Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Morning around Nano

A few weeks ago in Dapaong, I was finally able to check something off my To Do in Togo list. Near Nano, a village southwest of Dapaong, there are cliffs that shelter caves. The Moba, the dominant ethnic majority in northern Togo, hid in these caves during tribal warfare. Today, it is one of the few tourist sites that I'm aware of in the Savannah region.

Normally, getting to the caves involves a hike, but I got very lucky. A group of Rotary Club International/Public Health International members from Oregon were in Dapaong that week, doing lots of good work in Nano. I caught a ride with them and Will, the Nano volunteer, right up to the caves' gates.

I don't know what I was expecting, but I was surprised to see this elaborate ladder leading down to the caves.

Tom the Rotarian about to descend the ladder.

Our $4 guide led us to the cave and showed us where camp fires blackened the ceilings. We saw the food storage containers, and at Will's suggestion, I crawled through the claustrophobia-inducing tunnel used for sleeping. Turns out, I'm not claustrophobic, but I'm glad I'm not a Moba during tribal wars.

With Will at the caves.

After the caves, the Rotary folks visited a church and Will gave me a tour of Nano's market. He bought me some bean beignets and got himself pig's blood sausage. Ew.

He also shared all the excellent contents of his mom's packages with me. Thanks, Mrs. Vu! I think this is only the volunteer treatment, so don't expect candy on your tour. There are semi-cold drinks available in Nano, though. And blood sausage.