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Togo, August 31, 2008

National Run to the Border Day!

From Lome to Ghana to the beach - a perfect workout!

run to Ghana!
Running to the border
run on the beach
Running on the beach
Its Sunday morning in Lomé, and I'm going for a run to work off the French wines from the night before. I've stretched, I've power up my running GPS, and its time to go.

Through the back streets I jog, slowly working up my speed, when I see a crew of people running by. "Where are they going?" I think, when I see a second group run by. Know I need to know, I run to join them.

When I reach Boulevard de la Republique, the one paved street in Lomé, I am shocked to find myself in the midst of a sea of runners. It's Togo's National Run to the Border Day!!

In the midst of this sea of running humanity, I started laughing. Only in Africa can you have such an odd experience - running to the Ghanaian border with thousands of Togolese on a random Sunday!

As I ran from the Ghanaian border back into downtown Togo, I asked those I ran with why they were running and when this run to the border tradition started. Funny enough, no one knew why or when, they just enjoyed a Sunday run to the border and back to the main beach, for another beach party.

And I think that is the key to being African happy. Don't ask why, just enjoy the moment. And the beach.

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Togo, August 29, 2008

Living the Beach Party Lifestyle in Lome

Togo beach party time
When you think of Africa, do you think of picturesque palm-tree lined beaches? If you do not, you should. Though with an African twist.

There are beautiful beaches here, some of the best in the world. But you have to be careful what to expect. Despite the guidebook hype, I learned first-hand that Nungwe ain't much really. Yet I've always loved a Labadi Pleasure Beach Sunday. At the same time, none said much about Togo, but it has a rocking beach.

The entire capitol city of Lomé faces a palm-lined boulevard with a sandy beach and deep blue sea beyond. The sound of traffic is quieted by crashing beach break waves and the thump of reggae from the many beach bars.

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Togo, August 28, 2008

Togo Bound with Efex Executive

Let's go! Togo is calling!
A person not know to me might ask why I would leave Accra, Ghana at some very early hour, for a four-hour journey to another African country, just to experience it for a weekend. In asking me "Why?" they would be met with a blank stare and the quick response of "Because its there, and I can!"

See, three years ago, when I was in Ghana last, I learned that Lome, the capitol of Togo, was just a short bus ride away. And Togo is a country I've never been too, and honestly, not really heard of before. Have you ever heard of Togo?

Intrigued by a country I didn't know about, I was all set to visit it in 2005 when, to my dismay, there was a coup the weekend I wanted to go. It seems that President Gnassingbe Eyadema had the misfortune of dying the week before, and his son was in the midst of taking over.

From then on, with a visit denied, I promised myself that the next time I was in Ghana, I would go to Togo. I am in Accra, Ghana now, and Togo again calls.

Continue reading " Togo Bound with Efex Executive"

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