Tuesday, July 18, 2006

July 18, 2006

How quickly time passes. Spreading the word about a new idea for doing something
besides emergency work - like empowering the people to do things for themselves - is a sales job. Not exactly what I thought that I was working on for my PhD. Never mind - life brings incredibly interesting tasks and rather amazing people.
In the middle of a very complex and protracted civil war with factions still fighting in the South (yes, in spite of the UN presence - ahem ?) and new groups forming in Darfur from very unexpected places... There are people who care about their fellow men and women and are working hard to move forward in education, health, and economic progress. Many of these great human beings are doing this volunteer work on top of very demanding 'day jobs'. They are not necessarily doing this just to get votes.

I was told that I had to post pictures of myself 'on the job' here - though it is not exactly something I like to do - so here is a human interest picture that connects to the Women's Center for Peace and Development. Here you see me (the western looking one) sitting with Radah - the project director at WCPD. We are admiring Tasneem's new baby girl.

Tasneem has been corresponding with me for the last year about partnering with ASP to help rebuild the Sudan. Radah (from the Nuba Mountains) has worked very hard on writing a grant from US to help educate the people at the periphery on the Peace Agreements and to spread a culture of peace rather than war. The WCPD is involved in many aspects of teaching women trades, leadership, economic skills, and health care.

Another 'Friday' allowed for a brief visit to the 'dervishes' in Omdurman before attending a 'Bastille Day' event at the French embassy.

Here is a picture of the mosque where the dervishes dance.

A little girl shyly agreed to pose for some pictures near the mosque. She is phenomenally beautiful.

Another lovely lady wanted to pose for a picture and asked me to take her back to the US with me.

The devotees had started to dance and play the drums just before I had to leave.

The next days were filled with grant writing and meetings with building partners, Sudanese NGOs involved with research and infrastructure, and contacts with the Sudanese who are very interested in partnering in education. More pictures of them and the trips to Darfur in the next week.

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