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Togo

by DELILAH CORBETT

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Togo
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By Delilah Corbett
Hello, I’m Xoese. My name means believe. I am the third born in my family. I speak Ewe at home with my family, though with others most of my family speaks French. My family and I are Christan. I have 2 born siblings. My mother had two twins before me. Their names are Foli and Edzorna. I am 13 years old, my brothers are 15. I will be having a baby sister soon.
I live along the southwest corner of Africa, in Lome, Togo, in an urban area. My home is made out of cement and corrugated metal roofs. Our homes are used for sleep and storage, most things happen in the courtyard. We cook in gazebo-like structures. Our guests are welcomed with Woézo(a Ewe drink). Based on the visitors’ wealth or importance some food might be offered. Most visitors come unannounced. It is considered rude to come while people are eating, but they may join if they were invited. It is more common for visitors to come on Sunday. My family has an average home. Most urban areas have an improved drinking water source, I have running water. In urban areas some have electricity access, I can use lights, and other things that need electrcity
It is not very common for girls to go to secondary school. I went to primary school when I was 6 years old. I stopped going to school when I was about 12 years old. My brothers still go to school. They walk to school every day. The subjects that are taught in school are French, history, science, math, physical education, language arts, and English (at the start of secondary school). School usually starts at age six, Primary schools last 6 years, Secondary is 7 years long. Those 7 years are spilt into Lower secondary school and upper secondary school, first lasting for 4 years, the second one lasting 3 years long. My brothers will go to school for about 14 years. If girls go to schools they’d have about 12 years in school. Most Urban areas have improved sanitation access. Some schools have running water and toilets, in Lome.
There are many foods I eat for the meals of the day. Togolese men eat with the other men alone, the women and children eat after the men. Before a meal, I wash my hands in a bowl with everyone else. Food is served in an ewegba (communal bowl). People usually eat with their right hand, with utensils. Many foods include maize, millet, yams, and rice. When we are eating meat we show our satisfaction by splitting the bones and eating the marrow.
My family celebrates Easter, Lundi de Pentecôte (it is celebrated at least 50 days after Easter), and Christmas. Some of the Secular holidays (holidays not dealing with religion) are New Year (1st of January), Independence Day (27th of April), Workers Day (1st of May). Street soccer is very popular in Togo. My family weaves headdresses for the harvest festival, which is usually held on the second Saturday of December.
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