Thanksgiving in Dapaong turned out to be as delicious as I ever could have hoped! I gorged myself on French onion soup, salad (with shredded cheese!), mashed potatoes, green beans in lots and lots of garlic, stuffing and gravy and last, but definitely not least, the turkey. This turkey was unlike the bird we eat in the U.S. Our Togolese turkey was killed that morning. I even saw Justin, another PCV, carry it in on a motorcycle still squawking the day before. The turkey spent the day roasting until it became perfectly tender. I appreciate how fresh my food is here and how it’s certainly local, organic and all that other free-range labeling business.
Dapaong is completely different from N’digbe in climate, geography, Ethnic group, language, and everything else. When the wind started, red dust blew up into clouds and obstructed my sight (and breathing). People from Dapaong were extremely welcoming and nobody sang out the “yovo” song to me as I walked through the streets. However, they speak a different language up north, so maybe they were singing a different song I didn’t understand. I was fascinated seeing such a different place and I loved trying the new foods and seeing a new part of Togo.
Even when sweat poured down my forehead and ran into my eyes.
I ate delicious banana yogurt from Burkina Faso, tried bean pate (calama) with Sam’s own tomato sauce, and of course drank some locally made beer tchokpa. I also went along with Sam while she worked, teaching apprentices how to make moringa juice, and led a geography club session with Katy Todd. (I contributed by holding the world map). I was surprised at how many varieties of food were available—I guess I imagined Dapaong was an extension of the desert, lacking food, water and vegetation. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. Sam was an amazing hostess, cooking me ratatouille with garlic bread, pad thai, and brownies!
Ever since Thanksgiving, it’s been a countdown until Christmas vacation (!). I have my lists ready of food from the grocery store I’d like to eat, restaurants to visit, and of course friends and family members I need to catch up with. I haven’t stopped working or hanging out with friends here in Togo in the meantime, but I have been dreaming about some nice chilly weather…