Say It In Pulaar

Screenshot 2020-04-09 at 8.02.26

The nightly curfew ends at six in the morning and soon after that, every day, I hear a young guy recite the Koran out loud and walk past the house on his way to… where? It’s almost as if he were “disinfecting” the town with his voice, walking on the empty streets at this hour, similarly to the city workers who disinfect the streets in various parts of the town by sprinkling bleach. Before the curfew was declared, the older talibés would sit under a street lamp every night and recite through the early hours of the night.

The special travel permissions within the country have now been suspended* and I am wondering: for how long? Everything is hanging in the air right now.

Before the pandemic arrived to Senegal, I was learning Pulaar with one local teacher. I had a couple of intensive sessions as an introduction to the language and I got very excited about the whole thing. Then the universities and schools were shut and my teacher traveled out of town to his family. Maybe he can teach me from distance?

While still on pause from Pulaar classes, I am going to brush up my Amharic today. As my friend, who is an Amharic teacher, and I both are now confined to home in different countries, we thought we might just as well make some good coffee and have classes via WhatsApp. Our initial plan was to meet up in the beginning of May face to face and carry on from where we left last summer, but looks like that meeting is not going to happen, at least not just yet.

* Arrêté numéro 008622 du 07 avril 2020 par Le Ministre de l’Intérieur: « Le Gouvernement a relevé le développement de la contamination communautaire du Covid-19, à la suite des communiqués journaliers présentés par le Ministère de la Santé et de l’Action sociale. En conséquence, la délivrance des autorisations spéciales de circuler sur l’étendue du territoire national est suspendue jusqu’à nouvel ordre, à l’exception de celle pour raison de maladie, pour transport de corps sans vie et pour raison professionnelle. »

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