Day 0: Preparations

Eric’s Travel Journal – 1

During this flight I have been trying to imagine what it will be like for us in the camps and I’m coming up blank. I feel like we are about to be dropped into the pages of a history book… into a section that should have never been started, a section that is running on and on with no end in sight. I am thinking about meeting the children in the camps that despite all they have been through still manage to hold onto their their faith that people like you and me have not forgotten about them, and that we are doing all we can to help change things so that they can grow up and pursue their dreams like all children should be allowed to. I am thinking about meeting the women that have suffered systematic rapes intended to dehumanize them, strip them of their dignity, and tear families and communities apart. I know that stories of these rapes and attacks will not be openly volunteered because of the great stigma that comes with them. Perhaps a few women will talk of them indirectly. I am thinking about the notable absence of men and older boys in the camps. What has happened to them? I am scared of what this experience will be like, but I feel like whatever challenges and struggles I might encounter, they are nothing compared to what the people of Darfur have gone through. I am wondering if I’ll be able to take it all in or if I’ll be so busy with tech work that my mind will be in analytical problem-solver mode during the day. I am thinking about my own family and friends and wondering if they were born into the situation facing the people of Darfur, would others care about their situation and be trying to help.

I am thinking about the fact that this is Gabriel’s 8th trip to the region in 4 years. I hope that there won’t be a need for 8 more trips of this kind of work. I hope that on future trips we will be bringing back stories of families returning to their villages, rebuilding them in peace, and the children of Darfur attending schools and chasing their dreams without fear of the next time Antonov planes will drop bombs on their village or refugee camp. Many thoughts running through my head.

6 replies on “Eric’s Travel Journal – 1”

Dear Eric,

I am following your travel entries. This is great that the team is posting updates on their trip. Continue to tell us how things are looking there in Darfur. Not many people will ever get to travel to Africa to witness the reality of it. Please share all that you can… all and any information that is necessary to bring a better understanding for the public.

Thank you Jaymi for following the i-ACT trip. Yes I will strive to do all I can to share what I am seeing and learning with everyone. Stay tuned….


Hello Sandra,
thank you for reading and following the trip. I look forward to sharing more of the experience with everyone. It is so great to know that people are following along and interested in knowing how our friends in eastern Chad are doing.


Hi Eric,
I read what the guest & you wrote. Tears are in my eyes…
I couldn’t see the live video cast Sat. because I couldn’t install adobe flash player & plug ins. No roommates were around to help & my daughter didn’t respond to to my e-mail re: it. I sent her another e-mail & hope some one will help me, so I can see the casting on Monday. (You know I’m not taught well re: computers.) My feeling of
helplessness may be a ‘tiny’ bit similar to some of the refugees.
Palo Alto, California

Hello Marie,
Willow told me about how you have been watching the videos and reading the posts on our website, that is so great! Do not worry about missing the web cast, you didn’t miss it. The live event is Saturday June 20, you can bug your daughter to help you get your computer setup before then, you have 4 more days =) Thank you so much for following along, I am doing my best to write about the experience but with the daily schedule of video/tech work it doesn’t leave a lot of time to sit, think, and write. But I will try harder now that we are in the camps and with the people.


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