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The day I left home for the city The day I left home for the city ˈðə ˈdeɪ ˈaɪ ˈɫɛft ˈhoʊm ˈfɔɹ ˈðə ˈsɪti

Written by Lesley Koyi, Ursula Nafula

Illustrated by Brian Wambi

Read by Darshan Soni

Language English

Level Level 3

Narrate full story

Autoplay story


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.

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.

ˈðə ˈsmɔɫ ˈbəs ˈstɑp ˈɪn ˈmaɪ ˈvɪɫədʒ ˈwɑz ˈbɪzi ˈwɪð ˈpipəɫ ˈænd ˈoʊvɝˌɫoʊdɪd ˈbəsɪz ˈɑn ˈðə ˈɡɹaʊnd ˈwɝ ˈivɪn ˈmɔɹ ˈθɪŋz ˈtu ˈɫoʊd ˈtaʊts ˈwɝ ˈʃaʊtɪŋ ˈðə ˈneɪmz ˈhwɛɹ ˈðɛɹ ˈbəsɪz ˈwɝ ˈɡoʊɪn


“City! City! Going west!” I heard a tout shouting. That was the bus I needed to catch.

"City! City! Going west!" I heard a tout shouting. That was the bus I needed to catch.

ˈsɪti ˈsɪti ˈɡoʊɪn ˈwɛst ˈaɪ ˈhɝd ˈeɪ ˈtaʊt ˈʃaʊtɪŋ ˈðæt ˈwɑz ˈðə ˈbəs ˈaɪ ˈnidəd ˈtu ˈkætʃ


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.

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.

ˈðə ˈsɪti ˈbəs ˈwɑz ˈɔɫˌmoʊst ˈfʊɫ ˈbət ˈmɔɹ ˈpipəɫ ˈwɝ ˈstɪɫ ˈpʊʃɪŋ ˈtu ˈɡɛt ˈɑn ˈsəm ˈpækt ˈðɛɹ ˈɫəɡədʒ ˈəndɝ ˈðə ˈbəs ˈəðɝz ˈpʊt ˈðɛɹz ˈɑn ˈðə ˈɹæks ˈɪnˌsaɪd


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.

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.

ˈnju ˈpæsəndʒɝz ˈkɫətʃt ˈðɛɹ ˈtɪkəts ˈæz ˈðeɪ ˈɫʊkt ˈfɔɹ ˈsəmˌwɛɹ ˈtu ˈsɪt ˈɪn ˈðə ˈkɹaʊdəd ˈbəs ˈwɪmən ˈwɪð ˈjəŋ ˈtʃɪɫdɹən ˈmeɪd ˈðɛm ˈkəmfɝtəbəɫ ˈfɔɹ ˈðə ˈɫɔŋ ˈdʒɝni


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.

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.

ˈaɪ ˈskwizd ˈɪn ˈnɛks ˈtu ˈeɪ ˈwɪndoʊ ˈðə ˈpɝsən ˈsɪtɪŋ ˈnɛks ˈtu ˈmi ˈwɑz ˈhoʊɫdɪŋ ˈtaɪtɫi ˈtu ˈeɪ ˈɡɹin ˈpɫæstɪk ˈbæɡ ˈhi ˈwɔɹ ˈoʊɫd ˈsændəɫz ˈeɪ ˈwɔɹn ˈaʊt ˈkoʊt ˈænd ˈhi ˈɫʊkt ˈnɝvəs


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.

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.

ˈaɪ ˈɫʊkt ˈaʊtˈsaɪd ˈðə ˈbəs ˈænd ˈɹiəˌɫaɪzd ˈðæt ˈaɪ ˈwɑz ˈɫivɪŋ ˈmaɪ ˈvɪɫədʒ ˈðə ˈpɫeɪs ˈhwɛɹ ˈaɪ ˈhæd ˈɡɹoʊn ˈəp ˈaɪ ˈwɑz ˈɡoʊɪn ˈtu ˈðə ˈbɪɡ ˈsɪti


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.

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.

ˈðə ˈɫoʊdɪŋ ˈwɑz kəmˈpɫitəd ˈænd ˈɔɫ ˈpæsəndʒɝz ˈwɝ ˈsitɪd ˈhɔkɝz ˈstɪɫ ˈpʊʃt ˈðɛɹ ˈweɪ ˈɪntu ˈðə ˈbəs ˈtu ˈsɛɫ ˈðɛɹ ˈɡʊdz ˈtu ˈðə ˈpæsəndʒɝz ˈɛvɹiˌwən ˈwɑz ˈʃaʊtɪŋ ˈðə ˈneɪmz ˈəv ˈhwət ˈwɑz əˈveɪɫəbəɫ ˈfɔɹ ˈseɪɫ ˈðə ˈwɝdz ˈsaʊndɪd ˈfəni ˈtu ˈmi


A few passengers bought drinks, others bought small snacks and began to chew. Those who did not have any money, like me, just watched.

A few passengers bought drinks, others bought small snacks and began to chew. Those who did not have any money, like me, just watched.

