They packed up their potential, a pair of cleats, and headed out to bring hope, inspiration, and attention to the displaced people of Darfur.

This is how I imagine the team tomorrow morning as they prepare and pack to begin their journey to Sweden. They have an early start. At 5:30 am, they’ll squeeze in two land rovers to start their journey to N’Djamena, the capital of Chad. First, in order to ensure they don’t get caught on the wrong side of the river, literally, the team will drive a few hours to town of Abeche. In Abeche, they’ll spend a couple nights together in a compound. The compound is big enough that they’ll be able to continue training together as a team, with no outside distractions. From there, they’ll make the long day and a half drive to N’Djamena where Gabriel and I will be waiting for them!

It’s going to be a relief and joy to see them in N’Djamena! I’m not that much older than many of them, but that maternal instinct has kicked in. I want to make sure they’re safe. That they’re drinking lots of water and eating good food. They’re in training. We have to keep these guys healthy, active and focused. Luckily we do have a few trusted friends going along with them on this journey. The wise Oumda and friendly Abdelaziz will be with them every step of the way. Oumda and Abdelaziz will also be coming along with us to Sweden, as our cultural ambassadors and translators.

​Once in N’Djamena, the team will still have a few days of waiting in anticipation before their flight for Sweden. I wasn’t joking when I said it would be a journey! But these guys are tough. They’re united, they’re ready and they’ve got a lot of potential.

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