Day 20: Dec 9, 2005

i-ACT Day Twenty

Commenting back
9:05 pm

No sabes el gusto que me dio leer tu comentario. Me saludas mucho a tu familia y a todos en Monterrey. Si, yo tambien me acuerdo mucho de nuestros tiempos juntos de jovenes (no que estemos viejos…para nada !). Le platicaba aqui a mi companero, Chris, que nos suviamos al techo de mi casa en Monterrey a tomar ron con coca y platicar sobre la existencia y nuestra razon de ser. Yo tambien espero que pronto podamos pasar rato juntos y me falta conocer a tus chiquillos ! Un abrazo mi Chacho.

Chacho is and I grew up together in Monterrey, Mexico. He now lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife and children. We have stayed close friends. We had many adventures together, along with some other friends and my younger brother Juan Carlos, who has been helping with i-ACT.

9:15 pm

It’s Saturday night in Abeche, Chad. We’ve been advised that UNHCR has called for a curfew tonight, recommending that everyone abstain from going out. There has been a noticeable increase in the military presence in town. We have also heard that three generals have resigned from the Chadian military, which probably means increased instability in all of the country. I was somewhat glad that we would be staying in Abeche, instead of N’Djamena, for the next couple of days, thinking that I felt more at ease with the security here compared with the capital. Now I’m not so sure. We have our seats reserved for the Tuesday morning Abeche-to-N’Djamena flight, and our flight to Paris leaves Wednesday night (actually Thursday, 12:30am).

If anyone finds any information on Chad’s current situation, feel free to post it here on a comment.

Congratulations Mimi!
12:55 am

Mimi’s soccer team won the championship! :-) Felicidades Mimi!
Te extrano mi Chiquita, pero ya pronto voy. Un abrazo y un beso. A todas las familias de aqui les platico de ti.
Tu papi.

5 replies on “i-ACT Day Twenty”

Hurray! Finally you are in the midst of coming home. I had a question; Do you know if the Sudanese refuees from Darfur in the Chad refugee camps the new generation of children born in those camps are they viewed by the Chad government as their citizens?

Maria N.
Mount St. Mary’s College (Soc. 164)

Mi chavo,

No se exactamente que este pasando alla. Las noticias aca no dicen mucho. Pero todos sabemos lo arriesgado que es donde tu estas ahora. Lo unico que puedo decir cuidate mucho, que bien que por ahora has terminado de grabar para los 21 dias, si es arriesgado grabar no lo hagas mas.
Dale mucho saludos a las personas que has conocido en tu recorrido de nuestra parte. Gabo esta contento que regresa papi y que ya deja la “playa” (asi llamo donde anduvo su papi) aunque se que para ti va ser dificil dejar alas familias en la situacion en que viven ahora. Asi que el trabajo continua aca para tratar de seguir ayudando y la situacion para ellos pronto se mejore.

Dear Gabe,
I’m not really sure if you will get this before you begin your journey home. I hope so… I wish for you a long journey back so that you have many quiet moments to recapture all that you have seen, heard, felt. I can only imagine how excited you are to see Gabo, Mimi, Ira and Zahara and yet your heart must be heavy with the thought of leaving your friends in Africa. May every experience you’ve had light your way home to your family that loves you. And may that light burn even more brighter when you arrive so that your work can continue to inspire your community to act. Micaela,Ellis and Baby Carolina send an extra special abrazo to their tio. Me too. I.

Gabe, You asked for latest news that might suggest what is going on with security in Chad. This is latest I can find:
N’DJAMENA, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Security forces in southern Chad opened fire on secondary school pupils who were holding a demonstration, injuring at least eight people, the country’s communications minister said on Friday.

State radio initially reported two people had been killed by stray bullets in the violence, which took place on Thursday in the southern town of Pala. But the government said on Friday an investigation had shown there were no fatalities.

The students mounted the demonstration in support of their teachers, who have said they plan to strike after not being paid for three months.

Frustration among state employees has been mounting in recent months, particularly after scores of soldiers fled their barracks in late September demanding President Idriss Deby — who has ruled since seizing power in 1990 — step down.

Unidentified gunmen raided army bases in the central African country’s capital, N’Djamena, last month in what the government said looked like part of a wider insurgency bid.

Opponents of Deby, a former army chief, have long denounced what they see as his autocratic and clan-based rule and accuse his administration of widespread corruption.

School pupils and security officers were among the injured in Thursday’s violence, communications minister Hourmadji Moussa Doumgor told Reuters, adding that he believed the demonstrators were between 17-20 years old.

Chad, a landlocked former French colony, is one of the poorest countries on earth. Its 9.5 million people get by on an average $240 a year and can expect to live just 48 years.

School students staged a similar protest to Thursday’s demonstration in the nearby town of Bongor last week. A military helicopter flew riot police from N’Djamena to restore calm.

Chris and Gabe,
It’s hard to believe but there is only 1 more day out of the 21, which both of you have done an incredible job of letting anyone whom cared to know about the situation in Darfur and the camps. The family is looking forward to your return, and we are also looking forward to your creativity in how you will continue your message at home.

Take care, jc, Gina, Alexi, Andy, and little Brani boy.

p.s. I have a long long message from mom, but will have to get it to you on tomorrows blog, poco dificil leer la mano escrita de mam ;-)

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