UNHCR Guest House, Guereda
Dogs have not stopped barking since we got back to the guesthouse in Guereda. Hala is a wonderful host. It gives me a warm feeling to be meeting people that now know us, and must believe that what we are doing is right because they treat us as family.
I enjoyed today’s flight from Abeche. It took us all the way north to Bahai first, then down to Iriba, and finally to our destination, Guereda. The two American pilots gave us a smooth ride in a little plane that looked like it could so easily be rattled by any weak turbulence. When we landed in Bahai, which is in the middle of the desert, one of the pilots (from Austin, TX) ran out to a heard of camels that was close by. The other pilot (from Pennsylvania) told us that his friend had been wanting a camel for a pet. The dog and cat they had at their Abeche home was not enough. TX pilot ran back from the camels and said that the camel herder tried to call him over. Penn pilot told him, “never trust a cigar smoking camel salesman!” I don’t know if it was the cold desert air, but I thought that was really funny!
Tomorrow, there is no more flying. We get to head out to Camp Kounoungo. There has been so much violence around this area for some time now. Aid workers have to live with the very real possibility of being attacked, mostly for the cars. This is my third visit to Guereda, so I somehow feel comfortable, but I never forget that we are in an area of active conflict. I get to leave though, and I never forget that either. The refugees stay. SGN is focused and energized to make a concrete, positive difference on the life of the refugees you will be meeting during the next 10 days of i-ACT. The relationships that you will be a part of, between communities half-a-world apart, will continue and will grow.
I hope you don’t get sick of hearing this because I just cannot say it enough. I am immensely grateful for my SGN/i-ACT teammates. KTJ here with me and the team back home is really family. To all of them, as we get ready to start the ten day marathon, you are very much loved. Also a part of my team is my familia. They not only put up with me being away, but they also participate on everything SGN does. Un abrazo a todos!