Day 15 (Bonus day!): Jan 4, 2007

Day 15 from Gabriel

As we were leaving the little village we visited up North, we received sad news about another village, Guereda, and camp we wanted so much to go to, Kounoungo. The day before, there had been fighting between different armed groups. Then, either as a deliberate attack or from being caught in the cross fire, two refugees were killed. This is a camp that I visited last year, and it is a camp where we have friends, especially one young man. It pains me to think of the fear and uncertainty that must envelop a camp full of people that fled unimaginable horrors back home.

Refugee camps are supposed to be safe havens. While life might be far from perfect there, it is supposed to be a place where people can feel protected and maybe start to heal. That is not happening here. The humanitarian workers should not be having to risk their lives every day in their efforts to keep people alive.

I had thought that I would write this last journal entry with feelings of accomplishment and looking ahead to the start of meaningful action for Darfur. With the way the situation is going out here, it is not easy.

We did make it through 15 Days of i-ACT, interactive-activism. Please, please do not step back from this work as a community. The stories we presented are the stories that were there each and every day. Nobody set up the interviews. We would “walk the camp,” and the stories would be in front of us. I, again, hope we did justice to the people that shared so much with us. We are far from professional journalists, interviewers, cameramen, or editors, and I’m sure you could tell!

I am so sorry if I missed one of your comments, which I’m almost certain I did. With our running schedule, it was so easy to not always be 100% on our tasks.

I look forward to continuing to work next to you. Please keep commenting and send me e-mails.


Paz, Peace, Salaam, Gabriel

Gabriel’s replies to comments

Hi Tere: :) Yes, the pictures do say it all. Well, we made it safely up North. We are for sure more aware of the security issues in this area. It was not exactly comfortable having an armed escort to the camp, but I guess it eliminates the threat of bandids. It does add the danger of having rebels wanting to attack military personel. We made it back OK to our homebase with UNHCR. We fly out of this little village tomorrow morning.

Hi Pam: I’m so sorry that we were not able to get to Ahmat. We have met a wonderful person that will see him and will deliver the package to him. She also volunteered to get a message from Ahmat and e-mail it back to us and the HRW Student Task Force. We really tried to get to his camp, but there was just not any transportation at this time, with his area being right in the middle of great uncertainty and volatility. We kept asking until the last minute if we there had been any changes, with maybe a flight being added, but it did not happen. :( I really wanted to see Ahmat and have him see the HRW STF From America with Love video. I am sending a DVD of it to him, so he will get to see it. I know that we will continue our friendship and relationship with him. We have to work so hard so that there is peace and stability in both Darfur and Chad.

Hello N.E: Yes, everyone we meet at the camps is so welcoming and hospitable. It is really like coming home to family. Thank you for your note.

Hola Noemi! Today I met a girl that had a name similar to yours, Naima. She was also very pretty like you and so, so bright and inquisitive, like you also :) I’m getting closer to coming home. Thank you for writing to me, Stacey, and the people we meet every day. I’m always thinking of you! hugs, papi

Hey Michael! Yeah, my Spanish has not helped me too much out here, but I have to show them that I also speak another language :) There are so many languages out here! Thanks Maco!

Thanks Mimi Schiff! You are so right. We have to believe that our voices, united, will make a difference. For those that do not believe that what we are doing is effective, ask them to please give us more ideas for acting, but doing nothing cannot be the answer. Thank you for being willing to stand up. Those five days at Camp Darfur was about community, and it was a privilege to be there with you.

Hola mi Zahara: Si mi chava, para mi tambien fue sentimientos encontrados al ver a Nourasham y a sus ninos. Me siento triste al pensar que ahi estan y ahora sin el papa. No quiero que sigan ahi y que yo tenga que regresar despues, sin que nada cambie o las cosas se pongan todavia peor. Espero que otra gente me ayude a mandarlos a casa, a un Darfur en paz. Nos vemos pronto mi Zaharita. un beso, g.

Hello Kristina Katsova! Thank you for your kind words, and Happy New Year to you!

Dear Lisa Goldner: YOU are amazing! You are the model for what we were hoping i-ACT will promote, interactive activism. Thank you and your family for all that you are doing. I also hope so, so much that the next time we meet Nourasham she and the kids will be back in a peaceful and restored Darfur. Thank you for helping her to get there.

Lisa, the Franciscan Benediction is so inspiring. Thank you so much for everything, really! The prayer of Elie Wiesel is…wow! Salaam, Salaam, Salaam.

Hi Rach! I am so glad that the video was able to share some of what we were experiencing in spending time with Nourasham and her family (and her neighbors!). It felt like family. Big hugs to you and all the family. Your two wonderful sons will have to come to Africa with me some day (you and big David can come also). love, g.

