i-ACT: Day Seven

Commenting back
12:41 pm

Hola Mom! Me estoy poniendo bastante protector de sol y trato de encontrar una sombrita cuando puedo. Como estas tu y todos por alla? Yo aca enfocandome en cada dia y en la gente que voy conociendo. Los extano mucho pero los siento cerca. Un abrazo. Tu hijo el quinto y como dicen, no hay quinto malo.

Linda and Ana, thanks for your thoughts and prayers, and give a big hug to all at G&BT.

Rachel, JC, Teresa, Javi y toda la familia, thanks for staying with me. This is just about as remote as you can get on this earth, but with all of your notes and knowing of all of the work you are doing back home to spread i-ACT, I still feel that I am surrounded by family. Today I spoke with a family that said that many in their family are separated, in other camps or in Sudan, and they have not heard from them in months. I do not think I could handle that.

Primo Deniel, desde Monterrey, Mexico, gracias por tus palabras. Un abrazo a ti a toda tu familia. Saludos a la ciudad que todavia concidero mi hogar.

Alan from Seattle, thanks for sharing i-ACT with other teachers. Middle school is the perfect time to start teaching about important issues, such as the crisis in Darfur. From the very beginning, I’ve wanted i-ACT to be a tool for educators. We have to work so that in the future the world will be much more responsible, and the children is where it’s at.

Liz, prima, gracias. Saludos a tu familia.

Back to Mile
7:36 pm

The children make going to the camp a joy. As we were walking back from interviewing Idriss and his family at their home, we went past a school. The children came running towards us, shaking our hands and greeting us, “Sabah! Sabah! Sabah!” It was also great to hear the children singing, repeating what the teacher was saying. We will definitely have to spend a day at school.

For Day 7, you will again see Idriss. I’ll let you watch the video, so you can hear the story directly from him and his family.

Martin, from CCF, came to visit us at our bungalow this afternoon. I’m telling you, he’s just a great guy…and a very bright guy also, with deep insight into the human condition in times of crisis. He is a passionate man that remains powered by compassion, even when exhausted from working in challenging conditions day after day. We will go see Martin in action on Monday.

I really hope we are doing a good job in sharing at least part of what we are seeing and living out here. I am far from a professional journalist, documentarist, or anything close to either. At times I feel very inadequate at meeting the responsibility I set out for myself. I don’t dwell on it though. There’s too much to do. Please feel free to let me know when I make mistakes, when I miss things, or how I can improve in any way. I will certainly try to make adjustments and do my best.

Paz

Coming soon: Gulu to Darfur Peace Tiles
8:15 pm

I was talking with Martin about identifying some children, 18 to be exact, to which we can present the Peace Tiles, as a gift coming all the way from Gulu, Uganda, through Los Angeles, California. Please read more about the peace tiles here: (http://www.stopgenocidenow.org/tiles/). I am so excited about this project within our project. The children of Gulu are going through their own struggles and abuses. Even though, they found the power within themselves to create these beautiful works of art as a message of peace for their brothers and sisters of Darfur. It is a great lesson for us adults. It is easy to focus on ourselves and those people and things that are immediate to us. We have to shift our thinking to realize that any human is immediate to us. Children get it.

Paz

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.

Comments

comments

Comments

19 Responses to “i-ACT: Day Seven”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey Gabe and Chris!

    Gabe, I identify so strongly with your mixed feelings…joy in meeting the people of Mile and sadness that their struggle is so difficult, and unnecessary.

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words….a video must be worth a million.

    I marvel at their resilience. The kid’s radiant smiles warm my heart. I feel like I know them.

    Please continue to talk to all of them about the great love your friends and family feel for them. Seeing the beautiful families in the camp has reenergized my commitment to do as much as possible to help them have a safe return home. That’s not asking for much at all!

    Much LOVE!
    Javi

  2. pam says:

    Gabriel and Chris,

    I just read your brother’s message to you, and found it so eloquent, I am almost at a loss for words…almost!

    Today’s video posting transports us to the camp. I had the feeling I was walking with you.

    You asked for questions:
    Is there a school in this camp? If so, could you show us and talk to the teacher and students? Do they have any school supplies? What do they study?

    Everyone in my family is viewing your postings and the blog, including my 95 year-old mother who is visiting us this week.

    We all send our love and support!
    Pam

  3. Rachel says:

    Gabriel and Chris,

    Today’s video fills me up with energy. Energy to try to do everything in mt power to help the beautiful people of Darfur. I loved seeing the faces of the children. It’s amazing how they still smile and never lose hope.

    Thanks for bringing these images to us.

    All my support and prayers,

    Rachel

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hey Gabriel,
    I have praying with lots of devotion and said grace for your health and safe return back home. It seems that everywhere you go it is hard not to notice your charisma;especially with the children trying to be around you during the filming. Hope to see you soon. Maria from Mount St. Mary’s College

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Gabriel,
    The video of you in the camp today is great–you have an excellent companion working the camera, and we hear you speaking quite clearly. I love all your questions and your interpreter’s interesting answers as you roam the camp, and it’s impressive to see how creative and hardworking the people are as they try to establish a temporary life in the camps that may unfortunately stretch into the future too many months, or years. The kids are an inspiration to all of us. I look forward to publishing another informative story in the Post when you return, accompanied by photos of you in the camps. We need still photos of you in the camps that we can run in the paper. Best of luck for you and the people you are meeting.
    Warm regards,
    Bill Bruns
    Palisadian-Post

  6. David Goyette says:

    Gabriel,

    From the students of Tierrasanta Classroom of The Charter School of San Diego and your friends here in La Mesa, we wish you continued success and safe travels. We are all excited and filled with hope to see you interacting with the children, mothers and fathers of Sudan. We will continue to support Stop Genocide Now and visit the site daily for updates.

