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10 Things I’ve Learned – on my 16th trip to Darfuri refugee camps

(in no particular order)

1. Showing up is important. Coming back creates friendships for life.


2. There is absolutely no excuse for the world allowing Darfur to burn for over ten years.


3. You can find other people that will be willing to come out with you and “participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.”


4. Some children will laugh and play, even when surrounded by violence and suffering. They should not be forced to demonstrate this type of resiliency.


5. Bumpy rides get old after just a few days, and your butt gets sore sooner than that. This is not a metaphor.


6. You shouldn’t be able to carry on one go all of your food for one month.


7. The multiple trips, sleepless nights, sustained stress, and endless hours of work to bring together the right pieces that form a magical space for children is all worth it and makes complete sense, when you see the first little ripples walk in the door.


8. Beauty. Dignity. Guisma.


9. An open prison does not have walls or bars, but—after years locked in one—it can still keep the human spirit from flying.


10. I’ve learned…I have so much to learn.



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