Sunday, July 22, 2012

Africa - July 14

Our last full day in Togo was filled with nothing but excitement, smiles and endless amount of laughing! We got to venture to the white sandy beach at the Gulf of Guinea. We took off our shoes off and played in the water. We should have know that a large wave would come in and soak us to the waist...however, clearly we were too excited about the moment we were in to use our brains! :)
After the beach we headed into the "Grande Marché.". This was an adventure of a lifetime. Probably the most overwhelmed I've ever been before. Holding your purse to your body was necessary to prevent people from pick pocketing you. Niki in our group had a few men start tapping her on the shoulders and as she got distracted with that, someone so quickly was able to unzip her purse! Luckily she was able to react fast enough and smack the mans hand away! I was very cautious after that of everyone who was around me! As you walk from vendor to vendor, you see everything you could think of: shoes, fabrics, clothing, handcrafted wood items, whole skinned goats for eating (minus the heads), produce, live chickens and much more!
The African sales people were ruthless! They would not stop at no for an answer and were trying to get you to buy something or they wouldn't leave you alone! Even if you didnt have money or said no, they wouldn't leave you alone. Most of them learned English so they are able to talk to foreigners. I was so relieved when the barely running taxi cab came to drive us back to Daniel's house. It's amazing how safe and relieved I felt when we got home. This home even though its nothing like Wenatchee has become comfortable so fast! This evening as a group we were able to put together all the gifts that we got for the friends we made down here. We did a small thank you ceremony for the women and it made me cry! I am so thankful for the women in this house...not only did they serve us food, wash our clothes and clean up after us...they made us feel so welcome and become our friends!
One of the ladies named Yawa who I have become really close to learned how to make purse/bags the other night during the sewing session. I wanted to be the ladies first customer so I asked Yawa if she would make me one and I would pay her for it. So...I picked out the articles of old clothing I wanted and she made me an absolutely amazing bag! The outside is made out of an old torn up sweater and the inside is a McDonalds work shirt. I paid her $20 and she almost cried she was so thankful! We were told that the average person down here makes $2 a day! I felt so blessed to see her happiness in something so insignificant to me!

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