Night Riding in Avlo

7.45 pm. Heading home from Avlo. Utter darkness. We walk for about 50 minutes through the village dirt tracks and along the main beach road in search of a zem. Nothing.

Mr Addra asks if I’d mind getting on the back of a tricycle. He has a friend who owns one further up the road who he’d ask to give us a ride. We stride purposefully in the direction of his friend’s house, where we encounter a woman with a basket of fresh fish, the day’s catch, and a man with a hoe standing outside, waiting, hoping Mr Addra’s friend will emerge from his home and shuttle us all to the town.

Ten minutes pass, then twenty. Our equipment is becoming heavier by the second. After half an hour, we perch on the edge of a well, take the weight off our feet, the load off our backs. “I just went to the house to call him,” Mr Addra says, seeking to reassure us. “He says he just got home from work. He’ll come soon.”

Forty-five minutes later, the tricycle owner emerges, singing raucous songs of work and play that disturb the relative peace of the village night as he loads his passenger’s assortment of goods onto the tricycle.

We thank Mr Addra and wish him good night, journeying home safe in the knowledge that patience is not only a virtue, it’s a necessity, as is the kindness of strangers who soon become friends.

Video by Ernest Ankomah.

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