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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Day 1 of 3.

May 24, 2009 By: Gabriel Category: Gabriel Stauring

A few days ago, at night, there was an earthquake here in LA that came as one quick “boom!” and then a short rolling wave. Katie-Jay, my daughter Noemi, and I were eating dinner at a restaurant when the shaking started. I immediately thought of my son, Gabo (6yrs). He had just told me not long before that he had never felt a quake. I told him, “Don’t be afraid, and just do as they tell you at school to do.”

We finished up dinner, and I got to see Gabo within minutes. He was shaken, not just his body—but his emotions also. I told him that he did the right thing by ducking under the table; that the homes here are strong and flexible, and nothing will happen to him. I wanted to tell him, but could not, that if anything ever happened I would come and protect him and make sure that he was OK—no matter where I was, I would come and see that he was safe. I could not tell him that because it would not be true. I cannot stop a quake, and I cannot know for sure that I would be physically there, on arahma-family moment’s notice, when needed.

A hollow feeling came over me, knowing that I could not completely protect my son. It was so strange. I already knew that, I guess, but I had not felt it like that.

As I’m fasting these days, I’m using it as a time to reflect about my time visiting the survivors from Darfur. I’ve heard so many stories, hours and hours. Their escape from their village, their walking across the desert with no food or water, and their loss—so many lives, it all is with me. I am thinking about the parents from Darfur and how they must feel, not knowing if they can protect their children.

I am fasting in solidarity with all those people I’ve met in the camps, and with their families in Darfur, and all the lives that are no longer there. I am also fasting in solidarity with Gabo and Mimi—my kids. This is their world.

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