shampoo but is one liter in size, very big, but it rectangular and not round.

I found this in the market, here in Atakpame, they sell used bottle of all type in West Africa, and this one is special.

That little insert in the top, has a hole, it meets the inside of the lid, what happens this extra stopper helps to minimize leaks. This type of bottle takes a lot more beating than you water bottle ever imagined. This is why a Coca Cola bottle is so good. The world abuses the soap, coke, and other drinks. This extra stopper almost guarantees the bottle will not leak. Then if there is enough length of threads, I am good to go. I will trust this bottle farther, the problem, any bottle in a motorcycle accident can take a good squeeze, but this bottle. I should be able to fill it with alcohol and throw it from the top of the door height and not break, I will test later for fun.

This would make a great drinking bottle if I could wash the soap taste away, a liter in size, and would not leak. Hard to fill because you have to pry the top out. Water is an item you refill a lot.

I may need to buy a Hotplate again for a room heater.

Gear, West Africa Gear, Cooking, Stoves, Alcohol, Electricity, Food, West Africa Food, Hotplate

Goodbye to Electric Hotplate

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

I Came to Togo to See Togo

I Came to Togo to See Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, June 2, 2007

Why in the F#~K, would I pay 900 US dollars for a one-way Airplane Ticket to Togo and eat in a French Restaurant?

I think I have said variations of this comment weekly in West Africa, sometimes it takes a gut level reaction for me to get in touch with my inner child.
- I want what I want, and I do not care, give it to me. -

I want to SEE TOGO!

I am a traveler, I am selfish, I had some girl write me, in your
- Throw away people way, you just discarded our friendship. -

Some casual email writer, who became very angry when one day I totally disagreed, and she started to insult me, call me names, and now say this. I find readers want me to be the same as them, and I am not, go figure everybody is unique, we disagree.

Togo ONG
Togo NGO
Togo Volunteers
Togo Peace Corps
Togo Guidebooks
Togo Web Sites

Hmm, listen to the noise and think, please I came to Togo to see Togo.

- Excuse me Sir, will one of you point me toward Togo, I seem to have gotten lost in France, Germany or some Volunteer Headquarters, I want to leave the Five Star Hotel and walk around in Togo. -

Food in a Togo Restaurant, served by Togo people, and prices at Togo prices. This is Togo Meat for one US Dollars at the Bronco Bar on the beach of Lome, Togo near the Ghana Border. This is Togo, the more trendy Togo, however at the core, it is Togo.

Lome, Togo West Africa
Restaurant Coordinates - Bronco Beach Bar
Monday, June 4, 2007
06 degrees 06.901 North
001 degrees 12.301 East
0 Meters of altitude above sea level

I want what I want, I want to see Togo, I do not want to see a bunch of drunk French, German and UNHCR people sitting around in a wanna be rich in a poor country bar.

Please, please, I am tired of you, can you focus, remember, tourist, we pay heaps of money to come see a country. I really do want to see Black People, I like all people, I want to see Togo people, and I did not come to avoid all of them!

There is some term sailor’s use, I cannot remember…
- Steady as she goes. -
- Stay on course -
- Toe the line -

Keep your priorities in line…

I have found some funny pages.

- Surpassing All Previous F--k-Ups.
(This for sure applies to the tourism industry in West Africa)

Set and Drift – Refers to the behavior of a ship under the influence of wind and current; both deflect the ship from its intended course. ‘Set’ is the direction of that deflection, and ‘drift’ is the speed in knots of the displacement. A vector.


Brouchette a.k.a. Gristle on a stick

Ok, I am joking, there are some excellent brochettes somewhere in West Africa and I just have not seen them yet. That is not true, these cost about 100-200 per stick and are terrible, really is Gristle on a stick. However one time I had very good, in one of the rich wanna be Noble Class stay away from the Third Estate French places, I ate very good ones for 3500 CFA or 35 times the cost…

Maybe sometimes the best way to see West Africa is not to describe in what to see, however what NOT to see.

Situation Normal, All F----d Up
F----d Up Beyond All Repair
Head Up The Ass
Bend Over, Here It Comes Again
Fun in the Navy (alternatively, F--k The Navy)
Do I Look Like I Give A F--k
F--k It, I've Got My Orders
Stand The F--k By


Les Brochettes del Capitale

AVOID this place, it is gristle on a stick go to the Bronco Bar on the beach and hope the boys are still in business.

What kind of logic is this, cybernetics, maybe it is about feedback, there are two ways to choose where to travel or what to see, one is by searching for what you like the other is to get feedback on how to avoid a bad situation. The internet being full of liars and people who speak sweet words, (Sweet Words is the international words used by non-English speaker to say, you are feeding me a line of Bulls--t or ingratiation or sucking up.)

25 good and 75 bad information.

I know what I like, but I have had 10 years of practice, the truth is everyone knows what they like, they just have trouble remember to say to themselves.
- Why am I here, I do not really like this. -


There is an extreme amount of French, German, NGO, or European ways of avoiding Togo people.
1. Restaurant too expensive for Togo people.
2. Hotel with only things that a foreigner would like.

I suppose the biggest way they stop is price, however there is number 3.

