What Happens In Togo: Agbavi Beach

 

Agbavi Beach in Togo, West Africa holds a special place for me because it was where my mother, Ina, and I shared our last stroll on the beach together before she became too ill to walk. It was a kind of magical place for both of us to regroup, plan and reminiscence about how far we’d come with our Alaffia mission, while taking in the waves, sand and salt in the air. 
 
This beach represents both great industry and sadness for the people of Togo. It’s vital to Togo’s economy, as the ocean is the link to global trade, but also has a troubled past since it’s near the last “slave house” of Togo, where thousands of people were trafficked from Togo and surrounding countries. Today, rising sea levels and impediments to the natural beach replenishment system mean the beach is disappearing, with 1/2 to 1 meter of beach washing away each year. This is largely due to the construction of a new port in the last 10 years and dams put in place in the 1970’s.
 
The puppies that accompany me in the photo are our spirited companions, who also serve as diligent watch dogs for Alaffia’s lodging property. When I'm in Togo, I make it a point to walk this beach in memory of Ina to reflect on our purpose and the ways we continue moving forward. 
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