    Love,

    David and Tanya
    San Diego, CA

  7. Anonymous says:

    a sup gabriel your videos are getting very intresting haha well just wanted to say hi because i havent seen you in a long time and i mostly see you every day and that the hole family misses you and we hope you good luck
    later then tio gabriel that i wish you the best

    MICHAEL V

  8. teresa says:

    Hi Gabe,
    By reading the other comments posted today I think that what we were all most impacted by is seeing how these children and adults alike are still able to put smiles on their faces after being displaced from their homes and living in these extreme conditions. It’s amazing to see the survival instinct and how they learn to use everything around them almost like in prehistoric times.
    Do the refugees have a leader that they choose to somewhat guide them?
    Do they have any crime in the camps amongst themselves such as theft?
    Who sends the textiles they use to make their clothing and many of the other products they sell in the market?
    You and Chris are doing a great job in capturing this powerful story and I’m sure it will have the impact you and all of us are looking for.
    Un abrazo. Teresa

  9. Anonymous says:

    Dear Gabe,
    Thank you for your courage, you have my ongoing support. I know that your efforts will be rewarded and I will try my best to spread the word about the wonderful and strong people featured in your video. I have much faith in the resilient people you have met and you are an inspiration for all.

    God bless,
    Shannon

  10. gina says:

    Hi Uncle Gabriel:

    I have been thinking about you. I hope you are safe. I saw Day six and I see you are ok. I saw the people and wondered what they were feeling. I saw how they are living, almost like Indians. Please take care!
    Love, Andrez

  11. Anonymous says:

    Gabriel well you are there could you find out if there is a reliable orginization on the ground there that we would be able to send a container to.

    We have 10 barrels containing 500,000 cups of dehydrated soup mix along with nails, clothes ect.

    If you could find out what they really need in the camps, then we could try and find it to put in the container.

    Take care and be safe.

    Ray B

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hi Gabe and Chris and everyone else.

    Please excuse me for not writing earlier, but I’m technologically challenged.

    I like and love all you have done, and feel inspired to do more myself. It’s strange to think that there is this genocide going on like the genocides of the past. We heard about them in history but they seem too horrible to be real. Well, we can believe it because you are filming it right now!!!
    Even though there is no rational way to explain all this, it’s happening. And even though this genocide stands as a clear example of how our institutions and sccieties as a whole are dysfunctional, we need them to help stop the genocide.
    So here are some things that I plan to do along these lines to do something positive.
    Call in to radio shows to mention I-ACT and the genocide.
    Call news media as a concerned listener to ask why they are not covering this.
    Ask to make presentations at organizations you are associated with.
    Print up, pass out and leave out flyers for I-ACT and the genocide, everywhere I go by copying the flyers I have.
    Print up bumper stickers for my car and others to make NOISE.

    Please hold me to these personal goals and help me because I don’t really how to go about doing most of these such as making affordable bumper stickers………Thanks Tony

  13. Lidia Tilahun says:

    Hi Gabriel and Chris!Im back from my trip and i read all your posts. Tomorrow is pali’s student task force meeting and i’ll finally get to see your videos!!! I wanted to know how many meals are given at the camps? How far are the camps from the city, and since they are in a remote probally desert area, how is drinking water found and is it enough? Where do the Sudanese people sleep at the refugee camps, and how many people per sleeping area? I want to again thank you both for everything you’ve done so far.

    PEACE

  14. jc says:

    Hello Gabe & Chris,
    Once more great work from Africa on day 7. Today’s video really brings things to perspective, seeing this dignified, and beautiful families home and hearing your conversation with them. There are many women in this family, and I’m sure safety is a priority not only for them but all whom are in the camps.
    I believe if the hand full of US government officials whom hold so much power, visit the refugees camps, and came in to their homes as you have, this crisis would end much faster as the shame of allowing this to happen would be to much of a burden on any human being. My hope today is that at the very least your images make their way to their computer screens or televisions sets in order to bring about improvement and change in the area.

    Stay safe, great work by both of you.

  15. Anonymous says:

    hola Gabe:congratulations, great job.It is important to
    me to know what questions the refugees have of us and what is most urgent to them now and subsequently.realistically what can I do to improve their situation?So far as you as an outsider what do you see to be the first need of the people?
    Connie

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hey papi,

    I just saw the day seven. It was great but also sad. Finaly I can meet people who live in Africa and how they live. Remeber that I’ll be watching you every day and that I miss you a whole butch.
    love,
    Mimi

  17. Tatiana Guevara says:

    Hi,Iam a pali student, I wish you that best, I know that God is taking care of you, and he is happy of what you are doing, I am praying for you, I know thta everything will be great. I know that is hard to be in your position, but God knows your heart and he knows that you want to help other,

    usted es una persona de admirar y muy especial,Recuerde que DIOS lo ama y esta con usted en todo momento y en sus decidiones.

    I know that your family are proud of you , eventhough is a big risk,

    espero que me escriba , porque lo que esta haciendo usted por esas lindas personas es muy grande y de gran bendicion

    God bless you,

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hey Guys,
    I just wanted to let you know that I am keeping up with your blog and the video journals. I shared them withmy family over the break also. Your work is definatly not going unnoticed. Everyone is in admiration of how brave you are to bring light to somthing that has been in the dark for too long. Thank you thank you.
    Lots of love from Pali high,
    Melissa Purner

  19. Anonymous says:

    amamizing video

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