Week Four

18 06 2012

By Ben Ramsey

Yesterday evening while hiking back up to my homestead, I finally had
some time to just think.  With the rain pouring down on my poncho, my
mind began to wander.  I worried that my market snack (dog meat) would
upset my stomach. I also thought about how I’ve now been here for a
full month, and also that it’s about time for another blog post!

I realize that I’ve left quite a bit out of these posts about daily
life in general.  I live up in the mountains in the homestead of a
very friendly family.  A typical day starts with hiking a couple miles
down into the plain in search of an interview and maybe even a
(slightly cold) coke from the local boutique.  With all of this
hiking, I’ve practically given up on running here; it just isn’t
needed!

With each interview, I’m getting a better overall picture of Togolese
youth migration.  I was recently invited to see a children’s skit
against youth migration.  The skit had some children go to Nigeria,
and some stay home.  The children that stayed home got an education
and jobs, and the kids that went to Nigeria returned home with
nothing.  (This consequence is actually pretty realistic; I have heard
of youth being promised a motorcycle (worth around $800) for a year of
work and then coming home empty handed.)  At the skit’s end, the kids
recited their rights as children, a list including good health and
education.  These recited rights left an impression on me; not even
public school is free here.

-Ben Ramsey

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