I am now four days into this little journey. I was thinking about perspective vs. sacrifice. It is taking me a lot of sacrifice (at least in my mind) to gain a little perspective on the life of a refugee. Yet this sacrifice, compared to what the refugees live through, is absolutely nothing. And four days into this, I already have fears that I can’t complete it. (But we’ll talk about this later) The people of Darfur have been going through this for over 1,800 days, and their daily rations are only a small fraction of what they have to live through.
For example, yesterday I woke-up really dehydrated, my lips where dry, and I had a headache (maybe something to do with the high fiber diet). So during the day I drank about a gallon and a half of clean, fresh water. I was also able to take a hot shower and do laundry, all luxuries that the refugees don’t have.
It does take me about twenty to thirty minutes to cook each of my meals, sort of a pain. But again, I don’t have to go and collect firewood to cook the food. I just have to click on my fancy stove (and I even have that clicking device that lights the gas, so no need for a match). The collecting of firewood is a major problem for the women. They often have to walk a long way to collect firewood, and by doing so, they are leaving themselves vulnerable to attacks of rape. I can’t imagine what it must be like to sacrifice being raped, in order to collect some wood.
The overall living conditions of the refugees are just unbelievable. They live in tents that are five years old and are in terrible condition. Many of them sleep directly on the sand, and the tents provide little protection. I have a comfortable bed, and if it gets hot, or cold, I just adjust the temperature in my home.
I hope we can do more. I hope as a nation, with all that we have been blessed with, we can reach over to the other side of the world to help those that are in such need.