ˈeɪ ˈfju ˈpæsəndʒɝz ˈbɑt ˈdɹɪŋks ˈəðɝz ˈbɑt ˈsmɔɫ ˈsnæks ˈænd biˈɡæn ˈtu ˈtʃu ˈðoʊz ˈhu ˈdɪd ˈnɑt ˈhæv ˈɛni ˈməni ˈɫaɪk ˈmi ˈdʒəst ˈwɑtʃt


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.

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.

ˈðiz ækˈtɪvətiz ˈwɝ ˌɪntɝˈəptɪd ˈbaɪ ˈðə @hooting ˈəv ˈðə ˈbəs ˈeɪ ˈsaɪn ˈðæt ˈwi ˈwɝ ˈɹɛdi ˈtu ˈɫiv ˈðə ˈtaʊt ˈjɛɫd ˈæt ˈðə ˈhɔkɝz ˈtu ˈɡɛt ˈaʊt


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.

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.

ˈhɔkɝz ˈpʊʃt ˈitʃ ˈəðɝ ˈtu ˈmeɪk ˈðɛɹ ˈweɪ ˈaʊt ˈəv ˈðə ˈbəs ˈsəm ˈɡeɪv ˈbæk ˈtʃeɪndʒ ˈtu ˈðə ˈtɹævəɫɝz ˈəðɝz ˈmeɪd ˈɫæs ˈmɪnət əˈtɛmps ˈtu ˈsɛɫ ˈmɔɹ ˈaɪtəmz


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.

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.

ˈæz ˈðə ˈbəs ˈɫɛft ˈðə ˈbəs ˈstɑp ˈaɪ ˈstɛɹd ˈaʊt ˈəv ˈðə ˈwɪndoʊ ˈaɪ ˈwəndɝd ˈɪf ˈaɪ ˈwʊd ˈɛvɝ ˈɡoʊ ˈbæk ˈtu ˈmaɪ ˈvɪɫədʒ əˈɡeɪn


As the journey progressed, the inside of the bus got very hot. I closed my eyes hoping to sleep.

As the journey progressed, the inside of the bus got very hot. I closed my eyes hoping to sleep.

ˈæz ˈðə ˈdʒɝni pɹəˈɡɹɛst ˈðə ˈɪnˌsaɪd ˈəv ˈðə ˈbəs ˈɡɑt ˈvɛɹi ˈhɑt ˈaɪ ˈkɫoʊzd ˈmaɪ ˈaɪz ˈhoʊpɪŋ ˈtu ˈsɫip


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?

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?

ˈbət ˈmaɪ ˈmaɪnd ˈdɹɪftəd ˈbæk ˈhoʊm ˈwɪɫ ˈmaɪ ˈməðɝ ˈbi ˈseɪf ˈwɪɫ ˈmaɪ ˈɹæbəts ˈfɛtʃ ˈɛni ˈməni ˈwɪɫ ˈmaɪ ˈbɹəðɝ ɹiˈmɛmbɝ ˈtu ˈwɔtɝ ˈmaɪ ˈtɹi ˈsidɫɪŋz


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.

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.

ˈɑn ˈðə ˈweɪ ˈaɪ @memorised ˈðə ˈneɪm ˈəv ˈðə ˈpɫeɪs ˈhwɛɹ ˈmaɪ ˈəŋkəɫ ˈɫaɪvd ˈɪn ˈðə ˈbɪɡ ˈsɪti ˈaɪ ˈwɑz ˈstɪɫ ˈməmbəɫɪŋ ˈɪt ˈhwɛn ˈaɪ ˈfɛɫ əˈsɫip


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.

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.

ˈnaɪn ˈaʊɝz ˈɫeɪtɝ ˈaɪ ˈwoʊk ˈəp ˈwɪð ˈɫaʊd ˈbæŋɪŋ ˈænd ˈkɔɫɪŋ ˈfɔɹ ˈpæsəndʒɝz ˈɡoʊɪn ˈbæk ˈtu ˈmaɪ ˈvɪɫədʒ ˈaɪ ˈɡɹæbd ˈmaɪ ˈsmɔɫ ˈbæɡ ˈænd ˈdʒəmpt ˈaʊt ˈəv ˈðə ˈbəs


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.

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.

ˈðə ɹiˈtɝn ˈbəs ˈwɑz ˈfɪɫɪŋ ˈəp ˈkwɪkɫi ˈsun ˈɪt ˈwʊd ˈmeɪk ˈɪts ˈweɪ ˈbæk ˈist ˈðə ˈmoʊs ˌɪmˈpɔɹtənt ˈθɪŋ ˈfɔɹ ˈmi ˈnaʊ ˈwɑz ˈtu ˈstɑɹt ˈɫʊkɪŋ ˈfɔɹ ˈmaɪ ˈəŋkəɫz ˈhaʊs


Written by: Lesley Koyi, Ursula Nafula
Illustrated by: Brian Wambi
Read by: Darshan Soni
Language: English
Level 3
Source: The day I left home for the city from African Storybook
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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