Athlete’s Foot and Creepy Crawling Centipedes

taasinsimi = centipede (sp.)Every rainy season we have these creepy, crawling centipedes come out – especially after big rains. They move in masses and crawl over each other moving as a blob. It’s like they’re one big organism. If you step on them unawares, they make the most disgusting crunch & smash sound. It’ll give you shivers.

Locals debate as to whether or not they bite/sting. I’ve handled them and never been bit.

Most interesting to me is the critters’ Mampruli name is taasinsimi which is the same word they use for the medical condition known as “athlete’s foot” or “foot rot” (Tinea Pedis). I asked around as to why they share the name and get different responses. Some say the centipedes cause foot rot. Others say their just annoying like athlete’s foot. And others have no clue – that’s just what they’re called.

If any readers can help me identify the species of these red centipedes, I’d really appreciate it. So far my online searches have not been very fruitful.

Nyin kyisiri seelli ka sɔ dira.

Someone else eats what is taboo for you. (aka ‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison.’)

Mamprusi Proverb

Exploring Northern Togo

06-mango-togo-oti-river-1232Last week I drove across the border into Togo to take some folks to ABWE’s new Hospital of Hope in Mango, Togo. I threw my bike in the back of the truck and took a day to go explore the region on my bike.

Mango is right on the banks of the Oti River which was quite flooded due to the heavy rains we’ve been having. I paid 1000CFA to have a man and his son ferry me and my bike across the river. Once on the other side I started pedaling east.

05-mango-togo-oti-river-1240Until I found that the road I was following was also flooded! I had to pay for another ferry ride and this time was accompanied by a really kind Fulani man and his motorcycle (we were all in the same canoe).

I ended up making it all the way to Gando, Togo and then decided to head a few more miles to into Benin. As soon as I crossed into Benin a huge storm hit. It followed me for most of the 30mile ride back to Mango.

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My Parents Visit the Nayiri

In Ghana, if an important guest visits you he should greet the local chief during his stay. This shows respect to both the guest and the chief. Lucky for us, we live in the capitol of Mamprugu so our local chief is the paramount chief or king of the entire tribe.

I took my parents to have an official visit with the Nayiri and loaned my nicest smock and hat to my dad to wear. Some of my local friends accompanied us (the larger the delegation, the more important the visit) and we greeted him together. I introduced my parents and my dad gave him a formal greeting and thanked him for “holding his children well” (aka, taking care of us). When we left he provided them with a gift of two guinea fowls.

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My Parents’ Ghana Pics

After the events in Côte d’Ivoire, my parents drove 15 hours (!) back to Ghana with me and spent 10 days with us in Nalerigu. The photo gallery below is photos they took while they were here.

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A Trip Down Memory Lane in Bouaké

Another highMy parents with Dabilla and his familylight of my trip to Côte d’Ivoire was a visit one afternoon to Bouaké where my family lived from 1986 to 1993. We met up with Pastor Dabilla who my dad discipled in the 1980s and then became pastor of my parents’ first church plant. Today he is not only leading that church but is a leader of the association of evangelical pastors in the area.

20160812-whaun-roger-sarah-visit-bouake-1585We drove around town to see how it had changed since my parents were last there nearly 15 years ago. We saw our old house (currently be renovated by a new owner), my old boarding school (now a government run medical school) and also met up with Madeleine who was my brother’s nanny in the late 80s.

It was a short trip that one afternoon but we were overwhelmed with years of wonderful memories!