Friend brings Sunshine

Emmanuel Ontoyen is my friend. I grew to appreciate him during our 2005-2006 stint. He is always forthright and honest and sincerely kind. He never asks for favors but you feel like giving them. He is a watchman for the high school but does lots of driving. He is paid little. The pay does not diminish his desire to do well.

This visit Emmanuel has been sick. He has painful hemmoriods that are persistant. There is no smile just a look of concern as he is used to being strong and healthy. Then his younger sister died. Along with the sadness was the responsibility of the senior brother to manage the cost of buriel and funeral. Emmanuel , a man of few dollars bore the responsibiity while being in physical and now emotional pain. Then a nephew came to him the senior brother in need of tuition for high school. While coping with this, Emmauel gets Malaria. No money. Sick with fever, grieving, off to gather loans or gifted money from friends. Finally, his brother is involved in a serious motorbike accident. His jar is broken on each side. One wonders if this is a test put upon the family.

He is now on the other side of the most of his problems. The sister is buried, the nephew is in school. Malaria is over and Emm’s handshake is firm and strong. He will travel to be with his brother on Thursday. He will take part in a war dance on Friday. Emmanuel is well-known in the community to be the most dramatic interpreter of the dance. Emmanuel is smiling again and we are all smiling with him. He loves his family – three daughters and his wife Faustina. He loves his friends and village. He loves his Catholic church. Because of him, we love life just a litle more too.

Emmanuel Ontoyen of Kongo, Ghana