It has been more than a year since I met Adef and his beautiful family, but he received me at his home with such joy and recognition that it felt as if we were best friends, reuniting after a short time apart. The smile on my face lasted a few minutes, until he told us that their baby, Marymouda, had past away not too long ago. It is Adef and his wife Achta’s second loss, since leaving Darfur.
This trip was filled with such moments—joy followed immediately by sadness, many times both flowing together through the same time and space.
We are now safe and on our way home. I can’t wait to see my children, hug them and kiss them. Adef’s daughter, Guisma, let me carry her, and she smiled—now and then. On our previous trip, Guisma did not stop laughing, and it was all-out, contagious laughing! This time she looked thinner, and there was sadness behind her beautiful dark eyes.
If you are one of the few people that read these e-mails of ours, you are already committed to helping Guisma and the millions of Darfuris that live away from their destroyed homes. For a change, on this e-mail I will not ask you for anything. Instead, I want to share the gratitude that every single refugee expressed and asked us to pass on to you. They thank you for doing what you can to bring peace, protection, and justice to Darfur. They thank you, from deep in their hearts, for listening to their stories.