Assistant TO the Chief Security Officer: One Love
(Ok, so I just had to say it like that for you Office fans. It’s a great way to take a load off at the end of the day in Liberia…or anywhere)
One Love’s main duty is to provide us with hours of entertainment. He usually does his job the best between when we finish eating dinner and when the generator gets turned on…there’s only so much you can do when it’s too dark inside to be inside, but not dark enough to warrant turning on the generator. He also donates is mean bark when there’s something wrong, and lately his deep-bellied cries have served as my wakeup call. He’s absolutely hilarious and dumb…which tends to be the kind of pets I have anyway. He’s recently discovered life outside of our fence, and tries to sneak out at any possible opportunity. Right before I left Liberia, One Love went outside the fence and came back with an injured back foot. He spent the last few days hopping around on 3 legs, which was pretty funny. Life is rough outside the fence! I think I’m actually going to miss One Love for the few months that I’m gone.
Security Guard #1: Emmanuel
Emmanuel is my security guard from 6pm-6am seven days a week! He is 24 years old, and is in the 12th grade. I don’t know how he functions with his grueling schedule. I have spent many evenings on the front porch with Emmanuel, listening to his amazing stories of surviving Liberia’s civil wars…he should have been dead, more than once. He was taken to Guinea when he was 7 years old by the Red Cross, and lived in a refugee camp for 4+ years. When he came back to Monrovia once things calmed down, he walked 4 hours a day to go to school! Emmanuel became a street hustler/money changer/scratch card seller, but his friend accused him of stealing, which landed him in Monrovia Central Prison. He became our security guard after he was released from an 8 month stint in prison. Emmanuel’s life was changed through Prison Fellowship and Emmanuel faithfully goes to the prison every Saturday to minister to the guys who are experiencing what he once experienced. Emmanuel has a tendency to show up for work late, is usually wearing a big puffy pastel orange down jacket (since it’s so cold here!), and after making his presence known, he usually wanders back outside of the fence for awhile. He likes to sit on top of the wall with One Love to watch the neighborhood kids play. He also likes to lift his homemade weights, and he’s a loyal generator starter and water bucket filler-upper. Emmanuel hopes to go to college to study business or economics…but he’s also interested in social work.
Security Guard #2: Foday
Foday is the newest addition to the ORR staff in Liberia. Apparently he used to always come by our gate and ask if we had any jobs available. When our other security guard quit, we knew exactly who would like a job. Foday’s been with us for only 3 weeks now, so I haven’t gotten to know him as well as the others, and haven’t discovered too many quirks yet. He either works 10pm-10am or 6am-6pm shift (alternates with Momo). Foday has a lovely wife and two sons (9 & 12 years old). He never fails to ask how my morning/night is, and usually sticks around after his shift has ended. He’s good at making bread and egg runs in the morning. He hopes to one day be able to go to college so that he can provide for his family in a more substantial way.