Saturday, 27 April 2013

Togo: Au Revoir Togo!!

Bedkit Recipient in doorway of
tiny room that her family lives in from Togo 2013
Independence for Togo came in 1960.   Today all of Togo celebrated Independence Day.

Parades made the streets impassable so our departure was delayed.  Fortunately the road was paved and well maintained so we arrived even before some of the children had returned from the Independence Day festivities in Kebotoe.

The children sang their Togo National Anthem and we responded with Oh Canada.  

With mixed emotions we handed out the last 500 bedkits.  

One of today's children lived in a small compound just across the road from the school.  We were invited to visit.
There is no doubt the bedkit will be well used but while most of bedkit was still in the bag, the school supplies were already set out on her tiny desk.

Mattress and Bedkit Items from Togo 2013

Kitchen in the Compound from Togo 2013
Take a look at the photos of the Togo/Canada Team.  It was a pleasure to work with  Action Enfance et Developpment, a dedicated and congenial group led by Laurent Dekalikan and his wife, Gladys.

The Team from Togo 2013

Au revoir Togo.

Team Togo

Togo: Adeta - 148km

Splish! Splash

We awoke around 4 a.m. this morning to one heck of a storm!  

Some of us awoke to water in our rooms.  Today's labels took a bit of a soaking but we were able to salvage them.
A Stormy Start from Togo 2013
By 7:30 a.m. we received a call to delay our departure because the children would not be arriving at the site on time.

This allowed Bill, "notre chef extraordinaire Togolese", to do a quick clean up of the kitchen and to join us.  Bill has cooked meals for SCAW teams for seven years and had never been on a distribution.

Bob the chief and Bill the chef from Togo 2013
Yet another call en route reported a further delay which give us time to check out a local artisan centre.

Arrival at Adeta from Togo 2013

The Children dressed in their new clothes from Togo 2013

By the time we arrived at the site, the storm had cleared.  We were able to set up the photography outside and the rest of the distribution was completed without a hitch.  Five hundred children are tucked in their new beds tonight.

Faces in the crowd from Togo 2013

Faces in the crowd from Togo 2013
We benefited from the cooler temperatures and cloud cover which followed the storm.  It was only 89F.

The team at work from Togo 2013
The team at work from Togo 2013
The team at work from Togo 2013
Faces in the crowd from Togo 2013
Faces in the crowd from Togo 2013
On the way home we drove higher up into the lush rain forest giving us a look at another side of Togo.
We bought ripe yellow bananas fresh off the tree and devoured them immediately.  Yum!

We headed back to Lome in time to grab 4 hockey bags of medical supplies arranged by Doug MacDougald and deliver them to a local clinic.  

Medical Supplies for the Clinic from Togo 2013
A gift of a soccer ball from Canada from Togo 2013
A gift of chalk from Canada from Togo 2013
Another busy but satisfying day.

Team Togo 2013
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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Togo: Day 7 - Amoussoukondji

The French Connection

Fourteen Grade 1 students in a French Immersion Class at Allenby Public School in Toronto wrote letters to the children of Togo.  Today we were delighted to present the letters to the children of Amoussoukondji who read the letters and responded by singing a Togolese Folk Song to their new friends in Canada.

Five hundred bedkits found new homes today.

Bedkits travel home in many ways:

Togo 2013

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Togo: Our Day in Pictures!

Our Welcome in Kewome:

Our Welcome from Togo 2013

Our Welcome from Togo 2013

Our Team at Work:


Our Team Hard at Work from Togo 2013

Our Team Hard at Work from Togo 2013

Our Team Hard at Work from Togo 2013

Our Team Hard at Work from Togo 2013

Our Team Hard at Work from Togo 2013
Our Team Hard at Work from Togo 2013

 Half-Way There!

Half-Way There from Togo 2013

We Will All Sleep Well Tonight!!


We will all sleep well tonight!! from Togo 2013
Team Togo 

Monday, 22 April 2013

Togo: Home Visits

Luckily the downpour that occurred at breakfast did not follow us into the mountains 150 KM from Lome.
It was another successful distribution with 500 cheering children.
Following the distribution we were able to visit the homes of two of the 2012 bedkit recipients.

The tiny homes were immaculately kept.
The mosquito nets were in place and standing up well.  Both boys were home for lunch and one had to be called from the soccer field ...  his favourite pastime.
They showed us their exercise books and we were impressed with the quality of their school work.
Both boys loved going to school and hoped they could continue right through to university.

It is obvious that the bedkit is a valuable asset to their education with the inclusion of the school uniform, back pack and school supplies.

Team Togo 2013

Friday, 19 April 2013

Togo Day 4: Judy is pooped!

"Action Enfance et Developpment" is truly an extraordinary SCAW partner.  Each distribution runs like clockwork because of the capable and enthusiastic support from a host of Togolese volunteers. 

From Togo 2013

While we work hard, we also have time to absorb Togolese culture and interact with this wonderfully welcoming and friendly people.  Following yesterday's distribution, we were led on a tour of the village by the chief , with all the children of the village chattering happily in tow.  At the end of the tour, we were presented with a huge basket of fresh fruit.  Organic at its best.  We piled into the van and returned home quite late ...  a 12 hour day.

From Togo 2013

From Togo 2013

From Togo 2013

From Togo 2013

From Togo 2013

From Togo 2013

From Togo 2013

From Togo 2013
We quickly gathered up our equipment from the back of the van hoping to make short shrift of our evening meeting and preparations for the following day. Judy reached for the last bag which holds the labels.
We all were stunned to find another gift from the village .....  2 terrified chickens under the seat.
Needless to say they had done what frightened chickens do best and Judy's arm was glaring proof!

From Togo 2013

And since we are on that subject, we must describe our bathroom facilities at each distribution .... 
a sparkling white North American toilet which is installed at the distribution everyday over a hole with charcoal and surrounded by a bamboo enclosure for privacy.  It seems a previous team wished for a toilet and because our partners try to make life as easy as possible, the wish was granted.  

From Togo 2013

Enjoy the photos.  We resume distributions on Monday.
Until then   ...   Team Togo.