SU_B_38

[i] Yes, welcome! [name] is my name, Fiedworker for our project “Specially Unknown” and today we have a guest woman [name] . Yes, introduce yourself briefly.

[r] My name is [name], I come from Guinea. I am 19 years old and I was born in Guinea. I don’t speak German very well and therefore I will speak in Fula.

[i] Woman [name], which city in Germany are you from?

[r] I live in Dortmund, on [?] Street, number 87.

[i] Okay, this is about your life story and that means you would tell us [anything you want] about your life story. I’d ask you a few questions about that, but the focus is on your story, we’re just listening. You chose to speak on Fula, because on Fula you can express yourself much more freely. And that’s what we do. Welcome again. Concerning our project “Specialy Unknown”, which is the stories of people who are very little talked about […] , so, the goal of the project is to put these people in the foreground, to archive their stories. My name is Alpha Ousmane Barry, I am a fieldworker for this project. I will ask them questions, write down the answers and store them in a database. Welcome again.

[r] Thank you, I’m honored. I will begin the narrative with my childhood. Then I will tell Ichnen from my childhood to my present life. Finally I will tell you something about my trip to Germany and my arrival in the city where I live. As I said above [before?], I was born in Guinea [Conakry]. My parents and my family members live there. My brothers and sisters also live there and most of my family lives there. During my childhood, my parents had made up rules for us and all of us [children] had to follow them. For example, we followed my father’s rules. Everyday life was organized in such a way that each family member was aware of his duties. After I got up in the morning [as soon as I was big enough to do it, I should wash the dishes, sweep in front of the house. Sometimes I should also sweep in the house. Those were my tasks at home. After the homework was done, I went to school. After school, I should continue to the Arabic school. But before that, we had [the whole family] in a bowl [?] If someone came home a little earlier, he or she should wait until everyone was there to eat. In the case that a family member was absent during the meal [without permission of the parents], that person could only eat in the evening. This rule was used for the punctuality of the family members. That is, after school everyone should go straight home. That was one of the rules in the house. After school and after we ate, we always had 30 months to recover before we went to the Arab school. Our father insisted that we learn our religion, Islam. Therefore we had to go to the Arabic school until 5 pm. After that we had one hour free time to play. After the free time we took a shower. This ended our time outside the yard and our house. From this time it was forbidden for us to go outside. Only the next morning one was allowed to. I want you to go outside. That’s what my childhood was like. Of course there was also living together with the neighbours, with friends, acquaintances, just with society. There was a nice living together. No one relied only on themselves. When interactions [games?] were organised in the neighbourhood, I was allowed to watch and participate. But before that I should get permission from my parents. Because I could be punished by my parents. That’s why I should have the parents’ okay.

[i] Thank you for your introduction. You called your parents’ course, what can you tell us about their history? Where does your mother come from?

[r] Both my parents are from Guinea, too. Both come from the same village.

[i] What is the village called?

[r] Dinguiraye. They come from Dinguiraye.

[i] What is their profession?

[r] My father is a merchant, my mother is a housewife.

[i] What does your father sell?

[r] Food.

[i] Are there any memories of your childhood with your parents that influenced you? Were the house rules always like this [_?] or were you brought in?

[r]  In my memory these rules were always like this. My older siblings also followed the same house rules. So it was normal for every new family member to accept these rules and follow them as well.

[i] Okay. As they just said, this is about an Arabic school and a normal school [French].

Yes, I went to the normal school, too.

[i] Okay. How was your first day at school? Can you tell us something about it?

[r] I was very happy to be able to go to school with the idea [of anything] in mind. I could already see my older sisters and the other children going to school full of enthusiasm. I was very curious about what might happen in a school. Before the first day of school, my parents had bought me school clothes. I was very happy and told everyone that I would start school this year. The first day of school was very nice. But after that the everyday life became more and more difficult, so I didn’t want to go back there anymore. The first reason was to get up early. I always had difficulties getting up in the morning. Sometimes I even cried and refused to go to school. Unfortunately my parents had beaten me and forced me to go to school. After school, on my way home, it was always very warm. The school time was always from eight o’clock to fourteen o’clock. At four o’clock it was very warm and one was also hungry. Therefore I found the school very difficult at the beginning. But after the first year everything was normal again by habit. Now I could get up alone for school. I had finally understood that school is something good for my future. Unfortunately it was difficult for me to understand that at the beginning. Over time you will understand that the parents are acting to the fullest [prosperity?] of the children.

[i] How far away was your school? Were you accompanied?

[r] The school was nearby, so we went alone. At that time the school had asked someone to help the children cross [the street(s)]. We were supposed to cross a street. Because of the measures taken by the school, the parents were not obliged to accompany the children to school.

[i] On the way to school, were you in a group or alone?

[r] Yes, we have always been on the way as a group. Anyone who took the same route could go there as a group.

[i] Are you still in contact with one of your school friends? Unfortunately no, unfortunately I have no contact with my school friends from kindergarten to fifth grade. However, I still have contact with my school friends from the sixth grade onwards.

[i] Were there things you shared with these school friends?

[r] Yes, we did a lot of things together. For example, during the first school break, at 10 o’clock, we used to play together. Mostly after we ate our buns before the break ended.

[i] What kind of games did you play back then?

[r] We played a game called “Castle”. Lines were drawn on the floor, the player should try to move in the castle with a shoe [a shoe?] without touching the castle walls. We also liked to play “hide and seek”. Sometimes there was a little brawl. The teachers had stopped the brawl and then everything was fine again. That was all part of it.

[i] Were there maltreatments or good deeds on the part of the teachers?

[r] Yes, I remember when I was in the sixth grade we had a teacher who was very strict and who was especially committed to a good education. For example, I had great difficulties with mathematics. Those who couldn’t solve the math problems were beaten and the teachers had kept you in school until he or she solved the problem. In the sixth grade we were supposed to take a state examination. That’s why we were in a semi-boarding school, from 8 am to 6 pm, sometimes even until 7 pm. During this period our parents brought us the food to school. The teacher had made some rules that all parents had accepted. Those who had not done their homework were forced to stay at school. Only when all the tasks had been done, one was allowed to leave the school. The teacher had taken the time to assist the students. It was not easy. I was held there myself one day until ten o’clock in the night.

[i] What was the reason?

[r] Because I hadn’t memorized my lessons. There were many questions. I had answered some of them in a confused way, so I was supposed to stay there that day.

[i] You had also said that you had gone to the Arab school? Was that in your house or with a teacher?

[r] No, we hadn’t learned it at home, but from a teacher outside. After we came back from normal school and ate, we went to Arabic school. The Arabic school was only 10 to 15 minutes walk from home. There a teacher taught us the Arabic lessons. We should also write, read and learn by heart every day.

[i] As I understood it, after normal school and after lunch you went to the Arabic school.  Did you have methods that were used to explain new things to you that you didn’t understand? Can you make a comparison between the normal school and the Arab school?

[r] The methods were pretty much the same. Because in the normal school you’ll start with the basics, too. For example, the alphabet and the fact that reading and writing were taught first. The same was true of the Arab school.

[i] So you start with spelling.

[r] Yes.

