Darfur Fast for Life

We fast in solidarity with the hungry and starving in Darfur and for lasting peace in Sudan
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Archive for July, 2009

DAY 1: – THURSDAY 31 JULY

July 31, 2009 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

DAY 1 of anything new is always a challenge. The practice of fasting is something that I have taken part in regularly, Juice Fast, Lemon Fast – I’ve tried them all in the name of vanity, and so-called personal growth.

The Fast For Darfur was something that I knew nothing about. Berrin Noorata opened my eyes to the organization, it’s purpose, and her experiences fasting for the cause.  After hearing what she had to say, I felt compelled to do something.   If engaging in my own fast and writing about it could help this cause gain more public attention, then it became something I knew I was going to do!

Recently, I had been going through a lot of personal upset and feelings of loss. The introduction to the food crisis in Darfur really helped me put a lot of things into perspective. Gabriel had introduced me to  http://www.stopgenocidenow.org/iact/iact8/day9.  The website was extremely powerful, as is his relationship with Adef and their family. I began to realize that this is about Human Rights, and the power of people to actually make a difference. Looking at the steps that each individual had taken, I felt mindful, and a bit melancholy for some reason.  And thus the decision to follow through with this fast.

With good intentions, I started my day with a lot of water, rushing around, extremely fast paced, and feeling completely lethargic. I was desperate for caffeine; I had to refer back to the site on several occasions to remind myself to stay strong and keep the cause at the front of my mind. The stories and the journals really helped me, however I still found difficutly maintain my daily schedule, and functioning in the world.  I broke the fast at 9.30 pm with some food; so attached to my boot straps, I will try again in the am.

July 31, 2009

July 31, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

I am proud to be part of a community that has such strength and commitment. Oregon is still fasting, some every Wednesday and others in their own private ways. Oregon is committed to affecting change, we believe and feel our connection to the people of Darfur. Our fast has brought us together in so many ways, some have become lifelong friends and others partners in this mission. We are immensely grateful for the opportunity to stand together, to bring our different and hard working organizations together. The fast has deepened our connection and renewed many who have been working so diligently and at times have not seen the change they so wish for. We believe in our hard work and small sacrifices because we know how much the people of Darfur are suffering, we hear their words and admire their strength. They are continually teaching us perseverance and most importantly about humanity and forgiveness. Our connection to them is bound by common love, family and strength of community. Their voice and needs will continue to resonate within us and we will continue to yell loudly for them.

— Alysha

Anita Bitton Joins Darfur Fast for Life

July 28, 2009 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

Congresswoman Gwen Moore’s Statement on Darfur Fast

July 28, 2009 By: Admin Category: Congresswoman Moore

It has been five years since the United States Congress declared genocide in Darfur, but thousands continue to perish. Today I join activists in 34 countries who started fasting in April when aid organizations were kicked out of Darfur by the Sudanese president, leaving 1.1 million innocent civilians without basic access to food, water and medicine. From sunrise to sunset today, I will consume only water to demonstrate solidarity with the people of Darfur. It is an insignificant act relative to the magnitude of the tragedy unfolding there. But I join thousands in this simple act in hope that a critical mass will prick our global consciousness and keep us focused on the hundreds of thousands who have lost their lives. I especially want to thank the Plymouth United Church of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, members of the Save Darfur Coalition, who are joining me today. My fast won’t stop the tragedy unfolding in Darfur, but I hope that it will carry me deeper into thought and to help me reflect on how to end this tragedy.

Congresswoman Moore Joins Darfur Fast for Life

July 27, 2009 By: Admin Category: Congresswoman Moore

Congresswoman Edwards Joins Darfur Fast For Life

July 25, 2009 By: Admin Category: Congresswoman Edwards

“Today marks the tenth Friday I have fasted in solidarity with the people of Darfur, while they have endured suffering and violence for far too many years,” said Rep. Edwards. “We must continue to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis taking place in Darfur, and I hope by joining others here in Congress and around the world, we will be successful in bringing further focus to Darfur. I thank President Obama for returning the world’s attention during his trip to Ghana to highlight abuses taking place in Darfur, and for calling the situation what it is – genocide. I urge individuals in Maryland’s 4th Congressional District, and across the country, to join me in our Friday Fasting in solidarity with the people of Darfur. I encourage those who do, to send me an e-mail at donna.edwards@mail.house.gov

Rep. Donna Edwards arrested with four Congressional Democrats at Darfur protest

July 24, 2009 By: Admin Category: Congresswoman Edwards

April 27, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland’s 4th district was arrested today along with four other members of Congress during a Darfur protest outside the Sudanese embassy.

Full story at: http://www.examiner.com

rep-edwards-photo-4

rep-edwards-photo-6

Day 2

July 13, 2009 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

Day 2 of the fast I spent the day online reading about the hunger and turmoil the people of Darfur live in.  I want to keep myself occupied and my mind focused.  I’ve gone only 2days without the abundance of food that Im used to and I feel weak, tired… All I want to do is sleep to pass the time.
I can’t imagine what it would feel like to not have a choice to eat and enjoy food.  I want to do so much more to help these people.  I feel so blessed for the life I live and for this opportunity that has been passed on to me from my friend and so many amazing people before her.
This experience is my baby-step toward supporting a great cause for humanity.

1st Day

July 12, 2009 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

I received an email a few days ago from my dear friend, Naheed Simjee, asking if I’d be interested in getting involved with this fast.  I realized I didn’t really know much about Darfur, so I decided to take this opportunity to educate myself and understand as much as I could.
I hope that my involvement in this fast helps build awareness and encourages other people to get involved.

Today is the first day of my fast and  having skipped just breakfast so far, Im feeling fine.  I’m on my way to a lunch meeting – now minus the lunch.

I worked through the day and ran errands, trying to keep myself busy and my mind off food.  I started to feel light headed and tired around 4pm so I took a nap. By evening, I started to get a headache and noticed my mood become very irritated.  The first day of hunger seems to be effecting my head more than my stomach.

It’s late.  I’ve started and stopped this entry 3 times now.  I can’t think clearly so I’ll say goodnight.1s1

Berrin Noorata Joins Darfur Fast for Life

July 11, 2009 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

Day 3

July 11, 2009 By: Admin Category: Naheed Simjee

It’s Friday night and I can hear the sound of sirens in the distance. I’m looking out onto the city from a relatively high point in Laurel Canyon and the view is spectacular. The city lights look like tiny fireflies and from up here, I feel a bit isolated. Even though it would have been easy to hang out with friends or family tonight, the past three days were such a commitment and test to my willingness and discipline that I felt like being alone, especially this evening. I am just finishing up a particularly long day and night of work and listening to music has really helped the day along. The Three Mile Pilot record “A Town We Once Knew” is very melancholic, ghostly and eerie and it was sort of a reflection of how I was feeling for majority of the day.

At around 5:00 PM I made a quick run to a friend’s recording studio with his pug who makes me smile. On the way back I got a sudden surge of energy and it was kind of startling because I had no idea where it came from. I felt wide awake for no apparent reason. My appearance wasn’t so inviting, though. I had puffy eyes, my muscles ached and my skin felt dry and I looked unfamiliar. I’m hoping for a good night’s rest and look forward to getting my body ready for a small but healthy meal in the morning so my body isn’t too surprised when it is fed.

