Today is a hard day for me. We spent most of the day in the lobby of Le Meridien; waiting for our fixer, waiting for permits, waiting for the video to upload, lots of waiting. As a result, my jet lag has h it me harder than I have ever felt before. Usually there is the excitement of travel, and the reuniting with old friends and meeting new that keeps jet lag afar. The many obstacles we faced today continue to take a toll on my mind and body, and both are tired.
We didn’t get our permits on time, and therefore missed our flight — we might not be able to leave sooner than Thursday or Friday. Be flexible. Relax. None of it is in my hands. Phrases I repeat to myself like a meditative mantra. I don’t have control over leaving N’Djamena sooner. But regardless, by staying, I feel like I am letting down a community.
All those who are living in the camps, while rain fills their tents, and food becomes more scarce. All those who rushed to get pictures laminated and dvds cut for us to share with their families. Fatne, Abakar, Fatna, Aljafis, Guisma, Leila, Darsalam, Saleh, Aziza, Mohamed, and the others in camps to the North of Abeche that we might not be able to see. All of us who need to hear the stories, see the faces, and touch the hands of our friends.
For our whole community, I wish I had filmed the sun setting on Eastern Chad rather than on the river Chari over Cameroon. But soon, I know, we will get to hold the hands of Adef, Achta, Oumar, Selma, Hissein and Hassan, the two twin brothers whose laugh is contagious, and their sisters Guisma and Marymouda. These are the faces and the hands that we will reach on this journey. For them I will pull myself up and remain chanting a meditative mantra. I will look forward to interviews with International NGO staff here in the capital. And I will rest, so that my hug is strong and the hope I bring from all of you shines through.
Although today might be difficult, it is nothing compared to what our friends experience: the idle waiting of five years for peace and protection in Darfur in a camp as far away from other human connection as possible. And this is a situation that is not out of our hands. Please join me in acting for Darfur, tell our US Representative to the UN that he needs to protect our brothers and sisters in the camps, as he would protect his family.