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Ti bistop dan mo vilaz-la ti ranpli avek enn ta dimounn. Anba ti ena ankor plis kiksoz pou ramase. Bann kontroler ti pe kriye nom bann landrwa kot zot bis ti pou ale.
The small bus stop in my village was busy with people and overloaded buses. On the ground were even more things to load. Touts were shouting the names where their buses were going.
« Lavil ! Lavil ! Direksion lwest ! » mo’nn tann enn kontroler kriye. Samem bis ki mo ti bizinn pran.
“City! City! Going west!” I heard a tout shouting. That was the bus I needed to catch.
Bis-la ti preske ranpli, me boukou dimounn ti pe pouse pou anbarke. Ena ki ti pe gard zot valiz anba bis-la. Bann lezot ti met pou zot dan letazer andan.
The city bus was almost full, but more people were still pushing to get on. Some packed their luggage under the bus. Others put theirs on the racks inside.
Bann nouvo pasaze ti pe atrap zot biye ek ti pe rod enn plas pou asize dan bis. Bann madam ek bann zenn zanfan inn met zot konfortab pou sa long vwayaz-la.
New passengers clutched their tickets as they looked for somewhere to sit in the crowded bus. Women with young children made them comfortable for the long journey.
Mo’nn asiz akote enn lafnet. Sa dimounn akote mwa la ti pe atrap enn sak an plastik bien for. Li ti met enn vie savat, enn palto ize ek ti pe paret strese.
I squeezed in next to a window. The person sitting next to me was holding tightly to a green plastic bag. He wore old sandals, a worn out coat, and he looked nervous.
Mo ti pe get deor dan bis-la ek mo’nn realize ki mo pe kit mo vilaz. Landrwa kot mo finn grandi. Mo ti pe al dan gran lavil.
I looked outside the bus and realised that I was leaving my village, the place where I had grown up. I was going to the big city.
Bis-la ti ranpli ek tou bann pasaze ti pe asize. Bann marsan anbilan ti pe pas-pase pou vann zot marsandiz avek bann pasaze. Sakenn ti pe kriy bann nom bann lartik disponib. Bann nom-la ti pe paret komik.
The loading was completed and all passengers were seated. Hawkers still pushed their way into the bus to sell their goods to the passengers. Everyone was shouting the names of what was available for sale. The words sounded funny to me.
De-trwa pasaze ti p aste bann labwason, lezot ti aste bann ti gato ek zot inn koumans manze. Seki pa ti ena kas kouma mwa, ti pe zis gete.
A few passengers bought drinks, others bought small snacks and began to chew. Those who did not have any money, like me, just watched.
Sa bann aktivite-la inne arete kan bis-la inn klaxone, li ti enn sign ki bis-la ti pre pou ale. Kontroler finn dir bann marsan-la sorti.
These activities were interrupted by the hooting of the bus, a sign that we were ready to leave. The tout yelled at the hawkers to get out.
Bann marsan-la ti pe pouse pou sorti dan bis. Ena inn retourn bann vwayazer –la kas. Bann lezot inn esey vann zot lartik ziska dernie ler.
Hawkers pushed each other to make their way out of the bus. Some gave back change to the travellers. Others made last minute attempts to sell more items.
Kan bis-la inn kit lagar. Mo regar ti fixe par lafenet. Mo ti pe demann mwa si mo pou retourn dan mo vilaz enn zour.
As the bus left the bus stop, I stared out of the window. I wondered if I would ever go back to my village again.
Pandan vwayaz-la, andan dan bis-la ti pe fer so. Mo’nn ferm mo lizie dan lespwar mo dormi.
As the journey progressed, the inside of the bus got very hot. I closed my eyes hoping to sleep.
Me mo ti touzour pe mazinn mo lakaz. Eski mo mama pou an sekirite ? Eski mo pou gagn kas avek mo bann lapin ? Eski mo frer pou mazinn aroz mo bann ti pie ?
But my mind drifted back home. Will my mother be safe? Will my rabbits fetch any money? Will my brother remember to water my tree seedlings?
An rout, mo ti pe memoriz nom landrwa kot mo tonton ti pe reste dan gran lavil. Mo ti pe ankor mirmire pandan ki mo ti pe dormi.
On the way, I memorised the name of the place where my uncle lived in the big city. I was still mumbling it when I fell asleep.
Apre ne-v-er-d-tan, mo’nn leve par tapaz enn dimounn ki ti pe apel bann pasaze ki pou retourn vilaz. Mo’nn ramas mo ti sak ek mo finn sorti depi dan bis.
Nine hours later, I woke up with loud banging and calling for passengers going back to my village. I grabbed my small bag and jumped out of the bus.
Bis ki ti pe retourne la ti pe ranpli vit-vit. Biento li ti pou al ver lwes. Zafer pli inportan pou mwa sa ler-la se rod lakaz mo tonton.
The return bus was filling up quickly. Soon it would make its way back east. The most important thing for me now, was to start looking for my uncle’s house.
Written by: Lesley Koyi, Ursula Nafula
Illustrated by: Brian Wambi
Translated by: Shameem Oozeerally & MIE French Students