[i] Then you start with words and reading sentences. After these stages have been completed, memorization is set as the next phase. Writing in Arabic [on a board] was also taught.

[i] At what age do you learn to write?

[r] I don’t know exactly. But in my case, writing was taught as soon as the student was able to read sentences. From that time on, the student is encouraged to write and read. After the lesson was well received, you could move on to the next lesson.

[i] On what days did you go to normal and Arab schools?

[r] We went to normal school from Monday to Friday. This is only the case during primary school. In grammar school we also went to school on some Saturdays. We went to the Arabic school every day except Thursday.

[i] Can you make a comparison about the types of punishments within the two schools?

[r] In the normal school, undiced children were brought to their knees for some time or they were put under the sun.

[i] I didn’t understand.

[r] There was also the punishment with the stones. The punished should lift two stones, one hand each. One should also do push-ups. The number depended on what the student had done. So the punishment was set. At the Arab school there are no such punishments. The punishment was immediately continued [implemented?] .

[i] Had these sanctions left any traces?

[r] Such sanctions are not easily forgotten. They leave traces.

[i] What I mean by that is whether you had a revenge [feeling] against your teachers because of the sanctions or whether you said to yourself, well, the teacher did it in your favour.

[r] As a child you develop a sense of revenge against the teacher, but later you will realize that such sanctions may have been necessary at that time. Especially now, with time, I slowly realize that perhaps without these sanctions, without them I wouldn’t have the education I have now. Today, even if I could know where these teachers live, I would thank them. Therefore, according to my understanding, this sense of revenge existed only for a certain time.

[i] Was there a negative impact of the sanctions on one of your school friends?

[r] Yes, a school friend named Bouba was a little familiar with the teacher. The Bouba’s family had entrusted him to the teacher, Bouba was also not diligent, he hardly did his job. Therefore his sanctions were always the toughest. One day the teacher beat him until all the other students cried. We said among ourselves that such sanctions were not acceptable. But on the other hand, the teacher had the consent of his parents. Therefore, this particular situation was only for Bouba.

[i] Okay. The house where you lived was your own house?

[r] Yes, the house was ours. My father built it.

[i] Okay. We have almost every house with a yard, just compared to here. What can you tell us?

[r] What do you mean?

[i] I’m talking about the high wall of the yard.

[r] No, I haven’t seen such constructions here. Here there are sometimes houses with a fence to see, nothing else. In Guinea, not everyone has a yard. The places don’t resemble each other. The architecture is also very different.

[i] I asked because I wanted to understand: how was living together with the neighbours? Were you part of your life?

[r] In my society, neighbourhood played a major role. Because in our society, when, for example, I lacked food or something, I first asked my neighbours. If you didn’t have it, I could go and buy it. Of course, you should also bring back the things you borrowed. Another example is a birthday party. Before the big family arrived, it was always the neighbours who helped. This means that before the arrival of their own family, almost all the tasks were done by the neighborhood. The same applies in the event of death or other events. Living together is very strong. One helps oneself.

[i] This means that there was mutual help in the neighbourhood.

[r] Yes, that’s true.

[i] In the case of a problem between neighbours, how was it solved? Let’s take it as an example: Children of two neighbors had a fight, what was the solution?

[r] In general, there were problems in the neighborhood just because of the children. In this case it would be wise to take the children apart and remain neutral. But in the case where one of the children is older, the parents of the smallest child could be annoyed. In such a case there are always the older people who can intervene to put the situation right. Friends of the family can also intervene.

[i] This is the way a problem between adults in the neighbourhood has been solved. What about children?

[r] Children do not hate each other. For example they can fight against each other and after a few minutes they will be able to play together again.

[i] In the case of children fighting in front of adults, how was the problem solved?

[r] That’s what I just said, every adult present intervenes and he’ll find the solution. Well, that’s how it’s done.

[i] How do you qualify [judge?] Looking back, the education your parents gave you?

[r] At that time I found my parents very strict, but when I grew up I realized that I was well educated compared to other families. Each house has its own educational methods. Every time I saw children with very bad behavior, I thanked my parents for the good education they had given me. I found the fact that my parents were strict was in favor of our positive upbringing.

[i] Okay, they were talking about sanctions at school. Were there also sanctions at home?

[r] For example, my father had punished us by taking away something we liked. As an example we couldn’t watch television for a week. We were only allowed to watch television on Friday and Saturday. This means that any of us who weren’t correct during the week wouldn’t get this privilege at the weekend. The punished person should retire to his room to do his homework or to do something else.

[i] Okay. How was your free time?

[r] The punished also lost his spare time. Everything you wanted was no longer allowed. In this case the weekend went like the normal weekdays.

[i] Let’s go back to your childhood. How hard was it for you to accept these sanctions?

[r] Sometimes I even thought I was adopted. Since the punishment was super severe. I said to myself that such punishments don’t get children from their own parents. I told myself that I only got such punishments because my parents were stronger. I often cried.

[i] Were there also nice memories from your childhood?

[r] Yes, I have nice memories from my childhood. There are memories I will never forget. There was a small river near my apartment. On weekends people used to go there to do laundry. Some were there all day to swim. You only went home when you got hungry. After the meal one set immediately on the way to the river. I had lost my shoes there every time. My parents refused to buy me new shoes. But after a few hours they had changed their mind. There are many other memories. We also played with empty cans and tried to cook. Everyone took food with them and we cooked together. You shouldn’t get caught. These are memories I will never forget. […]

[i] Still to your childhood, is there anything [other] you [still] remember from your childhood?

[r] Yes. When I was in Guinea, I always remembered my childhood, every time I saw children playing. I even wanted to play with them sometimes, but unfortunately I couldn’t, because I was already grown up. I remembered it a lot. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen anything here in Germany that reminds me of my childhood. Because I don’t think that a childhood here resembles our [childhood] in Guinea. We had children playing with empty cans or with the earth or hiding. But here you can see the children outside. They only go out occasionally. In Guinea, the children play outside every day. I’m not sure I see anything here that reminds me of my childhood.

[i] How I missed it, that was your childhood in Conakry [capital of Guine].  Apart from Conakry, were you anywhere else?

[r] I was once on holiday in Dinguiraye. I was there with my brothers and sisters. We have family there, that’s why we were there. Life and everyday life there is different from Conakry. It’s not the same. Before I went there, I had never seen cows. I had also never seen sheep. Until then I had only seen slaughtered chickens. There I saw live chickens and the forest. Nature and life are different.

[i] How many hours do you drive from Conakry to Dinguiraye by car?

[r] By car, if I’m not mistaken, we left Conakry around 2 pm and arrived in Dinguiraye early in the morning. Maybe around 10 o’clock. At that time the roads were not so good. But I don’t know if the roads have improved because I only went there once. The outward and return journey. I don’t know at the moment if you [still] need that long.

[i] Okay. You told me how the wall fence [the wall?] was in Conakry and how you locked the door. What was it like in the village?

[r] In the village there was no wall fence [no wall?], there was a wooden fence. You take wood from the forest and use it as a fence. The pieces of wood are placed side by side to form a circle around the house.

[i] Around the house.

