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Crossing Borders: A weekend trip from Accra to Benin


We'd been in the shared taxi together for 4 hours, but we hadn't spoken other than to exchange "good afternoon" when we got in. As the car approached the border with Togo, there were only 2 of us left, and my driver turned to ask where I was going. "Lome," I told him. "So is she," he said of the other woman in the back seat. He then turned around and told her sternly to take care of me and make sure I got across the border okay.

They both helped me change some money, and then my new friend and I started the process of leaving one country and entering another. She stayed with me as we walked back and forth between buildings, making sure no one gave me a hard time. We left Ghana and passed through Togo's health inspection, where I paid a small fine for her because she didn't have a yellow fever card ("you shouldn't have paid them," she said. "I just stand there until they get tired of me and tell me to go."…

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