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Amadou, Amadou (1): Heading to Dakar..., by Ladyba

08 July 2020, Ladyba

They arrived in Dakar, in the middle of the night and he was finally happy to get out of the car thinking that the journey was finally over.

In a village in the depth of eastern Senegal, an 8-year-old boy, Amadou was getting ready. He had to go to town with his father, a town very far away called Dakar. It seems that it was beautiful there, and all the people who came from this city were well dressed and rich. There were lots of lights over there and water was flowing from the tap. Here in the village there was a tap but Amadou had never seen water flowing there, he always wondered what this iron rod was used for.

- Amadou, Amadou, shouted his mom, come out your dad is ready
- Yes mom, ready, he said coming out

He had 8 brothers and sisters and he was the last, the eldest was over 30 years old and still lived with them with his wife and 5 children. Which made a lot of mouths to feed and the dad could no longer support them so he decided to bring his youngest to his cousin who held a “Daara” (school teaching the Quran) in Dakar.

Amadou’s mom: goodbye my son; be wise and obey your uncle and above all don't forget us

Amadou did not understand, for him he would stay right during the school holidays maximum 2 months, he did not understand why his mother asked him not to forget him. He left to say goodbye to the whole family and followed his dad towards the center of the village where they were to take a cart which will bring them back to the bus station of Bakel.

Then a long journey of several hours will finally lead them to the beautiful city: Dakar, the Capital.

Amadou had never ridden a car, in the village they walked a lot and some trips were made by horse. So he was all excited and happy like any kid of his age who did something that only grown-ups do.

The car sometimes stopped but the trip was tiring especially with the heat.

They arrived in Dakar, in the middle of the night and he was finally happy to get out of the car thinking that the journey was finally over. It was not, and he could not imagine his surprise when he saw his daddy drive to another smaller car (this was a Clando (old) taxi). He called out to his dad:

Amadou: dad I'm tired, I'm sleepy
Amadou's dad: we will be arriving in a few more minutes
Amadou: but dad we take another car? He had tears in his eyes
Dad: Cheuteuteuttt amadou boul ma ssonnal, mala gueuneu ssonne (Stop bothering me, I am much more tired than you). Nénala (I told you) we are coming soon

His uncle lived in a popular district of Dakar called HLM. Once in the Clando taxi, they drove another thirty minutes before arriving. It was dark in the neighborhood, there was a power outage. But Amadou and his father were used to the lack of light, there was no electricity in the Village and at night they lit up with candles or torches.

They found his uncle in the courtyard. Amadou had always admired the latter. When he came to the village, he always brought a lot of gifts, distributed bundles of tickets to his visitors and always dressed very well. In the village, he was the symbol of success: he had 2 women there, a large cement house (which was already a sign of wealth for them) and in addition his own was even painted and he always came by car. Amadou told himself that he was going to have a great vacation with his uncle and his children.

To be continued…

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