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The day I left home for the city The day I left home for the city Le jour où je quittai la maison pour la ville

Written by Lesley Koyi, Ursula Nafula

Illustrated by Brian Wambi

Read by Darshan Soni

Language English

Level Level 3

Narrate full story

Reading speed

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.

Le petit arrêt d’autobus dans mon village était occupé par des tas de gens et des autobus surchargés. Sur le sol il y avait encore plus de choses à charger. Les revendeurs de billets criaient les noms des endroits où leurs autobus allaient.


“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.

J’entendis un revendeur de billets crier: « Ville ! Ville ! Direction ouest ! ». C’était l’autobus que je devais prendre.


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.

L’autobus de ville était presque plein, mais plus de personnes poussaient encore pour embarquer. Quelques-unes chargèrent leurs valises sous l’autobus. D’autres mirent les leurs sur les étagères à l’intérieur.


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.

Des nouveaux passagers agrippaient leurs billets tandis qu’ils cherchaient un endroit pour s’asseoir dans l’autobus. Des femmes avec de jeunes enfants les installaient confortablement pour le long voyage.


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.

Je me suis serré à côté d’une fenêtre. La personne à côté de moi tenait un sac vert en plastique fermement. Il portait de vieilles sandales, un manteau usé, et il semblait nerveux.


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.

Je regardai à l’extérieur de l’autobus et je réalisai que je quittais mon village, l’endroit où j’avais grandi. Je me rendais à la grande ville.


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.

Le chargement était complet et tous les passagers étaient assis. Des colporteurs se frayaient encore un passage dans l’autobus pour vendre leurs marchandises aux passagers. Chacun criait les noms des articles disponibles. Les mots me semblaient drôles.


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.

Quelques passagers achetèrent des breuvages, d’autres achetèrent des petites collations et commencèrent à manger. Ceux qui n’avaient pas d’argent, comme moi, observaient seulement.


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.

Ces activités furent interrompues par le klaxonnement de l’autobus, un signe que nous étions prêts à partir. Le revendeur de billets cria aux colporteurs de sortir.


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.

Les colporteurs se poussaient pour sortir de l’autobus. Quelques-uns ont redonné de la monnaie au voyageurs. D’autres ont fait des tentatives de dernière minute pour vendre d’autres articles.


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.

Lorsque l’autobus quitta l’arrêt, j’ai regardé par la fenêtre fixement. Je me demandais si je retournerais à mon village un jour.


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.

Alors que le voyage avançait, l’intérieur de l’autobus est devenu très chaud. J’ai fermé les yeux en espérant dormir.


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?

Mais je repensais toujours à chez moi. Est-ce que ma mère serait en sécurité ? Est-ce que mes lapins rapporteraient de l’argent ? Est-ce que mon frère se souviendrait d’arroser mes semis d’arbres ?


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.

En chemin, j’ai mémorisé le nom de l’endroit où mon oncle vivait dans la grande ville. Je le marmonnais encore lorsque je me suis endormi.


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.

Neuf heures plus tard, je me suis réveillé au bruit de quelqu’un qui appelait les passagers qui retournaient au village. J’ai ramassé mon petit sac et j’ai sauté de l’autobus.


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.

L’autobus de retour se remplissait rapidement. Bientôt il partirait vers l’est. La chose la plus importante pour moi maintenant était de commencer à chercher la maison de mon oncle.


Written by: Lesley Koyi, Ursula Nafula
Illustrated by: Brian Wambi
Read by: Darshan Soni
Language: English
Level: 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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