Digger’s Togolese Perseverance
Like a Paralympic distance runner our time here limped of to a wobbly start. We were surrounded by kids who, though deemed old enough to drive around in cars so large they look like toddlers in tanks, buy guns, go to war and get married, cannot have a beer. Not only that but we are not allowed to keep beers in any shared fridges or even have any alcohol paraphernalia. A boy was made to take a Bud Light poster down and a plastic Coors Light cup was removed and may have been destroyed. The daily realisation that we were going to be here for a whole year had digger throw a wobbler almost every morning and the amount of times we had to reassure each other it became almost like a mantra. “Its going to be ok” pretty much became our catchphrase, like YOLO for the eternal pessimist, IGTBO.
However, heartened by the courage of the women of Togo, who this week are doing a sex strike to demand a re-election, we persevered and have realised the fun we are going to have here. Digger has also joined the Togolese women in their struggle, boldly proclaiming he will have “no sex until Gnassingbés dictatorial regime is over!”
A huge factor in our new found optimism is the gym here. Not only is it free but it makes Leeds multimillion pound gym look like an old wet dog. There is an Olympic sized swimming pool and a diving board so high I bet even Tom Daley would shit his little Speedos, and don’t get me started on his little bald partner. In the gym a huge rock wall is surrounded by so many weights machines that we have spent more time working out what they do than actually working out. I want to say the outside pool is something straight out of a five star hotel but in fact, with the crowd of young bikini clad girls and ripped little men in USA boardshorts, it is more like straight out of Magaluf, only the vomit, alcohol and semen has been replaced by Gatorade, Protein shakes and beach volleyball. Its fair to say an hour or two poolside is probably a nicer way to spend the time between lectures than sitting in the rain on Parkingson steps in Leeds, tucking in to a greasy Mahmoods burger that they, in their infinite advertising wisdom, have called ‘The Big Dripper’.
And thus, going into week three in South Carolina, we have a spring in our step, just like Oscar Pistorious the no legged paralympian runner who, considering he just ran in the Olympics, surely cant lose this leg. I’d say he’s a shoe in.