Part 11: New Hope, More Troubles and a Gift

Print More

Lungi, the airport town of Sierra Leone, was cool; staying on to recuperate was the best thing to do at that stage. I prayed and hoped for the better.

I had already made friends around town, and my brother’s wife was great. She had a lot of joy to share. Betty, an adopted child herself, was a good source of encouragement, but poverty was her name.

I had no food to contribute, but Betty did not mind. My brother sent money to support the house when he received his salary. Peter, who was also known as PA, was such a kind man.

Augustine Kanjia

Courtesy Augustine Kanjia

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

I lived away from my brothers for a long time. They expected me to do well and have more money than them, but here I was sitting again with them and leaning on them for food. It was great that I had to bring money for my operations. My old friends helped.

Each day had its own story. And my stories were full of challenges, but the new story this afternoon was scary, full of hope and full of anxiety.


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 Changed My Life

Part 6: The Secret Visit to Freetown

Part 7: More Attention, More Friends … More Enemies

Part 8: The Escape to Freetown

Part 9: More Suffering, More Tears

Part 10: Family Rejection vs. Manhood


A longtime girlfriend had called me. My brother had given her my number during my uncle’s funeral in Gbaama, Sierra Leone. She called me without any waste of time.

“Hello!” she said.

“Hi,” I responded in a soft voice. We shared some old jokes. Then she said, “Oh, T.K. I have a gift for you.”

“What gift?” I asked.

“Yes, a nice gift. Do you know who is speaking?”

“Yes, I do, it is Anthonette from Gbaama,” I said.

I was needy. I had to remain quiet, and I was quite confused. I lived in need of money and food. If anyone talked about a gift, I would become confused as to whether it was money or food for me. I asked her what the gift was.

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.

“Well, age has nothing to do with sending my gift by DHL,” I said.

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.”

Freetown is not far from Lungi. You can see the area from one side of the sea. It was the tributary that separated the towns of Freetown and Lungi. Tarrin was on Lungi’s side and Dock Yard on Freetown’s side.

When it came time to pick up my present I did not know what to expect. I asked my brother to come with me. He was delighted to go.

My brother paid for the ferry tickets. It was a very slow ferry, overloaded with vehicles, commodities and people coming from overseas and locally going to do business in Freetown. There was potential for panic on such a ferry. There were only a handful of life jackets. The starting of the ferry took some time before it finally moved like a massive train coming from afar. The wind blew hard and the atmosphere changed. People became worried.

I went to the top of the ferry, where they had entertainment. There was a porch area, and one needed to pay before gaining access there. My brother knew it quite well, so he did not follow me. I pushed the door and it opened. The security guard came out and looked at me and asked what my mission was. “Sir,” I said, “I’m a journalist but had this operation. The people are too many in the two other stairs and I am just discharged from my foot’s injury. I wanted to see if I could just sit in the corner on the floor here.”

He allowed me to enter. By this time the ferry was right in the middle of the journey, and the water was deep. At a point, everyone kept quiet and the ferry struggled with its overloaded self.

We approached the shore of Freetown when everyone started talking loudly. The rush was too much, children, the elderly, strangers, traders, military men and women were all struggling to get outside quickly.

At last I walked out slowly after everyone else had left. Like a ghost, I appeared at the door and my brother was looking for me. I was not asked for my ticket, which I kept to use again.

My brother was patient — for a time. I saw him chewing some peanuts, and he was quick to tell me he was tired of waiting. “I’m sorry, man!” I said. We moved with the rest of the crowd, like a river carrying debris during a storm. We were not far from the so-called gift.

I felt tired. I was walking slowly and my knee started swelling up. I started chatting with my brother. I told him a story about a teacher — since he was a teacher it would help him stimulate his brain to search for a better job than teaching.

“There was a rich man who felt very sorry for the teachers of Sierra Leone, who were paid after every three months. The rich man decided to have a competition with his baboon, which had no emotion when people joked with it.

“The rich man decided to make a competition for teachers. It was on the radio and [in] newspapers. The man said teachers should come and make his baboon laugh. The stage was set for that and the stadium was jam-packed. The weak teacher was passing by, very tired. He was called to enter the stadium to be a part of it. His shoe was flat and torn on both sides. When he …”

“Augustine,” my brother interrupted. “Let us go and forget about stories and go away for your gift.” I could not complete my good story. He urged me to move on.

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 stayed with me for some time, and she had to return to her mom in Bo town, the capital of the Bo district in southeast Sierra Leone and kind of second capital of Sierra Leone.

My heart was not sweet. I tried very hard to overcome the problem of money. I contacted my friends to help me since I anticipated her return. People could not understand what was going on with me. I was sick at heart knowing that my daughter was about to return to Bo. I sat down and cried alone. It was tough for me.

But as God will have it, my friend, Miriam Mason, sent me my airport tax. It was good for my daughter because I bought some clothes and paid my daughter’s way. I was in the hospital for checkup when she left.