The psychological effects of this fast are very obvious – it impacted my train of thought in different ways each day. The physical aspects made me feel useless. I though to myself at times, just have some tea I mean, it’s like water. But then I would just think about how I got through the past two days and pushed myself to go one more. Like many of the people who have participated and whose journal entries I was able to read, I had to remember this was not about me ‘succeeding’ but doing my part as a human who wants to see change in the world and an end to the crisis in Darfur. I thought about inspiring people, like Mahatma Gandhi and Aung San Suu Kyi whose passion and dedication to nonviolence are remembered by what they sacrificed for the welfare of humans – even though they both faced an injustice from the cruelty of humans.

This fast is very very difficult, but I believe it has been my duty to try my best to join the efforts and set an example.

Tomorrow morning I will pass the baton and look forward to hearing about the experiences of the next person. But furthermore, it will be another person like you and me spreading the message and continuing to make people aware of these horrid crimes against humanity.

Day 2

July 10, 2009 By: Gabriel Category: Naheed Simjee, Uncategorized

I can’t say there was anything easy about waking up this morning.  I mean, it was really rough on me.   When my alarm went off at 7:00 AM, I was confused as to what was going on.  I felt so fragile and I also had a hard time getting out of bed without feeling dizzy.  It was somewhere between feeling extremely hungover and waking up from a super dose of anesthesia.   I realized this was the first time I hadn’t eaten a single thing for over 24 hours.  It got to the point where I was second guessing if I was supposed to be drinking water or not.

I really didn’t know what to do to get my blood moving and to shake this bewilderment I was experiencing.  It was my boyfriend’s birthday today and when I called him, I found myself cutting the conversation short because I was so backwards and stumbling over my words.  I felt very discombobulated.  He is very encouraging but is also concerned because I am borderline anemic.

To get myself going, I ran in place for a bit and then jumped in the shower hoping that the water splashing down on me would make me feel a little bit more normal and awake.  It helped a bit, but when I had to walk outside, the sun felt extra bright and it was as though I was moving in slow motion.  It really hit me how sluggish I was when I interacted with the salesperson at the electronics store.  She was trying to explain to me why one product was better than the other and I found myself trying to concentrate on what she was saying, but none of it seemed to matter and truthfully, I just didn’t care.

I had a ton of things to do today and really wanted to be on top of my game.  The friends I work with asked me about five times if I was hungry and what I wanted to do for lunch, quickly followed by, “Oh, I forgot, you’re fasting.” The longer I stayed in one place, the more shaky and insane I would feel.  Then someone came in and said, “there’s pizza!” and I wanted to scream but didn’t have the energy.

I decided to look up the effects of short term food deprivation compared to those experiencing long term starvation.  It was frightening to think about the people that haven’t eaten food for over A MONTH, longer than any of us volunteering to fast could ever endure.  I looked at pictures of people who have died from complications due to starvation and others that were alive but suffering tremendously.  Organ failure.  Inability to fight disease.  Reproductive problems.  Depression.  That victims of starvation are often too weak to sense thirst so they become dehydrated.  Atrophy of the muscles.  Hysteria.  Sensitivity to noise.  All of a sudden, my fatigue and craving for anything disappeared.  I think I just became ill from the photos and disgusted by the fact that this is still going on right here on our planet.

I watched a video today called Darfurian Voices.  There were two quotes that I wanted to share and end this journal entry with.  To me, the voices of the people of Darfur represented the hope and patience of many who have suffered and witnessed this catastrophe. The quotes have been translated from Arabic:

A Darfurian man said

“Of course there is nothing impossible in the universe.”

A Darfurian woman said:

“With regards to the conflict, I’m not a politician or anything like that.  And I’m not well informed of all the relevant issues.  But my humble understanding is that the conflict is the result of injustice.  There is injustice and inequality and there is the marginalization of the people of Darfur.  Peace means security. Peace means stability. Peace is justice.  Without them, there is no peace.”

I am taking on my third day of fasting tomorrow to share the hope and desire for peace of the Darfurian people and to let as many people I know be reminded of what is going on.

Day 1

July 09, 2009 By: Admin Category: Naheed Simjee

The only type of fasting I have ever done involves giving up something in particular or fasting between certain hours.  I don’t think I have ever given up food completely for more than a day.  So needless to say, this three day fast will be a challenge and I’m hoping a wake up call to myself and those that have food readily available to them, freedom of choice and the ability to make a change.  I am thankful that my friend John Whitledge passed me the baton.

The morning started out relatively easy since I hit the ground running and was too busy to even think about food.  My usual morning routine involves going for a run, eating a piece of fruit and drinking a cup of tea or coffee.  But instead, I drank a large glass of water and went about my day.  Then I went out for an errand at around noon and drove through the fantastic smell of fresh warm tortillas lingering in the air.  This definitely made me think of food, but I had somewhere to be and it was only a momentary thought that quickly passed.

By about 2:00 this afternoon, I’m feeling low in energy and slightly moody.  I have mentally accepted the fact that I am not going to be eating, but it’s like my body is saying “what’s going on here?”

I like to try and understand the cause and effect of everything.   On physical and emotional change.  My 70 year old father insists that fasting once a week regularly is good for the body and soul.  He has become quite used to it.  Not me.  It’s close to 10:00 PM now and I am wanting to just go to sleep to combat my shakiness and inability to focus on one thing for too long…like this journal entry that I am trying to finish but I keep going off into a blank stare at my screen.

I am making a commitment to do this fast because it is important to me to reach anyone who is not fully aware of what is happening in Darfur.  It is not about my struggle but I do want to experience if for only three days, what the people in Darfur and the world are going through although I know I cannot even imagine what it is like.  I know that this is something I volunteered to do.  Unfortunately, those in Darfur and in refugee camps all over the world DON’T have that option.  I know the issue is not just the starvation, but the climbing death tolls, rapes and murders and so many other things that make you ask yourself “do humans really treat each other this way?”

I spent much of the day working alone and had various thoughts enter my mind. You may or may not be afraid of death.  It might not something you talk about often.  You might wonder how you are going to leave this earth, what will be the cause?  But I realized today that starving to death is not something that I ever feared because I have never been put in a situation where having food just wasn’t an option.   Even when you’re broke, you can find a way to eat some crappy fast food that will suffice your hunger.  There is food everywhere I look.  Even the homeless in the city have soup kitchen’s or shelters that will provide the basics.  I drove by hundreds of dining options today in such a small radius.  I tried to imagine what it must be like to have to wait for someone to distribute your rations.  To not know if there is even going to be a next ration.  I felt sadness and was reminded just how much the world we live in consumes and wastes while others are being denied their basic human rights.

Week 18: August 24 – 30, 2009

July 08, 2009 By: Admin Category: Calendar

People Fasting in Solidarity

Week 18: August 24 – 30, 2009

To join Darfur Fast for Life for one day or more, send an e-mail to join@fastdarfur.org with your name, date(s) fasting, hometown, and form of fasting you will participate in (water only or refugee rations).

Please be sure to check with your doctor, if you intend on doing any extended form of fasting.

Date Name Hometown Fast
August 24
Monday
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Marv Steinberg Redding, CA refugee rations
Melody Johnson Savannah, Georgia water only
water only
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 25
Tuesday
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Molly Racette North Adams, MA water only
Sharon Silber for NYC Coalition for Darfur and the Darfur Vigil Group New York, NY water only
Andrew Hall Tucson, AZ water only
Megan Talbot Tucson, AZ water only
Megan Rall Tucson, AZ water only
Gwen Woods Tucson, AZ water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 26
Wednesday
refugee rations
Molly Racette North Adams, MA water only
Janalyn Salhaney Grand Rapids, MI water only
Morgan Harris Bozeman, MT water only
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 27
Thursday
Liz Palmer refugee rations
water only
water only
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 28
Friday
refugee rations
Janalyn Salhaney Grand Rapids, MI water only
Anne Curry Phoenix, AZ water only
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 29
Saturday
refugee rations
water only
water only
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 30
Sunday
refugee rations
water only
water only
water only

To join Darfur Fast for Life for one day or more, send an e-mail to join@fastdarfur.org with your name, date(s) fasting, hometown, and form of fasting you will participate in (water only or refugee rations). Please be sure to check with your doctor, if you intend on doing any extended form of fasting.

