This is where I learned to count. First in English, then in French, then in Oniyan.

This is where I cried when my brother and his friends brought back dead pigeons they had hunted with their slingshots, and I insisted on burying the bird bones and decorating the graves with little mango blossoms.

This is where I started wearing bracelets. Little black rubber ones at first, like all the other little girls, and then the colorful beaded ones that the older girls wore.

Kédougou has grown so much now that I can hardly recognize it, and I suppose it would say the same of me.
But at the same time, it somehow feels like we never left at all.

Kédougou holds all my happiest years. It was so good to be back, even just for a little while.