3. To have many prostitutes in the establishment, or waiting for Cadeau girls, this means or implies to a nice girl.
- You walk in that Hotel; you will be called a whore. -

This is somewhat hard to see until you invite a nice girl in to your hotel and she refuses to enter, then you in reverse start to understand the reputation of the hotel with the locals, this is the place where all the white me go with the pay-to-play girls.

So in the haze of Africa sunset, the separations or reality and lies is difficult, however in a place where the normal amount of bad tourist information is at about 98 percent and not the normal 75 percent tourist need to remember.

I came to Togo to see 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

Efio Tiger Nut Togo Food

Efio Tiger Nut Togo Food
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This is called Efio in the Mina language of Lome, Togo, and the Nigeria man called it Tiger Nuts in the Nigeria English. I suspect the reason is because of the stripes on the side.

It taste something like a raw peanut, but peanuts taste much better. I think this nut has arrived in season or they are harvesting them now, as I now am seeing them sold. This handful of Tiger Nuts cost about 25 CFA or maybe 5 cents US.

This is another of the mysteries I encounter daily, what is this, why, where, how, etc, it is easy to see why curiosity killed the cat.

What is this? Does it grown on tree, in the ground, what is it?

Efio Tiger Nut Togo Food

Barfroat Ashanti Ghana Food

Barfroat Ashanti Ghana Food
Mampong, Ghana West Africa
Monday, August 27, 2007

Deep Fried Food

I took a walk in search of a food called Achoma, and found the sister food called Barfroat. Yesterday, Sunday, there was a line of people waiting for Dora the woman to finish cooking the first batch. I decided to sit down and wait in the shade while they finished the cooking. I like them well done, so wanted to be last in line.

I decided, this looks like a good video, so I started a small clip, it was funny, I did not notice until I was filming, however there are a couple of girls that were fully aware as I was photographing their dip shower area. The camera was not able to catch them, however as I was filming the would occasionally pop their heads above the side and see what I was up too.

Notice at the end of the Video, a girl in a black dress, who has now on two days tried to repeatedly to teach me Ashanti words. Her name is Dorcas and the sister of the women cooking the Barfroat.

Barfroat is more or less an extra large Donut Hole, without them making the donut. I do not know presently the type of flour used.

If you received this in your email box, you probably need to click on this link to go and see the video. HoboTraveler.com Videos

After this part of various videos was done, I proceeded to eat one of the Barfroat; a man came up and spoke some English. He invited me into the home where I met his wife, and realized that Dorcas and Dora were his daughters. His name was Joseph; I took a video of the inside of the compound area, and the family welcoming to their house.

It was great day, then after that Joseph, took me across the road and I made a video of them making Fufu. To explain each of these situations I need to collect some words and a couple of extra videos so the stories are complete. I guess there is a need to return to see the future stories or videos.

One video would be of the inside of a compound home and the other explaining how they make Fufu, in Ghana.

Barfroat Ashanti Ghana Food

Ghana Food Fufu Video

Ghana Food Fufu Video
Mampong, Ghana West Africa
Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Click here to see the video

HoboTraveler.com Videos

This is a photo of Naomi in the Video City Hotel in Mampong, Ghana making Fufu.

Fufu is made from Cassava and Plantains, or with Yams. It is an exciting food because they use this large straight wooden mallet to mash the Cassava and Plantains into food to eat.

They will eat the mashed Cassava and Plantains called Fufu with a ground sauce made of Tomatoes and Peppers.

The process of making Fufu by my interpretation and the understanding as of today is listed, however, this may change as the Fufu culture unfolds.

1. Growing of Plantains and Cassava together in the field plot.

2. Boiling of the Cassava or Yams

3. Mashing of the Cassava and Plantains, the exciting part, or sometimes Yams.

4. Grinding of Tomatoes, Pepper and making the sauces.

5. Eating the Fufu by plucking with fingers and dipping into the sauce.

Fufu One Video

I am in Bolgatanga, Ghana presently and have now traveled too far north for the proper growing of Plantains. The locals have almost stopped eating Fufu, therefore I have decided to publish this video with very good clips of the exciting part. I hope to add later a more completed story, but for now, a very exciting Fufu video if you want to call Fufu exciting.

If you received this in your email box, you probably need to click on this link to go and see the video. HoboTraveler.com Videos

Ghana Food Fufu Video

Burkina Faso Date

Burkina Faso Date
Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Tuesday, September 17, 2007

I believe these are Dates, a sweet type of dried Fruit sold in Bobo-Dioulasso and other cities here in Burkina Faso. I finally had a young boy offer me less than a kilo so I purchased a few.

A girls in Bobo is arranging the Dates, Cashew, and bags of coffee that are shipped by train from Cote d’Ivoire.

A picture of 100 CFA worth of Dates, this is about 20 cents USA and I suspect this is way over priced.

A nice change of snacks, there is this seed in the middle, healthy and I probably could carry in my backpack a few without worry of spoiling or starting to grow. Once had some Garlic that sprouted.

Burkina Faso Date

Hobo Members save 1000's of dollars by joining HoboTraveler and asking pro travelers questions on the Hobo Talk Wall.