05 Feb 08 – Morning in Libreville
The clouds roll in heavy over the ocean and reach the base with a scattered thunder. The sounds of Gabon, including drumming last night, are refreshing after the sounds of war. We are waiting for our flight to Paris, then to LA. For my sisters and brothers in Portland, I will be home on the 12th (anyone up for an airport run and a Maker’s & ginger?).
My emotions have been all over the place the last few days and I cannot help but think about what it all would be like if I had been walking for 10 days with several kids, a few of which might need to nursed, with no military biscuits or bottled water. Every time something in me shifts, from emotions of anxiety to calmness, to annoyance, to fear to feeling loved and supported by all of you, I cannot help but think how much more they are amplified for the refugees, and how consistent they have been for five years.
Waiting in line in the mess hall for mystery meat encrusted in something yellow…the first food distribution with crowds willing to trample one another to reach a grain for the family. Waiting, waiting and waiting for help from other people…Adam and Fatna echoed one another’s frustration with the international community and begged for more help. I am lucky enough to have regular internet connection to you…but for our friends in the camps, the connection to the outside world mostly consists of aid workers and SGN visiting the camps. Feeling my community through words and emails…remembering the numerous “Shookraan” (thank you’s) we received from refugees after we passed on your words and emotions to them.
It’s been rather hard to find a place to recharge here on base, but once we did, I had a chance to read all of your comments. And I am overwhelmed by the movement that has been formed and momentum we have created, you have created, as a community. I feel your words in my heart and I long for a hug from many of you. Especially my mom and those of you in Portland, who are too many to name here, who have always supported me in anything I have done and who I know will be waiting for my return once I leave LA.
Thank you again for all your support and action that you have produced around the world, our community has grown significantly because of you.
The rain here as stopped for the moment and we are checking on flights. It’s 9am and there hasn’t been much movement outside in the large field where registration tents have been set up for the past few days. In the lounge we were taken to find electricity, we are watching “Little Miss Sunshine,” albeit in French, which makes me laugh and remember home. We will keep everyone updated on our progress and we will see you soon.
A special note to Mimi, Gabo, Irais, and Zahara: I am sorry that my words in my last entry upset you. I know that Gabriel is in a very different situation than myself. And the SGN team will think very carefully about what our next moves will be. Again, I am sorry that they affected you the way they did, please accept my apologies.
PS: I am grounded anyways, in LA and in Portland!