Day 9 & 10: El Fasher, Darfur  

Posted by Michael

Day 9:
We made it! It's really crazy but I'm in the middle of the Sahara Desert using a laptop to post this blog. I love technology.

This has been a crazy day. We flew over the Sahara for 2 hours. Nothing is out there. The UN prop plane was so small. It was an 18 seater and about 5 feet across-We were crammed in. We flew into El Fasher and saw the attack helicopters they use when they attack villages in Darfur. It was pretty moving for me, having read "What Is The What" by Dave Eggers which describes in detail the Russian-made attack helicopters that bomb the villages in Darfur and Southern Sudan. Our UN plane taxied and parked next to 4 of them. This is an evil place that needs Jesus.

Day 10:
This is a huge city. There are many locals, thousands and thousands of refugees, military and humanitarian organizations. IDP (internally displaced peoples) camps in El Fasher have around 200,000 refugees in each one. We drove by an IDP camp today called Abu Shouk. These people have nothing and are completely dependant on organizations like the UN, WFP (world food program) and USAID for food and water. There is military everywhere. There are so many trucks with huge machine guns bolted into the truck bed. I have to keep my camera in the bag until I get to a safe place. We are in a safe place here in El Fasher. The compound is great. Down the dirt road is a building that looks like every other clay building, but inside they have a kiln where they bake fresh bread (like really thick tortillas). Down the road from that, we bought laughing cow cheese. I couldn't believe it. These are shanty's... very small clay buildings with groceries. I haven't had cheese in 9 good.
It's raining right the desert. This is the second day of rain we've had. It's the end of the rainy season. It's nice because it was 104 degrees earlier today and the couple who live in the compound here said it was 124 degrees last week.
We spent today digging a well, which was a lot of fun. We we able to get to 150' and the others on staff will finish it since we're heading out to the villages tomorrow. This organization has a huge rig that digs it. We all got dirty and felt like men. We all had yellow hard hats on, rubber boots and gloves on. I can't wait to download the pictures for you guys. We all look pretty funny. I don't have time here to download all the pic's (7 people are sharing one computer), but I was able to get the ones at the top downloaded yesterday.

We are headed to the villages tomorrow and will be staying for 4 days. The villages we are going to are about 20 miles outside of El Fasher. These aren't controlled by the Khartoum military, unlike Northern Sudan and El Fasher, but I'm sure they want the control.

This is an amazingly dark, wonderful place. Please pray for these people. Pray that God would move quickly through the hearts and minds of the government officals, Imam's, and locals and show them His grace and mercy.

You won't hear from me for 4 more days. When I get back to Khartoum, I will try and post again.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 11, 2008 at Thursday, September 11, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Oh gosh, we will miss hearing from you for 4 days! I am on the edge of my seat everyday, looking forward to reading about this beautiful place. Be safe!

September 12, 2008 at 10:41 PM

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