West Africa’s Illusory Development

Twenty-two  years ago, I sat on a bench in Lomé, Togo watching a stream of people running in anger toward the central marketplace. Moments later, black smoke was billowing from the market. Soon, the panicked crowd was moving in the other direction as police reacted to the rioting. The government of Gnassingbé Eyadéma, controlled by … Continue reading West Africa’s Illusory Development

Stopping Wildlife Poachers Isn’t Easy and Can’t Be By "Us"

The elephant that charged me.During my Peace Corps years in Togo, I lived on the edge of a wildlife preserve called Le Fosse aux lions. Created out of what once had been twelve villages, by 1988 (when I arrived) it was the home of a herd of about forty elephants. My experience with one of … Continue reading Stopping Wildlife Poachers Isn’t Easy and Can’t Be By "Us"


As I've written about the elephant that charged me in 1990 and about the death of the small herd that elephant came from, I couldn't resist posting these, pictures of members of that herd, taken within sight of my house in Tambaong, Togo... where, some months later, that one elephant let me walk away:From Tambaong