The word ‘logistics’ held no meaning to me until the launching of House of Talents. It slowly came into my consciousness as we grew, then took a central part of my focus, and now demands constant attention. Logistics makes you think and breathe differently. Sometimes it is the anticipation of knowing there are beautiful goods on their way to me from an artisan community in Ghana, or a shipment of goods from an artisan community in Mali held up somewhere in the world such as Casablanca en route to the US for no clear reasons. Sometimes logistics is in my travels, when I do not always know what people I will meet or what villages will open their doors to me. When I travel, some of the experiences are so beyond what I am used to that they almost feel out of body. It is one of the things that keeps my trips memorable, provides markers for time and place and is the preamble to so many of my numerous stories.
So it is fitting now that I start my stories with logistics. Stories on how I get around in my travels. These stories are only funny to me when all is over, and when hindsight provides me with perspective. I never see the humor or the lessons when I am in the middle of dealing with it.
Getting from here to there and sometimes farther away can be a complicated proposition, unless you have your own car. Without one it gets rather pesky, albeit somewhat adventurous, travelling in the West African region. The one thing I can count on, but never seem to adequately plan for, is the car breakdowns.
So let’s start with how I get around, and along the way you will get to meet my travel companions. I don’t have pictures for all of the numerous adventures, but have a couple often taken by others. The last thing you think of during a travel problem is to immortalize your misery, your fear or the fact that you are just plain lost.
From motorcycles, farm tractors to pirogues (or dugout canoes) we always seem to make it to our destination; the story always ends well.