Week 17: August 17 – 23, 2009

July 08, 2009 By: Admin Category: Calendar

People Fasting in Solidarity

Week 17: August 17 – 23, 2009

To join Darfur Fast for Life for one day or more, send an e-mail to join@fastdarfur.org with your name, date(s) fasting, hometown, and form of fasting you will participate in (water only or refugee rations).

Please be sure to check with your doctor, if you intend on doing any extended form of fasting.

Date Name Hometown Fast
August 17
Monday
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Marv Steinberg Redding, CA refugee rations
Melody Johnson Savannah, Georgia water only
Sun~Rose liquids only
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 18
Tuesday
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Molly Racette North Adams, MA water only
Sharon Silber for NYC Coalition for Darfur and the Darfur Vigil Group New York, NY water only
Andrew Hall Tucson, AZ water only
Megan Talbot Tucson, AZ water only
Megan Rall Tucson, AZ water only
Gwen Woods Tucson, AZ water only
Sun~Rose liquids only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 19
Wednesday
refugee rations
Molly Racette North Adams, MA water only
Janalyn Salhaney Grand Rapids, MI water only
Morgan Harris Bozeman, MT water only
Sun~Rose Liquids only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 20
Thursday
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Sun~Rose liquids only
water only
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 21
Friday
refugee rations
Janalyn Salhaney Grand Rapids, MI water only
Anne Curry Phoenix, AZ water only
Sun~Rose liquids only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 22
Saturday
refugee rations
water only
water only
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 23
Sunday
refugee rations
water only
water only
water only

To join Darfur Fast for Life for one day or more, send an e-mail to join@fastdarfur.org with your name, date(s) fasting, hometown, and form of fasting you will participate in (water only or refugee rations). Please be sure to check with your doctor, if you intend on doing any extended form of fasting.

Week 16: August 10 – 16, 2009

July 08, 2009 By: Admin Category: Calendar

People Fasting in Solidarity

Week 16: August 10 – 16, 2009

To join Darfur Fast for Life for one day or more, send an e-mail to join@fastdarfur.org with your name, date(s) fasting, hometown, and form of fasting you will participate in (water only or refugee rations).

Please be sure to check with your doctor, if you intend on doing any extended form of fasting.

Date Name Hometown Fast
August 10
Monday
Nell Okie Madison, CT water only
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Melody Johnson Savannah, Georgia water only
Donna Kelley Del Rio, TX water only
Natalia Tizon Toronto, Canada water only
Jon Kit water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 11
Tuesday
Nell Okie Madison, CT water only
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Marv Steinberg Redding, CA refugee rations
Sharon Silber for NYC Coalition for Darfur and the Darfur Vigil Group New York, NY water only
Molly Racette North Adams, MA water only
Andrew Hall Tucson, AZ water only
Megan Talbot Tucson, AZ water only
Megan Rall Tucson, AZ water only
Gwen Woods Tucson, AZ water only
Jon Kit water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 12
Wednesday
Nell Okie Madison, CT water only
Molly Racette North Adams, MA water only
Janalyn Salhaney Grand Rapids, MI water only
Donna Kelley Del Rio, TX water only
Morgan Harris Bozeman, MT water only
Jon Kit water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 13
Thursday
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Rabbi Adam Stein Kansas, USA water only
Denise Jordon Kansas, USA water only
Cathy Blake Kansas, USA water only
Rabbi Alan Cohen Kansas, USA water only
Judy Hellman Kansas, USA water only
Marvin Szneler Kansas, USA water only
Linda Whitaker-Schmitt Kansas, USA water only
Judy Weinstein Kansas, USA water only
David Weinstein Kansas, USA water only
Lynne Tiemeier Kansas, USA water only
Rabbi Debbie Stiel Kansas, USA water only
Sylvan Siegler Kansas, USA water only
Steve Sherry Kansas, USA water only
Judy Sherry Kansas, USA water only
John Sheeley Kansas, USA water only
Ron Scrogham Kansas, USA water only
William D Schmitt Kansas, USA water only
Marcia A. Rygaard Kansas, USA water only
Rabbi Jonathan Rudnick Kansas, USA water only
Dr. Lorne Ruby Kansas, USA water only
Kate Gaynor Riha Kansas, USA water only
Judy Rieck Kansas, USA water only
DeChantel Ramge Kansas, USA water only
Damon Porter Kansas, USA water only
Nancy Oglesby Kansas, USA water only
Jean Myers Kansas, USA water only
Gary Myers Kansas, USA water only
Nancy Morgan Kansas, USA water only
Reverend Tamara Miller Kansas, USA water only
Howard Mayer Kansas, USA water only
Pat Martin Kansas, USA water only
Fran Manson Kansas, USA water only
Rabbi Mark Levin Kansas, USA water only
Jo Ann Leach Kansas, USA water only
Elizabeth Leach Kansas, USA water only
Anna Leach Kansas, USA water only
Michael Landy Kansas, USA water only
Irene Landy Kansas, USA water only
Marlene Krakow Kansas, USA water only
Dr. Stephen B. Koshland Kansas, USA water only
Marilyn Koshland Kansas, USA water only
Gabrielle Kocour, OSB Kansas, USA water only
Pat Kenoyer Kansas, USA water only
Janine Joslin Kansas, USA water only
Mamie Hughes Kansas, USA water only
Kim Holland Kansas, USA water only
Susie Hillix Kansas, USA water only
Dr. Robert Lee Hill Kansas, USA water only
Marilyn Lake Griffin Kansas, USA water only
Jane Greene Kansas, USA water only
Rozann Gicinto Kansas, USA water only
Bridget Gelms Kansas, USA water only
Pat Gallagher Kansas, USA water only
Lisa Galchick Kansas, USA water only
Andy Ernstein Kansas, USA water only
Cynthia Eldridge-Davis Kansas, USA water only
Mary Margaret Carmody Kansas, USA water only
Ellen Carmody Kansas, USA water only
Reverend Rob Carr Kansas, USA water only
Carol Burton Kansas, USA water only
Martha Boshnick Kansas, USA water only
Tutti Birmingham Kansas, USA water only
Zoda Ballew Kansas, USA water only
Diane Ballew Kansas, USA water only
Alice Ballew Kansas, USA water only
Vernetta Adair Kansas, USA water only
Sandie Colbert Kansas, USA water only
Dr. Jack Price Kansas, USA water only
Cheryl Samet Kansas, USA water only
Meri Lee Scagliotti Kansas, USA water only
Shmuel Wolkenfeld Kansas, USA water only
Jean Zeldin Kansas, USA water only
Mary Ann Grayson Kansas, USA water only
Anita Russell Kansas, USA water only
Henri Goettel Kansas, USA water only
Ramalee Beck Kansas, USA water only
Belinda Block Kansas, USA water only
John Block Kansas, USA water only
Darlene Dixon Kansas, USA water only
Kim Johnson Kansas, USA water only
Pat Johnston Kansas, USA water only
Nancy Mathew Kansas, USA water only
Wanda Olkiewig Kansas, USA water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 14
Friday
refugee rations
Janalyn Salhaney Grand Rapids, MI water only
Anne Curry Phoenix, AZ water only
Donna Kelley Del Rio, TX water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 15
Saturday
refugee rations
water only
water only
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 16
Sunday
refugee rations
Natalia Tizon Toronto, Canada water only
water only
water only

To join Darfur Fast for Life for one day or more, send an e-mail to join@fastdarfur.org with your name, date(s) fasting, hometown, and form of fasting you will participate in (water only or refugee rations). Please be sure to check with your doctor, if you intend on doing any extended form of fasting.

