It’s hard to see it when I am in front of them. When I return to our little compound at night and look through past slides, it becomes apparent. When I toggle between pictures from today and from last January of our friends here in camp Djabal, the difference is like night and day. The children are growing smaller, sicker, and more fragile as they age, not stronger as we hope for all children.
Oumar seemed skinner, as if he had been sick for a sometime, but we don’t know for sure. When I saw his mother again, Genie, she had Hydar with her. In a little over a year, he looks no bigger or stronger; his little shoulder poking through a tank.
Gabriel and Yuen-Lin saw again our friends Adef, Achta, and their children. Well, some of them. Marymouda died. She got sick. When they took her to the clinic there was nothing they could do for her. Guisma was not smiling and laughing as she was last year. Her giggle was contagious and she would get her twin brothers rolling. Achta, their mom, said she had been sick too, but healed. It seems her sole and laughter have not returned.
One of Guisma’s twin brothers looks so different.
The lucky ones who made it here are still struggling to survive on the little that we, as the international community, have been able to provide. Food distribution starts next week. That means that many of the people we have visited in the last few days have no food, as it usually runs out before the end of the month.
Please join Gabriel and Yuen-Lin as they fast in solidarity with the refugees. It can be whatever type of fast that works for you. I will not be joining them myself, as I have developed a small ear infection that kept me from the field this afternoon. I hope to return with full strength tomorrow. Nobody worry, I am fine! I just keep thinking, what if I were a refugee and felt like this?