We’ll be flying

Blog 12/23/06, N’djamena Airport 7:20am

Stacey hates flying, or maybe dreads flying would be a better description. But, here she is in a small 18 seater plane with me, as the propellers start turning and the engines making a noise that must be terrifying to Stace. I’m between excited and worried. It’s not every day that I get on a plane to go over Afrian land. On the other hand, I see Stace there, hunched forward and attempting to will herself to sleep before the plane lifts off. It will be one hour and forty five minutes before we land.

7:50am We are now up in the air. Stace seems to be holding up, as she looks passed out. There is nothing but desert as far as you can see out of either side of the plane. I’m right on the wings, so I definitely feel the engines, and we can all hear them.

It was so nice of the WFP to get us onboard this flight. I’m not sure how or why it happened, since there weren’t supposed to be flights at 7:30, only the more than full 9am one. But we are very grateful to Jean Cristophe for doing this. At the WFP offices, he immediately went to action on putting us on a waiting list, and we somehow got on a flight that we did not know that existed.

11:48pm I’m really, really tired, so I will get back to blogging tomorrow morning. It was a long day with so much stuff going on, so I’ll get some rest and get back to you soon.

peace, g

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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Category: Day 4: Dec 24, 2006 · Tags: ,

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21 Responses to “We’ll be flying”
  1. Renee Larios says:

    Dear Gabriel,
    Congratulations on making it to your destination. I’m so glad you didn’t have to drive across the desert. I am keeping up with your journey everyday and am very moved by your reflections. You and Stacey are in my heart and on my mind everyday, and I will say a huge prayer to keep you safe for the entire trip and that the world can be woken up by what you are doing. Merry Christmas to you, Stacey and all the refugees and others suffering in Chad and Darfur, from Alhambra, CA (my hometown) and Pasadena, CA and All Saints Church. Love, Renee

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mi chavo,

    Me siento muy contenta que por fin esten en Abeche. Senti tanta emocion al ver a todos esos ninos…
    Has podido ver alas mismas personas de tu viaje anterior? has escuchado de Farja?
    Cuidense mucho y bueno aqui seguimos dia con dia tus video.
    Te quiero
    Zahara

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hey Dad,

    I’m so happy for you and Stacey for finally making it to the camps. It must of been very exciting to be at the camps again after more than a year of not being there. Remember that we all miss here back home. I wish you a Merry Christmas from California all the way to Africa.

    Mimi

  4. Gloria White-Hammond says:

    I am grateful to God and delighted to know that you have arrived safely. Thank you for showing up in the lives of the people you will encounter. Thank you for reassuring them that you and Stacey and a growing number of us are determined to speak out and act up until the genocide in Darfur is stopped and peace and justice is expereienced in all Sudan.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Dear Gabriel,

    Thank you for showing us what active responsibility and compassion look like in the world. May you be safe, and may your efforts, together with all of our efforst and prayers, bring safety to the refugees. And may the hearts of all of us, those who are hurting and those who are inflicting pain on others from a place of woundedness, be blessed with the healing that comes from being witnessed.

    Warmest holiday wishes to you and Stacey.

  6. Leah says:

    Hi Gabriel,

    Thank you so much for all that you are doing. Please know that there are people here in DC who are supporting you and your efforts. I will keep watching. We are continuing to protest every Wednesday at the Sudanese Embassy and are working to have more people commit to continuous protests.

    Shalom,
    Leah Seldin-Sommer

  7. Mimi says:

    Gabriel,
    How wonderful that you were able to get a flight. How awful that the powers that be turn their faces. Thank you for making this trip, thank you for making it so that people cannot turn their faces. I agree with Stacey the beauty that I see in the faces of the refugees is inspiring. Wishing you a safe trip. Merry Christmas to you both.
    I will be signing my full name as I realized that your daughter’s name is also Mimi.
    Mimi Schiff.

  8. teresa says:

    Hola Gabe,
    We woke up today to good news learning you made it safely to Abeche. From the video we see the children still smiling and laughing after one year of enduring probably even tougher conditions. How do you perceive the children and the adults compared to last year? Is it still the same excitement and hope that they see when
    somebody “foreign” comes to visit them? How do the conditions of their camp compare to last year?