[r] Yes, around the house. It is a wooden fence. You don’t see a wall fence there [no wall?] – That’s how it was when I was there. But I don’t know if there are any wall fences [walls?] there at the moment. I didn’t see any wall fences [Walls?] there then.

[i] When you talk about crime or fear that something will happen to you. How is the city compared to the village?

[r] When I was on my way to Foutah-Djalon, I was scared that it was dangerous and there was no electricity. It’s not like Conakry and there are witches there. It scared me. But if a child is fixated on the journey, it can’t be stopped. It is said that there are witches in Fouta-Djallon. In Conakry you are afraid of the criminals. There was a time when crime was very high. People had already locked themselves in the house at 7 pm. Nobody dared to go outside. In the night you heard shots. In the morning you hear in the neighbourhood that there were burglaries and thefts. And that one should lock oneself in when one is in the house. With us, for example, we had two locks at the front door. But when the criminals come, they break everything off and come in. In Conakry the problem was with the criminals and in Foutah with the witches. Those were the two things that scared me.

[i] In Foutah […] I want us to compare both places. In the time you were in Foutah, what were you doing from morning till night?

[r] In Foutah, though I didn’t stay there long […] I didn’t stay long. I was supposed to stay three months, but I only stayed about a month. Because I couldn’t stand life there. I was afraid and you had to crush the rice in the morning, because crushed rice is cooked. It is crushed in the morning [until] you have injuries on your hands. It’s first crushed before you eat it. Before you cook, go to the garden and pick the ingredients. In Conakry, you just go to the marketplace and it’s directly cooked. In Foutah you first go to pick the ingredients. And the rice is first crushed before you eat it. That’s life there.

[i] What’s the climate like? Is it warmer than in Conakry? We’re talking about Dinguiraye.

[r] I can’t compare the climate because I was there in the rainy season. In the rainy season, the climate is […] Even if there were deviations, they would be minimal. In Conakry it rains a lot, too. It rained a lot there, too. I can’t talk much about the climate. I didn’t experience the dry season there. I know most of the climate in Conakry. In the dry season it is warm. It is very warm and the sun is shining. In Foutah, I don’t know. I only know that it rains a lot there even in the rainy season.

[i] And the food?

[r] For example, the food I liked to eat there is “guajaves” with fruit.

[i] Guajaves?

[r] Yes, guaiaves. There is a large guajava tree in front of our house entrance. I climbed, picked guaiaves and ate them.

[i] Did you mean guaiaves?

[r] Yes, guaiaves. […]

[i] Okay, let’s get back to Conakry. We are now done with the elementary school section. What did you do after that? Where did you go after primary school?

[r] After primary school and the exam I passed, thank God, I went to secondary school. I went up to 9th grade and then came here.

[i] What are the landmarks of Conakry or what does Conakry mean?

[r] There are things you can only see in Conakry. For example, there are things in Conakry that I haven’t seen since I’ve been here. The mangos I know in Conakry I haven’t seen since I’ve been here. I miss them a lot. Also the traffic. Here you have to pay attention to the traffic lights before you cross the road. You are allowed to cross it if there is no car nearby. It is not only in Conakry, but in almost all of Africa. The traffic is the same. There are no traffic lights. When I see someone with “Leppi” and “Forêt sacré” apron [apron?], I know that the person comes from Conakry because it is made there.

[i] You were talking about nature. How clean is Conakry? They say there’s a lot of bauxite in Guinea. Can you tell me anything about it?

[r] Yes, Guinea is very rich. The country is a gift of nature. There are many natural resources like bauxite and … There is a lot of bauxite that is mainly exported. It helps because people work in the bauxite mines. It helps the youth a lot.

[i] What about the clean time regarding dust from bauxite?

[r] Yes, there is a lot of dust. Special in the dry season. There is a lot of dust. 30 to 40 minutes after you’ve cleaned the house, it’s all full of dust again. Someone who has sinusitis always has a cold. The clothes you’ve put on get so dirty that you can’t put them on a second time. They have to be washed before they can be put on again. Dust is a problem for people. In the rainy season there is also a lot of mud. In the dry season we have dust and in the rainy season mud. So it is.

[i] Are there nice places to go in Conakry?

[r] Yes, there are tourist places where you can go. There are many places you can visit. Like for example the mountain “Mont Nimba” There are many tourists who go there. Or […] there are many places you can visit. Or the dense forest in Guinée Forestière. It is a large forest that many people visit. There are also beaches. I forgot the name.

[i] Soro?

[r] Yes, Soro. A lot of people go there too. There are tourist places that you can visit.

[i] We are still in Conakry. What’s the safety or insecurity like?

[r] The uncertainty […]

[i] Or the security. Is one safe? Is it quiet? How do you see it? What are the citizens like? And what is the government like? Can you tell us anything about it?

[r] There is uncertainty. There is a lot of uncertainty. Day or night, you’re not quite sure when you’re outside. The phone can be stolen out of your pocket in broad daylight without you noticing. The kidnapping also started. Young people are arrested and killed. Things like that happened there. I can say that it is unsafe there. There are also more often strikes by the opposition. People are sent to the streets. Then there is a battle with the police where some get hurt and others die. Some are taken to the hospital and others die. Many have died as a result. The country is unsafe. It is unsafe. You live with fear because something is happening at any moment. Some do not go out on the street, but are hit by bullets at home and die. Others are hit by stones and taken to the hospital. You then live with fear because you know that it is unsafe there.

[i] What does the people do right or wrong? What does the government do right or wrong?

[r] What I observe the government is doing wrong, for three years now the school system has been getting mixed up every year. Sometimes people don’t go to school for two weeks to a month. That’s not good. You don’t give the people what they want. It is only promised but not kept. There are always strikes. Either it is women who go on strike or pupils. Or it is the opposition that strikes. The country is not stable. There is always unrest.

[i] Guinea is one of the countries where the rate of genital mutilation is very high. How do you see it?

[r] I’ve known that since I was born. It’s part of the mores. You’re supposed to be circumcised when you grow up, according to customs. However, it is scientifically proven that circumcision is not good. It is not good for the woman at childbirth. And there are many other disadvantages. People have been sensitized but parents still don’t understand. It is still practiced. The children are still circumcised.

[i] What do you think can be done to stop it or reduce it?

[r] What you can do […] .

[i] What else can you do so that it can stop or be reduced?

[r] All that can be said is that it needs more sensitization. One should explain to parents how harmful circumcision is for young women. The only solution, in my opinion, is sensitisation. They should, however, be prepared to be sensitised. They cannot be forced to do so. Otherwise you will say that they can do anything, because it is about their children. You should take it easy and make them aware of it. And explain the disadvantages until they understand. I think that is the only way to reduce them.

[i] So sensitize people.

[r] Yes, sensitizing people.

[i] What can men also do to make it stop or be reduced?

[r] I have no idea.

[i] Okay. Still about Conakry. What do you think of the government? Or the justice system. Do you have an opinion? About justice?

[r] The justice system?

[i] Yes, in Guinea. What about the arbitrariness? If someone commits a punishment [crime], how does the justice system work? How do you see it? Or don’t you have any information?

[r] I don’t have any info.

[i] Okay. You said you can’t remember until secondary school. Are there any friends you can remember who you will never forget?

