Day 6: Dec 26, 2006

Rough day

Today was a rought day out. My day being rough means that, emotionally, it was not easy to handle everything I was experiencing for the few hours I was out there. For the people I was visiting, it is their daily lives.

Mustafa, in his serene, calming voice, told us of how the displaced people of Darfur deserve a more complete life. If they have protection, he said, they can take care of everything else by themselves. Mustafa is blind, but he sees oh so much. He said that he knows that the people of America care and want to help, but that they, the people of Darfur, have been waiting for so long.

My most difficult moment so far in this trip was when he took us to his mother’s home, where we also met his sister and niece. His beautiful young niece, Mouna, was laying on a mat, barely moving and with barely any shine in her eyes. Mustafa told us that she has been very ill for three weeks. My heart sunk so deep that I had a hard time getting any words out of my mouth. They took her to the clinic and were given some medicine, but Mustafa says it has not helped. The doctor told them that he would visit little Mouna in her home this week, and I want to believe, almost for my own sake, that it will be tomorrow and that Mouna will get better and run around with all the other kids that come up to us saying, “OKeyyyyyyyy!”

It is so hard to think about today being Christmas. The people in this camp are strong and rescilient, but you can just see the sould being drained out of them– slowly, slowly.

Please, think about four year old Mouna today, as you think about prioritizing your day’s activities. Include just a few minutes to do something that might help her and her brother and sisters and mothers and fathers and the great ocean of people that is somewhere in a desert in and out of Darfur, waiting.


15 replies on “Rough day”

Dear Gabriel,
Again thank you for making this trip. I would imagine that the proliferation of health issues is due to the deterioration of the living conditions, as well as being an effect of long standing war. I applaud your conviction and tenacity in going back to Darfur. As I saw the life in the Camps, I was brought back to Camp Darfur a year ago, how I wish we could bring all the refugees to that Camp and the safety of this country. Believe me you and Stacey are making a difference. Thank you
Mimi Schiff

Couldn’t get the video from today to play and missed the ‘action word’ from yesterday :( Was too busy making merry with my family to tune in. Hmmm, how easy it can be to put things aside in ones mind, how conveniently distracted we can become.

Mimi, good to see you here! As I watch these videos and see some familiar names on the blog comment entries I too am reminded, often, of that Camp Darfur we created. I am reminded of the time when you became uneasy to sleep alone in your tent, so I joined you. Soon to be followed by Evonne … well at least for part of the night. By morning she was gone. How different it was for us to awaken and find our comrade gone to know that she was, in all likelihood, safe and comfortable than it must be for these people, to awaken to a family member gone which means they will probably never see them again.

The stark contrast of our very different realities is what stikes me most, time and again, on this journey. Thank you again, Gabriel and Stacey, for inviting us along.

Be well, my friends.

Gabe and Stacey,if being here so far away from the misery it breaks my heart,I can imagine,how incredibly difficult it is for you,Gabe, as I was watching I was reminded of a book you recomended I read “participate joyfully the sorrows of the world” I’m sure that what this means is that the joy you bring to this crissis by just being there, brings a little bit of hope,So be brave and your happines will at least bring many smiles.Amor y Paz,Connie

Hey,Gabriel I’m a student at Palisades High School. I’m in the Human Rights club. I just wanted to know how are things going on over there.Also to say thank you, for being there. Because if it wasn’t like people like you there wouldn’t be people who would thank the U.S. Thanks for risking your life in trying to find out more about those people. We’re with you all the time,and were also proud of you.

Dear Dad,
I can’t tell how proud I am of you. It is not everyday that some person like you or Stacey go off to Africa. I miss you very much but I’m also glad that your in Africa showing us how a person in a refugee camp lives like.

Hi Gabe,
Thinking about 4 year old Mouna, I took some time out of my usual hectic work day to write to Senators Boxer and Feinstein, my Representative Waxman and the Governor as suggested in today’s “ACTION”. Such a small effort on our part that can make a difference. Hopefully many, many more are doing the same so our voices can unite and be more powerful.

I am happy that you are able to help out the refugees by making their voices heard. I thank you once again for taking the time to make all the videos, write an entry, etc. I am trying to spread your link around to those who would care, and hopefully will one day act. I have never felt more motivated to learn and take action. Thank you for showing us how to take action & show how we worry about those children and adults. They’re all so beautiful, even more beautiful than their bright clothing.
-diana, stf

I was struck by this phrase in Diana’s comment: “I am trying to spread your link around to those who would care…” Because it’s so very hard to comprehend why we don’t ALL care. But then, Christmas morning, as my mate and I walked through San Francisco’s Tenderloin district on our way to church, we said, “Good morning and Merry Christmas” to every person we passed…and most of them appeared to be homeless. And as we stepped over and around people still sleeping on the sidewalks, I thought of Darfur and of those displaced by Katrina and of all of the hungry and homeless in the U.S….and wondered what it will take to MAKE us care. The comments from your daughter are so very touching. THANK YOU for doing this, Gabriel. Stay strong. We’re here with you.

Dear Gabriel

Sorry I was not able to see the video today, (was taking a rode trip). But I will pray for your safety and the refuges.

Peace and Love


Dear Gabriel and Stacey,

It was heart breaking to see that the children didn’t have very good clothing. Also, hearing about the death of the woman’s husband was very sad. Nobody should be killed like that. I feel for all the people who have lost loved ones in Darfur.

-Yasmin A.

Dear Gabriel,

I understand that there is a lack of clothing and shelter for those in darfur and i was just wondering what are you and Stacey planning on doing next to pursue this issue?


i cannot bear to imagine living through all that these people do. that womans story was so sad. thank you gabriel for giving us this little taset of what these nobel, courageous people are enduring.

good luck

Dear Gabriel,
The condition for the people at the camp was very terrible. The conditions they were in is very harsh. I’m hoping many people will try to donate what they can to make life for the children and adults there more bearable. It is hard to lose the ones you love. In darfur, many people lose their loved ones alot. I am hoping that the violence stops and there are no killing of anyone. We here support what you are doing and are very thankful to you and Stacey for showing us these videos.

Thank you,

Leave a Reply