Once again off to Idomeni with Hummus, together with four others from the warehouse. I think the women’s line is my thing now. It was such a chaos though as we arrived; the men’s line was all organized, but I think there are always much more kids (and people in general) on the women’s side. Usually, we manage to get the line in order after some time, and also today. I don’t know if it was messier than usual today, maybe it’s always like that only I’m getting more involved. It was quite bad though, the queue first became like… I don’t know, esophageus and the ventricle? (The medical student in meet just woke up) And then like a pearl bead necklace, before it became a line. Some kids started fighting violently, but luckily we managed to keep them apart and carry on with activities. I tried to entertain the children with soap bubbles, and another volunteer put on a clown nose.
After the distribution was done, a group of children were enthusiastically cleaning around the area, putting plastic, paper, egg shells and orange peel into plastic bags. It turned out that they received candy for every bag that they collected.
I decided to visit the families as promised after the distribution, though got caught by some girls on the road. They invited me to their tents, and we conversed for a while in simple English. I gave them biscuits (I think that’s my calling in life, sorry). The little girl shook her head, ”no!” The mother smiled at her, and – I assume – told her that it was okay to accept them. After much hesitation, she accepted. Their brother, still also a minor, is alone in Germany. The family eventually showed me their phone, a older model smartphone, and explained that it was broken. They were very sad, because this was the only phone that they had – and more importantly so, the only mean of communication with their brother and son. I will bring it to a phone shop and see if anything can be done.
I dropped by the family from yesterday to see how they were doing. ”We will go back to Turkey,” said one of the young men. What? ”Are all of you going back to Turkey?” I asked, confused. ”No,” he replied, and gestured toward the other side of the room(like structure) ”They’re going to Syria”. ”Why?” I asked, not sure what to say. ”Well, the border will not open,” he said, and I think he’s right. He continued, ”Life here is bad”. I cannot argues. I asked how they would travel, and they said that they would walk. To Southeastern Turkey. Two of the women are pregnant, and there are three children. Uh.
I left the tents and walked towards the railway, when I got caught up by another family. As I really didn’t have any plan (minus for me), I decided to stay with them for a while and play with the kids. There were seven children in the family, all below the age of ten. It must be difficult to be a parent – especially here. They invited me for lunch, and ”no” was not an answer. So we sat 10 people in one of their small tents, maybe 2x2m, while the wind turned into rain and the rain turned into hail. The food was delicious, but I have no comments when it comes to food hygiene. Crossing my fingers that I won’t get sick.
Eventually, the rain and hail stopped, and it was time for me to go back to my nightshift at the warehouse. I stepped into my wet shoes and walked through the mud, trying to avoid the water puddles. People started to come out from their tents, and I had to stop for a while to just stare at our surroundings. I cannot manage to put down the thoughts that flew through my head into comprehensive words. My friends, this is Europe.
Some children were playing in the puddles, adults tried to empty their flooded tents and create channels for the water. I approached one family, I don’t know why, to ask if I they needed help. They looked at me and shrugged, resigned. ”What can you do?” I don’t even know, I stood irresolute. How stupid. We dried the wet floors, and I said that I’d try to find them some clothes.
Back at the warehouse, it was sorting, sorting and more sorting. I don’t have so much fun to say about that. Around midnight, some people came to ask for blankets for Idomeni. We helped them to load some boxes. ”Do you need help with anything else?” I asked. ”We need more cars,” he laughed. ”Okay, I can drive with you,” I said, and another volunteer quickly offered to join us. He looked at us in disbelief. I’m happy to put the car into as much use as possible, now that I’ve rented it and all… (So that I don’t have to regret renting it!)
We drove down to Idomeni with two cars, twice. Distribution was quite messy. Of course – I almost don’t think that anything can be not messy here. Quite a lot of people asked for blankets. Everything is wet. Everyone is cold. Of course. We try to be fair. Or rather, I’m trying to stay out of the actual distribution. I’m not sure if it was fair. Probably not. Of course not; if the world would be fair, these people wouldn’t be here, not even with exactly one blanket each.
We drive home again to the warehouse. Team Humanity visit us around 3 or 4 am, getting more blankets for the other side of Idomeni. Rain ruins a lot. The rest of the night is calm.