[r] Yes, that’s why I said that I can’t remember all my friends in primary school. But the ones I’ve been with since the exam, I can’t forget.

[i] Who, for example?

[r] Friends from the same class, for example.

[i] Yes.

[r] I know many by name. I can’t forget them. I can name them. Nasta Dramé, Zenab Camara and many others. I still have contact with some. The others with whom I have no contact I will never forget [either]. I will always recognize them, too.

[i] You mentioned people here. In Guinea they say that there have been ethnic tensions in recent years.

[r] Yes.

[i] How do you see it?

[r] Ethnocentrism?

[i] Exactly, ethnocentrism.

[r] Yes, it exists because there are many ethnic groups in Guinea. There is a lot of ethnocentrism there. But I haven’t experienced it personally. I have friends from almost all ethnic groups. I have Fula, Soso, Malinké and Kissi friends. None of my friends has said yet that they don’t want anything to do with me or that they have blasphemed me because I am Fula. I haven’t experienced it yet. My friends don’t do that.

[i] As you said about what you learned, religion. How important is religion to you? What role did religion play in your life?

[r] Religion is very important in life. Even after death. From what we have learned, a Muslim is supposed to bed, according to Islam. If you don’t learn, you can’t pray. Having read the Koran has helped us a lot in life. We can pray independently. We know the suras that are needed for prayer. How to cleanse yourself before praying. How to pray correctly. What to do or not to do to make prayer right. One can then distinguish the whole.

[i] Okay. In your childhood, did you have a dream job? What’s called a child’s dream.

[r] Yes, I wanted to be a flight attendant as a child. That was my dream. But when I grew up, it changed. I want to work in the hospital now. Since I was little, I’ve liked all the professions where you wear a uniform. That I wear a uniform at work. I like it when I see a flight attendant in uniform. Or in hospital, nurses in uniform. I like that. Or in a restaurant, when a uniform is worn, I like that too. The policemen in uniform, too. I like all the professions where you wear a uniform.

[i] Do you have a favourite, sport or hobbies?

[r] I liked to play with the ball in sports. At school, the classes played against each other and I always took part. I played with the ball. I like football and basketball. But I’ve never played basketball before. I never had the chance. But I like it.

[i] Why didn’t you play?

[r] Because we didn’t play basketball in our school. The schools or the classes played football against each other. No basketball.

[i] Okay, regarding Guinea, I’m listening. Where is your hope in Guinea? Was there something that caused them to leave the country? Or what could be called a motive for why they came here?

[r] Hmm hm.

[i] We can proceed chronologically, from your childhood to how you grew up. Now you live in Germany. What happened, how did you get here?

[r] You know, everyone has a dream to go to a foreign country. Or to go there for certain reasons. In my case it is because my mother lives here. That was the main reason why I came here. So I flew from Guinea via Dakar [Senegal] and then to France. And from there I went by car to Germany.

[i] They were finally curious to see her again.

[r] Hmm hm [affirmative] , I was curious, I wanted to see her, I wanted to know where she lives, because we haven’t seen each other for a long time. I don’t know her [anymore?] that well and we haven’t seen each other in a long time. When I found out that she lived here, I came here. My dream was to come to Germany. And so it went for me until I came here. I came from Dakar via France and then I came here. When I was here, I was first taken to a reception centre. There I was received very friendly. And I still live there.

[i] Okay, let’s go back a little bit. Since they grew up in Conakry, Guinea,

[r] Hmm hm.

[i] And there it came at a time when you are about to set off. And it’s like you also have a lot of friends there and the separation with the people there.

[r] Hmm hm.

[i] Was the separation difficult or easy, how was it for you?

[r] Yes, it was very difficult for me, because leaving a place where you have lived for years to go to a foreign country is not easy. Even if you spend a year or even a month with someone, you’ll miss them.

[i] The person will be missed.

[r] Yes, you will miss the people and the place, and especially if you were born and raised there. And when you’re shaped by people, culture, and society. You’re familiar with the place you left, and where you want to go everything is foreign and unknown. That was difficult, even though not everyone knew that I was about to leave the country. I knew that I would miss them and they didn’t know what was on my mind. I thought that there would be days when I would have to get along without them and find myself in a foreign country. The people with whom I have a strong bond and who were familiar to me, they have learned something about it. Many knew nothing about my journey.

[i] Why?

[r] Why? Because I didn’t have the time either. In my case, only those who were entrusted to me experienced it. They knew what I was doing.

[i] Does secrecy have anything to do with fear or anything else?

[r] No, it has nothing to do with fear.

[i] Okay, I’m listening. How did they come? By plane, by ship or […] ?

[r] I came by plane. From Conkary to Dakar and then from Dakar to France. From France, Paris I drove by car to Germany. I arrived and didn’t know where to go.

[i] Okay, let’s go back to Dakar when they got there.

[r] Hmm.

[i] How was that for you? Because that’s where you left your familiar surroundings and haven’t arrived at your destination yet. What went through your mind or were you only focused on the target?

[r] My thoughts were more focused on my destination and I didn’t stay long in Dakar because I didn’t even spend a week there. I can’t say anything about the city.

[i] Did you have any difficulties on the way?

[r] No, I didn’t have a problem.

[i] Okay, if you consider that with us, you’re used to seeing a lot of black people, and the white people, they’re in the minority. How did you experience this change? To suddenly find yourself in a minority position. How was this change of perspective for you?

[r] Hmm, it’s amazing.

[i] Hmm hm.

[r] The habit of only seeing black people because I can almost say that I’ve only seen a white person on television before. So “face to face” I have rarely seen a white person. When you see a white person, you stop because you’re not used to it. When I got out in France, I only saw white people. First many white people passed me and then I saw one or two black people passing by. That was a brutal change of perspective for me. My imagination and perspective regarding people has changed and what I saw was new to me, the population, the city, the way of life is different, the way of building is different and […] everything is different. No similarities.

[i] Okay, then you got off in Paris and you came here.

[r] Hmm.

[i] What did you observe along the way? What went through your mind? What did you have in mind when you entered the country?

[r] My first contact when I arrived was with the climate and I noticed that I was in a place where I had never been before. Because the climate is different. Until then I only knew a warmer air from Africa. My clothes were not suitable for the new climate. Here I cannot put on these clothes because I would freeze. I was still wearing a jacket and sweater and I was still frozen. I haven’t felt such cold since I was born. That alone showed me that I was in a place unknown to me. My body showed me that I was in an unfamiliar place. Everything was new to my head and I panicked. It is simply my very first experience. In the first days, the cold and the climate were unbearable for me.

[i] The people, how did you perceive the people here? What was their first impression?

[r] People, everyone is in a hurry. Some are running. You want to join in and run because you don’t know why they run away like that? Everyone is in a hurry and runs.

[i] Hmm hm.

[r] It’s completely different from Africa and Guinea, respectively. The people you see are in a hurry and run away. In the morning you hardly see two people standing, talking for a long time. I arrived one morning. Everyone you see, maybe they are on their way to work. Everyone you see is in a hurry, very hurried. If you were in Guinea, you would see people you know and you would talk. You will also understand each other [linguistically]. It’s just different.

[i] Okay, when they arrived, how did you feel about the welcome [the recording]? Where you first arrived, how did you feel about the people you received? How did you experience it?

