I hesitate to travel in Togo more than necessary. Our capital is six hours away, the roads are pretty rough getting down there and run-ins with the police occur more often than one would like. That being said, I had several things that I needed to do/buy in Lomé, so I decided to make the trip down there Monday.
Hardly any stores have special parking for their customers, as most vehicles just park parallel to the street in front of the stores where they are shopping. Thankfully, lots of people use moto taxis so a parking spot is usually not very hard to find. I parked in front of a hardware store where I would do some shopping once the store re-opened after the mid-day break that most all stores take here in Togo. While waiting for that store to open up, a friend of mine told me that the hardware store across the street was open, so we went over there to shop and were just about done when a guy came in telling me the last thing that I wanted to hear, “a motorcycle just crashed into your truck!”
Things could have been worse. At least no one was hurt, the guy did not flee the scene, etc. These are the things that you tell yourself in order to keep a good attitude. The guy said that he had to swerve to avoid hitting someone and therefore smashed into the front left panel of our truck. His three-wheeled moto also gashed the tire and ripped the side of our brand new bumper loose.
The guy wanted to me to change the tire and then go to a local garage to see about fixing the rest of the damage. The only problem is that as soon as you leave the scene of the accident, there is absolutely no way to make sure the guilty party takes responsibility for the repairs. Even though it took almost an hour for the police to show up, they eventually did, and thankfully they did not blame me for the accident!
We spent several hours that afternoon between the accident scene, the police station and then the insurance company, but things seem to be going well. Before leaving the police station, the police did remind me as he was standing in the exit I will have to go down to Lomé again once all the police paperwork is done, and the insurance company tells me that the full cost of the repairs will be covered. The funny thing is, this is the second time that a three-wheeled moto has smashed into me and done serious damage.
We pray for safety out here a lot, especially traveling on these crazy roads, and we would appreciate your prayers for our safety too and for the well being of our poor truck that these three-wheeled motos would leave her alone.