Jonathan is not only an optimist but also a courageous entrepreneur: even in the midst of uncertainty, he looks for opportunities at every step of the way to ensure the continued survival of his family. He is stubbornly enterprising in the midst of hopelessness and refuses to give in to despair.
With the one hundred and fifteen Biafran pounds he makes from "ferrying camp officials and their families across the four-mile stretch to the nearest tarred road," he pays an impoverished carpenter fifty Biafran pounds to put his little house back to move-in condition after the Nigerian Civil War. For material, he gets up earlier than any of the usual foragers and manages to rustle up some "old zinc and wood and soggy sheets of cardboard." When the windows, doors and roof are all fixed using these materials, he, his wife, Maria, and their three children move in joyfully.
While he is enterprising, he is also a pragmatist. Knowing that difficult times bring out an almost ferocious survival instinct in his fellow humans, he is especially careful to hide any money he earns from the eyes of his fellow survivors. He notes that days earlier, a man was robbed of twenty pounds by "some heartless ruffian."
Even though he loses the egg rasher money (twenty pounds) he earned from turning in rebel Igbo money to the Nigerian government (The Igbo tried to secede from Nigeria to start the Republic of Biafra but lost the battle for this right in the Nigerian War 1967-1970), Jonathan refuses to live like a victim. His personal adage is "nothing puzzles God." This personal faith is his courage to live life the way he does everyday.