Site Visit: Part 1

To say our site visit to Togo was a whirlwind would be an understatement. During our 9 nights/10 days in country, we drove up and back down almost the whole length of the beautiful country.

We left Anchorage, Alaska on Wednesday morning and some crazy early hour. My dad was a saint and drive us in in the dark.

Fun fact: when we checked in with the airline in Anchorage, the ticket agent had no clue where Lomé was. She said that in all her years working for the airline, we were the first people to fly there. She also didn’t believe me that we could get visas in Togo; it wasn’t until I showed her the paper I printed from the State Department explaining the process that she finalized our check in.

The three black totes had items for our teammates and most of our stuff (except for Hudson’s diapers and Allen’s sandals) were in our backpack and duffel bag.

We flew from Anchorage to Seattle to Paris. Hudson had some tummy time (and my arms got a break from holding him!) in the Paris airport. We had a little bassinet for him to lay in on the plane, but every time I tried to put him in it, he threw a fit. So I held him most of the flight from Seattle to Paris. My back was killing me!

From Paris, we flew to Lomé through Niamey, Niger. We were thankful to be done flying, a full 36 hours after we took off in Anchorage!

We purchased our visas and met the satguru who helped us gather our bags and exchange currency.

We also met our team leader, Andrew, outside the airport and after loading our stuff, we took off for dinner: pizza! No pictures because we were too hungry to pause for a photo.

After eating, we toured the grocery/home store next door (where they sell everything from frozen chicken to shampoo to ovens). We spent the night at a nice guest house in Lomé, where we just crashed – we were all exhausted! Hudson snuck a pre-bedtime nap in in the car.

Friday morning, we stopped in a café to get coffee and crepes (which were delicious) and then dropped our passports off with a teammate to get extended visas.

Then we hit the road north!

Togo is beautiful and lively and dusty and full. Everywhere you look in town, there’s people doing what they can to make a living. People sell windshield wipers in stopped traffic, fruit on the side of the street, plastic wares for your kitchen wherever there is an empty space.

And there is pride in making sure a store’s stoop is clean from dust and dirt: I saw many people sweeping their entry way with straw brooms, hunched over to make sure they got it all.

When you leave the big city, things turn green:

Teak trees, sugar cane crops, mango trees… this country is alive! But then, seemingly out of nowhere, you’ll see a building that is only partially complete, abandoned because the resources to build ran out.

We ate lunch in the car on the way (which consisted of snacks we had squirreled away, plus some breads from the cafe). All in, it was about 7 hours from Lomé to Kara.

When we got to Kara, we settled into our little apartment on the SIL compound, met our teammates Jane and Joan, and had a nice dinner in town with them, Andrew, and another missionary family who is preparing to leave Kara. It really was such a lovely time and the food was delicious…

But y’all, I was so tired that I was literally falling asleep in the middle of my own conversations.

After dinner and returning to SIL, we FaceTimed our kiddos for a few minutes – and seeing how excited Ruth was to talk to Hudson was so sweet!

Finally, we were able to shower, settle in a little more, and get some sleep! We were finally in Kara – our future home! – and we couldn’t wait to see what it was like…

… but we’ll share more about that next time!

We want to know: What’s the longest flight you’ve ever been on? How long did it take you to adjust to the time change?

9 thoughts on “Site Visit: Part 1

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  3. Pingback: Site Visit: Part 2 – Batts Abroad

  4. Pingback: Site Visit: Part 3 – Batts Abroad

  5. Pingback: Site Visit: Part 4 – Batts Abroad

  6. Pingback: Site Visit Q&A – Batts Abroad

  7. Pingback: Looking Back: Part 3 – Batts Abroad

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