Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Emmanuel Closer to Finding Family

I wish you could all sit and listen firsthand to the stories of Emmanuel’s journey to find his family. Caito and Ema both loved the trip so much and can’t say enough about the people they met in Kenya and the hospitality that they were greeted with. The people of Busia went out of their way to help Ema and they had everyone from local officials, tribal leaders and taxi drivers on their team. Although one family was suspicious of his motives(did he want school fees or other support?), another family wanted to kill a goat and welcome him home just because they share the name Wasweta.

In my last post I wrote about a lead. Unfortunately, it was a false one. Although they haven’t found his father yet, they uncovered so much new information about who he is, and who his brothers are. On the last day of the trip, when everyone’s hopes were in the basement, they found out that Ema was not born in Kenya after all, but just across the Tanzanian border in a spot closer to Moshi. They learned that his mom had a drinking problem and Ema’s father tried to take in all three of his sons, but Ema was too young. They learned that Ema’s father was/is a tractor driver, and they even learned the name of a man he used to work for in Tanzania. They learned that for most of the trip they were operating under a false assumption about his tribe, based on his name. They now know for sure what tribe he belongs to in Kenya and where they are based. The problem was that they had to get Ema back to school and could not set off for a new town on the last day.

In November, we think we can send Ema back to Longai, Tanzania where his father was last known to be living. We are confident that he will find his brothers and/or father there. It's Tanzania, and we must wait.

Emmanuel and Caito want me to thank The Townsend Family along with Shane Hofeldt and coworkers. They add that "We are still trying. No retreat, no surrender"