Now that I'm safely in Switzerland and out of Africa, I feel like I can share some of these close calls without jinxing myself or causing my parents sleepless nights. So here are four fun things that happened that I decided not to share until after leaving Togo:
1. Once in village, I fainted on my front porch. My neighbors had to lead me to the latrine and in my severely dehydrated state, I was convinced I had malaria and was going to die. But, I was just really dehydrated.
2. Shortly before I left village, I was walking around my house barefoot at dusk, about to leave for the market. As I stepped toward the door, I felt something under my foot and recoiled, thinking it was a very big cockroach. Instead, my flash light revealed a scorpion, which, after much hesitation and pep-talking, I killed with a running shoe.
3. My second night in Lomé, which was the first night I spent in the house after Christmas in Ghana, JT and two friends got held up at gunpoint at our gate at 3 a.m. No one was hurt, but they lost phones, an iPod and a camera. After that, we replaced the light above the door and had no more problems.
4. I got hit by a motorcycle biking home from work in February. He side-swiped me as I crossed into the left lane and I lost my balance and fell into the bushes planted on the median. I had one tiny scratch to show for it, unlike JT, who got hit by a car a few days later and had some nasty bruises.
And after all that and so many bush taxi rides up and down the country, I still made it. Whew.