Amid the struggle for a good life in Worcester, one of my children was brave to take a different direction.
Alice Hannah Kanjia is my first daughter. She was born out of wedlock when I was a young adult, and I did not know of her or meet her until several years later.
From Part 11: New Hope, More Troubles and a Gift
A longtime girlfriend had called me. My brother had given her my number during my uncle’s funeral in Gbaama, Sierra Leone. She insistently said, “I have a gift, I said, a gift. How can I send it?” Since I was in need I told her to send it by DHL. “You are still not serious as you are aging,” she responded. She became agitated and rude, which was usual of her. “OK,” she said, “I will send the gift to my sister in Freetown, and you will go pick it up from her.” …
We saw the house and moved directly to see the gift. About 20 meters from the house we saw a thin girl running toward me. She came directly to me and moved to hug Peter. It was then that I realized she was the gift I anticipated.
She looked lanky, tall, very fragile and malnourished. I saw the aunt, Elizabeth, and she handed the girl to me. She asked me for an identity before leaving. I had none, but she let us go anyway. (There was no DNA testing to prove she was my daughter. That was Africa; we accept and go on.)
She came in and out of our lives over the years, but as we did not feel safe anymore in The Gambia, Theresa and I were able to shepherd her through the resettlement process and help her reach America, which she did a couple of months before we arrived in October 2010.
Alice became recalcitrant after having her first son. She refused to return to school to finish Grade 12 and earn her high school diploma or equivalency. She was discouraged by how poorly she’d done before.
She is a loveable person, but she changed and we grew apart, as she saw me as a stumbling block to her dubious behaviors.
Augustine’s last chapter: To Be a Man is Not Easy Or scroll down to catch up from earlier in the remarkable tale