My return trip to Chad has been a bit surreal. The last time I was here, I was evacuated from my N’Djamena hotel by French military in an armored HV after two days of rebel attacks on the city – and one very intense moment as the rebels plastered our hotel with their machine guns. My teammates and I eventually made it out of the country via a French military plane to Gabon, a country to the southwest of Chad. Yet despite being in great physical danger, I don’t see this as the most dangerous moment of my life. Some may say I flirt with danger, but I say otherwise.
What do I see as being truly dangerous? Losing passion in life, being complacent or not believing in yourself and forgetting who you truly are. Possibly numbing oneself with food, drugs, television, or entertainment to make it through the day instead of living life. It is playing with fire when you stop following your dreams and you forget what is most precious to you. It is dangerous to accept life as it is; to play small and ignore that inner voice that is pushing you to your life’s calling.
So while visiting Chad and the refugee camps brings a bit of an inherent risk, I feel I am more likely to lose myself, my wife, or my family by tuning out rather than by following my passion and living my dream life.
However, following your dreams does come with some discomfort. My bag (the majority of my food and clothes) did not make it here to eastern Chad. Our plane was too small to accommodate all our luggage, which was mostly comprised of basic necessities for the team and tech equipment for the refugee camps. In a mad scramble at boarding time, we had to quickly decide which bags would stay and which would go. So with only two days of clean clothes, I either need to figure out how not to sweat in 100 degree desert heat for 8 hours straight – or my bag needs to get here soon.
Thank you all for all your support and joining us on this journey. We spend tomorrow in the camp and I am looking forward to it.
i-ACT footage from the 2006 battle of N’Djamena: