July 2, 2017

Augustine Kanjia’s incredible journey continues … Part 42: One Problem Opens the Door … For More Problems

Print More

Google maps

Augustine, his grandmother and a family member from another village had quite the trek to make to meet up with Augustine's mother, Hannah.

Our parents were supposed to choose a high school for us.

With my father dead and mother remarried in another village, I had my grandmother, who was uneducated and didn’t know much about school. She depended on me for most information.

I had started writing letters for her since the fifth grade. She respected what I wrote and got responses from what we sent. She had a special way of dictating her letters. She would call me into her room and explain everything to me in our local language, Kono. She would not allow me to take notes.

I managed to memorize all she would say — my first letter was understood and there was a positive response. I feared my English may not have been anything to write home about, but my spelling was great.

She was boastful about me in the market or in cars on her way to see her family for food. Grade 7 brought out the good, bad and ugly in me.

We were given the documents needed to be filled out for our choices of high schools all over the country. The forms were distributed to everyone in the class, except for me. My exam and school fees were yet to be paid.

My grandmother was away, but she was still grappling with how we would pay my school and exams fees, and keep me in school. We were given a month to pay all that we owed. Life was critical at this point.

Augustine’s last chapter: Major Problems Won’t Dissuade Me  Or scroll down to catch up from earlier in the remarkable tale

My grandmother left no food for me while she was gone, thinking that she would be back soon. Thank God I was not big on eating rice. I could go without rice for weeks. Fruits were supportive, and I lived on them.

I tried finding out my grandmother’s whereabouts, to no avail. I then inquired about my mother and was told she moved with her husband to Kambia, Sierra Leone. I had no means of getting in touch with my mom and stepdad. Because he was my stepdad, he did not take me seriously.

Courtesy Augustine Kanjia

The primary school in Motema, Sierra Leone (present day).

The school issue was tense, and I was in tears as I would hear my friends talk about the schools they had chosen and what their expectations were. Some chose boarding schools or schools in Freetown, the capital city. I was just busy thinking hard.

My grandmother finally returned from her journey. I did not ask her where she went to, but told her how much money we needed for my exam and school fees. She burst into tears when I told her the whole school was only waiting for me — and that I was given only one month to pay. At least it was only the beginning of the one month.

My grandmother made up her mind to go see mom and her husband in Kambia, thinking they would be ashamed to say no to my school request.

The road to the place was far, and my grandmother did not know how to go there. She invited one of her family members from the other village, who would help us reach our destination. My grandmother could not speak Creole (English version) well. I was also not too confident in speaking it to outsiders. The man who accompanied us was half-educated.

Wikimedia Commons / Lindsay Stark

Trekking into the Sierra Leonean bush was never easy.

Our journey was nice. We bought enough food to eat quite well. We had to cross a large river. The water was black, and it was an old ferry that they pulled across. It was fascinating. The river was the Little Scarsies. It was a very long river that ran through to Guinea, where it had its source. It was breathtaking going through the river on that archaic ferry.

We made it late in the evening. The town was overtaken by coconut trees. It had long, short or crooked trees. Coconut was sold in different versions. The oil, the nut, the cake or otherwise. I loved it all. We arrived at my mother’s home when my stepdad was away at work.

My mom was the happiest, but she was cash-strapped. She was only a housewife. I noticed the hard time we were going to face to gain money for my school.

My stepdad came home and started an argument with my grandmother. He did not want me in his house, saying there was no place to keep me there. I lived in fear there, but my mom and grandmother were my saviors. They protected me to the last.

We went to church, and for the first time, I would receive Communion away from home. It was all the same pattern. Catholic in Motema was Catholic everywhere. I loved my church more. I started getting the thought of becoming a priest to be able to visit all the different places a priest goes. I thought that was a cool idea. But my grandmother wanted me to become a teacher. My letters only added to the admiration she had for me, so she went all out for my education to save me in the future.

