Archives for category: Friends
On my return to Togo yesterday I learned that a severely mentally handicapped beggar, about 17, was burned alive in Kara a few weeks ago by unknown assailants for unknown motives.

I’ve known him since he was about eight years old. He used to flag my car down in the market. If I didn’t stop, I’d catch him in my rear view mirror, flinging himself onto the ground and beating his head on the tarmac in frustration. I soon got the message, and would usually pull over to give him 100 cfa (13p).

And that’s how we got to know each other. He couldn’t speak, so I never learned his name. But he could grunt, smile and make everyone laugh.
Paix à son âme.

In the past week, two African friends have made the same comment about Brexit : “Why doesn’t your Queen intervene to stop it?”

If only.

Just spent five amazing days in Lyon. On Saturday, I made a further three year commitment to the lay fraternity of the Society of African Missions. Since then it’s been a social whirlwind – every meal in a different place with different people, each and every one of them inspiring. The fraternity is an exact fit for me, and I’m feeling very loved and cared for as I return to Togo today.

This afternoon there was a fire in the village. Pauline was brewing millet beer in her kitchen, when some sparks from the fire flew up and caught the thatched roof alight. We’re a very long way from the nearest fire station here, so all the neighbours rushed over to help put out the fire. Fortunately there’s a well near the house. It took us about half an hour to put out the fire. They’ve decided that it’s a good opportunity to replace it the thatch with a tin roof.

Having fun catching up with old friends Justin and Ali. We go back a long way, we were in London together as students. Sleeping in a caravan in the garden. Cozy. They have a Yamaha upright, so I have been providing some rusty, unconvincing renderings of Chopin Waltzes (B minor, E minor, F minor, Eb major…). Do I miss the piano in Africa? No, but once I am in a room with a piano in it, my fingers are itching to get to it. About to go and eat in the garden…


Yesterday, we jumped a major hurdle. Faustin (my assistant) finally obtained his national identity card, eight years after first filling in the application form. This means that at long last he can take his driving test, six years after learning to drive.

Chief's enthronement

Chief's enthronement

Chief's enthronement

Chief's enthronement