[r] When I arrived, I first got off in Cologne and then drove to Dortmund. There I was taken to an institution where I was asked for my name. I was asked about my origin, my date of birth and my place of birth. They told me that I didn’t have to be afraid. They told me that this is their job to help people like me. That they care about people who came here without a family. They then asked all the questions about my person. Then they gave me a place to lie down. They also brought me clothes. I got something to eat, so it went and they were nice to me. Hmm hm.

[i] Hmm hm. I listen. It’s about your life story.

[r] After I got a place to sleep, I was taken to a shelter. My first day in the new shelter was not easy. I then had a room alone, I thought that I was alone in the whole shelter. When it was dinner time, I was called and the canteen was shown to me. There was nobody in the canteen and then I got even more scared. I panicked and sat down. It didn’t take long, then I also saw black people coming down. The first black people who came first spoke English and I don’t know if they were from Nigeria or Ghana. They spoke English. My hope rose then. I then said to myself that if they all live here, then there will be someone with whom I can communicate in my language. It didn’t take long for a new group to come down. I heard some of you speak Fula and others speak Soussou. They came in and greeted me. They greeted me in German with “Hello! Then I said “hello” back. You don’t need to know the language to understand that. Then I heard that they were talking on Fula. I sat down next to them and asked them if they were here [from Guinea? When asked, they confirmed that they were all Fula. They said that Soussou and Malinke are also among them. I said that although I understand Malinke, I am Fula. We talked for a long time and I was asked how I felt about the food. I don’t like it because I’m not used to it. They gave me the tip that I should take more of the fruit in the future. It takes time to get used to the food here. So we quickly got used to each other. One of you asked me if I knew where my room was. I affirmed it. She suggested to show her my room so that she could visit me later. I showed her the room and lay down. Later they came and we spent the time together until 22 o’clock, 23 o’clock. After that everyone returned to their room. We spent the next three days together. I also walked up to you. Siem lived upstairs on the upper floor and I lived downstairs. We continued to visit each other until we were familiar with each other. They took me to the city. There we spent the time together and came back later. We understood each other so well, as if we had all come from one place. We became friends.

[i] Okay, you just told us about the relationship between you and your roommates in the shelter.

[r] Yes.

[i] How did you perceive the local staff? How were they with you?

[r] I couldn’t say anything negative about the staff, you didn’t have a problem and I’ve never seen them abuse power. They do their job and only report when they want something from you. If you have a letter, they will inform you. You will then be asked to pick up your letter. If you can’t read the content and ask them for help then they have read this letter for you, or they are looking for someone. They try to make you understand the content. They explain their house rules to you and tell you not to do this or that. They tell us not to do this or that.

[i] What do you mean by that?

[r] For example, that one pays attention to the times of going out. And you’re only allowed to leave on weekends. But on Sunday, you should be back in the lodging. Saturday and Sunday, you can go away at any time, but in the weeks […] . On the upper floor we also have our school. You are forced to go to school. They make an attendance list. If they’re not on the list for a week or two, they’ll ask you why you [didn’t] go to school.

[i] Okay, when you were done with that, what tasks were ahead of you? Was there anything they still had to do in front of the agency?

[r] When we were ready, we had appointments, and when you had appointments, you got an invitation first. In the invitation, in the invitation is the date and time noted. We also have carers who accompany us.

[i] Counsellor?

[r] Yes, carers who accompany us when we have appointments because we don’t understand the language and are not used to it. They accompany us and make appointments for us and then we come back. It’s like being in a camp.

[i] Okay. If we now talk about the challenges we have to overcome to be allowed to stay here, we are first informed about our own tasks. Could you tell us something about it? For example, you talked about the carers who support you. Do you know why you are supported by the supervisors?

[r] Yes, if the decision after a reception interview is positive, you will apply for asylum. After that you get money for food and clothing money and there are also those from the social [_?] [social welfare office] who support the fugitives. If they want something from you, then they write you a letter where the dates of the appointment are specified and we are then accompanied by the caregiver. You make the appointment together and then you come back.

[i] Okay, you were talking about people from Guinea that you met here, were there people from other countries? You talked about Nigerians, for example.

[r] Yes, there are other nationalities in our camp, there are people from Guinea, Nigeria and Ghana.

[i] From Niger or Nigeria? Because there is Nigeria and Niger. But you mean from Nigeria?

[r] Yes from Nigeria, Ghana, Mali and Senegal. There are also people from Syria, Moroccans, everyone was in the camp. So not only from Guinea.

[i] Have there been any difficulties or problems in this context?

[r] Yes, in the camp you get to know how to deal with people of different origins, because in your home country you only know one nationality, namely that of Guinea. In Guinea there are very few foreigners and you come to a place where you meet many people and get to know many. Everyone comes with his character, his culture and there everyone meets. You live together and learn to be considerate of each other.

[i] Okay, you talked about the city and the apartment in Dortmund.

[r] Hmm hm. [affirming]

[i] This is Bochum. Do you have contacts with people from Bochum? How about that?

[r] Yes, I come to Bochum here because I have contacts. For example, I met [people] in the shop “Afro-Shop” and we exchanged numbers with the people I know or meet in the city. All these people come from Bochum. With the time they invited me, they ask me to come to you and spend the day together and sometimes I spend the night here. And afterwards I drove back to Dortmund. So we got used to each other. We got used to each other and are very often in Bochum.

[i] Which places do you know in Bochum?

[r] I know Bochum’s main railway station, I also know many streets.

[i] Okay, do you know your way around Bochum’s city centre?

[r] Yes, for example at Bermuder.

[i] Do you mean the Bermuderdreick?

[r] Yes, I know [myself] where the Afro shop is, because I accompanied my girlfriends shopping there. I also know where the boutiques are.

[i] Do you also know where the town hall is?

[r] Yes, I know where the town hall is and I was there too.

[i] What did you buy in the area?

[r] We also bought clothes there. They also buy clothes and meat in the area. Meat, cheese and […] are also bought there. We also went to a hop shop [?] to do some shopping.

[i] Okay. Um, to stay further here in Bochum, or to stay in Dortmund, what do you associate with Bochum or Dortmund?

[r] Speaking of Bochum?

[i] What does the city mean to you?

[r] I connect Bochum with the people I know there. I go there. But Dortmund is my city and that’s where I live. No matter where I go, I know that I have to go back there. That’s where I’m registered, that’s where all my things are. So Dortmund is my home. But Bochum is the city of my girlfriends. That’s the difference between Bochum and Dortmund for me.

[i] Okay, there are experiences you gain with people and the environment when you spend some time in one place.

[r] Hmm.

[i] There are people who like you and you have a sympathy for each other. But there is also the opposite of having an antipathy towards each other. To put it in a nutshell, have you had any experience with discrimination?

[r] Personally, I haven’t had any experience with discrimination yet. But it happened to a friend of mine when she was on a bus with an elderly lady. She wanted to sit next to the ladies and she said that my girlfriend couldn’t sit next to her. But I don’t know if this has anything to do with her skin colour or not.

[i] Okay.