    Gabe, you’ll be missed tonight at the family Christmas Eve dinner but we know you are away offering the gift of hope to the many that need it and reaching out to others to join the efforts of this campaign.

    Peace to all!

  9. connie says:

    Chiquiti bum a la bim bom ba!!!!!!
    Que gusto que ya podemos todos seguir nuestro viaje!!!!!!!
    Amor y Paz,Connie

  10. Anonymous says:

    Dear Gabriel and Stace

    You made it to the camps!!! The faces of the children are the faces of hope. Thanks for all your hard work. We are following your trip every day.

    When you hug the children you are also hugging them for us.

    I wish you a Merry Christmas.

    Rachel and Family

  11. Anonymous says:

    Gabriel – watching you walk towards the refugee camp reminded me of last year’s trip. Other than more refugees, not much changes…and so perhaps that is why we think these places and people are disposable…because we put too much emphasis on stuff rather than on people. People are not diposable — every person there matters to this world and what we are intended to be as the human beings.

    I like what Ashis said in Day 3:

    “…they are not pitiful. No, they are vibrant people. They have a message to tell. They’re not begging you for attention, they are telling you their story and it is up to your decency to do something about it or not.”

    Thanks for broadcasting their story!

    Esther

  12. Anonymous says:

    congratulations on finally getting to your destination!!! whew!

    the children are adorable. it’s a bit weird thinking about how we’re seeing the people we’re trying to help so many miles away.

  13. Ray says:

    It’s Christmas eve and I just want to say you are in our prayers Gabriel.

    Thanks for being their voice in this world, be safe Hermano

    Ray & Jackie and the kids

  14. Phyllis H says:

    Hi, Gabriel and Stacey! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Good Kwanzaa! and remember the Day of Enlightenment for Siddhartha Gautama Buddha on December 8!

    Congratulations on your securing three seats for you both and Ali, too, on the World Food Program 18-seater. And congratulation to whoever successfully changed that flat. No AAA to come to the rescue.

    Yes, amazing film and photos of the happy and resourceful children of the refugee camps. Some of the clothing was unexpectedly brilliant in hue.

    Thank you for reminding me not to complain about ANYTHING. I hope you have a good day tomorrow, too.
    Stay safe, Phyllis

  15. Markus C. says:

    Dear Gabriel
    Stacey left us in Fuessen and we spent most of the time praying for her and your safty.
    After reading your and her blogs I bow in deepest admiration to you!
    Please pass to her all the love and light I am capable to send to you all. May God be with you on all your ways.
    Markus C.

  16. Jose L.M (P.6) says:

    Dear Gabriel,
    You are doing a great deed going over there and providing hope for the people of Darfur. Not anyone can fly over there with their own money and try to stop the genocide.
    I know I dont have the balls to go over there but you do so I wish you the best. !SI SE PUEDE!

  17. Samuel says:

    Dear Gabriel

    I am really glad you guys made it to your destination safley. Merry Christmas to you and Stacey

    Peace and love

    Samuel

  18. viktoriya says:

    i’m happy that you guys made into the camps safely. i jsut want to wish you guys luck in Africa.

  19. Nicole F. says:

    Dear Gabriel,

    To those that are in need of your help, you are like a savior, trying to help them, even though the refugee size tripled.

    Be Careful

  20. Jose L. M. (P.6) says:

    Dear Gabriel,
    I saw your 4th video and it was my favorite one because you showed how the genocide has affected everyone. You showed this by showing the baby crying. I hope you continue with your quest and that you achieve your goal.

  21. alan kim says:

    Dear Gabriel,
    Congrats to making it through that long drive and flight all the way to see the children and parent at the refuge camp. It is hard to see that the children at the camp have no proper clothings or shoes. While im here in my comfterble chair and warm clothes, it makes me feel real sad for the kids there who have almost nothing. What you do for these children move us all and you are still in our prayers and we all hope u have a safe journey there.

    Sincerely,
    Alan

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