Courtesy Augustine Kanjia

Hannah James, right, Augustine’s mom

We stayed for a week with my mother and stepfather. The signs of gaining nothing on the visit were prominent. My stepdad would always come home angry and create an argument with my grandmother. We were always on the edge. So, we had to leave earlier than planned.

Grannie had some money she kept for the unknown. She was right to save it. My mom had my younger sister Theresa. She was our third family member. She was quiet and mature. My mom was always in tears when confusion arose between Grannie and my stepdad. It was never a good situation because he would turn against me, and my mother was left helpless. She loved her mom, but she could not say anything to her husband. It was not out of love of her husband, but respect for both parties.

Grannie waited for my stepdad to leave, then asked the man who accompanied us to get ready to leave. I virtually had nothing to pack — my grandmother had hoped to buy me some clothes if things went well. There was no luck.

When I thought about my disappointment, I burst into tears. The thought of leaving my mother so soon brought me more tears as we ate and started leaving the house for the park.

The park was near the sea. I could not understand why the sea would bang the edge of the wall that was cemented there to stop the water from intruding into the town. It was always very hard, with loud bangs. I hated the site, and thank God, we were not obliged to go down to the edge.

We met some taxis begging for passengers to fill out their trucks. We got the first one and my grandmother negotiated for a 12-year-old boy to pay nothing. She claimed I would sit on her lap and not take up a seat. I sat on her lap, but I was too tall to fit there. It was uncomfortable. I prayed hard for someone to alight, then I could fill in their seat. Grannie could not wait, either.

I was afraid of the bad road conditions and the heavy speed of the driver. We arrived back at the ferry. This was a death trap. It was a bare ferry. It had no engine, it was manpower and cables attached to each shore that pulled it. I think that was the last of its type in the country.

It was our turn to enter the naked ferry. The water was dark and fearful, but its speed was terrific in the center. We crossed and had nearly made it to the other side.

I then created a panic that remained in my grandmother’s mind for the rest of her days.

I was anxious to see whether I could swim and arrive before the ferry on the shore. It was a dangerous notion, but boys had to be boys. I braved it out as I left my grandmother’s hands to see how best I could make it. I looked for an open space to run very fast and jump to the shore.

But it was quite far, and my jump could not get me to the shore.

I dropped in front of the ferry as it advanced on me. I did know how to swim well and started showing signs of drowning. My swimming skills had all but vanished with the imminent danger I was facing. A good Samaritan stretched his hand and pulled me out very fast. I cried loudly and everyone spoke rudely to me, except my grandmother, who put me on her back to console me.

Our journey continued and I stayed close to my grandmother. Vacation was not the best this time. I returned very poor.

There was still time to pay my exam fee, but I had no idea where to get the money. My grandmother was strong, and determined to get me a proper education to become a teacher. She fought hard for the completion of our mighty new house. It was still incomplete when people started asking for rooms to rent. My grandmother stressed that it was a family house and she would not rent it all out. We were 10 and it was nine rooms.

Food was problem at home. My grandmother worked very hard to feed us, but the police had disturbed her business producing illegal hard liquor called “Omole.” Grannie was determined to restart the business, hoping the police would not see her this time. We resumed in order to pay my school and exams fee. I had gone to register without money, asking the headmaster to be patient. He understood, but refused to allow me to register.

I still had three weeks.

I hoped the poverty would have an end in sight, but my people suffered a lot. Our garden would have been a good place for practicing farming, but none of my uncles understood it that way.

My school was important. Time was running out. My grandmother prayed for divine intervention.

