KTJ Answering Comments, 16 Jan 08
My dearest Mastora!
It is great to hear from you after our visit in Fort Wayne. Have you watched the video of our interview on our site? You can view it i-ACTzine issue 2! We will let you know how your friends are in the camps. We are currently in Abeche and leave for Guereda tomorrow morning. Please stay strong. With pressure from our friends worldwide, we will pressure the UN Security Council to stop the violence in your country!
Thanks your support from San Antonio! Today in Abeche we met with many students from the refugee camps, their advisors and one NGO that focuses on secondary education for those between the ages of 15-25. I will write more in my journal entry for today, but hopefully, as you said, teachers, students and community worldwide will be able to connect on this very basic human right. Education in itself can be the most empowering tool in an area where there is nothing more!
It was great to meet with Ann an 2nd time while we were in the capital! I have to admit that I was only half present with a few hours of sleep the previous day, and the meeting that Gabriel spoke about was even more inspiring than the first. We talked more about all the possibilities of strengthening UNHCR education programming through community-to-community connection! Once we return to the capital at the end of our trip, we will be sure to capture more of Ann on camera!
Ommie! (aka my mom)
The words of Ghandi ring very true in any country and with any social society. In this instance, from the place I am writing, the words that stick out in my mind on this journey are as follows:
Wealth – Can you have wealth without corruption? Or will there always be a hierarchy of winners and losers?
Humanity – What we fight so hard for as activists, but sometimes it can get lost in maintaining the status quo.
Commerce – We past a small market in Abeche today as we ran around gathering numerous signatures…young women were selling what looked like Heirloom tomatoes, a variety that is slowing being replaced by GE tomatoes in the States – commerce is always relative to culture.
Conscience – We all must be global citizens, and that starts in your own community. Thousands upon thousands of refugees are resettled in the States every year – when was the last time you reached out your hand and heart to a community beyond your comfort zone?
Hola Mimi y Gabo!
My mom in Laguna is eating tuna in solidarity with your dad and me! Today the streets changed even more drastically when we reached Abeche! More donkeys and goats then cars, and I finally saw the universal three-wheeled taxis which are sometimes called rickshaws or tuk-tuks! We will be posting video of it all soon! Be well!
My beloved housemate and friend LOLA (2-legged)!
First off please have a house hug with all the animals, MJ and the new roommate, Eryn! Hope VG is doing well, he should be off his meds by now, thank you soooo much for taking care of my big kitty, I know he is not always the best housemate! Home is a location, a place of rest and for reflection. But home is also in the heart. On this journey, and with many of the people you will meet through i-ACT, home remains ever present in our minds. It is the small reminders and the bigger memories imprinted in our minds forever, no matter where we physically find ourselves. Thank you for all your on our home as I travel in Chad, I am forever grateful to have you in my home and heart.
I too hope that i-ACT and all the work that our team does can, in the long term, break down the walls of indifference and disparity between our worlds. We had a smooth landing in Abeche and then spent a few hours maneuvering through trash filled streets with more animals than people. As you said, most people love their countries and their homes, but disparities still remain. UNHCR here in Abeche has asked us to speak more with the local Chadian IDPs about their situation. They have mentioned that at this time, the situation in the camps is better than the situation in local villages and for Chadians displaced from their homes. The resentment that this disparity alone must create. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that international aid organizations are doing a better job of helping a population that a government is for its own people. But I guess that is why we are here…because governments and leaders don’t always do the right thing. I look forward to hearing more about your reflections as you watch and interact with i-ACT4!
My crew in Beaverton: Dan, Kendy and Irem!
Thank you so much for bringing more people to the site and spreading the word – this grassroots action is exactly what our community is all about! Dan – reread your Onion encyclopedia entry on Chad– most everything rings true, and its always a good laugh!
Thanks for asking your students to watch and interact! One thing that you could do at Clackamas High School is watch the videos in your Jr and Sr classes. All you need is an internet connection! Did you find the resources for the viewing party to prep your kids with? Hope planning for Genocide Awareness Month and JP’s Oregon visit is building!