Fenosoa and his grandfather have a really special connection. They share a hut in their village, “because he loves me,” explains Papa Denis with a two-tooth grin.
It was Papa Denis who heard on the radio about Mercy Ships coming to Madagascar and providing free surgeries for people with specific conditions.
They were elated. Five years earlier, Fenosoa had been born with a cyst on the side of his abdomen that had grown along with the boy. It looked like an army water canteen tucked beneath his skin, and his friends teased him about it.
So, 86 year-old Papa Denis and his beloved grandson began their intrepid expedition. Together with a friend to carry their supplies, they walked for five long days through bushlands to reach the public transport.
Over three more days, minis buses brought them progressively closer to their destination; the Mercy Ship in the port of Toamasina and the surgery that Fenosoa desperately needed!
Fenosoa and his GrandPa chatted constantly as he recovered from surgery in the Mercy Ships ward. He was so excited his one-pound cyst was removed, and laughingly declared, “I don’t know what happened. I was sleeping, and when I woke up, it was gone! I am very happy.” No longer would the growth make him fall over, or be the subject of ridicule from his friends.
Fenosoa can’t wait to get back to his village. Back to endless soccer matches and marbles; rowdy games played by little boys around the world regardless of the language they speak.