To catch up on one of the Sun’s original serials, 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: Escape to Freetown

Part 9: More Suffering, More Tears

Part 10: Family Rejection vs. Manhood

Part 11: New Hope, More Troubles, and a Gift

Part 12: Deceived in Hard Times

Part 13: Dangerous Investigative Journalism Begins

Part 14: Family vs. Husband-to-be

Part 15: The Article That Saved My Son’s Life

Part 16: Glen’s Long Road to Health

Part 17: A Wedding Without Parents

Part 18: Another New Beginning

Part 19: Challenging Resettlement Process Begins

Part 20: Suspicion and Senegal Visits

Part 21: The Toughest Interview Brings Success

Part 22: Augustine is Apprehended

Part 23: Joy, Despair and More Threats

Part 24: Surprise News That Set Us Free

Part 25: Final Problem Lands Me in Dakar

Part 26: A Very Long One Week

Part 27: Goodbye, Gambia

Part 28: The Kanjias’ First Snow

Part 29: First Noel in Worcester

Part 30: New Year, Tough Beginning

Part 31: Job Offer Sends Me Back to School

Part 32: To Be a Man is Not Easy

Part 33: When Things Fall Apart

Part 34: Back to How It All Started

Part 35: Family Disintegrates, Pa Dies

Part 36: Signs of My Struggle Begin

Part 37: Grandmother’s New Business Opens Old Wounds

Part 38: Illicit April Brewing Rains on My Parade

Part 39: Skipping School and Fooling the Police

Part 40: Poverty Strikes Hard as Mother Returns

144 thoughts on “Augustine Kanjia’s incredible journey continues … Part 42: One Problem Opens the Door … For More Problems

  1. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author.I will make certain to bookmark your blog and may come back sometime soon. I want to encourage that you continue your great writing, have a nice morning!

  2. Hello there, simply changed into aware of your weblog via Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I am gonna be careful for brussels. I’ll appreciate in the event you proceed this in future. Numerous people might be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

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

  4. Wonderful items from you, man. I’ve consider your stuff prior to and you are simply extremely fantastic. I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you’re saying and the way through which you say it. You are making it enjoyable and you still take care of to stay it smart. I can not wait to read far more from you. That is really a wonderful website.

  5. Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your web-site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you?¦ve on this website. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched all over the place and just could not come across. What an ideal site.

  6. Hi there are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you need any coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

  7. certainly like your website however you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very troublesome to tell the truth then again I¦ll surely come back again.

  8. Have you ever thought about writing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog based upon 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 send me an e-mail.

  9. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  10. It?¦s truly a great and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  11. naturally like your web site however you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to inform the truth on the other hand I will definitely come back again.

  12. I’ve recently started a blog, the info you offer on this website has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work. “The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” by Jean Paul.

  13. Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossips and net and this is actually frustrating. A good site with interesting content, that is what I need. Thank you for keeping this website, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

  14. An impressive share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing a little evaluation on this. And he in truth purchased me breakfast because I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I really feel strongly about it and love studying more on this topic. If doable, as you change into experience, would you thoughts updating your blog with extra details? It is highly useful for me. Massive thumb up for this weblog submit!

  15. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such fantastic information being shared freely out there.

  16. I must express my passion for your generosity for persons that really need help with the study. Your personal dedication to passing the message all over ended up being especially functional and have without exception helped professionals like me to attain their dreams. Your new warm and friendly tips and hints entails this much to me and substantially more to my colleagues. Thanks a lot; from each one of us.

  17. I’ve been browsing on-line more than 3 hours nowadays, yet I by no means found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It’s pretty worth sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will likely be a lot more useful than ever before. “I finally realized that being grateful to my body was key to giving more love to myself.” by Oprah Winfrey.

  18. I cherished as much as you will obtain carried out proper here. The comic strip is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an shakiness over that you want be turning in the following. unwell undoubtedly come more in the past again since precisely the same just about very often inside case you defend this increase.

  19. certainly like your website but you have to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very troublesome to inform the reality then again I?¦ll surely come back again.

  20. 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.

  21. Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

  22. After examine just a few of the blog posts in your web site now, and I really like your means of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site record and will likely be checking again soon. Pls try my web page as effectively and let me know what you think.

