Togo is a narrow sliver of a country in West Africa. Togo and its equally tiny neighbor Benin are squeezed between Ghana and Nigeria, along the former Slave Coast. Roughly 110KM (70 miles) wide, the country stretches inland 400 KM (250 miles) from the Gulf of Benin across a coastal plain, a belt of lush, tropical forests and into the Sahel. (see CIA World Factbook)

During my first trip into Africa, I spent several weeks in Togo, before I returned to Germany via Niger and France. I came back to Togo a year later and stayed for almost two years, mostly in a small village in the mountains (map), called Yikpa. The chief of Yikpa, Gblokpor Akoto V, and his family extended an incredible hospitality to me, and I will forever owe them this debt.  
In 1991, I bought an '82 Toyota Hiace, had it retro-fitted with three benches in the back. I became a member of the state-run drivers union, and started working as a bushtaxi operator between Yikpa and Kpalimé.

"yovo - yovo bon soir ca vas bien - merciiee"


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