November 27, 2016

The unbelievably true story of Augustine Kanjia continues … Part 27: Goodbye, Gambia

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Banjul, Gambia, marked by its imposing arch standing sentry on the road into town, is now in the Kanjia family's rear-view mirror.

We were in Dakar the night of Oct. 17. The airport looked angelic, full of light and people of different colors. This was also just the start of our confusion until we’d reach our destination. It continued being wonderful, and full of wonder.

An IOM [International Organization for Migration] officer met us at Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport and handed us our travel documents in an IOM bag to be held in our hands till we reached our destination. We knew we were going to the United States but were not sure in which city or state we’d land. I liked it that way, so my expectations would not be too high. I thought constantly about education, though, and Massachusetts was long on my list of places to come for studies, because they said it was the seat of education.

Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal.

Popo le Chien/Wikimedia Commons

Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal.

The protection officer liked my baby, shook our hands, and kissed and hugged Mary. She gave us her number and said to feel free to get in touch when we settled. The journey was soon to begin.

When the plane finally took off in the middle of the night, it was safe to tell my wife, Theresa, the secret of narrowly escaping a meeting with the chief justice at 8 o’clock on Monday morning — a meeting regarding one of my last news reports that would have almost certainly led to prison. She was shocked to hear it. I gave her the letter which the CJ had asked me to destroy. She shed tears but encouraged herself by thinking of our journey and what lay ahead of us: a new address.


Augustine’s last chapter: A Very Long One Week Or scroll down to catch up from earlier in the remarkable tale



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