Today we started very early we wanted to walk to school with the kids, so we were there by 7:30.As always we were greeted like royalty. Alhafis, he was waiting, to show me a little car he had made out of some plastic bottle and you remember the little girl who showed me her homework? Her name is Guitsma, I gave her and some of the other girls and women some simple bracelets my sister in law Gina and my nieces and nephews made. They were a hit!
As we started our walk, more and more children were joining our group as we passed each of the corridors, soon it was hundreds walking together; I was overwhelmed that all these hundreds of children went about in a very normal way, laughing, playing, it was like seeing any of our kids walk to school with their buddies, and yet in such an awful setting.
We made our way to the head master’s building. They have constructed the only large structures that I have seen here, out of mud bricks, that they make .The usual introductions and we were given permission to film and he also gave us some numbers; there are 1670 children in this school (there are two other schools at the camp) and 18 teachers, they teach up to the 5th grade, and have 18 classrooms.
It was 8:00 and they all formed for their assembly, then for about half an hour, they sang to God and the love for their country Sudan. The older girls sang, the boys recited and finally everyone off to their classrooms. While they waited for their teachers some of the older boys came to talk. I was surprised to hear them speak English, first they asked your common questions but then they asked me if I knew when they could return to Sudan? And, if we could do anything to help them back? Guy’s you tell me… How do I answer that question? I told them we had no political power but that many people in America and all over the world were concerned and that we were their to tell them this and to return with their message. My heart just sank to see their resigned faces. Gabe and Yuen Lin talked with these boys and you will see them on tape.
The stories are never ending and every one of them a person just wanting some humanity.
They open up to us with their hearts in their hand and what is really incredible after so much suffering, death, hunger unbelievable sub-human living conditions they wake up every morning and try to make the best of it.
By the way we also taped a spot and put it on- you tube- CNN is sponsoring: Ask the candidates; watch it. (This was taped right outside the school with the small kiddies.)
The kids take a break about 10:30 to go back home and have breakfast which is usually just tea.
Last night somebody told us the rivers were rising (oh no!), so we tried to see if we could accommodate everything so that we could return to Abeche today and get on a flight to northeastern Chad; it didn’t come through for us, so we will try again tomorrow. As far as the bugs, you know when they say, don’t let the bed bugs bite, they probably made it up here, they subsided just a little because it has rained the last two nights, but today it has not rained, and we were under attack! I was starting to wish for rain but then I remembered: The Rising Rivers!!!!!!!! I’ll keep you up to date.
Amor y Paz, Connie.