Wanting to run towards the earthquake.

“Darfur is…the epicenter of an earthquake, whose waves create all the troubles in the countries around,” Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner on Refugees, said today in a press conference we attended. The destruction created by that earthquake is mind blowing and heart breaking. What’s really sad is that, if this was a real earthquake, not this man-made catastrophe created by the Sudanese Goverment, the world would have responded with an out pour of action and caring. Many care about Darfur, but do enough of us care enough to do what it takes to stop these waves from destroying any more lives?

It was a pretty intense day, for many reasons. Being at the press conference and hearing the latest from High Commissioner Guterres was a privilege. The people at UNHCR, especially Ann, have been more than wonderful, giving us time and attention, when they have so many things going on.

It was also intense because we really wanted to confirm a flight out to Abeche, the little town in Eastern Chad that serves as hub for all aid going to the camps and from which we would be able to get to a camp very quickly. We could not confirm a flight. Having the High Commissioner here in N’d has restricted the number of planes going out. We ran to the World Food Program, wanting to get on their list, but it was already filled for Friday and Saturday. That would mean that we cannot get on a plane until Monday. This caused a lot of anxiety and frustration for Stacey and I. We started thinking about driving to Abeche. It would be a 15 to 17 hour trip across the desert, going on not very smooth roads. Ali went out looking for a car and came back with a toyota landcruiser, the owner, and a driver. We went around to feel it out. The owner needed an answer right away, whether we would take the car or not. It felt too pressured, and we wanted to talk it out. I also had to run up and call a reporter for NBC in LA, Laurel Erickson (who ran a story on Wednesday), and a Daily Breeze reporter, so it all felt so rushed. After Stace stayed and talked with Ali, she came upstairs and we decided to not do the drive just yet, since there is still a chance we could get on a flight on Saturday.

Well, strange as it might be, we really want to get closer to that earthquake epicenter. I hope you do not get disappointed in that we do not get there sooner, but we’ll keep working on it. Christmas is coming. Although many around the world do not celebrate that particular holiday, I do think that almost everyone shares that spirit of giving and community at certain times in the calendar. Please extend that spirit just a bit farther than your immediate community. Chad and Darfur are not that far away. When it comes to humanity, we are all in the same community.

peace,
gabriel

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.

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12 Responses to “Wanting to run towards the earthquake.”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Dear Gabriel and Stace,

    Be patient. You guys are doing a great job and I know that when you do get to the camps it will be the right time. You will be there when you are supposed to be there…

    We got good info from the press conference…

    Love,

    Rachel

  2. webmaster says:

    Hi Gabriel,

    Just want you to know we’re watching and admiring your courage and your dedication. Bless you both.

    Mike Farrell

  3. Tim Nonn says:

    Hi Gabriel and Stacey,

    You are drawing us closer to the people of Darfur with your reports. It’s great to see everything through your eyes instead of through the filters of the mass media.

    Tim Nonn

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hijito, gracias a Dios que ya se transportaron, y las personas que se encuentran en espera de alivio pronto lo obtengan. Espero sigan teniendo buenos resultados en su proyecto, cuidense mucho.
    Los saluda.
    Mom

  5. Anonymous says:

    Dear Stacey & Gabriel~

    We keep you in our thoughts and pray that you will be safe. It is important that you stay well and safe because we need you to tell the story…

    Peace,
    Roni

  6. lorin j karic says:

    Dear gabriel and Stacey,
    Thank you giving me glimpse of what is going on. You both have much strenghth and conviction.Time is something you cannot control..Go with your gut feeling and know you bring love and hope to all.
    Sincerely,
    Lorin

  7. Daniele says:

    Gabriel, My thoughts and prayers are with you. Im watching and keeping my fingers crossed that everything will work out right for you guys.God bless you both and all the people there working for a better and safer world. Daniele Barum

  8. Anonymous says:

    …..onward, aware and with the possibility of doing some good…. love and respect to you both and to those with whom you visit…

    b

  9. stacey says:

    Thanks, Tim Nonn! We haven’t had a chance to meet on this work yet but you have been an inspiration along the way with all you do for the people of Darfur. Looking forward to meeeting face to face one day, hopefully to celebrate a peaceful Darfur. Stacey

    Mom Stauring, I miss you! It’s never the same without your smiling face, warm heart and fierce grace! Always, Stacey

    Roni, thank you for reminding us that we need to stay safe to tell this story. You are right and we’ve been thinking a lot about that. Thanks for the prayers! Many Blessings to You, Stacey

    Lorin, I am learning a LOT about time out here and am beginning to trust that this journey is all unfolding for the highest good of our purpose here in Africa. Thanks, stacey Daniele Barum, Thank you for watching and supporting us. It really does mean a lot. Even after a long day, we both get SO excited to hear from the people back home. It makes us remember that we are only a small part of a very large movement to Stop This Genocide and that it is the people back home that are carrying this message daily! Stacey

  10. stacey says:

    Thank you Mike Farrell for watching this journey and sending such warm words! Blessings, Stacey

  11. gabriel says:

    My brother Tim Nonn: You have been an important influence on me. You always speak from the heart. I’m proud to be working next to you.Hola Mom! Gracias. Los extrano mucho y pienso mucho en ti y en todos. Te gustaria a ti andar aca conmigo visitando a la gente. Me estoy cuidando. Un abrazo y estare pensando mucho en la familia estos dias.Hey Roni: Thank you. Yes, we will do all to stay safe because, as you say, it is so important to allow the people of Darfur to share their stories.

    Hello Lorin: Thanks for your encouragement, and your crossed fingers worked! We were pretty amazed at how things flowed and we were able to get on a plane, find a car/driver, and get out to our first camp. Wow!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Dear Gabriel and Stacey,

    The video of Day 2 was very interesting. I was shocked to find that so many people in Darfur were suffering. The press conference clip better informed me of the current conditions in Darfur. I hope that everything gets better and that no other innocent people are put into danger.

    -Yasmin A.

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