Day 3: March 25

Breathing Sand

I have a cold which includes a headache, and I’m feeling miserable in one hundred degrees plus weather, and I’m breathing this fine sand with every step I take, and then we make it to Adef’s house. His two youngest boys, IMG_2457Abdelmouni and Gabriel, also are sick and surrounded by suffocating heat and breathing the fine sand around them and fighting a losing battle against flies, and this is their home.

Adef regularly walks a long distance to tend to a garden he planted away from the camp. His tomatoes failed, and Achta says that food rations do not last thirty days. When Achta gets up, Adef takes over holding the now sleeping Gabriel and starts swatting at the flies — too many. Adef and Achta are warm and welcoming and affectionate. From the first time I met Adef, I connected with him, maybe because of how I see him hold his children, the way I think I hold mine.

Adef wishes he could go back and defend his real home, Darfur, but life in the camp would be too difficult for his family without him.


P.S. I now write this sitting on a bed in an air-conditioned room. I took cold medicine, after eating and drinking two bottles of water.

4 replies on “Breathing Sand”

This post makes me sad and grateful. I’m sad for people like Adef and his 2 sons, but I’m so incredibly grateful and spoiled for everything that we have here in the U.S. How can we complain about little things that go wrong? Thank you Gabe for putting life into perspective for us.

Hi Kimi. Rahma was looking through your group’s Commkit posts today, and he had a huge grin on his face. Thanks for what you’ve been doing with your students for these kids here. Perspective. Yes. My Armenian friend, Father Vazken, started an organization called In His Shoes, and he has his group deeply involved in the Darfur cause. I also connect it with your “steps” t-shirts, which I brought with me. I
think perspective, the willingness to gain perspective and be moved by it, is common among people that participate in change. Say hi to all your students! Hug.

It may be pouring down rain tomorrow, but I will be on the Sundial Bridge and will be praying for Adef and his 2 sons, for all of the people in the camps, and for you. Thanks for going back to the camps and letting us feel the pain, suffering, and resilience of Adef, his family and all of our Darfur brothers and sisters.

Please tell Rahma he is the hit of MY HOME and that there are lots of people in Redding who think that some day he will be president of Sudan and that they would vote for him!

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