While I was knocked out by a cold this past week, Cheikh did the coolest thing ever. Well, pretty close at least.
He learned how to read and write a new language. (I know. So cool.)
In universities and big businesses across Senegal, the Wolof language is written using the Latin alphabet – which is what we use for English. A, B, C, etc… About 40% of the population can read Wolof written in this way.
But if you go into homes, small businesses, the Islamic schools found in every neighborhood… the majority of people read the Wolof language written using the Arabic alphabet, which is read from right to left. This written language is called Wolofal.
There’s a growing movement for using Wolofal in Senegal simply because it reaches more people. Whether it’s on a pamphlet on preventing malaria, a billboard for a new product to make your laundry whiter, a poster announcing a community meeting or the book of John… the message will be communicated more quickly and effectively if it’s written in Wolofal.
So Cheikh learned to read and write Wolofal at a week-long seminar. Part of me is jealous, but the bigger part just thinks it’s so cool. And now, one day he can teach me! 🙂