Childhood recurring nightmare comes true

Location Hotel room in Warri | Mood Really tired | Date 19 April 2006
Author (full name): 
Franny Armstrong
Hotel room in Warri
Really tired
Premiership football on the hotel TV
For no apparent reason, Robinson put my leg between his and twisted my knee really hard. Now can barely walk.
19 April 2006
Current crisis: 
Trousers falling down due to extreme weight loss. Not able to go out to buy belt cos of kidnap risk. Microphone lead deputising.

Nigerian breakfast - the custard was seriously scaryCold, hard custard and dry white bread for breakfast anyone? The plaintain is lovely.

Two of our most crucial items were stolen the other day: our mossie repellent and my glasses. Of course I have some spares with me, but back in Robinson's wife's house (he's got a wife? why does he keep asking me to marry him?) in Port Harcourt where we left everything not considered crucial. Which means I'm wearing contact lenses all day and then going to sleep blindly fearful of my recurring nightmare playing itself out: I wake up, something terrible is going on, can't find glasses, can't do anything about terrible thing.

So not the ideal time to stay in one of the most dangerous areas of the planet. Tried not to think about it, as Lizzie and I settled into the Chief of the village's bed. A few hours later we were woken by frenzied knocking and shouting on the window. I blindly and randomly shouted back and eventually all went quiet. Turns out it was the Chief's wife's fishing partner, who always knocks her up at 2am. What we thought was, "Get out now with your hands in the air or the whole town gets it!!" was actually, "Good morning, are you ready to head off in the boat now?".

So then when we were filming Layefa fishing a few hours later, and a gang of twenty half-dressed, dope-smoking angry young men from the next village tied our boat to theirs and shouted for half an hour or so, we just assumed it was another low-key chat about the weather and carried on filming. Then Robinson went green and firmly took the camera off me. Turned out that they were threatening to kill Lizzie and me and sell all our gear. But, by some mad coincidence, one of them turned out to be Robinson's second cousin (or something), so he managed to talk them down.

Which may sound like a dramatic turn of events, but was nothing compared to the discovery of two new items of available food now we are back in the city. First: beans. Beans, beans, beans, beans, beans. Second: what I heard as "coco roots". Coconut roots? Sounds veggie, isn't peanuts, give it a go. Turned out to be Quaker Oats, i.e. porridge! Yahey. So our new diet is porridge for breakfast, peanuts for lunch and beans and chips for dinner.