Afternoon pick me up. Photo: Sara-Christine/i-ACT
Another day in the capital. The anticipation continues.
Here at the hotel, I’ve found ways to break up the long day. I practice yoga in my room, go for a run on the treadmill, and in the afternoons, I treat myself to a double espresso. I banter with the hotel staff who all know my name now. I people watch in the lobby and speculate about who is who and what they’re doing in Chad. The rest of my day is spent working, emailing, reading, writing and thinking ahead to what we need to accomplish this week. For being stuck in N’Djamena its not too shabby, except there is so much we need to do in the camps that every day spent here feels like time wasted!
I’ve also been taking the time to catch up on the news, which is quite disheartening. Especially when reading reports from Central African Republic and South Sudan. I do find myself getting discouraged. Or maybe I’m just restless. But if anything, these ongoing conflicts do provide a pressing reminder of how vulnerable the Darfuri refugees will always remain to renewed violence. This makes our work all the more crucial, and here, sitting in my hotel room, I remind myself of the opportunity we have with Darfur United. We aim to unite people. To plant the seeds of peace and hope among a population that has experienced so much violence and isolation. Thinking about these goals and the team’s chance to succeed makes me so hopeful and eager. Darfur United is an example of what life is all about for me – building relationships and connections, bringing hope, telling stories, and empowering others.
We have the capability, through soccer and CONIFA, to bring attention to the plight of the refugees. And more so, to bring a hopeful story to this region, to connect the refugees with players and teams from other parts of the world, and to give them a platform to tell their story.