Saturday, April 05, 2008

Voodoo Ceremony In Togo Displays Values

traWritten On M.S. Prinsendam After Departing Lome, Togo--

Togo, a small strip of a country neighboring Ghana, is not nearly as prosperous as Ghana. But I was still impressed, in a long rural tour I took yesterday, of certain values in that country.

Our tour party saw a most impressive voodoo dance performed in a village by more than 100 young people attired in yellow t-shirts. It was evident that, as in most religions, voodoo incorporates an ethical values system that can give great consolation to its adherents. And unlike some other fundamentalists, the voodooists in Togo are not out killing people who may disagree with them. trt

Also, Togo has an impressive, if relatively undiversified, rural infrastructure, a farming community which does not, as in The Gambia, seem overpowered by overpopulation.

We had an excellent guide for the day, an educated man who told us that in Togo, the motto is, "Nothing should be lost." It was astonishing to hear about the multiple uses that a date or coconut palm tree can be put, and, with the huge cassava crop, they even use the leaves to make vegetables, or other parts of the plant to make soap.

Togo lost its English-speaking sections at independence to English-speaking Ghana. It has few natural resources other than phosphate. But the, "Yes We Can" spirit of its people is admirable.

The M.S. Prinsendam has now left West Africa after making five fascinating, if sometimes depressing stops, and today at 2 p.m. we cross the equator. We also are now in the Eastern Hemisphere. We are more than 8,000 miles out of Fort Lauderdale, and our next stop, in four days, is Namibia.


Matthew Mosk, a political reporter for the Washington Postl, has an excellent article today on how the rapacious Clintons feel "spent and outspent" in the context for the Democratic nomination. Since they just reported $109 million in personal income since the 2000 election, it would not be too much to suggest that they spend some of their own money on their campaign to restore Dog Patch government to the White House, if they really desire to go on.

With the money he had been able to raise, primarily from small donors on the Internet, Barack Obama should now press on to finish the job, pouring a crushing amount of what he has raised into Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Indiana. Victory for his inspired campaign, at least for the Democratic nomination, now appears in sight.


One of the most distinguished foreign reporters in recent years, for the Los Angeles Times and more recently for the New York Times, has been arrested by police thugs working in Zimbabwe for the dictator, Robert Mugave. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Barry Bearak has repeatedly in his career courted danger to bring deeply perceptive reports on the evils of our times to the rest of the world. We can only hope now that he is safe and will soon be released.

Mugabe is a dope. He could give up power and go public speaking, like the Clintons, thus making himself an even greater fortune than what he has been able to steal from the poor people of Zimbawe.



Blogger Gina said...

I was in Lome and Togo about two years ago...which is how I started blogging....I crossed Africa from Tunisia to Lome...although at the last minute Libya closed its borders and we had do zig zag through a few countries by plane....What impressed me throughout my trip in Africa....was how nothing was you mentioned in your blog.....everything from plants, animals and plastic...all found multiple and sometimes creative re-uses somewhere with someone. I liked that idea...and when I returned home I found I was appalled by all the stuff I throw away...packaging is no mechanism to be thirfy in the U.S.....if we all became that way...our consumer economy I guess would further go down the tubes.

Safe travels.....

Gina K.

4/08/2008 7:57 PM  

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