Issue 10: May 2009

Darfur Fast for Life: Excerpts

Below are a few excerpts from participants of Darfur Fast for Life. Please consider joining the hundreds of fasters around the world this Mother’s Day, May 10th to honor the survivors of Darfur.

Mia Farrow on Day 5:

I awakened from a light sleep feeling somewhat faint but I drank water and am better now.

People have asked how my children feel about my fasting for such a long time. Initially they were worried and opposed to it but I have been successful in assuring them I will end the fast if anything goes wrong. They phone me every day and they support me. One of my sons, Fletcher lives next door with his little daughter and wife Gillian who is one of my closest friends. They are here for me.

My 17-year-old son Isaiah is at a nearby boarding school. This is part of an email from his teacher and advisor.
” A couple of days ago, Isaiah announced (in a very mature and professional manner) that he was going to join you for one day on a hunger strike to bring attention to Darfur. As promised, he went for 24 hours without eating, and he did it very stoically. “

I am a very proud mother.

Stephan and Alysha from Oregon:

Couragous, Strong, Empathy, the adjectives are ongoing……There is no way in which I will ever truly understand, but in saying this I have a glimpse, a connection – howevver small. I am sick and I am hungry but I have a home, freedoms and an end…….I watch my husbands moods level and spike and it is continuous, he is hungry and he wonders how; it hurts my heart…..and yet this is not my child. I watch him -my son- eat, run, play and learn and wonder how the mothers in Darfur sustain a strength I could never know, watching their own children suffer. I am constantly asked why, who, what, where and I wonder how they answer the same questions when asked. My beautiful son “Mama we have to do something”, how does a six year old understand this and our leaders do not? I watch the videos, and all I see is hope, fearlessness and again, again strength amazing strength. I feel a connection to this community, the other fasters help to give me strength and courage, when right now I am sick and want to stop. The refugee’s give me tremendous reason, these beautiful people and their ability to give, smile and see hope. I am commited, connected and will not accept inaction, that is not a possibility. The questions that are ongoing in my head the faces that I see when I am hungry, they give the strength to continue….

 Lisa Goldner from San Antonio, TX:

In several ways, I found my “water only” fast was easier to face than the “refugee rations” days. Initially, the rations were a novelty in the challenge of finding alternative means of preparing them (grind wheat into flour for bread or boil like rice), but all results were bland. I’m not feeling too hungry this morning knowing I must, again, face the preparation of the boring grains and dried split peas for a mid-day meal. My daughter and I plan to use a solar cooker to prepare a meal, but today it’s too overcast. We can cook in comfort with a gas range, conventional oven and microwave — no dangerous, exhausting trek through the desert for firewood. Our clean water is easily accessible, we don’t have to stand in line for hours at a pump for a limited supply which must be hauled long distances in jerry cans. As we say a blessing before we eat, we will be praying for those who are sharing similar rations in conditions we can’t adequately duplicate and living with fear of the aid supplies running out.

Leslie Thomas:

Our family has decided to fast together this week in solidarity with people who have no choice. Our son, who is three years old, is going to participate by giving up those “extra things” that he loves so much. When he saw his parents prepare dinner for him but not eat ourselves he asked if we could give our food to the Darfuris instead.

I told him that a lot of people are trying to do just that.

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