Lado family looks to leave Emo

Christian Lado and his family only have been in Emo for about six months but he already knows it’s not for him.
No, it’s not the arrival of the grey, blustery days of November, though which already are “too, too cold” for the native Sudanese man.
No, the cold he could deal with. In fact, his four-year-old daughter, Knight, loved seeing the slushy white stuff for the first time last Friday morning, throwing on her pink Barbie coat to run outside.
Nor is it the village of Emo itself or the people in the community. In fact, Lado said he loves the area and has made some very good friends here.
While his life here in Canada is different in so many ways, most are elements he can grow accustom to. But what he can’t ignore is his dissatisfaction with the job market in Rainy River District.
“Canada is a very wonderful place for living, but when you look at employment, not too many jobs,” he remarked.
Yes, Lado currently has a job and some income, but he feels Winnipeg would be able to offer him and his family more.
Lado knows relocating to the Manitoba capital is not an easy task, and might not even be achievable in the near future, but he has dreams of making it there eventually.
Lado, his wife, Christine, and their two children, Knight and Malcolm, two, arrived in Emo this past spring thanks to the sponsorship of the Refugee Welcome Committee, which helped bring them from a Kenyan refugee camp to Rainy River District.
Since then, the couple has welcomed a third child into their family, a boy, Binyemin, who was born Sept. 11.
Lado first began his working career here in Canada as a carpenter for Peter Veldhuisen, which he thoroughly enjoyed because of his love of hard work and the fact he had worked in construction for many years prior to arriving here.
“I really enjoyed the job, but it was a young company and you don’t have enough jobs to do,” he explained. “I worked for two months—the first month was full-time and we really worked hard throughout, without counting our hours.
“And it was good money,” he added.
But in the second month, he said, things began to slow down and he had to find something else.
Lado has since got a job at the Canadian Tire store in Fort Frances. But while he said it is a good job, it’s not what he wants to be doing.
He said he “really works hard” but that there aren’t enough hours, explaining he only was scheduled for two days of work last week. However, he noted he soon will be getting full-time work and “it’s going to be all right.”
But still Lado worries about paying the bills. “I end up with a lot of headaches. Getting headaches every day, thinking too much about it” he remarked.
“The very important thing is the government bill, to pay the electricity bill, and also pay for sewage and water, and all those kinds of things,” he noted.
“And also the telephone. Telephone is very important for us in the house, and we have to maintain the bills because these things help us,” he stressed.
Lado believes he is a very strong person and would work two jobs in a day—if he could find another job to ensure financial security for his family.
“If I work full-time, from eight until five, I would come home and rest from six, seven, to eight, and at nine start work again until midnight,” he said. “Then I come back home.
“I was looking for such a place.”
Lado said he has some cousins and friends in Winnipeg who have told him he can get work like that in bigger cities, not small towns.
“Fort Frances is a very small town,” he noted. “And the competition is very high for the employers.”
Lado explained he is not used to small-town life because he “grew up in many cities. And in Africa, by Nairobi standards, he had a “good job and good pay.”
“In Winnipeg, there’s going to be a lot of jobs,” he said.
Lado said an Emo woman has given him a 1992 Volvo, but it still needs some work done on it, such as replacing the brake cables. As well, Lado must take a driver’s training course before he can get his licence and move to Winnipeg.
He tries to make some extra money selling articles of clothing he makes. Lado is a tailor and said it is a gift God gave him (it’s just something he picked up; he wasn’t formally taught how to sew).
He said he has a few customers in Emo, but not enough to establish his business.
“A customer just put in an order for six,” he noted, showing several pairs of pants he has finished.
Lado also noted fabric is cheaper in Winnipeg than in Emo, which would be better for his business. He could make and design wedding dresses as well as pants and dresses, but he often doesn’t have enough money for fabric.
Still, he is grateful Emo residents have been generous enough to offer their sewing machines.
Lado is confident he will be able to have a successful business in Winnipeg because of the larger population there.
And while he knows he might not be able to get there anytime soon, he has faith he will make it someday and be able to earn enough to keep is family financially stable.
“When you keep praying, God will give to you,” Lado said. “Because money is not meant for one person. The money is meant to rotate like the Earth.”