A Sad Goodbye…

Moi Emmanuel (2)

This week, IRI said goodbye to a former employee who will be remembered for his gentle spirit and quiet disposition. Moi Emmanuel Elia was IRI’s Administration and Procurement Officer in our Juba, South Sudan office. He was one of the nicest individuals I have met during my time with IRI. I was shocked to hear that he passed away on Monday night. It turns out he had a heart condition and eventually his heart had taken all it could handle. I will forever remember his smile and silent laugh.

I met Moi when I arrived in Juba in August 2013. He was the one responsible for making sure that IRI’s expatriate staff was up-to-day with the immigration office. When it came time for me to get my six month visa, Moi told me that I would need to accompany him to the immigration office. It was an extremely hot day and the immigration office was a series of buildings connected by an open courtyard. When we arrived at the office, the staff person we needed to see was at lunch so they told us to wait. Moi sat patiently waiting for the officer to return from lunch. His posture showed no stress or uncomfortableness with the weather. I on the other hand was drifting somewhere between the conscious world and the unconscious world. It was so hot and on this particular day, I was wearing a sports coat and tie.  I wanted to return to the office but Moi suggested we wait. After nearly an hour, the officer returned, said a few words to Moi and directed us to the next office, where again we had to wait for another officer to return. We bounced between four or five offices that day to get my six month visa. However, after nearly two hours, we had the visa and were resting comfortably in the car. Once again, Moi showed no effect of the ordeal. I couldn’t wait to get back to the compound to talk about my experience (and the air condition).

I wished that I had more time to get to know Moi. Our time together ended abruptly when I, along with other IRI expats left the country on December 18, 2013. We chatted a few times through Skype and Facebook but never more than exchanging pleasantries and briefly catching up on life. It seems that he was taken from this earth way too soon but I have no doubt that God has a plan and I am delighted that my life crossed paths with Moi. He will be missed…

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