Hello Albert Yu: Thank you for your note. We also think it’s important for people to be able to shift perspectives and allow ourselves to see through other eyes. We are a lot more alike than many think!

Hello Stacey’s Mom: Thank you so much! You are another great example of an i-ACTivist. Thank you for contacting our legislators and for going out there and getting the word out. We need many like you!

Hello again Mimi Schiff: Thank you for your concern. We’ve stayed relatively safe, and we’re just about ready to head back home. Thank you for allowing us to share all of this, heart to heart :)

Lisa Goldner: It has been such a pleasure to read your posts every day. We have to meet someday, so we can give you a big hug. Maybe we can bring Camp Darfur to your home town in Texas some day soon.

Hey Alexi! Thanks! It sure has been pretty hectic during these 15 days of video because we have to do it all in one day, the visiting of the camp, video recording, downloading the video, editing, uploading, blogging, answering comments. But, very much worth it. I’ll look at all the videos, once I get home, and see how many editing mistakes I did! :)

Hi Gina: Yes, the smiles and tenderness in the children was just the best. I saw so many little faces! Big hug to you and the kids. Thanks!

Hey Anonymous: It’s always funny answering to “Anonymous.” It sounds like this last A knows me, so Happy New Year to you too!

Hola Connie: Wow, Playa del Carmen sounds pretty nice. I wouldn’t mind that kind of sand right about now :) Don’t feel guilty. Enjoy your vacaction, and then come to DC with me for some direct action at the Sudanese Embassy. We just cannot allow business as usual for a genocidal governement.

Hey Rachel: Yeah, those two kids, the singers/dancers, were amazing. They just kept on going! We did not ask them to sing. It was so nice. About refugees moving to camps in better or safer areas, it is not possible. They are registered and placed in a camp depending on when and where they arrived, and they would not be allowed to move to another one. The walking from one to another would not be safe either. This last camp was so cold! And the children, some of them, had too little clothing for even summer. It was not easy to see.

Hola mi familia! Un abrazo a todos/todas. Que bueno que le gusto el canto a Gabo :) Hay tantos ninitos como el! Ya regreso pronto. Gracias por dejarme venir Zahara, Mimi, Gabo, e Irais!

Hello Rene Rivera: Thank you for your note to Stace. She appreciates so much the support we have been receiving from so many. She has many great friends.

Hola Tony G: There are NGOs that bring the solar cookers to camps. We briefly met some women that work making them, but we did not see any families that were actually using them. I think that it is great to find ways for women to stay safe in their daily lives. It is also so important to do all that we can to get protection to Darfur, so that the women, girls, and the entire families do not have to change some of their basic ways of lives, especially one as important as how they cook.

Hi Phyllis! Yes, my wife is Zahara, my daughter Noemi-we call Mimi (10yrs), and my son lil Gabriel-we call Gabo (almost 4). You know, the thing is that if I did not have a family, I probably would not have found it in me to come out here and help people to connect with our extended family from Darfur. Being a father makes me who I am right now. All of my family has been so involved in our campaigns, so they understand that it is important for us to be out here. I do miss them a lot, though.

Hello Marv! Thank you for all the work you do. That’s great to hear about the TV station doing another story on our trip. I look forward to coming up to your community to deliver the drawings the children of Darfur created for the children of Redding.

Markus C: Gracias a tu por tu compania. Si, Esteici, como la llaman aqui, es un angel. Un abrazo.

Hello Daniele and Rafa! Thank you for following us on this trip, and to Gelson also! We are doing this for the people of Darfur, because of the terrible ongoing crisis, but we are also doing it for Rafa and Gabo. The world we leave them has to be better than the one in which we now allow genocide to happen, again and again. Hugs to all the family. g

Meron, my friend: I do remember the beginning of that 100 tag team fast. I did not really know you then, and I was so impressed at how you chose your birthday for a day of fasting. Then, a year later, all the way from Canada, you came to the first Camp Darfur to spend some days in a tent, during the coldest days that I remembered for LA. Thank for always being there! Let’s start thinking about your coming birthday :)

Thanks for the definition of a hero. I really, really do not feel like one. I feel like I’m just putting one foot in front of the other, one step at a time, if that makes any sense.

Hola Mom: Yo tambien contento de que pronto voy a casa con todos ustedes. Yo, despues de ver tanto sufrimiento que ha durado tanto tiempo, tampoco he perdido las esperanzas. Tenemos que pensar en lo que SI podemos hacer para ayudar y no dejarnos paralizar por lo duro de la tarea. Gracias Mom!

