Alpha Goes Faster than the Sun

G’s Journal—day 8Today was another travel day, and we felt it. We left Goz Beida and Camp Djabal a lot later than I would have wished for, 1:15pm. That made it way too tight for traveling from Abeche to Farchana by car. We flew in to Abeche at about 2pm, with a few errands to run, but I felt the pressure to get out, so that we did not get caught by darkness before reaching our next “home.” We were quick in refueling the car, getting more water, and loading up on some bread, and got out of town by 3pm, which gave us about three hours of light, exactly what it takes to drive to Farchana at a fairly easy pace.Bouba filming We had only driven small distances with Alpha, our driver, so I was not sure how fast we would go out on the open, bumpy roads. It did not take long to see that he was more than OK with stepping on it and staying under control. It was not exactly comfortable in the back of that car. With Jeremiah, Josh, KTJ, and I squeezed in there, it is good that we like each other.It felt good to be in the car, even with breathing of sand, being shaken to the core, and inability to move because of the tightness. It is that feeling that I remember from the first i-ACT, when we drove for days all the way up to Camp Oure Cassoni, right on the border with Darfur. It is euphoric at times, with northern African and French rap playing in the stereo, and the Toyota speeding through the dessert, leaving a big cloud of sand behind.LeilaWhat did not feel good was not being able to stop at Gaga. I was very tempted to tell Alpha to turn left at the Y on the road that would have gotten us there, but my internal voice told me to keep it safe and not risk driving in the dark. We’ll get to see Gaga and little Leila on our way back after Farchana.I’m so much looking forward to going to Farchana. It really does feel like family there. I think about them every day when I’m back in the US, the same way I’m thinking about my own family right now. I feel guilty for being away for so long, especially with Gabo. Three weeks is such a long time in the life of a four year old. With Mimi and Zahara, my mom, brothers and sister I can write, and they have been keeping me company through technology, although I still very much miss them.Paz,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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14 Responses to “Alpha Goes Faster than the Sun”
  1. Lisa says:

    Gabe, these were beautiful words and video to transport us all the way to Farchana with you. (The music was nice, however, I was beginning to feel the bumps and taste the sand!). Glad you stayed safe and resisted the turn to Gaga. Little Leila and Gabo want you safe, too! We can hardly wait to see the reaction of Mansur as he sees you donning the shirts embellished with his drawing! Enjoy your connections in Farchana. Give them all Texas-size hugs from us!

    Paz,

    Lisa
    San Antonio

  2. connie says:

    Hola Hermano,
    I am with you guys on that bumpy road! I look forward to your visit with our family in Farchana and Gaga.I am hoping that the tremendous effort that is always put into the i-ACT trips will inspire and move people to do what is right.Please say hi to everyone.
    Amor y Paz,Connie.
    Monterrey,Mexico.

    • Gabriel says:

      Hey Connie!

      Everyone remembers you in Farchana. Guisma is so beautiful and always around. Aljafis is looking good but still wearing the clothes you saw him in. I’ve been saying hi from you to all of them!

  3. Hey Gabe,

    The travelling video was a joy to watch – you all look so well; so light and enthusiastic.

    J & J arriving – coupled with the impending meet-up with i-ACT’s resident artist Mansur and Miss Cutie-Pie Leila – seems to have lifted the spirits.

    I can’t imagine that Gabo, Mimi, Zahara and the clan would want you to feel a moment of guilt about being away for 3 weeks though.

    You’ll be back with them before you know it …. and then wondering and thinking about friends in Chad :)

    Enjoy being reunited with old friends and meeting new ones – and I can’t wait to see the videos of the kids…. Mansur’s face when he sees the t-shirt, Leila’s face when she sees YOU and Gabo’s toys and drawings … all of them.

