Part 6: The Secret Visit to Freetown

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The Ghanaian slave story gave me an exit out of my teaching position. I was neither a teacher nor a full-time reporter for The Point newspaper. Life became very hard.


To catch up on the continuing series, follow these links:

Introducing the unbelievably true story of Augustine Kanjia
Part 1: The Decision That Saved My Life
Part 2: The Struggle for Survival in a Strange Land
Part 3: Good luck, bad luck, who knows?
Part 4: The Smoldering Bitterness of Enemies
Part 5: The Soccer Match That Saved My Life


Dr. Baimba Baryoh, the best and most specialized orthopedic physician, was a brother to an elderly Sierra Leonean with whom I shared an apartment. He met me in tears and diagnosed me.

The K-nail [Editor’s note: Kuntscher nailing is a common technique in developing countries to treat leg breaks.] that was placed in my fractured right femur was disturbing me. It did not fit me and my body reacted to it. The doctor suggested immediate removal.

Augustine Kanjia

Courtesy Augustine Kanjia

Augustine Kanjia, after a week in the hospital to fix his broken leg.

I had kept some money that would allow me to go to Freetown for a correctional operation. The doctor wanted only $200, which was all the money I had.

The war in Sierra Leone had just ended, but there was news of sporadic fighting here and there. Those were problematic “sobels” (soldiers-turned-rebels).

I thought hard about whether to go or stay on, till all was clear. I thought about buying a one-way ticket and saving the money for my return in case I was there longer than expected. And I had to pay $200 for the operation. I had raised only $200 for the ticket and the doctor. I needed to work a little more.


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