Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Letter

Today I received this letter from all of the students from Mame Yelli Badiane:

First, we have to thank you all, and without forgetting to tell you it was for us a great pleasure, a great happiness to spend with you these good weekdays. In fact, you have been very generous and lovely with us and you look being the best guests that we knew. 

The purpose of this letter, first, is about all of us, we mean, us students and what we wish to say to you is simply that we need one day that's to say after getting our junior high school degree, to keep on our studies in your county with your assistance. And this thing, we have dreamt it since a long time. So, we find that in our country, it's very difficult to study and one day to get a job, we see here lots of young people have the degree in higher education and met problems to get a job because most of the degree from abroad are more accepted in our country in terms of working. 

So we're confronted to the lack of means and it's very tough as the conditions of living, the approach to find money in order to survive. It doesn't mean that we have to profit of this situation to say our problems, but all simply, we always liked to come over there to carry on our studies and above all in the I.S. thanks to the English language that we're learning. Even this time we're getting along in English and you've been a motivation to make us more like the language. Rather you visited our university, our homes and you really saw the different conditions that we explained to you. This thing is a message that we wanted to let you know about the things in our country. And we wish you safe trip and we never forget you thanks to the things that you have done for us, for everybody by and large. Thanks. 

Sigh. They are so cool. I could try to write a letter to them in French or Wolof that sounds half as good but I would completely fail. I'm going to try anyway. Here it is. You'll only know it's really bad if you can read Wolof:

Na ngeen def,
Mangi lin di gerem chi bataaxal bi. Yow amga mbetal. Sa xel mi dafa epp. Danyo am yeene mun jangalakat America. (I am so thankful for your letter. You have impressed me so much. You are all very intelligent. I wish I had all of you in my classes in America.)

Dinan lin japalaet ci janga bi ak lunae mun. Danu kontan ci xam teen te begg nanu xam li ngen di don euleuk. (I will support you in your education as much as I can. I have enjoyed meeting all of your and I look forward to seeing what you become in the future.)

Li dufe yem taye. N'daxte wa Kalamazoo dina nu leen japalaet. Ak wa Africulturban. Kulim jum. (This partnership isn't finished today. You will always have the support of your Kalamazoo family. And Africulturban. Thank you to everyone.)

Just a few of the ladies...
Nate, can we puh-leaze sponsor 9 Senegalese students when they are ready to start university in a few years? They can go to WMU and stay in the dorms and rotate in and out of our guest room...??? :)


1 comment:

Mr. Weber said...

The beauty of language is sometimes that which it doesn't have built in that conveys meaning. Think of how easily words can get misplaced and twisted around, but yet sentiment and emotion can shine through.

I hope that we can get more of our own student to somehow not take as many things for granted. They don't realize just how fortunate they are. It is a cultural form of blindness...

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