Hey Nikki S!
Thanks for your note and thanks for always being a strong voice for Darfur. You are one of the people I feel proud to be working next to.
The temperature at Kounoungou has been relatively pleasant. It gets chilly here at night, but in the sun out at the camp you do burn a bit. The first day there we did not have any wind, so it felt to be around 90, but it might have been less. Today it was considerably cooler. Many are wearing jackets, and you can see that Yakoub is staying warm also. He says that conditions in the camp are stable. There security situation has been OK, so other services can be maintained. They are getting their food and water, but, as you know, it’s just not enough. We’ll see Yakoub again tomorrow.
Hi again, Gayle:)
I wouldn’t exactly say I look “fabulous,” but I do feel good. The Humanity before Politics t-shirt will start to look more and more umm…rugged…since I wear it again and again; but, I do wash it! See you again tomorrow, Gayle!
Tu me ves con ojos de amor (espero!), porque ni tan fabulos me puedo ver. Gayle lo dice por compromiso! No me habia rasurado en unos dias y estaba lleno de polvo. Pero bueno, no es como que vine para verme bonito :)
My friend Esther:
Thank you for your wonderful note. You know, I completely get what you say about Yakoub and other seeming “emotionally comfortable.” They make me feel exactly that. When first coming out here to the camps, I wondered how awkward it would be to be in a world different from mine, but, with the getting to know each other, our worlds did not feel very different. They make me feel welcomed and appreciated as a person. I will pass on your apology to Yakoub and others. But, knowing that you are one of the most amazing and tireless workers for peace in all of Sudan, there is no way Yakoub or any other Darfuri I meet would express nothing but thanks for what you have been doing for years. I am with you, though, we won’t give up until they can get to go home. Your note really, really touched me.
Hi Mimi Schiff:
Yes, being aware of the lives out here does help to put ours in to perspective. It definitely helps me to reassess my priorities. Thank for your company, Mimi.
Thanks for being so supportive of KTJ and what we are doing. I hope others take your lead and tell as many people as they can to join us in our trip and in the actions. You have a very cool cousin, and she is just great with the people in the camps and doing all the work that i-ACT entails.
Editing Day 1 was not bad. We got back from the camp early because of the protection escort and everyone only working half-day. For Day 2 it’s getting a bit late for me but still not bad. The “work” days do start getting longer as i-ACT progresses. What I don’t like is that I have not gotten a chance to get in even a short little workout in the last couple of days, since it’s my therapy. I’ll see what tomorrow brings. Hey, lot’s of dogs barking out here in the middle of the night again. We’ll be looking for Ahmat’s family tomorrow. Paz, T!
The people in the camps stay resilient. They still do not stop talking about home, but I do notice that they are realizing that, their hopes of this happening soon might be false, since they are now five years from when Darfur exploded. For me, it is something intangible that has changed. They still are determined to go back home, but maybe they’re not too sure the world is coming to help. I am very aware that this might be my own feelings being reflected on them.
Thank you for your word and prayers, and thank you for having such a great sister in Tiffany. She joined the team running and has not stopped. She’s family.
It is so great to hear from you. You mentioned the feeling of family on your comment, and I had just written the word family in answering the previous comment. I feel exactly the same about you and Alicia, and then meeting Macy Gray and seeing her contagious enthusiasm, well you are all familia! For good or bad, this is how we do it at SGN. I look forward to having you along on the Rhythm and Hope i-ACT in the spring. Answering your question, yes, we are staying in Kounoungou for three days; we then move to Mile for one; from there down to Djabal for a few, then going through Gaga to see Leila, and on to Farchana. Still lots to come! See you again soon!
Hola mi Mimi Hermosa (my daughter!):
Thanks for telling your friends about i-ACT and for your good wishes. I miss you and Gabo a lot, Mimish. How’s the reading going? Think you’ll hit your 100 book goal for 2008? Hugs Mimi! Tu papi.
Hello Kathleen (KTJ’s mom!):
Yes, women support each other and spend time together in each other’s tent areas. They are very much community. I have not heard women sing, but I always hear children singing. I will ask the women about their songs. Thanks for holding an i-ACT viewing party!
Thank you for writing and for being so wonderful. A big hut to you, from Africa all the way to Germany. I hope to see you soon.