Friday, November 10, 2006

Africa - Day 10

We woke up at K's, and she made us her famous pancakes. When K and I lived together she would make me pancakes sometimes. They were so tasty, so tasty I could overlook her insistence that Vermont maple syrup is better than Canadian. Obviously, K was working with totally different ingredients, but those were still some tasty pancakes.
After breakfast we packed up our clothes and sat around in K's sweet crib. Later on we headed out to K's friend P's village half an hour outside of her small town, and truly out in the bush. More animated negotiations at the gare. Ashley met a little friend who just stared at her instead of smiling or talking. Once we finally got going with our driver we realized why shocks are important on bumpy roads, I thought the car would fall apart. When we got there, the driver insisted on taking us right to the door even though there were no roads, he got directions from someone on the side of the road to the 'Yovo's' house. As we were driving up to a hut, we spotted a white guy walking out to greet the car. Ash said, "Do you think that's P?" We all said, no Ash, that's the other big white guy who lives in this tiny village in the middle of the west African wilderness!"
P's host family had made us a big lunch of fufu, and groundnut soup (special request for me) and they even killed a chicken for the occasion. It was soooo good. After lunch we went for a walk around the village. P said K had called ahead and given him our list of requests for the afternoon. So he said, "Which one of you was the one who wanted to pound fufu? Which one wanted to carry stuff on their head? And which one wants a baby tied to their back?" I suppose it would be natural since there were 3 requests that each of us would want to do one, but in actuality I was the one who wanted to do all three. I sheepishly admitted as much, and we all set out looking for a baby who had parents with a sense of humour, who was big enough not to pee down my back, but young enough that they wouldn't be upset by being affixed to a strange back.
The kids in the village were so much fun. They came out of the woodwork pretty quickly as we started walking around. It was the mid-day school break for them, so there were plenty around. P showed us the tree in the centre of the village that you have to climb if you want any kind of cell reception, and introduced us to the village notables, and took us by the area where the animists of the village practice what North Americans would call voodoo.
The baby carrying was hilarious, I was so afraid that the baby would fall off. I still can't figure out how they keep the carrying cloth secured. P, who is a big tall guy, was trying to help and started trying to tie the cloth over my chest, which all the women thought was absolutely hilarious. They don't really have any breast hang-ups there, I think it must have been the idea of a guy trying to help out with something that is very exclusively in the domain of women there. You'd never see a guy carrying a baby around on his back, he might hold the baby, but not tied that way. I should have tried to get them to put the baby on Dan or P and take pictures of their reaction, but we were running short of time, so we said our goodbyes and headed back out in the with our driver and the shockless wonder.
For the home stretch back to Lome and then Accra and our flight home we flew solo, leaving K at her place.
By the time we got back to the tailor in Lome for our fittings, I was so sweaty that putting the new clothes on was like trying to get into a wet bathing suit.

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