I have never stepped out of Ghana and although Togo is not far from Ghana, I was a bit skeptical about this trip. I did not know what to expect in my grandma’s village and what scared me most was me getting to know there was neither electricity nor pipe borne water. Woah, how was I supposed to cope when I was going to be totally cut off civilization? Without my blackberry and my laptop I was good as a patriarch. However, I decided to challenge myself and take the trip.
The journey out of Ghana was a pretty long one. We set out at 7:00am and got to Aflao around 10:30am. From there, our next means of transport was by a scooter. I was really scared since I had never rode on a scooter but my carrier assured me he would go easy. The funny thing was he only had one helmet and I insisted he gave it to me, but he refused. He told me I shouldn’t be scared and that nothing would go wrong. Then I asked him “If nothing would go wrong, then why do you refuse to give me the helmet?” after fruitless talk with him, I had to ride at his back with no helmet. It was fun, I must admit. Not so scary like I thought it would be. After the ride, I told myself, a little tip for him wouldn’t be bad…
After crossing the border and entering Togo, we got a taxi at Lome, whose driver agreed to take us to Ekpui at a cost of FCFA 13,000. The trip from Lome to Ekpui was about two hours, and the only stop we made was to get some bags of water. That was when I realised that everyone spoke either French or ewe or both. I had a hard time understanding the Ewe and my French was no good. All I had to communicate was English. Another thing I noticed was in Togo which I think I should commend them for was that they were really particular about their money (The notes). They would not accept any note that was in any way mutilated. At about 2:30pm, we got to Ekpui. There were lots of mud houses, a catholic church, a newly built college and finally our compound. My heart sank when I saw where I was going to live for the next 6 or 7 days. I then realized that I was literally living in “heaven” back home in Accra, Ghana. The room had no bed and had a little window. The corridor was full of pictures of my dead relations, mostly people I didn’t know.
We dropped our bags to raced to find grandma. I must say she was extremely happy to see us. I went over to her and hugged her, but then she burst into happy tears, which somewhat made me emotional. After a long welcome chat, we realised how hungry we were. I had virtually refused to eat anything bought on the way to the village including fried turkey tail, what we call “tsofi” in Ghana and fried gizzard.
My first lunch in Ekpui was “akple” and grounded pepper with fried fish, after which I decided to tour the village and see its huge river called Gbaga.
At night, the heat in the rooms made it impossible to sleep; it was enough to drive one crazy. We decided to sleep under the moonlight. Although the mat was really uncomfortable, I slept like a baby, but only after I read my bible and prayed…(I hear there are lots of evil eyes and spirits around) lol!