But it’s also…just a [beautiful] game.

I’ve heard too many stories from friends in the camps, how they lost family and friends, and home, and their place. When they tell me that, with Darfur United, “Now we are a part of the world,” I have a real sense of what this team means to them.

When I see the guys on the field, though, it’s pure joy. They get to play! As we were holding try-outs and then practices, crowds started to come to the field. Men, women, and children of all ages gathered and cheered, laughed, and experienced the joy of having THEIR team. In the 100+ degree weather, I would get chills, knowing that something very special was happening.

Joys and sorrows can exist very near each other. In camp Kounoungo, one of the camps I visited when “scouting” for Darfur United, not far from the dirt soccer field, there exists another field. It has little bumps on it, and some rocks.

It’s a baby cemetery. When the refugees first escaped the violence in their homeland, many of the youngest children died at high rates because of the hardship in their journey towards protection.

At the other field, the survivors get to experience the joy of playing and being a part of another journey. It is a beautiful game.

<strong style=”color: #58ab46;”>Gabriel</strong>

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