Hello to Everyone,
I am very tired tonight with the effects of the ride and the day. We still have to edit Day 12, so I am going to try to be brief with my writing. Today was overwhelming on so many levels. First, seeing Nourasham and Gabriel reunited was wonderful! It really showed how his being here last year touched her and stayed with her. The children are beyond cute and each one so full of life! All of the neighborhood children around Nourasham’s had this sense of generosity and sweetness. I’d take a picture of one and the next child would quietly ask me to take a picture of her friend. What spirit in such circumstances.There was a little girl, also named Nourasham, who approached me with a giant smile as soon as we arrived at camp. She turned up at Gabriel’s old friend Nourasham’s house and what a light this child is. She stood next to me almost the whole time and would stroke my face or hair or touch my shoulder. She was in constant gentle, loving contact the whole time. Her smile could melt the hardest of hearts. It was such a calm morning of reunion and catching up for Gabriel and Nourasham. Her children were very excited to see Gabriel and thrilled to show off their new baby sister. They had a toy that someone had sent to the camp and it obviously brought them much joy and laughter. The youngest boy, Mohamed, loved to make the ” meow” sound of the cat that was part of the toy just like my own little brother used to love making the animal sounds. So much family time and young life!
We next went to find the ” new arrivals” we’d met yesterday. We all gathered in a large meeting tent outside the camp to watch From America With Love. There were MANY more people than the original twelve from yesterday. So many new, frightened and eager faces. It struck me that the beginning of any new endeavor is the most difficult because the fear of the unknown often plays a large part. Add to that natural early trepidation, brutalization, hunger and exhaustion and you have some high anxiety. It seems to be human nature to adapt to our circumstances. We make the best of where we find ourselves and get busy getting used to living differently. We learn to laugh again, even in the most trying situations. Yet the beginning…… so much wondering and lack of certainty. I believe that, is why yesterday and today moved me so deeply. It was inspiring to see how the messages we’ve collected of people who care so deeply effected this group of as yet unregistered refugees. I felt like they were the perfect group because they were in one of the most difficult parts of this process forced upon them by a genocidal regime I saw glimmers of hope and the recognition of solidarity as they watched and listened to Ali interpret. When the video was finished one man spoke directly to the people of America. He thanked them for working towards their safety and I felt his words and his heart to my core. I felt proud of all the people who have worked so hard to protect people they’ve never met. I felt proud to be part of a group of people dedicated to stopping this genocide that is growing every day. I felt proud to be a human being in an often inhumane world. I tried to hold my feelings inside but the effort proved useless. I knew my tears would do little good and may even make matters worse by subtly suggesting their plight was hopeless. I turned away to gather myself. Then I remembered the countless people who told me they could not possibly leave a message to the people of Darfur because they would cry too much. I remembered my response, ” I think they’d be touched deeply to know you cared so much.” So, with that I turned back to shake hands and say good bye. I just let the tears flow because they were the truth and they were mostly coming from the flicker of hope in humanity I’d witnessed in those leaving and receiving the messages. One woman just let the tears flow right back at me. Without ever speaking a single word we’d bridged the language, cultural and experience gap. We found what united us as human beings. We just stood and held hands and cried. I’d like to believe that she was crying as much because she too had seen a flicker of hope for humanity, as because of what she’d survived so far.
