There are so many people joining Darfur Fast for Life. People from all over the world. The comments are so supportive and inspiring. What a community that is coming together!
This morning, my cell phone rang, as we were arriving at North Dakota State University to set up Camp Darfur and give talks about our friends in the camps. I saw the number calling me, and I knew it was a Chadian number. “Is Ali!” the voice on the other end said, “Ali from the camp.” We met Ali about three weeks ago at a refugee camp close to the Chad-Darfur border. He was helping out at one of the primary schools at the camp, School Obama. The refugee changed the name of their school, after Obama became president. They feel hope.
Ali said that he is well and so is his family. He asked about how my teammates and I were doing, remembering the names of Katie-Jay and Yuen-Lin. Ali and other in the camp want to feel connected to a larger community. They have felt forgotten for so long. I wanted to tell Ali about Mia and Darfur Fast for Life. They all know Mia in the camps. They don’t know that she’s an actress or celebrity, but they respect her so much. The phone connection was lost, though. I was able to tell Ali that we’ll be returning in June, and he sounded happy, “In June!”
Ali is a cool kid. He helps at school, but there is no more education for him, since he finished primary school. I’m not sure what his future is, if we don’t act like one human community and do what is right for Darfur.