Hey Leila, Got you on my mind…Leila.
Well you know the routine by now (hardly any sleep etc. etc.). So we are off again. We left our camp, and started our way back to Abeche, but on the way, we stopped at the first camp we visited. We wanted to drop in with our friends again.
As soon as we arrived and I mean just getting out of the car, Juma was there to greet us. Remember him he wanted to be in all the pictures and ended up in many parts of our video though you only saw a bit of him. I noticed that most of the children spoke a tiny bit of English here. Even the smaller ones, compared to the other camp where only the older kids spoke it. Well I didn’t even ask, he immediately said “Leila House” and gestured that he would take us there. Can you believe this little guy?
This time we were swamped more than ever, kids from everywhere were accompanying us to Leila’s tent. And then before we got there, she comes running to us half dressed. I think a friend probably ran ahead to tell her that we were looking for her. She has the cutest nonstop smile on her face. We went to meet her mom and two sisters.
We were not going to be there very long because we wanted to be sure we were in Abeche before nightfall. So we toured the camp and met as many as possible although this time the crowd was getting out of control.
So many of the kids wanted to be our guides. One would say in English; “Block 6” another; “Block 8” as we passed them from 1 to 10. The heat was almost unbearable and Gabe and I were just astonished how the children walked with their bare feet on the scorching sand. We also learned that this camp has more newer coming refugees than the other camp, they have been here for 2 years average. We took more pictures heard and more testimonies similar to the ones you have heard but our friends were growing in great numbers and our visit would have to end soon.
We went to drop off Leila and started our way back to the car. But one last stop. Juma would not let go of my hand. “House, house” he said and pointed to block 6. He helped us on our tour from beginning to end, when I couldn’t pronounce a name he would repeat it syllable by syllable, and at one point a group of us walked ahead of our larger group and didn’t notice. He is the one who stopped and said “Gibril, Gibril” and told me to wait that he would run to find him. So of course we would return the courtesy and go to meet his mother.
Again time to go. We are sharing with you our special connection with very special people, but as you can see there are thousand of Leilas and also thousands of Jumas.They represent every single individual that has come to be part of this enormous humanitarian crisis. We must put a face on the number and I think that Leila and Juma did a wonderful job doing just that! Amor y Paz,Connie’
P.S. Even though we were the luckiest people in Chad, with no rain in the last two days (the rivers were almost dry!), it’s incredible as soon as they grow they are sucked up if the rain subsides for more than two or three days at the beginning of the season. These people can’t get a break either it is too much and makes traveling and supplying difficult or it’s nothing and water is scarce!