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[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.27.4″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]I’ve been thinking a lot about Achta lately. She lost two sons in the attack on her village in Darfur, and then one more in the walk across the desert to Chad. He was four years old and he died on her back. He had diarrhea, one of the most treatable illnesses in the world if you have access to clean water and rest.

Leila Paz, my own daughter who is 18 months old, had diarrhea and was throwing up last week. I nursed her, tried to get her to rest a bit, and slowly fed her popsicles or water with electrolytes. She recovered quickly and is back to running around like it’s her full time job. But I cannot get stop thinking about circumstances and just how lucky I am to live where I do, in a safe and clean home.

Achta is not so lucky. She did not have access to clean water, nor could she stop running when her 4-year-old son was sick. Her family was not safe. They had to bury him in the desert, and continue walking in search of safety. In her refugee camp, Achta lost another child, Marymouda. They don’t know why, just that neither traditional healers nor the clinic could help. It must be agonizing for her to think about the four children she has lost. It’s hard for me to think about.

My husband told me that I would feel life differently after Leila was born. He is right. Sadness hits me deeper, and I relish the moments of joy and laughter, not wanting them to stop. I realize being able to take the time to feel is a privilege. I don’t have to spend every moment figuring out how to help my family survive. Knowing that other mothers do motivates me to work harder everyday to bring peace to their lives. If Leila ever asks me, “What did you do to help all the children in the world?” I want to be able to say, “All that I could.”

Achta and her family, including Marymouda, the first day we met them in 2008. 



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