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December 7, 2001

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Togo may be a bit of a schizophrenic country because it has been born of many colonial fathers. Germany ruled at first, then after WWI the British and French ruled concurrently. The British section went to Ghana, hence the tensions between these two countries, and French Togoland remained tied to French West Africa. Behind this confused European history lies a core of animist beliefs that European missionaries couldn't reach. Most people in Togo practice voodoo rather than Christianity or Islam. These voodoo markets always show us something we'd rather not think about at the dinner table: monkey heads, rat tales, or dead vultures are always on display. Of course they're not for eating, we think. The statues are fun. Who wouldn't want a fertility doll with an oversized...proboscis? We explored Togo's capital, Lome, but found it lacking the laid back atmosphere of Ghanaian cities. Touts hounded our steps with a desperation that emphasized how tight the economic and political situation has become here. Tourism seems dead in this once popular vacation spot.
You're friendly voodoo shop
Most people here are animists and believe in the powers of voodoo. They have better props for their religious ceremonies than we do.
The skin of a pangolin, a nocturnal creature that is almost impossible to find, dead or alive.
Shopping with our cook partner, Sheena (she's the one without the baby on board).
We're not sure if this is meant for a religious sacrifice or dinner. After our snail fiasco we won't be barbequeing this on a stick. Maybe next trip.