Week 15: August 3 – 9, 2009

July 08, 2009 By: Admin Category: Calendar

People Fasting in Solidarity

Week 15: August 3 – 9, 2009

To join Darfur Fast for Life for one day or more, send an e-mail to join@fastdarfur.org with your name, date(s) fasting, hometown, and form of fasting you will participate in (water only or refugee rations).

Please be sure to check with your doctor, if you intend on doing any extended form of fasting.

Date Name Hometown Fast
August 3
Monday
Julie Butterworth Lee Asheville, NC refugee rations
Marv Steinberg Redding, CA refugee rations
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Aubrey DuPar Ventura, CA water only
Melody Johnson Savannah, Georgia water only
Donna Kelley Del Rio, TX water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 4
Tuesday
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Sharon Silber for NYC Coalition for Darfur and the Darfur Vigil Group New York, NY water only
Molly Racette North Adams, MA water only
Andrew Hall Tucson, AZ water only
Megan Talbot Tucson, AZ water only
Megan Rall Tucson, AZ water only
Gwen Woods Tucson, AZ water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 5
Wednesday
refugee rations
Molly Racette North Adams, MA water only
Janalyn Salhaney Grand Rapids, MI water only
Donna Kelley Del Rio, TX water only
Morgan Harris Bozeman, MT water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 6
Thursday
Nell Okie Madison, CT water only
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Emily Banks Covington, LA water only
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 7
Friday
Nell Okie Madison, CT water only
Janalyn Salhaney Grand Rapids, MI water only
Anne Curry Phoenix, AZ water only
Donna Kelley Del Rio, TX water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 8
Saturday
Nell Okie Madison, CT water only
Natalia Tizon Toronto, Canada water only
refugee rations
Emily Banks Covington, LA water only
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 9
Sunday
Nell Okie Madison, CT water only
refugee rations
Jon Kit water only
water only

To join Darfur Fast for Life for one day or more, send an e-mail to join@fastdarfur.org with your name, date(s) fasting, hometown, and form of fasting you will participate in (water only or refugee rations). Please be sure to check with your doctor, if you intend on doing any extended form of fasting.

Week 14: July 27 – August 2, 2009

July 08, 2009 By: Admin Category: Calendar

People Fasting in Solidarity

Week 14: July 27 – August 2, 2009

To join Darfur Fast for Life for one day or more, send an e-mail to join@fastdarfur.org with your name, date(s) fasting, hometown, and form of fasting you will participate in (water only or refugee rations).

Please be sure to check with your doctor, if you intend on doing any extended form of fasting.

Date Name Hometown Fast
July 27
Monday
Julie Butterworth Lee Asheville, NC refugee rations
Liz Palmer refugee rations
water only
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
July 28
Tuesday
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Molly Racette North Adams, MA water only
Andrew Hall Tucson, AZ water only
Megan Talbot Tucson, AZ water only
Megan Rall Tucson, AZ water only
Gwen Woods Tucson, AZ water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
July 29
Wednesday
refugee rations
Molly Racette North Adams, MA water only
Janalyn Salhaney Grand Rapids, MI water only
Melody Johnson Savannah, Georgia water only
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
July 30
Thursday
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Julee Sharik Provo, UT water only
water only
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
July 31
Friday
refugee rations
Janalyn Salhaney Grand Rapids, MI water only
Anne Curry Phoenix, AZ water only
Julee Sharik Provo, UT water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 1
Saturday
James Newton Jenison, MI refugee rations
Aubrey DuPar Ventura, CA water only
Julee Sharik Provo, UT water only
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
August 2
Sunday
refugee rations
Aubrey DuPar Ventura, CA water only
water only
water only

To join Darfur Fast for Life for one day or more, send an e-mail to join@fastdarfur.org with your name, date(s) fasting, hometown, and form of fasting you will participate in (water only or refugee rations). Please be sure to check with your doctor, if you intend on doing any extended form of fasting.

Week 13: July 20 – 26, 2009

July 08, 2009 By: Admin Category: Calendar

People Fasting in Solidarity

Week 13: July 20 – 26, 2009

To join Darfur Fast for Life for one day or more, send an e-mail to join@fastdarfur.org with your name, date(s) fasting, hometown, and form of fasting you will participate in (water only or refugee rations).

Please be sure to check with your doctor, if you intend on doing any extended form of fasting.

Date Name Hometown Fast
July 20
Monday
Julie Butterworth Lee Asheville, NC refugee rations
water only
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Date Name Hometown Fast
July 21
Tuesday
Liz Palmer refugee rations
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
July 22
Wednesday
refugee rations
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
July 23
Thursday
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Morgan Furore Suttons Bay, MI water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
July 24
Friday
refugee rations
Juliet A. Camp Salt Lake City, UT water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
July 25
Saturday
refugee rations
water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
July 26
Sunday
refugee rations
water only

To join Darfur Fast for Life for one day or more, send an e-mail to join@fastdarfur.org with your name, date(s) fasting, hometown, and form of fasting you will participate in (water only or refugee rations). Please be sure to check with your doctor, if you intend on doing any extended form of fasting.

Week 12: July 13 – 19, 2009

July 08, 2009 By: Admin Category: Calendar

People Fasting in Solidarity

Week 12: July 13 – 19, 2009

To join Darfur Fast for Life for one day or more, send an e-mail to join@fastdarfur.org with your name, date(s) fasting, hometown, and form of fasting you will participate in (water only or refugee rations).

Please be sure to check with your doctor, if you intend on doing any extended form of fasting.

Date Name Hometown Fast
July 13
Monday
Noreen Sciaky Oak Lawn, IL refugee rations
Beth Heinemann State College,PA water only
Michelle D. van Hees Portland, OR refugee rations
Julie Butterworth Lee Asheville, NC refugee rations
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Date Name Hometown Fast
July 14
Tuesday
Michelle D. van Hees Portland, OR refugee rations
Beth Heinemann State College,PA water only
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Date Name Hometown Fast
July 15
Wednesday
Michelle D. van Hees Portland, OR refugee rations
Beth Heinemann State College,PA water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
July 16
Thursday
Liz Palmer refugee rations
Beth Heinemann State College,PA water only
Jon kit New York City, NY water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
July 17
Friday
refugee rations
Beth Heinemann State College,PA water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
July 18
Saturday
Patricia English refugee rations
Beth Heinemann State College,PA water only
Date Name Hometown Fast
July 19
Sunday
Patricia English refugee rations
Beth Heinemann State College,PA water only

To join Darfur Fast for Life for one day or more, send an e-mail to join@fastdarfur.org with your name, date(s) fasting, hometown, and form of fasting you will participate in (water only or refugee rations). Please be sure to check with your doctor, if you intend on doing any extended form of fasting.

