I stumbled while walking down the street the other day, and even though it's been nearly 20 years since I was in Togo, I still half expected to hear someone shout out “doucement!” Strictly translated, doucement means “softly” or “sweetly”.... but for those of us who have passed time in Togo, my guess is that it conjures up memories of mishaps: stumbling, dropping something, or being bumped into.

I always had a fear that the very last words I would hear before I shuffled off this mortal coil would be “doucement”.... shouted at me by a Togolese taxi driver after he ran me over, as he disappeared down the road.

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