April 3rd, 2008

If the caravan would have followed the original path I realize I would have seen 6 rally’s in different states, talked to hundreds of people, handed out pounds of free ice cream 4 times from Ben and Jerry but this morning I woke up in San Francisco for another day of work. I never could have imagined I would be in the presence of such an opportunity a year ago though. I sat with a Sudanese man for dinner; I have spent every night calling locals from the area to get them to come out on April 9th for the official torch lighting, and witnessed people from all over the city come closer together agreeing in the idea that this genocide in Darfur can no longer continue. I have realized the past week the importance of working together locally, nationally, American, white, young, or old. In this movement we are leaders to those that aren’t educated on the crisis. In this movement we truly hold the chance to change the situation on the ground, and save the lives that sit in fear, longing for protection…

Finally Day 1: We unloaded two trucks that just traveled from the east coast to the west. I spent all afternoon capturing them in different areas of the city. We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. We drove down Lombard Street and all afternoon I watched heads turn to read our message. We spent hours speaking out for the people that are trapped in refugee camps; who long for the world to know, to care, and then to act. About mid day I turned around in a parking lot to a luxury car with the back seat window rolled down. A little girl dressed in all uniform about 7 years old said in a curious tone, “What are you protesting?” We sat and explained to her what was taking place in Darfur, how China could help end the genocide and about the suffering that kids her age were going through. As I sat and looked in her smiling face I couldn’t help but see the kids in my mind from camps. Her smile took me back those children that got to play soccer with Gabriel and Katie-Jay; laughing, calling out plays, running around in a zone forgetting for a second their memories, or their fears. The next 6 days will be full of reaching out to the community here in San Francisco, talking on college campuses, catching locals at the Farmers Market to ensure that we can get as many people possible to come out and be a voice for those that don’t have the chance to ask for protection themselves. Although there is an amazing event about to take place that I will invite everyone I meet to participate in, the thing I am looking forward to most is sharing the stories of our friends that we have met in the camps, to show their faces, and allow their requests to be heard!

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