Naheed Simjee Joins Darfur Fast for Life

July 08, 2009 By: Admin Category: Naheed Simjee

Scout’s Journal – End of Fast

July 08, 2009 By: Admin Category: Survivor Cast

I drove 14 hours to Bloomington, Indiana on July 2nd. On July 3rd we focused all our attention on building a Sweating Lodge in which to circle and pray. It took all day, and held our focus to our cause. It rained on July 4th….It poured. It was the day of our Sweat. A circle of 8 women came together to pray. We had to build our fire in the rain, and then keep it going for 6 hours. It totally held my focus. Thus, hunger did not come. Just thirst. It reminded me totally of Vanuatu. It rained so much and we had to keep our fire going. It was cold and wet. Hunger was the least of our concerns. It was beautiful to be in the presence of women devoted to coming together though very tough circumstances in order to pray for others. I was so grateful that our fast would end. The people of Darfur have no choice. My our prayers reach all who can help stop this hunger and abuse. Bless the people of Darfur.

— Scout

Day 2

July 08, 2009 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

It is now the end of the second day.  Again it started pretty easy as I was focused on the end goal, but as with the previous day I had my series of ups and downs.  One of the things that I look forward to in the morning is a potent cup of dark coffee.  Passing all of the coffee shops on my way to work was a bit hard, but for some reason I already had a lot of energy in the morning so that made it a bit easier. Then lunchtime time hit.  Rather than enjoying a really nice meal with my coworkers, for some reason I was plagued with a pretty heavy fatigue.   Maybe it was from the hot weather we were experiencing in southern california or maybe it was just my body trying to tell me to conserve energy.  Either way I was very sluggish.  Last night was a bit harder than the rest of the day as I got another bad headache.  Despite the annoying headache the worst part was I couldn’t stop thinking about an IN N OUT double double or a delicious carne asada burrito.  But at this point I knew I was on the home stretch with one more day to go.  I just kept drinking water to keep my stomach full, which was helpful, but in the end it really only resulted in many trips to the bathroom.   During this fast the thing that has surprised me the most is that there are so many people that are not familiar with the situation in Darfur.  I was a bit shocked, but it just made me realize how important it is to keep shedding light on the issues over there. One more day to fast, but many more days, weeks, and months, (and lets hope not, years) to keep spreading the message.

John

Day 1

July 06, 2009 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

First off, it’s an honor to be participating in the fast for Darfur. My dear friend Blake Mycoskie asked me to join, and I thought it was a no brainer to do something for a good cause and an opportunity to learn more about the dire situation in Darfur.

As an aside, this is the first time I have ever taken part in a fast. I absolutely LOVE food and it’s something that I look forward to everyday with every meal. To participate in the fast I knew it was going to be a tough challenge, but I thought if the people in Darfur are forced to go without food for days, I should be able to do it voluntarily (especially knowing that I will have some great meals to look forward to…unfortunately they do not).

I have to admit, today was relatively easy. Maybe it was because I was focused on accomplishing the end goal and knowing that I cannot eat anything, but for the most part it hasn’t been that bad. Although today was relatively manageable, it did have some rough patches. I went down to the local grocery store with my wife around midday, and it was especially hard going down the first few aisles. I quickly grabbed what I needed and proceeded to the check out (thus annoying my wife because she still needed to get a few things). They say never go to a grocery store when you are hungry as you will spend too much money. Well, don’t go to a grocery store when you are hungry and fasting because it will just cause misery.

Despite the fact it was Sunday and the day after Independence day, I knew that I had to have a productive day or I would be thinking about food throughout the day. After taking a walk in the morning and then doing some work for next week at the local coffee shop (yes painful to see people sip away on delicious concoctions of coffee and cream), I decided to hit the beach to surf for a few hours. Now it’s 6 pm, I’m a little sun burnt, but craving food (especially the salami and cheese my wife just cut for herself). I’m starting to get a little headache but, I’ll manage.

As a funny side note, my wife just told me, “I really like you on this fast. You don’t mess up the kitchen.” So I guess there are some other benefits to this fast as well. 🙂

I have a read a few posts on the internet about some people saying that fasting is a waste of time and has nothing to do with the cause. They specifically said that time and effort should be put to donating money or actually going there to help out first hand. I do not disagree that donating time and money are really important (and I encourage everyone to do this), but I have to disagree with the comments that participating in a fast is useless.
Everyday we are bombarded with messages, news stories, and advertising from TV, radio, and the web. In a lot of ways we have become a desensitized society and unfortunately have fallen to the out of sight out of mind philosophy. You hear about atrocities all the time in the news, but nothing really grabs your attention until someone that you trust or respect sheds light on the cause. I had heard about the issues in Darfur, but only in broad terms, and it wasn’t until Blake brought up Fast For Darfur that I felt there was something I could do to help. As a result (I’ve been scouring the internet about the cause to learn as much as I can) and I’m now participating in the fast and doing my best to spread the word to my friends and family to shed light on the difficult situation in Darfur. Let’s be honest, I know my efforts won’t amount to much singlehandedly. However, if it educates and inspires a few of my friends and peers to do something or share the cause with someone else who will continue to keep passing on the message it will be a step in the right direction. Nothing happens overnight and it’s through education and familiarity that get issues to that point where that last straw finally breaks the camels back. Thank you Mia for shedding light!

Mike Skupin’s Journal – The 72nd hour …

July 05, 2009 By: Admin Category: Survivor Cast

Finally, the end of the third day, the end of the 72 hour fast is here. Can you imagine how many meals I’ve planned in my head over the past 3 days? You’d imagine I’d have spent the last 2 hours of the fast preparing food, laying out everything perfectly, main course(s), side-dish(es), drink (anything but water) then clock-watching until the hour struck yet it came and went amazingly anticlimactically. The actual act of non-eating astonishingly became more the norm than eating. After a while “the cause begins to consume you and the fight begins to transcend the pain of hunger.

I could journal for hours of the internal perspective you realize about yourself, about the world, about others through this process. It’s an amazing adventure, ever part of it!

I know one thing for sure; it will be a very long time if ever that I take a meal for granted or sip a beverage without thinking about those kids.

I have well over 3,000 Facebook friends and will post this opportunity….curious to see how many will join this war and starvation.

Sadly, we all become a bit self-absorbed in our own lives, we are blessed with so much but to take a moment for a stranger, an angel, a fellow brother or sister requires more effort than we are often willing to give it.

I may have been that guy. This fast did more to change me internally possibly than any awareness or difference I may make for those hungry kids. Many more people in need will benefit as a result of my three day fast.

Understand, this is so much more than not eating for 3-days. I suggest it’s impossible not to change internally for the much, much better. I challenge you to become that change for yourself and for those in need.

Tomorrow it’s life as usual for me. Everything’s back to normal. The abundance of food is back. The physical pangs and the emotional torture of the fast will be gone. This “light at the end of my hunger tunnel” is here. I still can’t stop thinking that those kids have no light. There is not an “end” to their pain unless we become that “end”.

This was my first fast, it will certainly not be my last

God Bless all of you,

Michael Skupin

Coby Archa’s Journal – Day 3

July 04, 2009 By: Admin Category: Survivor Cast

Independence Day what does that mean? Well obviously it means we are independent but I think for most Americans…it stands for freedom. Not from another country even in our modern heads but from our own country I realize. We can vote, eat and live where we want to. That is the biggest lesson I have learned doing research on Darfur is that the tyrant of President of Sudan, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, has not only been accused of atrocities on to man but that he has cut his own people off from any foreign ad. The country in which he is a figure head and ‘protector’ are the same people he is killing while displacing people that are dependent on that aid…about a million (1.1 million to be exact just in Sudan). One million will starve he doesn’t let someone help.

