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Amadou, Amadou (2): Surprise and deception..., by Ladyba

13 July 2020, Ladyba

This morning he was therefore surprised by the state of this room, there were old mattresses placed everywhere, there was no paint and on some places on the walls there was mold.

The next morning, Amadou got up around 10 a.m., he was surprised that his papa didn't wake him up like every morning after sunrise in order to perform his morning prayer. He glanced around the room and was surprised by how old the room was.

Yesterday evening, they had eaten in the courtyard and his uncle asked to be accompanied to the children's room. A big boy then took him by the hand; the darkness and fatigue helping, he hadn't paid too much attention to the state of the room. He laid down on a mattress on the floor and fell asleep immediately. This morning he was therefore surprised by the state of this room, there were old mattresses placed everywhere, there was no paint and on some places on the walls there was mold.

Amadou: but I thought Uncle Bocar was rich, I even dreamed of sleeping on a big bed like the one I had seen one day when I went to watch TV at a neighbor's house.
Uncle Bocar: Amadou, Amadou wake up, it’s already 11:00 AM. Who do you think you are? (It was his uncle who entered the room who called him that way.)
Amadou: hello uncle
Uncle: Wake up it's late, your dad has already returned early this morning
Amadou: he didn't even say goodbye to me!
Uncle: Well, you are sleeping like a sick person. He did not want to miss the first bus for Bakel. Go wash your face and find me in the yard.
Amadou: ok.

He went to the toilets which were very very dirty but he did not take offense, he would have liked to say goodbye to his dad. He joined his uncle in the courtyard

Uncle: Amadou, sit down. I don't know what your parents told you but you will now live with me

Amadou really didn't understand anything anymore.

Uncle: I will teach you the Quran but also about life. I will make you a brave and well educated young man.
Amadou: Ah uncle… so I am going to live here now? Till when?
Uncle: I don’t know… But here it's your new home.
Amadou: ...
Uncle: I am going to explain to you how it works here. In the morning you have to wake up very early to pray then after the prayer you will go with the other children to beg in the street. Here is your pot.

He handed her a large red pot. Amadou also found the jar very pretty, he understood nothing but then nothing at all what his uncle said to him.

Uncle: are you listening to me?
Amadou: yes yes uncle
Uncle: you know life is very expensive here, and I can't afford to take care of you all

Amadou said to himself: what about the money you distributed in the village? But he said to himself that his uncle might be ruined. It had been a long time since he had come to the village for that matter.

Uncle: so you have to go begging in the streets of Dakar and at 2 p.m. you all come back here to pray, eat and I will teach you the Quran and Arabic for a few hours. After the 5 p.m. prayer, you will return to the streets of Dakar.

Amadou: uncle in the village I went to French school
Uncle: It's over, no more French schools, the Arab school is better. The white men are destroying your minds.

Amadou was disappointed because he liked going to school. He had started to learn to read and he loved looking at all these beautiful drawings in the books.

Uncle: so there it is almost 11am. You will wait for the other children to come back then in the afternoon you will leave with them.
Amadou: yes uncle
Uncle: ah and I forgot every day you have to bring me a minimum of 700 FCFA, it's not much and it's for you. I do not touch 1 cent.

He stayed in the yard with his uncle until noon and the other children began to return. At 2:00 p.m. they were all there, they got into small circles to eat. Her uncle tells her to go put himself in a group.

And there Amadou was afraid, there were these red pots and inside food he didn't even know what it was like. In one pot there was white rice with a semblance of sauce, on the other there was red rice with some vegetables and in another curd and millet. They were not very rich in the village but they ate in large dishes anyway and his mother always presented the food well. The little hands entered this little pot and one of the young people called out to him:

Young Boy: Aren’t you hungry? Come eat and stop looking at us
Amadou: Ok, let me go wash my hands.

They all laughed. He did not see what was funny; his mother always wanted him to wash his hands before eating even if water was a very precious liquid in the village.

A few minutes later, he understood why the laughter. They had eaten everything and were going to wash their hands only now before doing their ablutions to prepare for the 2 p.m. prayer.

After the prayer, the young man who had talked to him at mealtime came to him.

Young Boy: How are you doing? You are Amadou, right?
Amadou: Yes, I am.
Young Boy: I am Demba. Let’s go, let me show you the city.
Amadou: Ok, let’s go.
Demba: Did you get a pot? Go get one there…

Amadou went to take his red pot which he had left in a corner of the courtyard. And there began a new page in the life of Amadou…
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