the leader, chapter 3

September 26, 2015

Day 3 was the wild card of our trip. A suggestion had been to take a day trip to the nearby monkey sanctuary. While the other girls nodded excitedly at the prospect, I grimaced. I then explained that, thanks to far too much time spent protecting my belongings from thieving wild monkeys, and observing their unappealing social habits, I have a decided distaste for the creatures. So when day 3 actually rolled around, we decided to split the party. The girls would go see their monkeys, and Peter and I would stay in the village. By this point I had another seed of a thought: could I possibly repeat the exquisite experience of yesterday’s swim? We did, after all, know the way, after finding our own way back yesterday. Peter agreed to try out our idea, and we set out walking in the general direction. What we were to discover, however, was that if a guide were to notice a pair of walkers, and were to follow them all the way to the falls, he would be very angry indeed. He would berate the pair for setting out without a guide to lead them. He would tell them that if the authorities found out, we would get in a great deal of trouble. He would advise us to tell them, on our return, that we had simply wanted to spend time taking photos of butterflies while we walked. And he would suggest that we give him some money, to assure that he had the same story as to our activities.
We would never have wanted to get in such trouble so I tried to forget about my happy idea of the day: and we took many pictures of the lovely butterflies.
That night we all went for a sanbu. The girls regaled us with monkey tales, and Peter and I described our collection of beautiful butterfly photos. We passed a church and paused at the door to see where the music was coming from. When we did so, a trio of musicians summoned us in and we sat for a bit to watch them rehearse with sax, trumpet, and keyboard.
IMG_2860 Then we slipped back outside. One in the group mentioned out loud her wondering as to whether we had crossed the border into Togo while hiking. None of us knew, but Peter and I told her that we had seen the border patrol just down the road at the other end of the village. We walked down to see about the prospect of stepping foot across the line. When we got down there, one of the border officials came over to us, and we mentioned the idea; he said that he was sorry but we could no longer cross–it was too late in the evening. We would have to come back in the morning. Kara shook her head sadly, explaining that we would be leaving first thing in the morning, so could not do so. The man then scanned our group, looking at each face for a moment. He settled on one—the youngest in our party—and said, “I would like to marry a white woman.” Peter put his arm around my shoulder. Still looking at Amanda, he continued. “I would like to marry you.” At this, Kara (who, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned, happens to be a particularly loyal friend) brightened, “There’s a church just down the road—you can go get married now . . . if you let us into Togo!”
We did not cross into Togo that night.
We did, however, make it safely back home the next day, arriving once more creaky and sticky, and vowing never to make such a long trotro journey again . . . or at least not until our next holiday :-)

One Response to “the leader, chapter 3”

  1. What adventurers you are!!!!! So exciting to follow along and see the amazing photos. Hope the ant bites have become healed.

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