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.


1_friends

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

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

3_team

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.

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

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

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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.

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8. Beauty. Dignity. Guisma.

8_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.

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

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