Seeking Empathy - A One Month Refugee Diet

Eric’s Journal – Day 29

Thanksgiving was what I had been looking forward to all month. My girlfriend Willow, who has given me rock-solid support and without whom I wouldn’t have been able to make it through the month, joined me on Thanksgiving and shared the refugee rations with me for a day. Her body did not react well to the unusual wheat diet and she spent most of the day not feeling very good. For me, it was the 27th day of the same thing so sitting in front of a spread of food that I wouldn’t be enjoying did not bother me at all.


I was excited to be able to sit down with my friends, family, and extended family and engage them in a discussion about what is going on in Darfur. I shared a video about the Tents of Hope project and several i-ACT videos with them. We talked about how the government was involved, their tactics, and the current situation in the refugee camps. They asked how they could help. I explained to them that food aid and support is needed now, but that ultimately we must force our government and the international community to intervene because maintaining the status quo means maintaining an unacceptable situation. I told them how easy it would be for our government to improve the situation with relatively little cost, how providing just a few helicopters could make a big difference.


They saw how much weight I have lost in just 1 month and I explained to them that people have been in the camps for over 5 years now and are in much worse condition. I told them about how the children’s orange hair color is from malnutrition. Even after being on this diet for a month, I still can’t imagine what it would be like to live like this month after month, year after year. And I am only approximating one of the numerous miserable conditions the people of Darfur have been forced into.


We reflected on how blessed we are, and struggled to comprehend how the world can continue to let the genocide in Darfur rage on.

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