Monday, May 21, 2012


        So a couple weeks ago, two of my roommates and I went with a local Ghanaian friend for a weekend away in Ghana.  Now, Ghana and Togo are very different.  They are about the size of a small state back in the U.S., but it is countries over here.  And the languages are very different, English and Twe in Ghana and French and Ewe in Togo.  But the biggest difference, at least for me, was the cars.  Now, as some (or most) of ya'll know, I like cars.  And the bigger, the faster, the better.  I'm not sure about my roomies but I have been dying for the sight of a nice car.  And, amazingly enough, I did.

Elsa, me, Benjamin, and Ana

     There is a lot to be learned about a city just by looking at the kinds of vehicles being driven around.  Here in Lomé the most common cars are old BMW’s and Toyota Corolla’s and Camry’s.  Most of which aren’t really in factory condition.  Semi-trucks are the most common vehicle in the port area – to haul the containers – and few have matching hoods, not to mention the wired together scraps that somehow is kept alive to form an engine.  Yet by far, the most common mode of transportation is the Motos, or Zimmi Johns as they are also known.  Sanyas, Hondas, Suzukis, Apsonics, Vespas, (and the rare Ducati) zip in and out of traffic, streets, alleys, and people.  After 4 months in a city, one can get used to this style of traffic, making it a bit of a shock to go anywhere else.

Accra, Ghana waking up

     Ghana, on the other hand, has nicer cars, more of a variety in the types and years.  I saw my first VW truck, the Amarok.  My favorite car was the silver Dodge Challenger with the nice scrape along the back bumper.  There were more Renaults, VWs, and Toyota trucks.  The big vans used as taxis are more commonly called Tro Tros, in which anywhere from 15-20+ people can be packed into.  Most of these are without AC, so it is a relief once the Tro Tro gets underway.  But the difference isn't only in the types of cars, but the roads.  In Accra, Ghana there is a 6-lane highway!! Talk about a huge culture shock.  And there are stoplights (that are actually obeyed), and a mall, and a parking garage, and big buildings.

     Honestly, Ghana started to make me miss home more than I have in all the months in Togo.  It was a good transition to my last month onboard.  I’m starting to do things for the last time, and doing things more often because I will miss them. 

1 comment:

  1. What a fun sunrise picture!
    Miss you Tori!