Canadians, Coco Beach and Uprisings


soldaten
lkw

I spent this weekend at Coco Beach, near Lomé with the canadians, who I got to know last weekend.
On friday on my way to Lomé I already saw some patrol jeeps with mounted guns and
finally arrived, a truck turned over and blocking half the road in the middle of the city.
The things looked worse than they were; besides, it is pretty normal now in Lomé.
After lunch and a few drinks with Fanny and some togolese I still gathered some information
(since I am already there…).

When the motortaxi stopped at a traffic light, where about 50 mototaxis (each with driver
and passenger) had found their way all the way to the front, a state convoi passed by and
a soldier was blocking the street. When the light turned to green for us, the drivers started
blowing their horns and shouting, since a convoi here consists of around 7 or 8 cars, not 3.
The whole situation reminded me of a soccer game, but when the soldier finally left the street,
the party really started with a lot of laughing and joking :).

That night Fanny, Emil, Martin and I went to the farewellparty of another canadian volunteer
(does this never stop?) where I also met the employees of the german embassy, who I actually
wanted to meet on monday. 🙂
They also gave me some
information concerning the current crisis.

Afterwards we still went into a disco until 4 am. The discos here are not much different
from the discos in Europe, besides the dancing rastas :). On the way back we still passed two
greedy military patrols which wanted money, since I did not have my passport with me, but also
from on of the canadians, since they did not accepted the authorized copy of his passport (all about the money!).
We sleeped in the next morning and missed the manifestation during which we were supposed
to stay at home.

That afternoon we left for Coco Beach. The night was nice with the sea, djembes (drums),
a camp fire, Canadians, French, a Nigerian and a German :).
We were about 15 persons altogether, slept in palm huts and just relaxed :).

strand

When we wanted to return back home on sunday afternoon (4 pm), the road was blocked by
the opposition, which we only noticed, because trucks started coming backwards at us!
We had to pass through a neighbourhood in which almost every street parallel to the main road
was blocked. At first it stayed calm, but when we wanted to turn back onto the main road,
a manifestant tried to throw a boulder the size of a head on the car in front of us.
While this car tried to flee and we had to evade it, the manifestant had already called upon his
colleagues to stop our car. So we found ourselves menaced by about 20 people with boulders
like the first one, screaming: “ARE YOU FRENCH?? IF YES, YOU ARE DEAD, IF YOU ARE
AMERICANS, YOU ARE OK!!”
Besides me there were fortunately only Canadians and a Nigerian in the car, but I had to
show them my passport. I was lucky that I still got it back at the end.
So we decided to return to Coco Beach but had to pass a second crowd who wanted money in
order to let us pass.
We had been one of the first cars entering the neighbourhood, we just had bad luck, but the canadians
also said that it had not been this crucial so far. If anything happens, it is still in Lomé,
thought. It stays calm in Kpalimé.

So we spent another night at Coco Beach, playing Yazee and listening to the radio. The
next morning I still got the most part of the Metal-CD-collection of one of the Canadians, since
he is leaving in three weeks and does not need them anymore :).
Right after that I returned to Kpalimé – what a weekend!

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