Before i-ACT

Hanging in the Capital, ready to move on.


It was so nice to see Ann at UNHCR in N’Djamena again. She is just getting back from leave and told us how “Chad is home,” and she likes coming home. Talking with Ann, you can feel her passion and immediately know that her job is not just a job for her. She has great insight as to what makes sense in an area where little seems to make sense.

We drove through the city, from hotel to UNHCR, a route that I have gone by many times now, but I can’t say that I’m used to it. It’s a busy city, with cars and motorcycles filling the streets and honking, so much honking. We go by the Presidential Palace, with its armed guards protecting every entrance. For someone like me, used to the kick-back streets of Redondo and Hermosa Beach, there is definitely a different kind of feeling on these drives.

These two days here are about getting the necessary permits, which allow us to travel to the east and convert KTJ and I into journalists (!!), and about finding a way to get way too much weight on to the small little planes that fly out to Abeche. We will not know for sure how much we can take with us until Wednesday morning at the airport. We’ve divided things in order of importance, with our tech equipment at the top of the list. Our food does not look like enough for two weeks, but I’m sure we’ll make it last. Included in the menu for this trip is the same as always: tuna, nuts, dry fruit, and some caffeine pills. I’m already very much missing my diet-sodas and the sf red bulls, but the pills do the job.

We have a few days before the first day of webcasting, so the pace of work has not been as intense as it will get. I’ll give you a run down of what’s ahead of us on tomorrow’s entry. Please get some more people to sign the petition to President Bush. We’re getting some great notes from people that are signing; add yours!

I’m anxious to get out to the camps…


8 replies on “Hanging in the Capital, ready to move on.”

Hola KTJ and Gabe,
Reading your journals brings back memories of our trip (I-ACT3) there. The excitement of being in a new and very different place. The uneasy feeling of being amongst all that millitary presence.And the amazing people that we encountered at UNHCR. Putting aside the mission and on a very personal note,as I went through the city I was so incredibly grateful to be so priviledged,and though most people love their country and have the same needs and dreams,we here in the west are so fortunate.Chad has very little infrastructuere and as soon as you arrive you get the sense that life is not easy.So I hope that your reporting first can aliviate the struggle of the refugees but also enlightens many to the wonderful lives we live and to help those who live in less than desired circumstances.Be safe.Amor y Paz,Connie.


Hi Papi and KTJ,
It’s great that you guys got to N’Djamena! I just cant wait to see the videos and see all the new and familiar faces from the last 3 I-ACTS. It really must be very different riding in a road thier with the streets here in Redondo Beach. Your menu doesn’t seem all that excithing either but it must be much better than what the refugees get to eat. I remember that camp darfur we went to, where they gave examples of what somebody would eat here and examples of what refugees would eat at the camps. There was a BIG difference. Well, stay safe and good luck on I-ACT4.
Mimi & Gabo

Hi Gabriel and KTJ,
I’m eating tuna in solidarity. I ran across Mahatma Gandhi’s litany of seven social sins today, thought you might like them to ponder as you languish in the capital:
politics without principle
wealth without work
commerce without morality
pleasure without conscience
education without character
science without humanity
worship without sacrifice
KTJ’s Mom AKA Kathleen

Hi KTJ and Gabe,
I’m glad you had a chance to see Ann again. She was so inspiring to listen to in the interview from your last trip. I’m sure she’s great motivation for your days ahead.
I’ll get some more people to sign the petition to President Bush.
Look forward to your next entries. Teresa

Hi, Gabe!
During this past week, as my family travelled comfortably by car from Texas to visit relatives in Mississippi, I contrasted our trip with the many challenges you face in your travel to Chad. With this fourth i-ACT trip, I’m sure many of those you’ve met may also feel like extended family. We pray that your efforts to build awareness will bring the refugees hope, and encourage others, globally, to follow your example in activism. We’ll look forward to your reports and videos!
San Antonio

Good morning in Chad!
It is midnight as I write this message to you, but you are already well into your day gathering permits. I can imagine your eagerness to be in the camps. I feel it myself. You connect me to our friends you have helped us all meet. I was so happy to see you on Friday before your departure. Several Student Task Force members have watched the little video we made of you explaining your plans for the school to tent videos and of the security warnings. We are with you.
Peace for all,

G and KTJ

I feel like the more details I hear the more I feel like I am there until I look up from my computer and face pace America is all I see!! I have so much anticipation to see the changes from the ground in the faces of so many kids I have become connected with since DC. I feel like I already know them all personally but it will so fulfilling to be along for i-ACT 4 as another journey evolves!!!

Sending my love,
Tiffany Wheeler

Hi Gabriel,

All of the STF members can’t wait to see your videos. We’re all so excited about the school-to-tent program and long to hear back from Chad. We’re really looking forward to the conference calls, as well.

Be safe and good luck!

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