Last day in Lomé

Trip Start Jan 20, 2008
Trip End Feb 10, 2008

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Today was our last day of meetings for this year's seminars. Kossi Fiaboé picked me up at 8:30 once again, and we drove though the much busier (than yesterday's streets). I noticed there were quite a number of traffic policemen on street corners. I have never seen that before in Togo. Is it a sign that things are improving and there is more hope for the short term?
Arrived at the Church hall, we started right away at 9:00. The first session, two-hour, session was more discussion of fundamental doctrines; we made it about halfway through the booklet. Then after a short break, we discussed the organization of the annual festivals, particularly Feast of Tabernacles. Each region shared the various logistical lessons learned over the years. We also discussed how make sure we helped each faithful member and member family that needed some assistance to observe the festival, receives the help we can offer. Before lunch served we took group photos to commemorate the event.  
Lunch consisted of a mayonnaise-based salad, followed by whole grilled tilapia and French fried potatoes with a sweet pepper and onion mix, and a hot green chili sauce. It was quite good. Following lunch we began hearing the "difficult scripture" sermonettes prepared over the past few days. This took , counting a brief break, until after 5:00. I made some concluding comments and thanked everyone for attending.  We thanked in person the ladies who prepared the meals.
Then Mr. Fiaboe and I went to thank a neighbor lady who let us tie in our electricity to hers. The electric posts don't run quite to our Church compound. As we wait for another pole or two to reach us, with the assent of the lady in question we installed a sub-counter off her line (perhaps not entirely officially legal but commonly allowed here). That way we use electricity on her account but can pay her for what we use. It works well for us, and doesn't cost her anything. It was quite an unusual event to have a foreigner come to her home, and she seemed very happy that we came.
Back at our hall, I had several group and personal meetings to discuss various needs, and then took my leave of everyone until tomorrow morning.  Even though I have to leave a day early, we have arranged for of the conference attendees to travel to Momé Hagou tomorrow. That is the rural village where we have our second Togolese congregation.  It will give our visitors the chance to meet other brethren, to see a bit of Togo, and give our other Togolese brethren the opportunity to meet our visiting leaders, which they will greatly appreciate. In these regions, members may go through their whole lives and rarely if ever see more than 20 or 30 other Church brethren, perhaps none outside their small region.  So visits of this kind are precious and priceless.
We left a little after sundown around 6:30 and I arrived back at the hotel at 7:00.
 Tomorrow will be a very busy day.  If all goes as planned, I will fly to Abidjan, have a long layover, then fly overnight to Nairobi, then have another long layover before flying on to Bujumbura. Lots of things can go wrong with a complicated itinerary like that. I hope all will go well.
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Where I stayed
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