A million. That brings it all full circle. That is how I got here. We are a group of people who played a game on Tv for a million dollars, more money than most of us can conceive. For every dollar I can imagine I am putting a child, woman or man’s face on it to try and imagine…a million people going hungry in one small area compared to the rest of the world.

Mind bobbling.

Some people have praised this Survivor group and some have thought we were silly…but either way we made some people think. And for that I am grateful.

p.s. As far as the physical side effects this has sucked! Last night was really hard and today I feel very loopy but plan to stick this out til midnight tonight since I started it midnight on Wednesday! I feel so lucky to be able to physically do this and feel lucky again in being chosen to be involved as a pebble.

Once again if anyone with the connections can make it happen I am sure this group would be happy to go to any country and do bigger and better work. It is something I will put my mind too!

Thanks again for all the support and don’t forget about the chain once we are done!

Coby

Wanda Shirk’s Journal – Morning of Day Three:

July 04, 2009 By: Admin Category: Survivor Cast

Weighed 130.0 this morning after my morning 3-mile run. Down 4.6 pounds from the start of the fast. My “run” was the slowest in the past five years (since before I got in shape for Palau). I really feel tired, weak, and worn. Pretty Zombie-like. Yesterday morning I was still strong, but this morning I feel very empty of everything — food, energy, motivation.

Someone said, “No one’s supervising you. Just eat and say you didn’t. Pretend.” But I don’t operate like that. I have more integrity than that.

When my children were young, I read an article in a magazine called Moody Monthly that encouraged parents to decide what top five values or character traits they wanted to instill in their children. It was no trouble at all for me to identify Self Discipline as number one on the list of traits I valued. That ties into this. Fasting is pure personal self-discipline. By the way, the other four character traits on my list were thoughtfulness, thankfulness, cheerfulness, and honesty.
So — I’ll be hanging in there today on the water-wagon. I thought about doing the Jewish or Muslim style fast which ends at sunset, but I think I’d rather wait till tomorrow morning to eat. I can do it.. And it does remind me of the folks in Darfur who can accomplish so little because without food, there just is not the daily strength to accomplish a lot. That even goes for me, a slightly-stocky person with plenty of body fat to live on for awhile!

Smiles,
Wanda

John Whitledge joins Darfur Fast for Life

July 04, 2009 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

Mike Skupin’s Journal – Day 3 – 9am

July 04, 2009 By: Admin Category: Survivor Cast

57 hours into the 72 hour fast. The physical is beginning to ebb its way into my spirit a bit as the fight continues. I’m training my son for football and the rest of the family also joins in. We’re on day one. Today we’ll time ourselves in the 40, 100, ¼ mile, # of push-ups you can do in 60 seconds and an overall general workout. I record and post all data on a spreadsheet which stays on the fridge to chart progress and improvements. By the first week of August, we’ll all be in great shape (at least that’s the plan).

This morning will be way more challenging than usual for me. It’s amazing how much we take for granted how nutrition affects every fiber of our being. Even thoughts and reactions are labored. Thank God for water, which I’m consuming well over a gallon a day of. Partially to hydrate but more so to satiate the yearning for something in my stomach….I know I’ll make it, yet instead of feeling victorious, I feel saddened….there is a light at the end of my tunnel (in 15 hours I get to eat), there is no light for those kids. We may be the only light they can hope for.

The question is….Will we be that hope or continue to watch from afar? How can we help? How can I do more? How can I make a difference? How can I impact, there are sooooo many. It reminds me of “The Starfish Story”

While walking along a beach, a man saw in the distance what looked like a boy dancing.
He was encouraged by the outward expression of someone dancing to the new day on the beach, and he approached the young man. As he got closer, he realized that the young man was actually running, leaning down, picking something up and then gently throwing it far into the ocean.

As he came closer, he saw thousands of starfish the tide had thrown onto the beach. Unable to return to the ocean during low tide, the starfish were dying. He observed the young man picking up the starfish one by one and throwing them back.

After watching the seemingly futile effort, the observer said to the young man, “There must be thousands of starfish on this beach. It would be impossible for you to get to all of them. There are simply too many. You can’t possibly save enough to make a difference.”

The young man smiled as he continued to pick up another starfish and toss it back into the ocean.

“It made a difference to that one,” he replied.

The older man shook his head at the impossible optimism of the young man, and then turned away and walked home. That night, he sat for a long time thinking of the young man, and determined that the young man was really affecting the world and taking action to make a difference. Something that the older man would like to do. That night he slept fitfully. In the morning, he awoke, went down to the beach and found the young man again. Then together, they went along the beach shore tossing starfish back into the ocean.

–Author Unknown

Kimberly D. Mullen – Updates from Reflections….

July 03, 2009 By: Admin Category: Survivor Cast

After 40 hours of reflecting and remembering the significance that hunger can have upon the masses (control, lack of motivation, death, etc), I’m switching to celebrating our independence on my favorite holiday!! I’ll stick to 1000 calorie refugee rations through tomorrow. Freedom and prosperity are just two beautiful gifts we have earned and continue to be blessed with. With that in mind, as with other charities/causes, I hope we all physically do something to contribute. I’ve never been one to believe in chaining myself to a tree or some gates to make a statement. It’s about action and taking charge. I’m of no use to the world if I’m not capable of doing anything given a moments notice. 🙂

Much love,
Kim

Kimberly D. Mullen’s Journal – Day 2

July 03, 2009 By: Admin Category: Survivor Cast

I’ve been asked “why are you fasting for Darfur?” and “What good does that do?” In fact, there is a great article that Andy Dehnart took the time to produce yesterday about this. Let me start by saying he makes a valid point, but seems to miss the purpose. It’s about generating publicity to a cause. (Just like his article did!) Let’s discuss why I am doing this via the audience in a hypothetical scenario. I hope anyone taking the time to read it – Andy too – will understand.

Let’s assume my name is John Doe and I live in Coshoctan, Ohio. (Get your google map out to locate Coshoctan, or maybe even Ohio, if you missed that lesson in school.) I’m an everyday person, I have a wife, two kids, a 9-to-5 job that I hate, a mortgage, a cat, a dog, and an aquarium that hasn’t been used or cleaned in months yet has enough algae to be titled “The Science Experiment in the Living Room” by my adoring children. I hear about world events on the news – Tom Brokaw used to deliver me the messages and now I browse numerous channels and sometimes watch Katie Couric. Still, all the events seem so alien to me – genocides, civil wars, missile launches and starvation. Starving to me is when my wife is late for dinner and I wait an extra hour to visit the Chinese Buffet (yum!). To be honest, I can’t even figure out the boroughs of New York City, or what the h*ll the 405 is that my LA peers discuss sitting on for hours. Sounds painful to me. With that in mind, how am I ever supposed to understand famines in Asia or Africa, much less the what’s occurring in Sudan or actually find Darfur on the map? I’ll settle for waiting in line at the drive through for some nachos. Thank you.

Luckily on Thursday nights there is a show on CBS called Survivor. My boss, who relocated to my town last year from Boston, playfully teases me for watching the show. Most of my “Big City” friends and coworkers often do. I adore the show – the crazy antics, mind games, the stories of adventure, love, deceit and the best are the plots to overthrown one another all while isolated in a remote location – sometimes the desert, sometimes a beach. I tried to discuss the show with my boss but when I mention Borneo, Tocantins, or Palau he looks at me like I’m nuts and asks “Are those Midwestern towns?” I laugh and walk away shaking my head thinking “Mr. Educated needs to take a few more world geography lessons, or maybe watch a couple seasons of Survivor, to keep up with me.”