[r] Or if you sit next to someone on the bus, the person changes seats immediately. I don’t know why they do that, but it happened in front of me. I haven’t experienced it myself yet. But I have experienced similar cases several times. Once I was in a train, I saw a young black man sitting down next to the others, and then the other immediately took his bag, he got up and sat down somewhere else. I saw all these things.

[i] Okay, we were talking about the neighbors in Guinea.

[r] Hmm hm.

[i] What’s the contact with the neighbors like? Is it easy, difficult, what does it look like?

[r] Here you hardly see your neighbours. I couldn’t even identify my neighbors here. I could say that I have no neighbours. You live next to each other, but you don’t see each other, and you don’t know who your neighbor is. It is not easy to make contact. When you come here again, you don’t understand each other. Communication goes via language if you can communicate with each other. In addition there is the fact that one has no time. You can only seek contact with someone if they give you time for a conversation. Here it is like that that everyone is in a hurry and that makes the contact more difficult, because everyone is access and is busy with something. It is not equal [the neighbourhood], it is not equal.

[i] Okay. You have seen the people from your community here, either here in Bochum or in Dortmund. What have you noticed? How would you describe them?

[r] I just said that what I can say here is […] . You can talk about someone you know. Here it is that [you] only see people that way, but you don’t know what they’re doing, so you can’t talk about it 100%. All I know is that in the stations, everyone is in a hurry. A lot of people are getting out, running. That’s how it works there.

[i] My question is, what about the Guinean community? Here, what’s your observation? Is the community organized or not?

[r] Ah yes, yes.

[i] Are there potentials, what is missing from the community? What could be done to better position the community?

[r] Yes, they are organized, there are associations that help you, for example if you have a death in your family, then they come to you and support you. If you have a problem, you get help. In Dortmund there is a mosque where the children learn to read the Koran. Anyone can enrol there and take part. When someone dies, there are also associations that collect money in order to transfer the body to the relatives in Africa, to the old homeland. That also exists and that is why I would say that it is organised. The community is very well organized.

[i] Okay, but what about the contact between the people of Guinea? How do you see the contact, respectively the effort to integrate here? How does the contact between our community and the majority society look like? I mean the German society and the associated structures. What is your observation?

[r] I don’t know anything about it, because I haven’t been here long enough to be able to say anything about it.

[i] If we stick to integration […]

[r] Hmm hm.

[i] Where are you right now at the point of integration? What are you doing now?

[r] I still haven’t really started the course. I have started the course since January 14th, we have finished module 1 and are currently at module 2. No, we have finished module 2 and are currently doing module 3. This corresponds to the A2 level. After that I will do B1. After B1 you can [apply] for a training or continue with B2. I am currently attending A2.

[i] Okay, as far as culture is concerned, how do you live out your culture here abroad? How do you live out our culture?

[r] Hm hm.

[i] In dancing or in clothing. Do you do something like that at all or how is it done according to your observation here?

[r] The cult[_?] Culture.

[i] The culture.

[r] Well, the cultures differ. As far as clothing is concerned, think that our clothing is not suitable here, because you can’t wear it with the cold here. In that respect, you’re forced to put on the clothes here. And it is also about your own health. If one would inevitably want to put on clothing from home, then one would expose oneself to stress and the associated inconveniences. But in summer you can see people wearing African clothes. It also looks good. In this season nobody wears these clothes.

[i] Okay, if we stay with culture, they have told us about religion, what is being done here. What do you do or what do you see that you associate with culture or what reminds you of your culture? Something that makes loneliness or missing easier for you?

[r] Ah, since I came here I haven’t seen anything that reminds me of home. Because, as I said before, everyone is busy with themselves. Everyone has something to deal with. It’s not like you would see them playing outside in Africa. Even if they play here, it looks different. Except in the shop “Afro-Shop”, where I find food, I didn’t see anything that reminds me of Africa. I haven’t found anything else yet. When I meet people who speak my language, I remember where I come from.

[i] You told me about people you met here, do you have German friends? Do they also have contact with the locals? How does the contact with them look like?

[r] I have many contacts, but very little with the Germans. In our class, for example, there is a Pole, an Englishman, many from Syria and Lebanon. But I have only one German contact. I only have contact with a German woman [contact], none else.

[i] Okay, if we stick with the language, now you learn the German language. But when you first heard German, what was your impression? What did you have in mind? Tell us about your first impression of the German language.

[r] It was totally strange to me because I had never heard the language before. When I was still in Guinea, I heard English. On TV I watched films in English, Spanish or Portuguese. But German, I had never watched a film in German before. I’ve never seen a text in German before. That was totally strange to me. I wondered, what kind of language is that? I didn’t even know how to greet each other. You can get it that way in English. You can understand some words. I didn’t know a single word in German. I didn’t know how to deal with it. That was like a surprise for me. Because I have never heard of the language.

[i] Okay, what does your everyday life look like? You’ve already told us what [everyday life] in Guinea looked like, and now here, what does it look like?

[r] Here, when I get up in the morning […] I get up every day at 5 o’clock, I get ready, take the train or the tram to school. Class starts at 8 o’clock, at 8 o’clock. At 12 o’clock we have school out. But at 10 o’clock we have a break for 30 minutes. Then we go in and at 12 o’clock we finish school. I then make my way home, we get homework. At home, you take care of your homework and the next day, you bring your homework with you and so on. This is the routine here, from Monday to Friday. Saturdays and Sundays are free.

[i] Okay, do you have a profession that you want for the future? I don’t remember if they’ve already told you about it. Didn’t you want to work in a hospital?

[r] Yes, I want to work in the hospital. If I’m lucky, if I’m ready and understand the language well, then I’d like to work in the hospital. What I want to do is called a “nurse”. I would like to do that.

[i] Is there anything in the profession that appeals to her, other than the uniform that’s being kept there?

[r] No, yes, I like the profession even without the uniform! But the uniform also has a higher value. I like the uniform. I like to wear the uniform at work.

[i] Okay. What are your perspectives? Where do you see yourself in five years? What would you like to achieve in five years?

[r] In the next few years, as I said before, I would see myself in a large hospital, where I would do my work in peace. And I will be able to speak the German language well. That’s what it looks like.

[i] One speaks of the family,

[r] Hmm hm.

[i] What about the family, do they have a wish? I mean, in ten years, where do you see yourself? What do you want in ten years?

[r] Yes, when I have achieved that, I also wish to start a family and have children. I dream that all these things will come true at some point.

[i] Okay, if you ever have children or a child, what language would you like to teach the child? Or what would you do yourself?

[r] If it were up to me, my child would speak four languages. […] Or more and by that I mean languages that are internationally known. German would become compulsory if it happened here. The child will learn German anyway. The languages that would also help would be my language, namely Fula, which I would teach the child well. If the child has a good command of Fula and German, then we look further at which language the child can learn in addition. But my language will be a priority. I would like him or her to have a good command of Fula and German.

[i] Within the framework of the integration processes, there is a lot of experience, for example with bureaucracy, with the authority extending identity cards […] could you tell us something about your experience with bureaucratic matters? Was it easy or difficult for you?