41 replies on “Day 15 from Gabriel”

Hola Gabe y Stacey,

Gracias por este ultimo video, esta increible. Aqui estamos listos para seguir on ACCION.
Espero que todos los demas que te han seguido a travez de i-act y que saben de este genocidio nos unamos para tratar de que pare lo antes posible.
Mucha suerte en el regreso, especialmente a Stacey.

Hi, Gabe and Stacey
Thank you for all that your are doing, and I am following up with the actiions we have to do. It would also be interesting to know more about why the Darfurians don’t use the solar ovens. I’m sure there are plenty of differences in the cooking. There is also the underlying issues of the spreading of the Sahara. I wonder if any connection has been made with Wangari Maathai and the greenbelt environmental movement across Africa. Maybe, there are some short and long term solutions that could be found through this approach. Of course, from all that I learned from you and other sincere reporting on the subject, I believe that the only complete solution to this genocidde would be intervention or the genuine threat of such of such an intervention……..Thanks again, Tony

Thank you so much forgiving us a chance to be able to see the people of Darfur and telling us what is going on there daily. I think if people see or read the daily logs from your journey they will realize that it is a problem and something needs to change.

Thanks again, Isaac

Hola Gabe, un poco ranflis la computadora que consegui aqui en playa(o sere yo la ranflis?Also)Pero no he podido ver bien los videos se ven interrumpidos y sin sonido voy a buscar otra .Saludos a Stace Amor y paz,Connie

1. How did you find out about us?

Through my mother, Lisa Goldner, whose activism I sincerely admire! Her devotion to the cause of halting genocide in Darfur has led her to discover many incredible operations online, including i-ACT. We excitedly awaited your daily videos and messages. I hope that someday, my efforts toward establishing peace in our world will be able to match hers.

2. What did you like most about i-ACT? The least?

The streaming videos commanded a very potent message, as pictures can speak a thousand words. However, your eloquent and poignant blogs also brought tears to my eyes. I can’t really say which moved me more! The entire i-ACT program was brilliantly conducted; it would be difficult to improve upon.

You claim not be journalists, photographers, or interviewers, yet, the blatant truths you portrayed were more graphic and heartfelt then could ever be expected of professionals in these fields. Thank you for helping deliver these direct, personal stories to the rest of the world! I would love to see these in a special televised news report, or see i-ACT featured in a TIME magazine article.

3. Would you like us to bring Camp Darfur to your hometown?

Honestly, who could follow your story and not want to bring a resource as powerful as Camp Darfur to their home city? As soon as I read about it, I was ready to set one up all by myself with boxes and sheets in our front yard; I was so eager to get the idea to the public!

My family and I have been brainstorming ideas for the most advantageous location. We did a Die-In for Darfur (with the San Antonio Interfaith Darfur Coalition) at a local parish, but the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) campus, which hosted the Global Night Commute for Invisible Children last April, would probably be the most ideal. We’d love to work with you…many helping hands at the ready! Please hurry! :)

Team i-ACT, Gabriel and Stacey, you’re making an extraordinary impact with this program! God bless!


Megan Goldner


FYI — This morning I tried posting a comment to Gabriel, but I was not allowed because there were no “word verifications.” Now I don’t get any in Stace’s blog.

Anyway, I was just wondering… How did you guys manage to eat? I know that food is very hard to come by at refugee camps.

Rachel V

Gabe and Stace,
Congrats on the 15 days+ of i-ACT from Chad. Every video, every story, is motivation to ACT and continue the “mission” back home.
See you soon and look forward to learning more about your journey.

Hello Gabriel,

I have just returned from a month in the Middle East where I have spent severlal sojourns over my adult life and have watched the decline of the political situation. I sympathacize very much with the work your are doing and wish you the very best. I am a friend of Pam Bruns’ and have learned from her about your work.

Good luck!

Hi Gabriel,

All of your videos are amazing. You and Stacey and the people you have been having us meet are couragous and challenge all of us to do more to bring a voice to this human tragedy. You are all in my daily prayers. I am sad that your efforts did not lead to Ahmat. I know how much you wanted to see him, again. I do hope we will get word from him in the coming weeks. I look forward to seeing you soon. Que Dios te cuide en tu regreso. Tu amiga, Nancy

Gabriel and Stacey,
Yes this is the beginning. I thank you for your dedicaton, courage and selflessness. Without it this would not be possible. Your words and videos touched my soul. Hopefully by the time you read this you will be on a plan heading home. Looking forward to speaking with you upon your return to continue the work.
Mimi Schiff