  23. Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your web-site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and simply could not come across. What an ideal web site.

  24. Once I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get four emails with the identical comment. Is there any approach you’ll be able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

  25. I will right away snatch your rss as I can not in finding your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please permit me understand so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  26. I used to be very happy to search out this web-site.I needed to thanks to your time for this excellent read!! I definitely enjoying every little little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

  27. I am usually to blogging and i really respect your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and preserve checking for brand spanking new information.

  28. Great beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your website, how can i subscribe for a blog web site? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

  29. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  30. Howdy very cool site!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally?KI am glad to search out numerous useful information here in the put up, we need develop extra strategies on this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  31. Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice whilst you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a blog site? The account aided me a appropriate deal. I were tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered vibrant clear concept

  32. Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the internet the easiest factor to keep in mind of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed whilst folks think about concerns that they just do not understand about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and outlined out the whole thing without having side-effects , other people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thank you

  33. Howdy! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Great blog and great design and style.

  34. hi!,I love your writing very a lot! share we keep in touch extra about your article on AOL? I need a specialist in this house to solve my problem. May be that is you! Looking ahead to peer you.

  35. I precisely had to appreciate you once again. I do not know what I might have sorted out in the absence of these suggestions documented by you concerning such subject. It had become a horrifying concern in my opinion, but discovering a specialised manner you treated that took me to cry over joy. Now i am happier for your assistance and thus hope you recognize what a powerful job you happen to be getting into training most people by way of your site. I know that you have never got to know any of us.

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

  37. Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  38. Can I simply say what a relief to search out someone who truly is aware of what theyre speaking about on the internet. You undoubtedly know easy methods to carry a problem to gentle and make it important. Extra people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant imagine youre not more popular since you positively have the gift.

  39. 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!

  40. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your site is very cool. I’m impressed by the details that you have on this site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched everywhere and simply couldn’t come across. What an ideal website.

  41. Merely a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw outstanding design. “Better by far you should forget and smile than that you should remember and be sad.” by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

  42. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

  43. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this outstanding blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  44. The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.

  45. Excellent post but I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Thank you!

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

  47. I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or weblog posts in this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this site. Studying this information So i¦m happy to express that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what I needed. I most unquestionably will make sure to do not put out of your mind this web site and give it a glance regularly.

  48. Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can suggest? I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any support is very much appreciated.

  49. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all people you actually know what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Please additionally discuss with my site =). We will have a hyperlink exchange arrangement between us!

  50. Thank you for any other wonderful post. The place else may just anybody get that type of info in such an ideal means of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m at the search for such information.

  51. 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.

  52. naturally like your web site but you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very bothersome to inform the reality then again I will definitely come back again.

  53. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  54. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Outstanding work!

  55. I’m extremely impressed together with your writing talents and also with the structure on your weblog. Is that this a paid subject or did you customize it yourself? Either way stay up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to peer a great weblog like this one nowadays..

  56. With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my agreement. Do you know any techniques to help protect against content from being stolen? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  57. Hi I am so excited I found your blog, I really found you by accident, while I was researching on Askjeeve for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a marvelous post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the fantastic job.

  58. I have been surfing online more than 3 hours as of late, but I by no means found any interesting article like yours. It is beautiful value sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content material as you did, the net can be much more helpful than ever before.

  59. I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or weblog posts in this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i?¦m happy to show that I’ve a very good uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed. I such a lot certainly will make certain to do not fail to remember this site and give it a glance on a relentless basis.

  60. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such great information being shared freely out there.

  61. Hey very nice blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find a lot of useful information here in the post, we need develop more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  62. I?¦ve been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or weblog posts on this kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this web site. Reading this information So i am satisfied to express that I have a very just right uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed. I so much no doubt will make certain to do not forget this website and provides it a look regularly.

  63. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the layout of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

Leave a Reply

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