[r] It’s not easy because some take place in the morning. You are tired and it is cold. The carers don’t always have time to accompany you because you’re not alone. There are many people there, and when you get there, you have to take care of everything yourself. And with language, it’s not easy. You have to go alone and get along until you somehow understand each other. So I could say that it’s not easy. The procedures are not always easy.

[i] At the European level it is also rumoured that there are people in Germany who find it difficult to accept foreigners. They try to build up barriers and at the moment this group is gaining more and more popularity. Have you heard anything about them?

[r] I’ve already told you that I’ve heard about it, but I haven’t experienced it myself. I haven’t met you yet. As I said, it didn’t happen to me, but I saw something like this happen to others on the train or bus. They don’t like foreigners. There are also foreigners who do not want contact with others. For example, those from Syria or Morocco, they are foreigners themselves but they do not like other foreigners. For example, I have seen Moroccans or Syrians denigrating black people [?] although they are all migrants here. I have seen such cases.

[i] Do you have a memento for us? Something that reminds you of someone or an event. Something that reminds you of the past. It’s about an object that symbolizes something for her.

[r] No, I didn’t.

[i] Okay, you’ve told us a lot and we wish you the best for the future.

[r] Hmm hm.

[i] As they say in German, for the future, all the best. We hope that the integration and everything else will work out better and thank you very much for the very interesting story and also on behalf of our team from Specially Unknown. Thank you very much. And now you have the last word. In German now!

[r] Okay, thank you very much and it made me very happy. Or you are looking for someone. They try to make you understand the content. They explain their house rules to you and tell you not to do this or that. They tell us not to do this or that.

[i] What do you mean by that?

[r] For example, that one pays attention to the times of going out. And you’re only allowed to leave on weekends. But on Sunday, one should be back in the lodging. Saturday and Sunday, you can leave at any time, but in the weeks… In the OG we also have our school. You are forced to go to school. They make a list of attendance. If it is not on the list for 1 week or 2 weeks, they will ask you why you went to school.

[i] Okay, when you finished that, what tasks were ahead of you? Was there anything they still had to do vis-à-vis the authorities?

[r] When we were ready, we had appointments, and when you had appointments, you got a summons first. In the cargo the date and time are noted. We also have a caretaker who accompanies us.

[i] Supervisor

[r] Yes, carers who accompany us when we have appointments because we do not understand the language and are not used to it. They accompany us and make appointments for us and then we come back. It’s like being in a camp.

[i] Okay, if we now talk about the challenges we have to overcome in order to be allowed to stay here, One is first informed about one’s own tasks. Could you tell us something about it?

[r] For example, you talked about the carers who support you. Do you know why you are supported by the supervisors?

[r] Yes, if you make a positive decision after an interview. They’ll file a petition for asylum. After that you get money for food, clothing money and there are also those from the social…, they support the fugitives. If they want something from you, they write you a letter, where the dates of the appointment are specified and we are then accompanied by the supervisors. You make the appointment together (with the supervisors) and then you come back.

 

[i] Okay, you were talking about people from Guinea that you met here, were there people from other countries?

[r] You talked about Nigerians, for example. Yes, there are other nationalities here in Camp, There are people from Guinea, Nigeria, Ghana,

[i] Nigerien(from Niger) or Nigerian(from Nigeria)? Because there is Nigeria and Niger. But you mean from Nigeria?

[r] Yes from Nigeria, Ghana, Mali and Senegal. There are also people from Syria, Moroccans all were in the camp.  So not only from Guinea.

[i] Have there been any difficulties or problems in this context?

[r] Yes, in the camp you learn how to deal with people from different backgrounds, because you only know one nationality at home, the Guinean one. in Guinea there are very few foreigners and one gets to a place where one meets or gets to know many people. Everybody comes with his character, his culture and there everybody meets. You live together and learn to be considerate of each other.

[i] Okay, you talked about the city and you live in Dortmund.

[r] Hmm hm.

[i] We are here in Bochum. Do you have contacts with people from Bochum? How about that?

[r] Yes, I come to Bochum here because I have contacts. The people I know or meet in the city, I ran into the shop “Afro-Shop” and we exchanged numbers. All these people (girlfriends) come from Bochum. With the time they have invited me, they ask me to come to you and spend the days together and sometimes I spend the night here. And afterwards I drove back to Dortmund. So we got used to each other. We got used to each other and are very often in Bochum.

[i] Which places do you know in Bochum?

[r] I know Bochum main station, I also know many streets.

[i] Okay, do you know your way around Bochum city centre?

[r] Yes, e.g. Bermuder.

[i] Do you mean Bermuder 3Eck?

[r] Yes, I know where the shop Afro-Shop is, because I was there shopping with my girlfriends.

I also know where the boutiques are.

[i] Do you also know where the town hall is?

[r] Yes, I know where the town hall is and I was there too.

[i] What did you buy there or in the area?

[r] We also bought clothes there. They also buy clothes and meat in the area. They also sell meat, cheese and … We also went to a hop shop there to do some shopping.

[i] Okay Uh, to stay further here in Bochum, or to stay in Dortmund, what do you associate with Bochum or Dortmund?

[r] Speaking of Bochum?

[i] What does the city mean to you?

[r] With Bochum, I connect with the people I know there. I go there. But Dortmund is my city and that’s where I live. No matter where I go, I know I have to go back there. That’s where I’m registered, that’s where all my things are. So Dortmund is my home. But Bochum is the city of my girlfriends. That’s the difference between Bochum and Dortmund for me.

[i] Okay, there are experiences you gain with people and the environment when you spend some time in one place.

[r] Hmm

[i] There are people who can harm you well and you have a sympathy for each other. But there is also the opposite, that you have an antipathy to each other. To put it in a nutshell, you have experience with of discrimination?

[r] Personally, I have had no experience with discrimination. But it happened to a friend of mine when they got into each other on the bus with an elderly lady. She wanted to sit next to the ladies and she said that my girlfriend couldn’t sit next to her. But I don’t know if that has anything to do with the color of her skin or not.

[i] Okay.

[r] Or if you sit next to someone on the bus, the person changes seats immediately. I don’t know why they do that, but it happened right in front of me. I haven’t experienced it myself yet. But I have experienced similar cases several times. Once I was in a train, I saw a young black man sitting next to the others, and then the other one immediately took his bag, got up. and sat down somewhere else. I saw all these things.

[i] Okay, we were talking about the neighbors in Guinea,

[r] Hmm hm.

[i] What is the contact with the neighbours like? Is it light, heavy, what does it look like?

[r] Here you hardly see your neighbours I couldn’t even identify my neighbours here. I could say that I have no neighbours. You live next to each other, but you don’t see each other, and you don’t know who your neighbor is. It is not easy to make contact. If you come new here, you don’t understand each other. The communication goes over the language, if each other can communicate. In addition, you don’t have time. You can only seek contact with someone if they give you time for a conversation. Here it is so that everyone is in a hurry and that makes the contact more difficult, because everyone is access and is busy with something. It’s not the same (the neighborhood), it’s not the same.

[i] Okay, you have here the people from your community, either here in Bochum or in Dortmund. What have you noticed? How would you describe them?

[r] I’ve just said that what I can say here is… You can talk about someone you know. Here it is the case that people only see that way, but you don’t know what they’re doing, so you can’t tell 100%. I only know that in the stations, everyone is in a hurry. Many are in a hurry to get off, run. That’s how it works there.