Gabriel, by the time you read this, hopefully you’ll be home with your family. THANK YOU for not only choosing to go to Chad, but to choose to go at the time of year when most hate to be away from their families. Thank you to your family for allowing you to go. I was on Winter break from my job (at a school) for most of the time you were reporting, and your videos and posts were one of the highlights of my vacation. I realize it might sound odd to say it was a highlight given the painful story you were telling, but in the sense that it mattered greatly to me to check in to see what stories you WERE able to tell. You asked us how we learned of your reports…Britt Bravo linked to your site on 12/21 on her Have Fun * Do Good blog. As I mentioned in a previous comment, when I post about Darfur, comments go way down. But I’m not going to stop talking about Darfur. I had contact from your buddy Mark yesterday via YouTube about a webcam event today. Unfortunately, I’m unavailable, but I’ll make contact with him to see what else I can do. And seeing his message made me realize that I hadn’t kept up with the videos he’d been posting to YouTube. I’ve just finished watching/listening to your phone call of the 28th. I will post the White House number on my blogs. And yes, I would love it if Camp Darfur could come to Davis. (We’re three hours south of Redding.) Safe travels. Peace.

Welcome home, Gabriel and Stacey! Thank you for inviting us to join you and your visit to the refugee camps in Chad. I am impressed with the mobile technology that you brought and left behind, always somewhat startled by the brilliant colors worn by the women and girls, and in awe of both of your efforts. I’m listening to the children’s laughter on your last day of video, and I am just in awe of the delight I can hear in the voices of the children, with the everpresent coughing in accompaniment.

I hope you can fit Venice High School into your schedule this spring so out students can learn more about your journey, and what they can do to help stop the genocide.

Salaam, Phyllis H

hey Gabriel and Stacey!
well i just want to say that you both have and are still doing a great job!
you both have allowed us to feel of what you guys have experienced and we all appreciate it greatly!
all I want to say is thank you for giving us the opportunity to see what it’s like to be in your shoes even if is just by watching a video for a few minutes.
Even though I haven’t had the privilege to meet you in person, I can honestly say that both of you are heroes and people with great hearts that are doing their best to make a difference and inspiring us to strive for Darfur’s human rights!
And Gabriel, I want to let you know that Pali can’t wait until you get back and come and talk to us about your experience! we feel very privileged that we are going to hear experiences from an eye witness!
God Bless you both and everyone there!
Good luck with everything that you do!
God Bless!
Helen, Pali Student Task Force

Gabriel – I have yet to watch all the videos but have faithfully followed along through yours and Stacey’s writings. I have been moved both emotionally and to write again and again to representatives. As your exhaustion became more evident in your writing, I wonder about the people of Darfur and their exhaustion. How do they manage to continue each day with the difficulties and deprivations they face? It is the question you both ask; you suggest that hope sustains. We will continue to work so that soon we can offer more.

Thank you for all you have done. I look forward to meeting you and hearing more about your trip when you return to LA.

Tricia from STF

Gabe and Stacey,

The 15 days have passed so quickly.Whatever you may be feeling about your progress on this trip i just want to let you know that you made a wonderful impression. You showed the Kids that someone is trying to help them and that someone cares. Children are our future so it is in my opinion very important to take care of them. Students at Palisades are inspired by your motions and are trying to take action like you. So you arent alone

My Best Regards
Karla Ewell <3

Thank you so much for showing us the people of Darfur and what is happening there. All your vidoes are amazing and i’m hoping there will be more. Good luck and have a safe day.

gabriel i think what your doing for these people are just great and i wish you all well and that were’re praying for you over here

Dear Gabriel and Stacey,

This last video was a very nice bonus. I enjoyed watching it, along with the other fourteen clips. I support this experience completely, and look up to you both for doing this act of service. Not many people truly know what is going on in Darfur or the suffering different people are going through, but the videos really helped me understand a fraction of what is going on. Thank you so much!

-Yasmin A.

hey gabriel,
over the past couple of days i have watched your videos and i can truely say that i have great respect for what you are doing and how you and your crew handle your self. i would like to deeply thank you for all you efforts in bettering the world by helping darfur and others who were in desperate need of it. i am a student at Palisades High School and i have heard many good things about you and your job. i wish the best for you and i also wish you a safe ride back home. thank you for your time and efforts.
-abtin javidan (11th grade)

Hey Gabriel,
I appriciate what you are doing. You’re letting the world know what they are going threw. I am from Pacific Palisades High School, I’m aware that you came to my school, but wasn’t attending at the time. Be strong, hope you get back safe.
David F.

