Returning to the hot seat was not expected.
I was ready to go for my reporting the next morning. There was a big trial concerning eight journalists who were accused of disseminating false reports and sedition. Trouble awaited me, but I did not know.
I had to be there in court to satisfy my boss and colleagues at The Point newspaper, who comprised the eight. The journey from Dakar, Senegal’s capital, had not ended. We were at Barra (Niumi, Gambia), where there were police on the ferry and at a checkpoint. It was evening, and the water was seemingly calm.
I used the most dangerous way of going across: the dugout canoe. It was overloaded with bags of rice and a few men. The water became turbulent and we were in apparent trouble. A few bags of rice were thrown in the sea, which made our boat calm down. There was no life jacket … and no engine. Only paddles.
I survived and crossed over to meet my family. It was a breathtaking event. I wished I had never tried going by dugout canoe — though I was ready: I had no luggage and could swim well.
We got a taxi home and relaxed, ready to answer questions from liars.
Read Augustine’s last installment, The Toughest Interview Brings Success, or scroll down to begin from earlier in his incredible journey