I was left alone thinking of how and where I would get a ticket to return to Gambia.

My little Mary had left earlier on and now her big sister had left. My wife and I were not married [Editor’s note: It was culturally accepted in the community to claim a wife and refer to her as such, assuming an impending marriage]. We lived together to understand each other then get married. She was such a nice woman. I left some money with her for my ticket in case I was stranded. She had used all the money to buy food and refused to call me.

I managed to get to her and she sent me some money. I was in haste to see my friend Mary, who had endured with me, but she had to go to school so she left.

Lungi town was friendly, but they too were very poor. People ate a meal a day, which was hard. My brother’s wife, Betty, fought tooth and nail to feed me. She did her best. She had a lot of bananas behind her house. I loved eating them and would have them in place of a meal when we did not have it. I felt sorry for them because bananas were too meager for them to constitute a full meal.

It was the hardest time, but it was time to fight hard to go after my foot was healed. That still posed a threat, though. I had taken the medication and kept it at home because I was tired of going up and down to the hospital to get it.

My hope for returning to Gambia was dashed because I had only half a ticket. I stayed on, in pain, with a nurse inviting me to her house for treatment.

Little did I know the nurse had other plans for me.

171 thoughts on “Part 11: New Hope, More Troubles and a Gift

  1. Great work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the internet. Disgrace on the seek engines for no longer positioning this publish upper! Come on over and consult with my site . Thank you =)

  2. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

  3. Throughout this grand scheme of things you actually receive a B+ with regard to effort. Exactly where you actually confused me personally was first on your details. As it is said, the devil is in the details… And that couldn’t be more true in this article. Having said that, allow me say to you what exactly did work. The authoring is actually very powerful which is most likely why I am making the effort to opine. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. Next, despite the fact that I can notice a jumps in reasoning you come up with, I am not really convinced of how you appear to unite your details that help to make the actual conclusion. For right now I will, no doubt yield to your issue but trust in the future you link your dots better.

  4. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  5. Great ?V I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs and related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, website theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Excellent task..

  6. Hello there, just became alert to your weblog thru Google, and found that it’s really informative. I’m gonna be careful for brussels. I’ll appreciate when you proceed this in future. A lot of other people might be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  7. Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people consider worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  8. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

  9. Admiring the time and effort you put into your site and detailed information you present. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Excellent read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  10. After study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Pls check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

  11. This is really fascinating, You’re a very professional blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to in search of more of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  12. I do believe all the ideas you have introduced for your post. They’re very convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are too short for newbies. Could you please prolong them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  13. I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.

  14. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful info specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this certain information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  15. Someone essentially help to make seriously articles I would state. This is the first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I amazed with the research you made to create this particular publish incredible. Magnificent job!

  16. I like the valuable info you provide on your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and test once more right here frequently. I’m fairly certain I’ll be informed many new stuff right right here! Best of luck for the next!

  17. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Bless you!

  18. Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

  19. Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard work due to no back up. Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?

  20. Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this info. Today bloggers publish just about gossips and internet and this is actually frustrating. A good web site with interesting content, that’s what I need. Thanks for keeping this web-site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

  21. I got what you intend, regards for posting.Woh I am pleased to find this website through google. “Don’t be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against not with the wind.” by Hamilton Mabie.

  22. My wife and i got very joyful that Jordan could complete his analysis through the ideas he grabbed out of your blog. It’s not at all simplistic to simply possibly be handing out tactics which usually the others could have been selling. So we fully grasp we need the blog owner to give thanks to for this. All the illustrations you made, the straightforward website navigation, the friendships you can make it possible to engender – it is everything excellent, and it’s leading our son in addition to our family do think this content is amusing, and that’s pretty indispensable. Many thanks for all!

  23. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

  24. Someone essentially assist to make seriously articles I’d state. That is the first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to create this actual put up incredible. Excellent process!

  25. I’m now not positive the place you are getting your information, however good topic. I must spend a while learning more or understanding more. Thank you for great info I used to be looking for this info for my mission.

  26. There are some attention-grabbing deadlines on this article but I don’t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There’s some validity but I’ll take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we wish extra! Added to FeedBurner as well

  27. This is really interesting, You are an excessively skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look ahead to looking for extra of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  28. A formidable share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing just a little evaluation on this. And he in reality purchased me breakfast as a result of I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If attainable, as you grow to be expertise, would you thoughts updating your blog with extra details? It’s highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this weblog publish!

  29. I really like your writing style, excellent information, regards for posting :D. “In every affair consider what precedes and what follows, and then undertake it.” by Epictetus.

  30. I simply could not depart your site prior to suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard information an individual supply in your visitors? Is gonna be again regularly in order to inspect new posts

  31. Very good website you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics discussed in this article? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get feed-back from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Kudos!