Hi, I am a high school student from Pacific Palisades.I am still watching i am happy that u are doing well. Keep up with th videos

thank you for all that you are doing, i hope the circumstances in darfur will improve and the genocide stop completly. may GOD bless darfur with peace. returning all the people back to their homes and families, and giving the people a brighter future.
i appreciate all that you guys are doing, you are special people,blessed and good hearted. i am happy that your trip was safe and i hope your satisfied with all that you have done.the world watched as you did this incredible thing and from the bottom of my heart i thank you for it.

hola gabe and stacey,finally was able to see the last 2 videos!I will never say that i am starving or freezing again!thanks for all your great efforts!Amor y Paz,connie

Dear Gabriel,
I appriciate and respect what you are doing. You have given me knowledge and I hope you continue this mission.
Edwin C.

Dear Gabriel and Stacey,

Can’t believe that there are 230,000 refugees. Hope they are comfortable at the moment and safe. Hope the 90,000 displaced find a place for shelter.

stay safe,
Kian K.

Hello Gabriel and Stacey,

My name is Alina and I am a junior at Palisades High School in Los Angeles. I hope you have recieved many comments from my fellow classmates. Our art teacher, Ms. Pereyra has encouraged us to become aware of the genocide in the Sudan. I don’t have many words that could fully express what an admirable, dangerous and amazing choice you made. I had a chance to help those less fortunate this past summer at an orphanage in Romania where I was born. I hope everything ran smoothly on your trip and are maybe planning for another. Goodluck with everything.

Dear Gabriel and Stacy,

Thank you for all that you are doing. You’ve gone out and done what most people wish they could do and actually went out to do it and are showing the world as it is being experienced.The videos help make it easier to understand what is going on so far away and it is highly appreciated
much thanks and peace
-Melody D

have things changed since your last visit?
what new things have you learn since your last visit?

– George Frank Jackson

Dear Gabe and Stacey,
Let me begin to just thank you for providing a small window into the world of these people in Darfur.
In the generation that we live in, teens dont always look beyond their front door and out into the world of other countries, especially when they are in need.To have such a strong and loving heart like yours and be able to make a difference really inspired me to live life in a different perspective. really.
I hope you are safe and well. God bless.
Steffany Kremenchutsky
palisades high, CA

hey gabe and stacy
thank you for all that you have done. it was so interesting to see everything you do for those people. well thank you very much Gob bless you two and take care and hope to see you soon

hello gabreil,
thanks for all that you have done to help out the people that are struggling in sudan. if more people were like you the world would be a better place. i hope your effort will rub off and encourage others to do the same.

Herbert Smith
pali high

Dear Gabe and Stacey,
Thank you both so much for the video footage of the people in Darfur, and exposing us to their daily lives. Its fascinating to observe how they live. Keep continuting the good work. Good luck and God bless.

Hey Gabe and Stacey,
Thank You for what you did. All the videos and stories for 15 days. I hope you do this again in the future and again thank you very much.

Yousuke Arai
Pali student
Ms. Perrya

Hello, my name is Laura Haide, and I have been checking up on your postings after your latest trip to the refugee camps. They are AMAZING and so touching. What you guys are doing is incredible!
As I watch the video clips and read the journal entries you and Stacey post, I am amazed at how often the desire for education arises: among parents, children, everyone. I was thinking of working with a group of advocates where I attend college in Billings, Montana to raise money and resources for education in these camps. If I could get people to donate supplies and money, could you and Stacey find a way to get them to the camps? I don’t know any other way to make sure they get to where they are really needed. Please let me know if you would be intersted and able to do this. You can email me at Thank you!

Hello Gabriel,
You are right. You are leaving and yet this is only the beginning. You leave us with a message of hope and love. Needless to say, it is heartbreaking to see such beautiful children live in such desperate situations. It really is unfair, unfair that they have to feel the effects of somebody else’s hate. Love is the message, love is what the world needs. Thank you for doing what you do. Make a difference. Change the world.

hi gabriel and stacey,
i just wanted to say that what you do in darfur is really inspiring and if more people like you let others see what was going on in parts of the world, we’d probably be living in a much better place. Thank you for all you’ve done.

roxanne houman
pali high

Dear Gabriel,
Thank you for all that you have done to help the people of Darfur. It is hard to see the kids of the refuge camps to survive with only a blanket. I am clear of what we have to do to return the people at the refuge camps to their homes. Like Stacey said, it is hard to give a scarf to one child and not give one to the rest.

Thank you for all you have done,

hey gabriel! im not sure if u remember me, we met at ucla when u did a darfur panel last november. i just wanted to say that i really respect and appreciate all that you are doing. i hope that peace is achieved soon. my thoughts and support are with you. take care. sincerely, anjana

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