Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No Home for the Holidays

*This is a guest entry by my wife, Sarah.

I can’t go see the place where my husband grew up and quite frankly I’m pissed off about it. This came to mind over the recent holidays when most people are visiting family, possibly going back to their hometowns. Some even go back to visit the same house their parents have lived for 30 years, the same house in which they grew up.

No such experience for me. Why? My husband grew up in Adre, on the edge of Chad and Sudan. Because of the genocide it’s not even safe to visit. This conflict has been going on since early 2003, which is about a year after we started dating. The last time he visited was Christmas break 2002-2003. I had the opportunity to go then, but not enough cash. If I had known what was to come, I would have gone anyway. At this time, the organization with which my husband’s family worked has deemed Adre too unsafe for their people to be working there.

Even if it were safe to visit his hometown, my husband assures me that the place would be completely changed. A nearby village called Farchana used to barely support a population of nearly 200 is now home to a UN refugee camp of 20,000. Think about what would happen if your hometown grew 100 times in less than 1 year.

So, next time you find yourself visiting your spouse’s hometown/old house, don’t complain - be thankful. Be grateful you have the opportunity to know that part of his/her history. Then go call your congressperson or donate money or do something to help the people who live in Darfur.