So I was intrigued this morning while reading a message board (yes, my fellow fans and I post often about Survivor and read of the castmates’ lives) to see a link to Fast for Darfur. Some of the castmates I watched are willingly drinking water and eating nothing or next to nothing during a holiday weekend. Why would they do that and not have the chance to win a million dollars? Interested to learn more, I click on the link and read about Darfur. I’d seen a special on CNN about it, but to be honest, it bored me and I didn’t understand why I should care. This time, however, I my interest is peaked — the castmates of Survivor are people that I can relate to and understand – we have a lot in common…. If this is something that is important to them, and they aren’t even being paid to discuss it, then I should pay a little more attention too!! After reading their journal entries, I found myself surfing the net for other articles, maps, and statistics. By the end of my session, I was angry that I never knew this was going on – or at least never took the time to fully understand. To be honest I could never relate before, and I know that isn’t a great excuse, but it’s true. I copy and past the information and website link, and forward along to my database of email addresses. I find myself thinking that people need to know what is going on there. It isn’t just happening in Darfur, it’s happening everywhere and we’re too blinded by meaningless nonsense to care/know. I’m now motivated to find other issues that are going on in the world, maybe research some of the countries my favorite show has been filmed on and see what I can learn. Then I can discuss it with my coworkers, continue the chain, and gain some support for people going through horrid torment everywhere. If no one says anything, these people will be forgotten. I’m going to use my knowledge and apply it to world events. Come to think of it, I recently saw where some detainees from Guantanemo were being sent to Palau (where Season 10 of Survivor was filmed). In fact, my 80 year old mother called to tell me the news, who learned about the country while following Survivor.

Survivor has become an avenue of knowledge for me. It not only provides me with entertainment but each season gives me free lessons in psychology, survival skills, puzzles, and geography. The castmates that go on to discuss world events and bring attention to numerous causes help me to contribute to the world by making me aware of events and speaking out or gaining support. Sometimes it might just be through talks at the water cooler in my office, but I hope that they dialogue keeps going when they leave me. Survivor connects me to something I might not have previously understood or even cared about. Without awareness, discussions, and sometimes arguments, the problems aren’t disclosed to the general public in a manner which we understand. Without knowing a problem exists, how can it ever be solved. No matter how the message gets out there, it needs to get out there and people relate to different groups. Some people relate and understand their professors, award-winning actors/actresses like Brad Pitt, entrepreneurs and businessmen like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, or Grammy award winning musicians. I, however, can relate the best to the cast of my favorite reality show, Survivor.

— Kimberly

Coby’s Journal – Day 2, part 2

July 03, 2009 By: Admin Category: Survivor Cast

Normally I wouldn’t address negative press on a site that is trying to do something so positive but I think they have a good point…

http://www.realityblurred.com/realitytv/archives/survivor_palau/2009_Jul_02_cast_fast_darfur

I understand how some people may think we are doing this just for a ‘look at me’ point of view. I mean we were just contestants on a reality show, who do we think we are?
But I also know that other people are seeing that with a small pebble we are trying to make a big wave. I know me in my spoiled life not eating for 3 days does nothing for the pain and suffering for the people in Darfur and what they are going through. I know it isn’t like I am passing out medical supplies (their president has put a stop to that) to the children that are displaced (THOUGH I WOULD LOVE TO PLEASE SOMEONE READING THIS HELP MAKE THAT HAPPEN AND ALL 5 OF US WOULD BE ON A PLANE). I know to some what we are doing is silly. But to me..it is a beginning. If it wasn’t for Mia I would have known anything about these peoples plight. And education of the problem is a start but this article is sooooo right…where does it finish?

Coby Archa’s Journal – Day 2

July 03, 2009 By: Admin Category: Survivor Cast

So I am waking up surprisingly spry! I have had a steady burst of energy through most of this, almost like I had a cup of coffee. I am finding it hard to concentrate though and my obsession with food disgust is never far from my mind. I almost ‘accidentally’ ate several times yesterday. Almost licked the knife making my daughter a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for school, grabbed a piece of chocolate at work (thanks Devon for stopping me). It was funny at the time just how easy it was to grab some food without thinking. Now of course, it has a deeper thought of how lucky we are that food is so EASY for us to grab without thinking. I don’t know what we can do as Americans to retrain ourselves to ‘think’ before eating? Well nobody is perfect but for 3 days…I am trying. The thought of watching my daughter starve and not knowing where to have her next meal is bringing me to tears. Bless and peace to everyone in the world who has to think too much about where they will get their next meal.

— Coby

Wanda Shirk’s Journal – Day 2

July 03, 2009 By: Admin Category: Survivor Cast

Day Two:
Well, yesterday morning, at the start of the fast, I weighed in at 134.6. This morning I weighed 132.2. So – a drop of 2.4 pounds, almost two-and-a-half. I could stand more of that! (Jolanda would always say, “Shirk, you’re always doin’ all that math sh*t in your head!”)

No school today, because in the summer the custodians work four-tens, Monday through Thursday, and the school is locked on Friday. So this morning I went out and ran about 3 miles. The run went fine, and in fact my time was a little better than the last run. Felt great to be carrying a little less fat! I weighed myself again after the run, and was 131.8. Boy, I would like to get to the low side of 130 again. So there will be good effects from skipping food for a couple days.

My dad used to tell a story about an old farmer who was so poor he couldn’t afford to feed his horse through the winter. He decided to train the horse not to eat. Had him almost trained, but then he died.

Guess that’s the way it works in Darfur. We have it so good here, we don’t know what it’s like to struggle to survive. Instead of trying to find a little bit of something, anything, to eat, we walk around in the midst of plenty, with dozens of menu options. Our struggle is to choose. Maybe we should more often struggle to refuse. “My country ’tis of thee, Land of OBESITY, of thee I sing.” — Whoops! Singing again, and I’m off the island!

Smiles,
Wanda

Kimberly D. Mullen’s Journal – Day 1

July 03, 2009 By: Admin Category: Survivor Cast

I made an agreement with myself that while I was fasting for Darfur and reflecting upon it’s significance, I’d not read the journals of others in order to avoid a) having my thoughts swayed and b) realizing that my ability to communicate via a blog is inferior to my amazing fellow ‘Survivors’ and previous fasters. All kidding aside, this is to bring awareness to a horrid situation and I feel honored to contribute to raising awareness for the cause.

So often we look at charity events as raising money, attending a benefit full of festivities, writing a check, or wearing an organization’s t-shirt. While all of those are great and any help should be welcomed, what we are forgetting is that as long as we stay silent and don’t inform the world at large, no one will do anything. We can not idly sit back and assume the person next to us, an elected official or even a higher power alone can or will save those struggling to survive. It is up to us to voice our opinions, raise awareness and demand that rulers take care of their people and contribute to mankind. It must start somewhere and the people of Darfur need our help. We need to be their cheerleaders.

