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Top Ten List of Things I learned on my 17th Trip to Refugee Camps

By Gabriel / November, 5, 2013

Editor’s Note: This post first appeared on the i-ACT blog.

(In no particular order)

1. When a group of women come together with a mission, a unique and wonderful space is created — where progress is powered by love.

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2. Sometimes two words can convey immeasurable pain. When talking about the recent violence in his land, Abdulrahman — a soulful, soft-spoken, “new arrival” refugee — started a sentence with “My mother…” He then broke down and could not continue speaking.

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3. Soccer is Zen. Give a kid a ball, and they are wholly present and aware — in the moment.

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4. Peace is not taught. It’s already within each and everyone of us. We must create the space where it’s allowed to flow and ripple out.

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5. When someone is confronted with unthinkable horrors, and it all can seem so overwhelming and incomprehensible — and then she says, “What are we going to do about it?” with a sense of purpose and determination — You want her on your team.

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6. Compassion. Empathy. Knowledge. Power. It is so cool to see someone give so much, in a place she probably never thought she would be, for nothing in return but the glow that shines back when giving from the heart.

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7. Some said, “No, it’s not for them.” The girls and women said, “Yes, we will play, and we will lead.”

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8. Sorrow can transform itself into a deep rooted sense of peaceful purpose. Umda — 45 family members killed in a period of one week. Umda carries this with him. He also expresses joy and friendship better than most people I know.

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9. Fun provides more energy than food. (But you’ll still be hungry and lose weight, if you go on fun and little food for a couple of weeks, as we have.)

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10. I love to see Guisma laugh.

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