To the many readers who emailed letters of support and concern, let me say I am alive and well. Thank you for everything. No doubt you’re wondering what happened last week.
I have just spent the last 5 days as a ‘guest’ of the APR.
When you last heard from me, APR mercenaries had burst into the back room of The Standard just as I sent the blog post. One of the men threw a sack over my head and I tensed up expecting a bullet to the head.
Instead, I was dragged to a waiting vehicle. I could hear Wayne shouting at them but I was too panicked to register what he said. We drove off for what felt like an hour. Though it might as easily have been 5 minutes.
I was then pulled from the vehicle and pushed forward. I had no idea where they were leading me…to a tree for a quick execution? A cliff’s edge? Instead I was shoved into a hot room and the sack was pulled from my head. The two mercs I saw quickly left taking all my gear, and slammed the door behind them.
I was lying on the dirt floor of a small shed, surrounded by corrugated steel walls with wooden shelves. The heat was stifling and I desperately needed water. But there was none. The room was bare save for a few empty bottles, a bicycle, and five ebony carvings of African figurines.
I tried to remain calm. If they wanted to kill me, they would have done it by now. Instead, they had other plans. Perhaps they would interrogate me about the arms shipment from Angola. Then they would let me go. This was my best, and frankly my only, hope.
But the day moved to night and I heard nothing. Outside was completely silent. No food or water came my way and I was desperately thirsty by now. Had they left me? I stood and tried the door for the first time, but it was locked with a heavy chain. Surely they hadn’t abandoned me to die a slow death.
I spent the entire night listening for the slightest sound, proof that someone was there. I never heard the vehicle leave, so they must be there, right? Or maybe I’d missed the sound.
As dawn started creeping in, I realized that I was finally cool. I had barely an hour to appreciate the relief from the heat before the temperature started rising. I couldn’t survive another day of this. Not without water.
I heard footsteps approaching the shed. The door opened blasting sunlight into the dark room. I had to shade my eyes as two or three men entered the room and lifted me to my feet. I was taken outside towards a small house 100 meters away. No one said a word.
They led me inside to an empty room with a window and two chairs. They shoved me into one of the chairs, turned and left.
Still no water.
I was starting to feel dizzy. That shed sucked the life out of me and this new room seemed no better. I stared around the room trying to make sense of events. What were they planning? The second chair must be for someone. But for whom? I looked at my chair, the floor beneath it. Good god…
The floor all around the chair -- it was stained. A dark, blood-red stain. I was seated in an execution chair. That’s when I heard the door open.