Friday, December 13, 2013

To move to go to Togo is a goto move

Yesterday as I was leaving the Meltwater Incubator, I saw a gentleman I knew jogging (running) like he was going somewhere far he wouldn't get to quickly if he walked. I knew who he was. I drove the #vimride past him, stopped, reversed till I got to him and offered him a ride. He was going to Papa's Pizza. I also knew he was Francophone. "Where are you from?" I really should have said this in French but hey, I am sure I could say that easily after this weekend. Togo. "Oh, I want to go to Togo. In fact, I am going there this weekend". No, didn't tell him so because he's from Togo, I had already decided to go to Togo. For more than 2.28 weeks now. #Team228, ou es tu?

Earlier this year, I set a goal. I was going to visit Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire or Togo before the end of the year. I almost went to Burkina Faso twice. No, not to go and congratulate them after beating us in the African Cup of Nations. Once, to attend FESPACO and another time, to go visit a very dear friend. I blogged about a Burkinabe day though. I almost went to Cote d'Ivoire once. A lady I know from Facebook who lives in Canada that I've never met was in Abidjan. Figured this was a good opportunity to visit. I'd have visited either of these countries to attend a Barcamp, but none have happened. So December was hitting, and the goal was setting. Togo to go! It was 3 hours away and I could go and come back in a weekend. Lome it was.

I explained this to Selorm. Oui, there are many Ewes in Togo. I asked him what I should do while there. "Go to the beach". I'm not a beach person but Selorm was advising, so I will be going to beach in Lome. I told him I knew people in Lome. I know the folks who've organized Barcamp Lome, I've met them at least twice. I know the guys who run +GDG Lomé, am yet to meet them. I know one of the Global Shapers, met her on a flight to South Africa from Ghana. I know a couple of musicians too, thanks to +Museke. I know Togolese folks from my time in the US, unfortunately none of them is in Togo at the moment. So I'd be visiting alright, but I would be living more than I will be touring. I can't wait to release my Togolese alter-ego.

I asked a couple of Togolese friends who are living in other Francophone countries about what to do while there. Here's what they told me -
Great to hear from you. Perhaps during the day, you can hangout with the GDG crowd and at night, check La Villa (mainly Lebanese, expat community), or Le Privilege, or Le Monte Cristo for bit a francophone Africa jams!
You can go to Hotel le lac on sunday just to relax. It's really a calm place and you can have fresh air out of the town . Also you can go to the beach, I heard there's a new beach called "PURE PLAGE" https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pure-Plage/303433796463272?fref=ts (I've never been there but I think it's a nice place) You can give it a try. Now there's a togolese restaurant called Nopegalli in the city center, not far from festival de glaces, you can have wonderful togolese food there. I'd recommend fufu, or Akoumé (its Banku made of corn powder) and Adémè, or even ablo depends on what you want. A lot of Burkinabe when they come to Togo say they love Nopegalli food . There's also a restaurant called Marox, my family likes to go there. You have to try our famous roasted porc "Hanvi Dokpomé" I'm sure you'd love It. For fun in the night, mainly, people go to La Villa (it's a lounge bar) or Privilege Night Club. And if you want to wash your clothes, take it to the best laudry and dry cleaning "LAVASEC DE PARIS" in Gbadago

So yeah, tomorrow I shall be there. Here's some info to use. I've been listening to Toofan's music all week. I even listened to Edem's Nyornuviade for good measure as well. I can't wait to learn how to dance  Cool Catché more seriously. But yea, I'd be meeting many young awesome people and that's most exciting to me. My friends have organized meetings for me and I am looking forward to sharing, learning and networking. And then collaborating after that. I just haven't practised any Français. I am looking forward to having a good time. On y va!
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