Night Sounds in Guereda

G’s Journal – Day 2

the moon over GOZ Tonight it was not only the dogs making noise. Earlier this evening, as I was editing Day 2, a series of loud gunshots clapped hard against the dark sky, as if I was hearing them in a small empty room. It must have been five at first. Some more were heard immediately after, and they were coming from very close by. The shots startled me, but, and not trying to sound brave here, no big deal. I have heard shots on many of the nights I’ve been out in Eastern Chad. What was really disturbing, though, was what followed, the screaming and crying of many women. It sounded like in movies, loud and dramatic for the camera, but I’m pretty sure no film crew was out in the dirt streets of Guereda. I am only guessing, but it sounded as if someone had been shot, and the women were reacting in shock and pain.

Only the guards and a French aid worker were at our temporary Guereda home, and KTJ was washing her clothes in the bathroom with the water running, so I stood outside my room, but well inside of the barbed wire wall that surround the UNHCR compound. More shots rang again and then again. But this time they seemed to be coming from so very close. There was no more screaming or crying, though, so the shots lost some of their power. Some minutes after, Hala and Suzanne arrived from their office. They knew that there was some “excitement” out there, but were not in the least affected by it. No one talked about it, even when another solitary shot broke the night, when we were all in their living room watching some old i-ACT material.

Now (as I’m writing this it’s 2:00am), the only sound “breaking the night” is that of mosquitos that are taking turns in dive-bombing attacks on me. They are a lot more dangerous that what is going on outside of the walls. I’m taking my malaria pills, but doctors always tell me that they’re not good against all possible attacks. Besides malaria, there are very few things more annoying than the zzzzzzzing sound of mosquitos right around your ear!

Paz (please!)
g

Gabriel co-founded Stop Genocide Now in 2005, which gave birth to i-ACT in 2009.

He became involved in the situation in Darfur out of a sense of personal responsibility. He believes the power of community and compassion, combined with personal empowerment, can bring about meaningful change.

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Category: Day 2: Jan 20, 2008 · Tags: , , ,

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4 Responses to “Night Sounds in Guereda”
  1. Cory says:

    Hey G,

    This last entry definitely brought a heavy sense of reality into the picture, making your work even more inspiring. You ARE in fact changing the way the world responds to genocide.

    Stay safe,

    Cory

  2. Lisa says:

    We’ll pray for the safety of all you braving service along dangerous borders. Do you have mosquito netting? Are these being supplied at all in the refugee camps? Stay well and keep safe. ~ Lisa

  3. Ashley Straley says:

    Gabriel,

    To imagine a place where such noises of violence are so frequent is incomprehendable for most of us here. After watching the footage and seeing faces to the stories you tell and write about, I realize that these are not just stories, they are real, as real as any of us here. You are, every minute inspiring us, you have taken the first step for most of us, like myself and have opened a door where suddenly I feel a burning desire to make a stand and take action to end this. I hope that through your journey there, you will remember that everything you take in and pass on engages one more person to feel the way I am feeling now after reading your writings. Thank you.

    Continually inspired,
    Ashley Straley

  4. Mimi Schiff says:

    Dear Gabriel,
    I understand your middle of the night doubts, but also know that the universe rewards leaps of faith. This is what you do each time you set up Camp Darfur, advocate for Darfur and visit the camps.

    We all have middle of the night doubts, remember one thing, you may be one man, but you are supported by many. Your heart is joined to millions of other hearts and you will be victorious.

    Carl Jung a wonderful psychoanalyst believed in a universal collective consciousness. A like mindedness among people that if and when activated causes miracles. You are the eyes and ears of Darfur and the catalyst for world to use its collective consciousness to bring about peace in Darfur.

    When you wrote about the bullets, all I thought of were the children who also heard them. I cry for those afraid, and more for those who are no longer afraid because it is a normal part of their lives. This is why you do what you do. Why we all do what we do. For the children.

    Please keep yourself safe my prayers as always are with you and the team.
    Mimi Schiff

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