After a well appreciated sleep-in and an atypical leisurely breakfast we set out for our first of three days of R&R. How great is that! With our trusted driver Mensah and our two indispensible sidekicks (translators, tour guides, enablers and all around helpers) Segnon and Messenh in tow, we headed toward the beach. As it was Election Day and a national holiday, it was a pleasure to be able to navigate our route with a lot fewer vehicles on the road making our passage unusually swift and stress free. When we reached the Atlantic, we headed along ‘Ocean Drive’ in the direction of the Benin border.Our first stop was the Hotel Le Lac on Lake Togo just a short drive from Lome. There we spent a very relaxing four hours sipping drinks, lounging on chaises, dipping our feet in the pool, enjoying the beautiful vista of the lake all the while recounting the many memorable moments, events and highlights of the previous six days of distribution.After a delicious lunch of local fare, we hopped back in the van and continued our trek east for about another fifteen minutes until we reached the Benin border where we watched lake Togo flow into the Atlantic Ocean. Here we all disembarked, passports in hand, hoping to be able to cross the border and add a new stamp to our passports and Benin to our growing list of visited countries. Despite our valiant attempts to convince the Togolese border guards to let us cross the border, which included a heart-warming account of our recently completed distribution of 4, 000 bedkits to the poor children of Togo and decorating the border guards with Canadian flag pins, we were told that the border was closed for election day, they couldn't allow an exception for us and, if we wished, we could perhaps try again tomorrow.Once back in the van, we headed to Lome where we were treated to a grand tour of the city including such highlights as the University of Lome, the Independence Monument, not one but two very large homes of Emmanuel Adebayor (a very famous football player whose jersey Mike had been wearing all day) the photocopy shop of Dosseh (our third helper who had to leave a few days ago to work near the Burkina Faso border) and last but not least the border of Ghana. In a relatively short period of time this afternoon we traversed the entire 50 kms. or so southern expanse of Togo from the border of Benin to the border of Ghana.
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