Night in N’D—waiting.
It is past 1am in the capital of Chad. There has only been sporadic fighting, since the sun went down. I assume and hope that fighters need the rest and will take it easy for the night. Another better hope is that the fighting is over, and the people of Chad will begin a peaceful rebuilding of their city.
We were not evacuated, as we had hoped for. More than half of the people here were evacuated, including UN personnel and others (I’m not exactly sure of criteria, but they did not want Americans at that time). The people here are all huddled in to the dining area, where they brought in some of the cushions from the outside chairs for people to sleep on. Most are sleeping, after an exhausting day.
Right now, mosquitoes are one immediate, annoying problem. Snoring could be one, with some lions in the snoring department in the room, but it sounds even comforting to hear people resting and not talking about what happened or what might happen next.
I just cannot help but reflect on the days before coming back to N’D, the ones we spent in the camps with Darfuri refugees. The little children that we met went through horrors many times worse than we are going through here. As I sit here on the floor of the hotel restaurant after a day of craziness, I cannot imagine what it does to a child to endure living through extreme violence and then be sitting for years for help to come.