I’m asked frequently what it was like to do the show, Survivor, and if I did it for fame? What most people don’t know is I did the show to test my abilities and to travel – the money would have been icing on the cake. (Remember, I’m hungry right now….) I’d been studying the early communities of Africa in graduate school when I met a previous contestant. Being a fan of endurance activities, risk taking, psychology of mankind, experiencing new things and traveling the world, I thought “wow, this is the perfect opportunity!” During my studies, I’d been fascinated by the necessity of fire and how we are able to progress once our basic needs have been met. (Fire, water, shelter, hunting, etc) Little did I understand that within weeks of studying that topic, I’d be living it. Where am I going with this point, you may ask? It’s quite simple. While fasting I’ve been reminded that what I experienced while out on the island is what thousands experience on a daily basis. Without shelter to rest in and clean water to drink, the odds for survival are stacked against anyone. It is only when basic needs are met that man can prosper. It’s no wonder evil dictators around the world starve their people. Starving people are generally submissive and pose no threat. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand why said leaders turn food and water from aid organizations away or hide it from their people. Once their basic needs are met, they’ll have the energy and clarity to realize who has done this to them and the strength to stop the cycle. That’s why it is up to each and every one of us to not allow what is happening in Darfur to continue. Empowering the people of Darfur is a necessity. They aren’t just blank names and empty faces of the world. It’s quite possible that within the 300,000 people that have already died, a child that could have cured cancer and a future world leader died as well.

It’s up to all of us to work together and demand change. You might think “I am too old/young to do anything,” or “no one takes me seriously” — but those thoughts are preposterous. It’s about finding within you what your strengths are and what you bring to the table. There is a whole world out there that can balance your weaknesses – you just need to be aware of them and ask. All one truly needs is a good heart, the desire for change/end to injustice and the voice to seek help in creating a game plan to make the world a better place.

I’ll leave everyone with one of my favorite quotes to ponder.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

— Kimberly

Mike Skupin’s Journal – Day 1

July 02, 2009 By: Admin Category: Survivor Cast

Began fast at 12am midnight Wednesday night.

I was advised against fasting at this time as this is the “holiday weekend” but my “survivor brother” Coby Archa reminded me the people we’re doing this for don’t have the option of eating like that and after all, we are “Survivors” and we make no excuses so I forged ahead.

I was a contestant on the second season of Survivor “The Australian Outback” and we went almost 3 days without food. We were given a large bag of rice but it rained 22 of the 42 days out there and we often couldn’t get a fire going to cook the rice so we often ate off the land. Although I’m no stranger to being hungry, this will still be no easy task but I journey ahead in appreciation of the fight we’re battling here against hunger.

Day one 8am (8 hours into the fast)

A little history on 47-year old self is that I work out a lot to try and stay ahead of father-time and am an avid researcher of nutrition. As a result I eat 6-7 smaller meals a day vs. the traditional 3 (b’fast lunch and dinner). I’m usually up around 3am and within minutes am eating a healthy portion of steel cut oats with added protein and fresh fruit. Today I fasted. Mentally it was a challenge but physically it was not an issue.

Understand that although missing one meal may seem trite, when it’s a habit it throws you out of your routine and you never stop thinking about it. I’d be eating my second meal about now. It’s a recovery day for me from a hard workout yesterday so I don’t think a workout will be in my day. Mentally, I’d love to bite into something, physically still no issues.

— Mike

Coby Archa’s Journal – Day 1

July 02, 2009 By: Admin Category: Survivor Cast

So everyone keeps asking me ” How do you feel?” Well honestly ‘physically’ I am feeling fine. Mentally not so good. I can’t believe how much I keep thinking about food. I have a lot of friends who have quit smoking and they often say they don’t miss the cigs as much as the habit, something to do with their hands etc. I feel like someone quitting smoking and that food has become a habit. I am so grossly blessed with such easy access to food that I have the privilege to take it for granted. Little disgusted with myself to me honest and how far I have come away from my experience on Survivor. Humans are so easy to forget things…thanks Mia for reminding me.

— Coby

Wanda Shirk’s Journal – Day 1

July 02, 2009 By: Admin Category: Survivor Cast

1:30 p.m. Thursday July 2

Well — I’ve been up seven hours now and have consumed three cups of plain hot water today, and nothing more.

I keep thinking, “I need to get myself something to eat!” and then I keep thinking, “No! I said I wasn’t doing that today!”

Here’s a surprising incident: I’m teaching summer school, and this 9th grader named Mike has a correspondence school packet of stuff he has to do and I have to help him with if he has questions. So part of his assignment is to use the word fast in two sentences, once as a verb, and once as an adverb. He says to me, “Mrs. Shirk, what’s fast as a verb? Is it like fast forward a tape?” Wow! He really didn’t know what it meant to fast. I explained it to him. He follows up, “Do you ever fast?” I said, “Mike, did you happen to notice that fifteen minutes ago I poured hot water from that hot pot (it was a chilly morning here in the mountains of Pennsylvania) into my cup, and I didn’t add hot chocolate or a tea bag or instant coffee or anything? I’m just drinking plain water. That’s because I’m fasting today!” Then I explained to him all about Darfur, and why some people are fasting, etc. Quite the amazing coincidence that the word fast just happened to come up in one kid’s work today and we had a chance to talk about it!

I almost never have headaches, but I have a little bit of a headache right now, which I think some food would cure. But that won’t happen. I’m hanging in there so far!

Wanda

Coby Archa joins Darfur Fast for Life

July 01, 2009 By: Admin Category: Survivor Cast

survivorCoby Archa is a 36 year old single father who has recently moved to Southern California via Texas to work at the Kim Vo salon at The Montage Hotel. He has a 4 year old daughter named Janu who he named after a friend on Survivor and because of his daughter, he has the strength to see the world a better place. Coby appeared on Survivor Palau, Tease with Lisa Rinna, Today show and many others. All of his experiences opening his eyes to the world. When Coby first heard of Darfur’s plight and Mia Farrow’s amazing dedication to the helping of others he thought, “Wow, I wish I could do something like that!” And now…he is! He asked some of his Survivor friends to do the same.. Here is to hoping a small pebble can make a big wave.

Wanda Shirk joins Darfur Fast for Life

July 01, 2009 By: Admin Category: Survivor Cast

SURVIVOR: PALAUWanda Shirk of Survivor 10: Palua, will keep on singing and smiling, but won’t be singing for her supper on July 2, 3, or 4. She’ll just sing to annoy Coby while the two of them are fasting and enjoying big glasses of water that may be better than what some of the poor folks in Darfur are getting these days.

Wanda always has had a heart for the suffering of the less fortunate. In fact, her Survivor audition tape, which was in the format of a TV newscast, included this segment: (Wanda jumps out of tent-hammock):

“Financial news is next. Check out my home away from home. No, it’s not the Hilton or the Holiday Inn. I know how to live cheap. I believe we should live simply so that others can simply live, and I’ve always practiced what I learned as a kid, to give at least 10% of everything I earn to help the less fortunate.

(Picks up ukelele and sings:)
With a million bucks to share, I’d help people everywhere
In third world countries where they’re suffering.
There are people who are poor, and I want to help them more,

And so to you my energies I bring!
Yes, Wanda wants to be on CBS TV —
She will help to make your show a lot of fun!
She has personality, and she’s clever as can be —
That’s the reason why you ought to pick ME!”

Wanda has supported World Vision and Children International kids for twenty years, and donations for Care, Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders, and several other organizations come automatically out of her checking account every month. Participating in this three-day fast will be another way of showing support for what she believes in, a life lived for others.

Wanda has been a high school English teacher for 32 years.. She has a son and a daughter and has had 25 foster children and three foreign exchange students (from Germany, Ukraine, and Norway) live with her over past years. She is chairman of the Potter County Planning Commission, vice president of the local fire company auxiliary, a trustee of the local library, vice president of the Keystone Trails Association, a board member of the Susquehannock Trail Club, and former president of the Potter County Foster Parent Association. The school yearbook was dedicated to her in 1998 and 2009.