[i] My question is, what about the Guinean community? What’s your observation here? Is the community organized or not?

 

[r] Ahh yes,

[i] Are there potentials, what is missing from the community? What could be done to make the community better?

[r] Yes, they are organized, there are clubs, who come to your rescue when, for example, you give a death in the family, they come to you and support you. If you have a problem, you will be helped. In Dortmund there is a mosque where the children learn to read the Koran. Everyone can enrol there and take part. If someone dies, there are also associations, who are collecting money to transfer the body to the relatives in Africa, to the old homeland. There is such a thing and that is why I would say that it is organised. The community is very well organized.

[i] Okay, but what about the contact between people? from Guinea to each other? How do you see the contact or the effort to integrate here? How does the contact between our community and the majority society look like? I mean the German society and the related structures. What is your observation?

[r] I have no knowledge about it, because I haven’t been here long to say anything about it.

[i] If we stay with integration,

[r] Hmm hm. Where are you at the moment in terms of integration? What are you doing?

[i] I still haven’t really started the course. I started the course on January 14th, We’ve finished module one and are now at module two. No, we have finished module 2 and are currently doing module 3. That’s A2 level. After that I will do B1. After B1 you can go for a training or further B2 would like to do. I am currently attending A2.

[i] Okay, as far as culture is concerned, how do you live out your culture here abroad? How do you live out our culture?

[r] Hmm hm.

[i] In dancing or in clothing. Do you do something like that at all or how is it done according to your observation here?

[r] The cult….

[i] The culture

[r] Well, the cuttings are different. As for the clothing, think that our clothing is not suitable here, because with the cold here, you can’t wear it here. In this respect, you are forced to put on your clothes here. And it is also about your own health. If one would want to put on the clothes of the homeland inevitably, you’d be exposing yourself to stress and inconvenience. But in summer, you can see people wearing African clothes. It also looks good. In this season nobody wears these clothes.

[i] Okay, if we stay with culture, they have told us about religion, what is being done here. What do you do or see that they associate with culture or remind you of your culture? Something that makes you feel better about loneliness or missing?

[r] Ah, since I came here, I haven’t seen anything that reminds me of home. Because as I said before, everyone is busy with themselves. Everyone has something to deal with. It’s not like you would see them playing outside in Africa. Even if they play here, it looks different. Except in the shop “Afro-Shop”, where I find food, I didn’t see what reminds me of Africa. I haven’t found anything else yet. When I meet people who also speak my language, then I remember where I came from.

[i] You told me about people you met here, do you have any German friends? Do they also have contact with the locals? What is the contact with them like?

[r] I have many contacts, but very little with the Germans. In our class, for example, there are 1 Pole, 1 Englishman, many from Syria and Lebanon. But I have only one German contact. I have only one German wife, none else.

[i]Okay, if we stick with the language, now you learn the German language. But when you first heard German, what impression did you have? What did you have in mind? Tell us about your first impression of the German language.

[r] It was totally strange to me because the language had never heard before. When I was in Guinea, I heard English. On television I watched films in English, Spanish and Portuguese. But German, I had never watched a film in German before. I have never seen a script in German before. That was totally strange for me. I asked myself, what kind of language is there? I didn’t even know how to greet each other. You can get it that way in English. You can understand some words. I didn’t know a single word in German.  I didn’t know how to deal with it. That was like a surprise for me. Because I have never heard of the language.

[i] Okay, what does your everyday life look like? You told us what it looked like in Guinea and now here what does it look like?

[r] Here, when I get up in the morning,… I get up every day at 05 am, I get ready, take the train/street train to school. At 08 o’clock the lessons start. at 08:00 o’clock. At 12 o’clock we have school out. But at 10:00 o’clock we have a break for 30 minutes. Then we go in and at 12 o’clock we have school out. I make then on the way home, we get homework. At home, you do your homework. and the next day, you bring the homework with you and so on. This is the routine here from Monday to Friday. Saturdays and Sundays are free.

[i] Okay, do you have a profession that you want for the future?

[r] I don’t remember if they’ve already told you about it.

[i] Didn’t you want to work in the hospital?

[r] Yes, I want to work in the hospital. If I’m lucky, When I am ready and understand the language well, I would like to work in a hospital. What I want to do is called a nurse.

[i] That’s what I would like to do. Is there anything in the profession that gives them an incentive other than the uniform they’re wearing?

[r] No(Yes) I like the profession even without a uniform. But the uniform also has a higher value. I like the uniform. I like to wear the uniform at work.

[i] Okay. What are your perspectives? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?     What would you have achieved in 5 years?

[r] In the next few years, I would be like I said before, in a big hospital where I can do my job in peace. And speak the German language well. That’s what it looks like.

[i] One speaks of the family,

[r] Hmm hm.

[i] What about the family, do they have a wish?

[r] I mean, in 10 years, where do you see yourself?

[i] What do you want in 10 years?

[r] Yes, when I have achieved that, I also want to start a family and have children. I dream that all these things will come true someday.

[i] Okay, if you ever have children or a child, which language would you like to teach? Or what would you do yourself?

[r] If it were up to me, my child will speak 4 languages.  or more and by that I mean languages that are internationally known. German will be compulsory if it would happen here. He/she will learn German anyway, the languages that I would help him/her to learn in addition, my language would be Fula, which I would teach him/her well. If he has a good command of Fula and German, then we’ll see which language he can learn in addition. But my language will have a priority. I would like him/her to have a good command of it and of German as well. In the context of the integration process, you have a lot of experience with bureaucracy, for example, to the authority, could you tell us something about your experience in the bureaucratic matter?

[i] Was it easy or difficult for you?

[r] It is not easy because some appointments take place tomorrow morning. Man I tired and it is cold. The carers do not always have time to accompany you because you are not alone. There are a lot of people there, and when you get there, you have to take care of everything yourself. And with language, it is not easy. You have to go alone and get through until you somehow understand each other. I could therefore say that it is not easy. The procedures are not always easy. At the European level it is also rumoured that there are people in Germany, too, who find it hard to accept foreigners. They try to build up barriers and at the moment this group is gaining more and more popularity.

[i] Have you heard anything about this?

[r] I’ve already told you that I’ve heard about it, but I haven’t experienced it myself. I haven’t met you yet. As I said, it didn’t happen to me, but I saw something like that happen to others on the train or bus. They don’t like foreigners. There are also foreigners who do not want contact with others. For example, those from Syria or Morocco, they are foreigners themselves, but they do not like other foreigners. I have seen Moroccans or Syrians, for example, the Black denigrate people even though they’re all migrants here. I have seen such cases.

[i] Do you have a memento for us? Something that reminds you of someone or an event. Something that reminds you of the past. It’s about an object that will symbolize something to you.

[r] No, I didn’t.

[i] Okay, you’ve told us a lot and we wish you the best for the future.

[r] Hmm hm.

[i] As you say it in German, for the future, all good. We hope that with the integration, everything will improve further. and thank you very much for the very interesting story and on behalf of our team Specially unknown. We thank and sincerely. And now you have the last word. In German now!

[r] Okay, thank you very much and it made me very happy.