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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.
Kituo kidogo cha mabasi kijijini mwetu kilijaa shughuli za watu na mabasi. mabasi mengi yalikuwa yamejaa mizigo. Chini, palikuwa na mizigo zaidi ya kupakia. Makondakta walikuwa wanataja majina ya sehemu mabasi yalikokuwa yanaelekea.
“City! City! Going west!” I heard a tout shouting. That was the bus I needed to catch.
“Mjini! Mjini! Magharibi!” Nilisikia kondakta akiita kwa sauti. Lile ndilo basi nililohitaji kupanda.
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.
Basi la kwenda mjini lilikaribia kujaa, lakini watu wengine walikuwa wanasukumana kupanda. Baadhi yao walipakia mizigo chini ya basi. Wengine waliiweka katika sehemu ya juu.
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.
Abiria wapya walishika tiketi zao huku wakitafuta mahali pa kukaa. Wanawake waliokuwa na watoto wodogo waliwatayarisha kwa safari hiyo ndefu.
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.
Nilijipenyeza ndani na kukaa karibu na dirisha. Mtu aliyeketi karibu nami alishika mfuko wa plastiki wa kijani kibichi. Alivaa viatu vilivyochakaa, koti kuukuu na alionekana kuwa na wasiwasi.
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.
Niliangalia nje na kutambua kwamba nilikuwa naondoka kijijini kwangu, mahali ambapo nililelewa. Nilikuwa naenda katika mji mkubwa.
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.
Upakiaji mizigo ulikamilika na abiria wakawa wameketi. Wachuuzi walizidi kusukumana kutaka kuingia ndani ya basi ili wauze bidhaa zao. Kila mmoja alitaja kwa sauti majina ya bidhaa alizokuwa anauza. Maneno yao yalinifurahisha.
A few passengers bought drinks, others bought small snacks and began to chew. Those who did not have any money, like me, just watched.
Baadhi ya abiria walinunua vinywaji. Wengine wakanunua vitafunwa vidogo na kuanza kutafuna. Wasiokuwa na fedha, kama mimi, walitazama tu.
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.
Shughuli hizi zilikatizwa kwa mlio wa honi ya basi, ishara kwamba tulikuwa tayari kuondoka. Kondakta aliwataka wachuuzi kuondoka ndani ya basi.
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.
Wachuuzi walisukumana huku wakitafuta njia ya kushuka. Wengine waliwarudishia wasafiri chenji zao. Wengine walifanya juhudi za mwisho kuuza bidhaa zao.
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.
Basi lilipoondoka kituoni, nilichungulia dirishani. Nilijiuliza endapo ningerudi na kwenda kijijini kwangu tena.