Togo - City of Kara in the north
This is an outdoor sorghum beer meeting place. In the big blue pail is freshly made homemade beer. It is draped with the cloth to keep out the flies. One can see the traditional gourds in which it is served. Homemade beer is served everywhere in Togo. In the blue hat is my colleague Eugenia Almand.
A common sight is a Christian church group marching in the streets singing religious songs in praise of Christ. There are many Christian churches in Kara but I am told that the majority in the city are Moslem. I did not observe hostility between Christians and Moslems.
This bus has just arrived in the bus station in downtown Kara.
Typical houses in the middle of the city. Notice that every extra space is cultivated. Subsistence farming is a world-wide phenomenon in poor countries.
Although every extra space is cultivated with subsistence farming as the area here along one of the dirt roads in the city, one can see the immense amount of plastic and trash that dots the ground here. Everywhere in Togo and the third world, the land is becoming degraded with non-biodegradable plastic and trash.
Houses in Kara do not have running water or sewage. A pipe out the back of the house empties into a ditch and the water runs to streams like this and then to the river that runs through the city. As elsewhere (all over the third world), this leads to disease and widespread early death.
As everywhere in the city of Kara, like most of the third world, trash and garbage fill the streams and gullies and everywhere else between the spaces where people live.
The road in Kara to the Catholic retreat center where my room was during the three weeks we stayed in the north. One can see the cultivated area on the left. All along this road were such plots planted by the people who live on the road.
Just outside of town a poor family struggles to make a living selling candy and repairing shoes. My friends Eugenia and Esther (sitting right) wait while Eugenia's sandal is being repaired.