Go-Kart Racing, Pizza or both???

When we (Mary, Afia, Regina and Shika) saw the Go-Kart place (L’AfriKlub) on our way home last week, we knew we had to check it out before leaving Lome. With Shika leaving this Thursday, the plan was to go go-karting on either Monday night or Tuesday night as our Wednesday night was taken – barbecue party for Kailend Volunteers and team. So on Tuesday night, we arranged to go go-karting and then have pizza as we have not yet had anything outside the delicious homecook meals by Sylvina. We set off from the Kailend Volunteer House / Headquarters at Togo Deux Mille to Afrik Klub which was a 7 minute drive.

At L’AfriKlub, we saw a couple of people on the raceway. One racer had taken the racing pretty seriously as he kept going on and on at top speed. This sort of got those of us who do not know how to drive a little scared but we were determined to give it a shot. However we lost the excitement when we were informed of the charges (6000 CFA equivalent 44 Cedis) which was very affordable but we had to choose between pizza and go-karting. We finally settled on satisfying our rumbling stomach.

We went up the stairs to the rooftop and ordered a 30cm pizza (5000 CFA  equivalent 36.50) with different toppings. We got the margherita, quart-fromage, cannibale and exotique (Hawaiian). We waited for our pizza over some coke, ice and lemon. Between 15 to 20 minutes, our pizza was served. You should have seen the excitement on our faces as the pizza smelled so good and the quart fromage which was served first looked so right with the thin crust. After saying grace, we dived into the quart fromage and each bite somewhat tasted better than the previous. Within 15 minutes, all four pizzas were gone.

And though we were not able to do what we wanted to do at L’AfriKlub, we have no regrets as the pizza made up for it. Kudos to the chef for making something so heavenly.

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Au revoir Ghana, Bonjour Togo

When I resigned from my job last year, the plan was to work with Kailend for a month as an intern. This was to give me the opportunity to help make a difference in my community, learn a new language as Kailend is in a French speaking country – Togo, spend some time with Ellen who will be moving to Cape town soon, connect with other volunteers around the world, gain more experience in my skill and well, indulge in my love for traveling. However things don’t always go as planned so I had to put this on hold till this year. 

As I planned towards my trip, I informed a couple of friends with similar goals who decided to join me on my trip. So on Sunday – 16th April 2017, we made the 2-3 hour journey from Tema Motorway Roundabout to Lomé, Togo. The girls (Mary, Afia, Reggie) and I got a hired car (4 passenger) which charged 50 cedis per person and took us right to the border. This was so great as we had many luggages​ and weren’t prepared for the walk from the main station to the border as the trotro (bus) wouldn’t have brought us that close to the border. We however had to wait for the SASA Group who wanted to spend their Easter Sunday and Monday with Kailend to make an impact and learn more about the social enterprise. 

Since the girls and I got to the border earlier, we had to wait for the others for nearly an hour as their bus stopped several times for passengers. While we waited however we got our passports stamped at a fee, made some enquiries and got in touch with the driver who had to pick us up. When the others finally got to the border, we assisted them with the formalities and then left for Sammy’s (executive director of Kailend) family house for a talk. Over there, we introduced ourselves and met Shika – a volunteer from UK who plans on assisting the social enterprise for the next two weeks.

After some laughter and familiarisation, we left for the volunteer house which is around the Airport / Trade Fair area in Lomé. At the house, we were met by the lovely Sylvina who is the housekeeper and chef. Then Sammy explained to us the mission and vision of Kailend and we made plans for the next day. But before sleeping, the girls and I decided to channel in our energy by playing some drums and dancing at the sitting room.

On Easter Monday, we woke up to delicious omelettes, tomato sauce and baguettes then had a little freestyling singing and dancing before setting off for the day’s job. We took a drive through town, and visited some of Kailend’s projects in Lomè starting with the Mama Charity Orphanage where we learnt the importance of not only looking out for ourselves but also for those who aren’t as privileged as us, assisting, encouraging, and praying with / for them. 

Afterwards we went on a drive to the University of Lomè where Albert showed us around. Afterwards, we went back home to have a yummilicious meal then headed right back out to the Artisan market where we breathtaking paintings, carvings, bags, jewellery, clothes and souvenirs that depict the history, creativity and modernization of Togo and Africa. We were then sent to Sammy’s family house where we were privileged to watch a choreography, sing and dance, listen to a motivational speaker – Marie Ange and just chill. At that moment, the girls and I realised Togo is exactly where we should be at the moment. After a couple of hours, we had to leave for the volunteer house.

Upon getting back home, we had dinner and a meeting to encourage each other to be concerned about those around us and to help make a difference in our community. As the SASA group were living the next day, we had a little party at the Terrace where we all chilled, spoke about our dreams. This went on deep into the night. Friendships were made; minds were filled with new ideas and implementations; a family was created and love was shared.

As I plan on staying for the next two months, I am looking forward to the adventure ahead of me; the friends I will make along the way; the possible business opportunities; the joy of learning a new language; indulging in my love for travel and most importantly living a mark in the world by making a difference in the life of a person in need.

I believe moving to Togo for a while is a really good best decision and intend on utilising this opportunity to the fullest.