This little guy started teaching me his mother language word wise when he was 2 and something. In Senegal people speak many languages. But the two major ones are Wolof and French. He spoke Baby Wolof and I spoke French to him. He certainly realized that I needed to learn Wolof, so he started giving me lessons. If I did not pronounce a word accurately, he told me : ‘Déedéet’ (= no) and with a gesture of his hand, he made me repeat the word again.
I taught him French. As a young kid (2-4) he was very talkative. But only with me. He let me enter his secret garden, telling me, for instance, about the girl he liked. We had very important discussions. The Senegalese adults who could hear us chatting so vividly wondered how we could have so many topics. We were most of the time together, on the road, in African and in European restaurants, eating fried fish with the fishermen at the beach, gardening together, looking for shells in the sand, feeding the dogs Souffrance, Pick Up and Diola.