Exhausting. Up at 3:30am and out at the camp by 5. The players were all already up and getting ready for the trip to N’Djamena, for sure the farthest any of them have been from home.
Two players, Mohamed and Mohamed, had to leave earlier than the others because we could not all fit into one plane. They were nervous and talked to me, wanting to know why they were not traveling with the team. I explained and assured them everything would be alright. The older Mohamed thanked me and said that they wanted to talk with me because they could trust me. They feared that they were being sent home and would not be with the team on the journey. My only worry was that they would not be flying straight to the capital but would be making a stop in the scary Abeche airport. I’ve been through that airport dozens of times, and I still stress every time because it is crowded and pushy and a bit unhinged. It’s one of a kind.
As soon as they landed in Abeche…. Read more here.
Gabriel and James have arrived in Chad and are making their way to the east, where they will reunited with the Darfur United players who have spent the last 8 weeks eating, sleeping, and training together!
Eight years in the refugee camps in Chad. The refugees are from an Arabic and English speaking nation. Chad is a French speaking country. The communications between UNHCR and the refugees is only through the interpreters. Refugees education is the Sudan education system. The refugees thought that their children must study Sudan education hopping that the Darfur problem may be solved soon, to be home and that will be helpful for the children to resume the education at home. Now eight years have past and the refugees are not able to speak French or even those who could understand french have no rights to be employed as the native Chadian. The refugee worker is accepted by UNHCR as a volunteer to work for a small incentive. The future for these poor refugees is so dark until every one put the things in the right place.
Your mercy my God.
Adam Jabal refugee camp Chad
Jabal refugee camp [secondary school]
Hundreds of English books in the boxes and on the floor for five years without right to any one to use it. I’am the only English teacher there. When I asked why we are not allowed to use these books? The answer is until we built the library.
So the student might wait till the problem in Darfur been solved
Adam Moussa Ahmad
Jabal refugee camp Chad
The Team has made it to Goz Beida, the closest town to refugee camp Djabal and their home for the next few days.
Here are the first images from the UNHCR compound and Djabal itself. You may spot some familiar faces.
The i-ACT team finally arrives in Kou Kou, the forward operating base for UNHCR in Camp Goz Amer.
A day in the capital does a job on you. Fighting the jetlag and tiredness from having spent 24hrs making the journey here, we then spent a whole day doing final touches on permits, getting a cell phone (actually, service for two cell numbers — always good to have a backup!), and exchanging money. A small stack of one-hundred dollar bills turned us in to millionaires in Chadian money!
We’re ready to head to the east! It’s going to be another whole-day type of a thing. Oh, it’s also going to be Thanksgiving Day. We won’t have any turkey out here. There won’t be mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, and all those great desserts. I’m actually starting my 1,000 calorie Chad diet, made up of tuna, nuts, and granola bars. I have a few little containers of peanut-butter, so I might go over just a bit on some days.
I’ll miss the food, but I’ll miss my family a lot more. Being away from my son and daughter is so hard, and each day I feel it a little more. After six straight i-ACT Expeditions together, this is now my second one without KTJ. I miss her. For the few of you that don’t know, she’s not only my coworker — she is also my wife.
It’s a privilege to be out here, though, and my teammates are also giving up so much to be here with me. We have a cool Expedition crew. Jeremiah is coming back to Chad, having been with me and KTJ on that trip when we got caught in the middle of a rebel takeover of the capital. It’s Jordan’s first trip, but she seems ready for any adventure. Meghan is with us for the first part of the trip. She’s from the Darfur Dream Team office, and it’ll be great to introduce her to all the kids and teachers in the camps, whom she knows from our social network, Pazocalo, peace public square.
OK, getting closer to the camps!