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Chatting in the Street Under My Window (1)

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It is on this street, which is on the right side of my house, that the window of my room opens. Every morning when I wake up, I look through it mechanically, even if I can't see anything out of the ordinary. It's a quiet street and not very busy, especially in the morning. The house with the mustard-yellow door is one of the oldest in the neighborhood: it was built in the 1970s by a shopkeeper from Gandiol in northern Senegal. The bricks with decorative motifs that were used to build the wall are typical of this period and are now only seen on very old buildings. In front of the house there is a small ruined mosque behind which a car belonging to the neighbors opposite is parked. After the car, there is another house inhabited by a Fulani[1] family. All the goats in the picture belong to them. They tie them up in the house for the night and untie them in the early morning so that they can go out and glean things to eat in the neighborhood (grass, leaves, paper etc). The sound of goats rushing to get out of the Fulani house, the soothing song of birds and the occasional distant bus horn, therefore became very familiar to me. That is why I was very surprised when I woke up this morning to hear, in addition to the noise of the goats and the singing of the birds, two or three very lively discussions.

 

[1] The Fulani are a traditionally pastoral people established throughout West Africa and beyond in the Sahel-Saharan strip.

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