Chapter 15 : Bobby 61st summernight's dream

Here I am in Senegal. It is nightime and there is no light. I find myself alone walking in the dark with the starry sky above my head. I can feel the red mud under my foot as I’m pacing slowly back to the headquarter. Everything is simple, no lights tonight, no electricity, no sound. We’re going back to basics. At the beginning it can be hard for someone who is used to modern society. As far as I’m concerned I like this tranquility.

As you walk in the dark you find yourself face to face with yourself. Since you can’t see you start to think. You think about the people here, their way of life, the principle of sharing grafted in their culture. Here I discovered the Diola culture. A population closed to their land, proud of their origin. A population who are determined to work as hard as it takes to protect their land with their fists clenched.

They like the French language, sometimes they speak good french better than the French people themselves. An old man told me it is due to Leopold Sedar Senghor the first President of Senegal since the independence in 1960. He was teaching French Gramma at school before he becomes President. He was the one to push his people to speak good french. It is said his love for the French language was so intense he corrected some French politicians during some meetings.

If you were born in a city, you may not be aware of all the insignificant material things in your life. When you are living here the truth strikes you like thunder – We don’t need much to be happy. Even if the people here are poor, a hint of smile is about to come up anytime. They help each other whenever someone gets into trouble. Ads, commercials urge you to buy the brand new product they created. But Sometimes you have to go beyond this if you don’t want to be enslaved. Children don’t have many toys to play with. They  play in the streets they learn to socialize themselves. They grow up in a natural environnement.

Power cut plunged the whole village into darkness. When it happens you have to brandish your candle light. As there is nothing to do you talk to your neighbour. You share your opinions you take your time and that, is really delightful.You don’t have to know somebody well to get into a sincere conversation. They are very open-minded people. Gradually I begin to realize that the values they pass from a generation to the other are really closed to the ones my parents taught me.

We are pretty much the same.

Robert NAI, Adama

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