Three refugee women, walking

by Jun 5, 2017

Saturday was our first day visiting camp Bredjing. It’s an almost hour-long drive through bumpy terrain, interrupted a few times by wide wadis—sandy, dry riverbeds. The scenery is striking: blue skies with beautiful waves of white clouds, vast plains with hills of all shapes on the horizon, and interesting animals—like funny-looking camels, large birds I don’t know the names of, dingo-looking-car-chasing dogs, and undisturbable donkeys in the middle of the car’s path.

Being that it was our first day at camp Bredjing, we first had to drive another fifteen minutes past it to go check in with the local equivalent of the town’s mayor. He welcomed us with a friendly smile and a gun in his hand. We sat for a few minutes and explained our purpose in the camp, as he rested the gun on his lap (pointing in no particular direction).

On the drive back to the camp, halfway there, I saw three refugee women walking. The bright yellows, oranges, reds, and greens of their dresses jumped out in perfect contrast to the desert scenery. It made for a beautiful picture—if I had taken it.

Each of the three was carrying a very large clay container that refugee homes have for water. They looked out-of-the-oven brand new. Our driver and friend, Faysal, told us that Saturday is market day in the village. The three refugee women in colorful dress must have walked at least two hours to the village’s market and were now walking another two hours back to the camp.

They need those containers to have cool water for their children at home. Of course, they and the children must also walk every day to a water point to collect the water that will go in those clay containers.

At home, I walk to the faucet, and water comes out. My refrigerator gives me ice in two different shapes and cold, filtered water at the click of a glass. It’s so nice and simple. This gives me time to watch TV, read a book, and play with my children.

Privileged and appreciative,
Gabriel

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