Togo, Africa! Part 1

In case you missed Friday’s post, I revealed my big secret that I had been holding on to forever (15 months!), about how I was asked to be a translator in West Africa for a National Geographic documentary. It was as incredible, to say the least ;)It is called Warlords of Ivory and was on National Geographic Channel last night.

It’s hard for me to put into words how incredible this trip was, what it meant to me, and how much I love the film crew, but I will try.

So here’s how it happened. It was my birthday weekend and I was on my way to a camping trip with friends. And then I got the phone call. A friend called and asked how I was, what I was up to, and if I would be interested in going to a country called Togo to be a translator for an interview.

After getting a few shots, two weeks later, I flew from LAX to JFK and met half of the crew on the plane. Then I flew to Charles de Guille airport and met the other half of the crew and we all flew to Togo.

I have wanted to go to Paris for years and years but for now I’ll have to settle for the airport. We stopped there for a brief layover and I snapped these two pics. I can’t wait to get back to that city someday, hopefully soon. WP_20140612 61WP_20140612 59

I don’t remember how long the flight was but it was fun to see on the map where we were and how much further we had to go. As you can see on the map we were headed to Lome, Togo. WP_20140612 55

We had drivers for the entire time we were there and they picked us up at the airport. We got settled in our rooms and met by the pool area and took in the night and got to know each other. They all knew each other from the last documentary they worked on (Battle for Elephants) and I was the only one who hadn’t been to Africa. They’re a very well traveled bunch.

Everyone was coming from the East coast except me flying in from LA, so I was jet lagged and slept in the next morning until 10am. My first thought in the morning when I woke up was,” Holy sh*t I’m in Africa!” and I’m not one to swear, hah. This was the view from my room. WP_20140612 54

Here is a view of the traffic with mopeds and our hotel. When most people think of Africa they think of wildlife and safaris but sadly that wasn’t where we were on this trip. We were in the capital of Togo, which is Lome and it was very much a city. WP_20140612 47

As I showed you in the other picture, the pool was so pretty. The hotel was known for having this great rooftop pool, and it was great for like two days. Then the rest of the time we were there the pool was completely drained and they were doing some construction on it until we left. WP_20140612 52

This was my favorite restaurant that we went to in our time there. It was part of another hotel, but of course I don’t remember the name of it. The food was delicious and we had really nice meals and memories here. As you might have guessed I grew very attached to this film crew and adore each of them to this day. WP_20140612 38

This is Toby Strong who hails from the UK. I am obsessed with all things British so spending time with him and his British accent was amazing. He even recorded my voicemail message haha! I can’t figure out how to upload it here but trust me it’s awesome 🙂

He has worked for National Geographic, BBC, among others, and has traveled the world. He’s incredibly talented and charming and he and I became buds in no time. He is such a gentleman and took such good care of me. I hope to visit him across the pond someday very soon. WP_20140612 9

This is one of my favorite pictures I took while I was there. Two sweet little innocent kids playing in the market. I am kicking myself that I didn’t buy anything here, I thought I would have more time but didn’t. Everything was so cool! WP_20140612 44Here is one of the only pictures I have of me working while we were at a shipping dock. WP_20140612 1

On Thursday I will share part 2 of this trip, because there’s so much to say it can’t be contained to just one post!

And tomorrow Mattie and I are starting our first link up! Grab our button and play along 🙂

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Linking up today with:inspire-me-monday-300x300

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20 thoughts on “Togo, Africa! Part 1

  1. Amelia Vesper

    This is so incredibly amazing!! Wow! What language do they speak in Togo? I can’t wait to hear more about the experience!

    1. Guess I should have mentioned that huh? They speak French which I wasn’t expecting but what a beautiful language! I studied Spanish in high school but kind of wish I took French looking back.

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