    G. xxxx

  4. Teresa says:

    Hey Gabe,
    That sure did look like a bumpy road. Glad you played it safe, we’re all anxious to catch up with Leila again but we’ll be patient. Also can’t wait to see Mansur’s reaction to the t-shirts. I wore mine yesterday, Friday, to work and dinner in solidarity, support, and in accordance to the action of the day. I did have a couple people ask me about it.
    Hey Michael V. (our nephew), great idea!
    Looking forward to the next 3 days.
    Teresa

    • Gabriel says:

      Hey Tere!

      Yes, we’ll get to go to Gaga soon enough, and we’ll leave Farchana early enough, so that we have some good time with Leila. We did not get to see Mansur out here this time, but everyone has loved the t-shirts with his drawings. Thanks for wearing yours for Darfur Friday!

  5. Irais says:

    Hola Gabe,

    Me imagino lo contento que se va a poner Mansur cuando vea su dibujo en las playeras y Leila de verte otra ves. No te sientas culpable de estar tanto tiempo lejos de Gabo , el sabe que tu estas ayudando alos ninos de Africa y eso lo tiene muy contento que ” su papi” este asiendo este maravilloso trabajo.
    Cuidate mucho y aqui te seguiremos dia a dia.

    • Gabriel says:

      Hola Irais!

      Si, lo bueno es que si se que Gabo entiende, pero lo extrano y a Mimi y a todos ustedes. Extrano tanto la casa y muchicimo la comida! Wow, que hambre tengo. No me he sentido lleno, como nos sentimos despues de nuestras buenas cenas ahi, en much tiempo! Nos vemos pronto!

  6. Mimi Stauring says:

    Hola Papi,

    Today the whole family watched the video together, so right now me and Gabo are both siting on the couch writing this message. Gabo and me are both really happy that you will be seeing Leila soon in Farchana. The family is missing you very much too. Gabo is always asking “Caundo viene Papi?”
    MISS YOU VERY MUCH!!!
    Mimi, Gabo, & Mami

    • Gabriel says:

      Hola Mimi!

      Thank you so much for your great note and for having Gabo there with you. Tell him that I’m coming home soon, and that we’ll go to the beach and to eat and have fun. I miss you both a lot. Thank you for being such a strong girl, mi Mimi hermosa.

  7. Zahara says:

    Hola Mi Chavo,

    Yo te extrano un monton pero siempre te apoyare en todo lo que haces. Genocidio no es cosa simple y tu has puesto corazon, tiempo y todo….no tiene palabra todo lo que haces por la humanidad STAURING TENIAS QUE SER y siempre estare contigo, estamos creciendo juntos como siempre dices y aqui haces falta pero nos conforta al ver lo que haces, siempre estaremos contigo. Mimi, Gabo estan orgullosos de ti y de mi no se diga te Amo. Dale un abrazo muy fuerte a Leila y dile que aqui tiene una familia que la quiere y ojala algun dia podamos conocernos en persona.
    Dile a Mansur que con orgullo vestimos su camiseta con el dibujo y siempre llevaremos el mensaje para que mas gente se una ala causa.
    Abrazos
    Z.

    • Gabriel says:

      Hola Zaharita!

      Gracias por tu bonita nota y por el apoyo y por ser tan buena mama. Los extrano tanto pero se que la familia siempre esta fuerte contigo ahi. Muchos besos para ti y pasaselos a mis chiquitos. Ya siento que regreso pronto.

  8. Charles D. says:

    Hi Gabe,
    I was travelling in Israel, Phily and back and just cathching up on the videos.
    I’m going to send the links to the family back in Israel. We talked about the situation of the Darfuris that have settled there and they seem to be happy there. Israel has been kind to them accommodating them and giving them work.
    Take care and see back here soon.
    Charles

    • Gabriel says:

      Hello Charles:

      I hope you had a good trip to Israel. I have heard of how the families that made it out there have felt very welcomed and are able to live a comfortable life. I wish it was as comfortable for the ones that are here in Chad. See you soon, Charles!

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