People in Togo were somewhat friendly. The biggest negative impression came from the corrupt border police that extorted money from us on three of the four border crossings. Traffic around the cities was heavy, the roads were in pretty bad shape.
Women in typical long dresses. They carried their babies exclusively on their backs. I never saw a baby carriage. (858k) Even young children would sometimes carry their siblings. (1062k) Woman in the market. (1004k) A couple of village children. (1004k) Smiling young lady. (921k)
Local village. (759k) Local village. (946k) Local settlement. This is a place for an extended family. The huts are clustered around a central court and don't have windows on the outside. They are connected by walls to keep intruders (both human and animal) out. (1157k) Local fortified house. These houses don't have outside windows, only small openings to shoot through. (835k) The kitchen is located on the stairs to the top, about half way up. (465k) This is a view of the first landing with the door to the stairs down in the back. (1026k) Top of such a house. People sleep either outside on the top, or in one of the rooms. (712k) Storage bin on top of a house. They are covered with straw and have a straw lid. You reach them with the tree trunk stairs. (660k) Free standing storage bins. (1005k) Storage platform to keep stuff away from foraging animals. (1217k) Mortar and pestle for pounding manioc. (1354k) I don't know what these are for. (1039k) Right next to a cleanly maintained house and yard is a garbage dump. (1082k) Street scene in local town. (747k) Catholic church. (688k) Small mosque. (746k)
Bad road conditions even in small towns. (715k) Bad road conditions on paved road. (722k) In the north there were lots of dirt roads. (847k) Lots of motorcycles. (715k) As everywhere in Africa, cars are loaded to capacity (or more). (784k) Loaded with people to capacity. (801k) Traffic along the coast was chaotic. (614k) Along the coast was a lot of construction. (768k)
Local market. (875k) Various grains for sale. (1069k) Market scene. (1131k) Market scene. (1124k) Chicken for sale in the market. (1008k) As usual, people carry their stuff on their head. (1071k) President Obama was always very popular in Africa. (946k) Buying grain in the market. (1013k) Roadside vegetable stand. Most of the vegetables are sold locally from such stands. (726k) Charcoal for sale along the road. (1204k) Bush meat for sale. I saw that frequently on this trip in Ghana, Togo, and Benin. Mostly they were small antelopes called grass cutters. But some of them looked more like rats. (696k) Paintings for sale. I saw some fairly interesting looking paintings on this trip. (760k) Brick factory. (887k) Pounding manioc. They use a mortar made from a tree trunk and a big pole to vigorously pound the grain or cassava for quite a while to make a paste for fufu or banku. (750k) Local restaurant. We were eating there, the guy on the left is my guide/driver Sam. (638k) Advertising for hair stylist. I saw these very frequently. (794k) Bathing in the river. (910k) Doing laundry in the local brook. (1169k) The laundry is dried by hanging it on some bushes next to the brook. (797k) Garbage right next to the market. Some areas were kept fairly clean, but there was always some garbage close by. (1046k) There is gold on the Gold Coast. They were digging for gold along the river. (963k) Sign to encourage vaccinations. I saw similar signs for HIV/AIDS prevention, and for prevention of spousal abuse. (581k)
Agriculture and Livestock
Coffee bush. (1353k) Cassava field (Manihot esculenta, german: Maniok, french: Manioc) before harvest. In the background are Coconut Palms (Cocos nucifera, german: Kokospalme, french: Cocotier). (960k) Cassava field after harvest. (1191k) Cotton field. (848k) Millet field. (995k) Pineapple (Ananas comosus, german: Ananas, french: Ananas). (1058k) Banana. (1130k) Plantain. (890k) Tropical pepper. It is dried and then roasted. (1161k) Cola nut. (710k) Rubber Tree (Hevea brasiliensis, german: Kautschukbaum, french: Hévéa). They are not utilized in this area, but they are used in Ghana. (702k) Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris, german: Helmperlhuhn, french: Pintade de Numidie). (727k) Goat. (987k) Herd of cattle. They were blocking our way for 10 minutes while they crossed a bridge. (667k) There were dogs around, but not all that ubiquitous as in some other countries. (901k)