In Solidarity and Peace,
Stacey’s replies to comments
Mimi, Yes, it is getting close to day 14 and we can hardly believe it! We were so happy to see the healthy babies too. So much hope! XOXO, Stace
Thank you, Marilyn, for continuing to spread the word. The babies made our day and lifted our spirits! Peace, Stacey
Marissa, Thanks for talking to people about Darfur and hope your sister’s travels were safe and smooth. Thanks for the light and the prayers! Peace & Blessings, stacey
Gayle, wishing you safe travels and so grateful that you’ve followed along. Happy New to You and may 2007 bring peace to Darfur, Stacey
Connie, I agree that war is not the answer and that political and economic sanctions can make a difference. “Humanity before Politics” is the key, I agree and we cannot only deal with brutality against civilians where political and economic interest exist. We must protect ALL innocent civilians. Connie. Paz, stace
Hi Auriel and Ginny, Thank you both for watching and supporting the people of Darfur! YOUR involvement is so important! Happy New Year, Stacey
Teresa, I hope the legacy we leave as a country to our children is one we can be proud of. It is a sad state of affairs when economic and political interests are our ONLY concern on the world stage. I, too heard Ford’s comment today on a tv in an NGO gathering room. The best parts of America have so much more to do with our love of humanity than our love of power. Unfortunately, that love is often distorted and exploited when presented to ” we, the people” by our elected officials and media. Critical thinking , diverse media and education seem, to me, to be the answer. We’ll be careful here , thanks for the concern! Peace in Darfur, Action in America, Stace
Hi Phyllis H.! It is true that Bashir has backtracked many times and we will not believe anything or lessen the pressure until we see UN Peacekeeping boots on the Ground. Over and Over again the people here have told us that the AU cannot help them. They are undermandated, understaffed, underequipped, undereverything.! The hybrid force sounds good but confusing and frankly, just not enough. Everyone effected by this genocide that we’ve spoken to are begging for an International UN Peacekeeping Force and now. The book you wrote about and the woman sound amazing! It sounds like a beautiful mix of releasing the pain and moving forward powerfully. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you!!!! May we see Peace for Darfur in 2007, stacey
Thamar, As Gabriel’s current coworker I can say that yes, he is courageous and has not given up! Thanks for the prayers and the angels. Blessings, stacey
Renee, Nicole broke my heart wide open today with her suitcase full of food and one change of clothes! The children will lead the way for all of us. Her words are a testament to you and your nourishment of her life! Many Blessings, Stace
Thanks, Christina! Glad you are watching and Happy New Year to you too. Wishing safety for ALL in 2007, Stacey
Ronzeldala, wow! You are truly taking action, organizing and changing the world! So very inspiring!!!!!! The women do still go to gather the wood though even with the solar cookers. They have been here for years now and are starting to build fences, storage sheds and small covered cooking areas to feel more at home, all of which require wood. It is traditional for the women to do the gathering and difficult to change an entire cultural way so many are still at risk. What you have done is amazing , I just wanted to share that info with you if you did not already know. Keep up the great work and thank you for your well wishes. I’ll pass on your message of love and peace to the people we meet. Blessings, Stacey
Hi Mama, sorry haven;t called. It is difficult to get the phone to work! We’ll be careful, don’t worry and so glad you are putting flyers everywhere! Can you remind Shannon and Brandy? Happy New Year, Mama. I’ll be with you in my heart at midnight. Told Rene to call you and tell you he heard from me today. I love you and thanks for being such a support and so brave! From rallies to building Camp Darfur tents to the UN, you’ve been a champion for the people of Darfur, Salaam and Love to you Dad and Chris Always, Charlie ( Love to all those other siblings too!!!)
Hi Sandy, thanks for the news. Yes, I had heard. I pray for the day when ALL civilians are safe and protected in their own homes and countries regardless of who they are, where they live or what political/economic interest the world has in their country. I look forward to the day when proven nonviolent conflict resolution techniques are implemented in areas of conflict and when we think profoundly about and act towards the future we’ll leave our children. An International UN Peacekeeping Force immediately and strong sanctions on this nonisolationist govt would do the job of protecting the civilians in Darfur, no “invasion” needed. I ‘m glad you are watching and love you, stacey
Ciao Mariano & Martin! What beautiful words…. Yes, as artists we must dedicate our work to humanity and you ALL certainly do that in King Ludwig. The truth will always set us free and I am seeing so much truth here. Spread the word in Europe about Darfur as we need the EU involved. I love you all and am with you in spirit as those of you who are leaving the show journey forward. Live bravely, defend the world with your art and “speak your mind, even if your voice shakes!”. I love you both, Stacey PS Hello to everyone in the cast!!!!
Markus C., I am good. Tired and a bit drained but inspired by the work and hope of a brighter/safer future for the people of Darfur. Many Blessings, Stacey
Mimi. Dear Mimi Schiff, That child felt soooo good in my arms! Yes, it is all universal and all love. Thanks for your kind words, prayers and continued encouragement. Peace and Love, Stacey
Hi,Phyllis! Thanks for the response. It is so important that we do not trade human lives for intelligence and find other ways to stay informed and secure. We cannot pay lip service to the idea of ” never again” and then go on with business as usual. Thanks again for all your dedicated work for Darfur. Peace and Blessings, stacey