  32. Thanks for another wonderful post. The place else may anyone get that kind of info in such an ideal means of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

  33. hello there and thank you for your info – I have definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise some technical issues using this site, as I experienced to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Well I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for a lot more of your respective exciting content. Ensure that you update this again soon..

  34. I am really impressed with your writing talents and also with the structure on your weblog. Is this a paid subject matter or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent high quality writing, it’s uncommon to see a great blog like this one today..

  35. Hello! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

  36. Thanks, I have just been looking for info approximately this topic for a long time and yours is the best I’ve came upon till now. However, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you sure in regards to the supply?

  37. I do agree with all the ideas you’ve presented in your post. They’re very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are too short for starters. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  38. I am commenting to make you know of the superb experience our girl had using your blog. She came to find plenty of details, which include what it is like to possess an amazing giving character to make many people without hassle learn specified tricky matters. You undoubtedly did more than my desires. Thank you for showing the invaluable, dependable, educational and easy tips on your topic to Ethel.

  39. Hi there, just became alert to your blog thru Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I am going to be careful for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Numerous other folks will probably be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  40. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  41. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  42. Throughout this awesome pattern of things you’ll get a B- for effort. Where you misplaced us ended up being in all the facts. You know, as the maxim goes, details make or break the argument.. And that couldn’t be much more accurate in this article. Having said that, permit me tell you what exactly did deliver the results. Your writing is actually really engaging and that is possibly the reason why I am taking the effort to comment. I do not make it a regular habit of doing that. 2nd, even though I can easily notice a jumps in reason you come up with, I am not really certain of exactly how you seem to unite the ideas which help to make the final result. For right now I will yield to your issue but hope in the near future you actually link your dots much better.

  43. Thanx for the effort, keep up the good work Great work, I am going to start a small Blog Engine course work using your site I hope you enjoy blogging with the popular BlogEngine.net.Thethoughts you express are really awesome. Hope you will right some more posts.

  44. Hello very nice blog!! Guy .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds alsoKI’m happy to search out numerous useful information here within the post, we want develop extra techniques on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  45. I like what you guys are up also. Such smart work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my site 🙂

  46. This web site is really a walk-through for all of the info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll definitely discover it.

  47. Great work! This is the type of info that should be shared around the internet. Shame on Google for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my web site . Thanks =)

  48. I really like your writing style, wonderful information, thank you for putting up :D. “In university they don’t tell you that the greater part of the law is learning to tolerate fools.” by Doris Lessing.

  49. Hi there, You’ve done a fantastic job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my
    friends. I am confident they will be benefited
    from this web site.

    Feel free to visit my homepage; 2022

  50. Along with everything which appears to be developing inside this particular subject matter, all your perspectives are generally rather stimulating. On the other hand, I am sorry, because I can not subscribe to your entire plan, all be it stimulating none the less. It seems to us that your remarks are generally not totally rationalized and in fact you are generally yourself not really fully certain of your point. In any case I did appreciate examining it.

  51. I’ve been surfing online more than three hours as of late, but I by no means found any fascinating article like yours. It is lovely worth sufficient for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more helpful than ever before.

  52. Its like you learn my thoughts! You seem to understand a lot approximately this, like you wrote the guide in it or something. I feel that you can do with some p.c. to power the message house a little bit, however instead of that, this is excellent blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

  53. Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks

  54. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. many thanks

  55. My brother suggested I would possibly like this website. He was entirely right. This publish actually made my day. You cann’t believe simply how a lot time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

  56. A formidable share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing somewhat evaluation on this. And he in actual fact bought me breakfast because I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I really feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If doable, as you change into experience, would you thoughts updating your weblog with more details? It’s highly helpful for me. Huge thumb up for this weblog post!

  57. hello there and thank you for your information – I have certainly picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise some technical issues using this website, since I experienced to reload the web site many times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and can damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my email and could look out for much more of your respective intriguing content. Make sure you update this again soon..

  58. Thank you for all of your work on this web page. My mother enjoys conducting investigation and it’s really obvious why. My spouse and i know all relating to the lively tactic you present invaluable steps via your website and foster response from website visitors on the article plus our simple princess is discovering a great deal. Take pleasure in the rest of the year. You’re the one carrying out a good job.

  59. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such magnificent info being shared freely out there.

  60. Just want to say your article is as amazing. The clearness on your publish is just spectacular and i could suppose you’re a professional on this subject. Fine along with your permission let me to grasp your feed to stay updated with approaching post. Thank you one million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

  61. Hello there, You’ve done an excellent job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this website.

  62. There are certainly loads of details like that to take into consideration. That could be a nice level to carry up. I supply the thoughts above as common inspiration but clearly there are questions just like the one you convey up where an important factor will likely be working in sincere good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I’m positive that your job is clearly recognized as a good game. Each girls and boys really feel the affect of just a moment’s pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *