Just another day in Idomeni

I decided to not go with Hummus in the morning because I don’t want to pass on my supposedly upper respiratory virus to anyone at the camp. We mysteriously ended up at the distribution area in the end anyways, just to say hi. On our way away from there, an old lady walked up to us. She described her life back in Syria, where she was running a store. Her husband was injured in a bombing, and had lost his vision in both eyes with 6 months between. He was now in Germany with some of the kids, but the doctors could not do anything. The old woman asked us to help her, as she told her story, crying. I grabbed two International Rescue Committee workers to talk to her; I don’t think there is anything we can do here.

We went to the other family along the way – I had not been able to find them the day before, because the wind had caused everything to change. Apparently, they had been given a bigger UNHCR tent. I was happy to see that. When we arrived, the whole family of eight people was sitting together in the tent, having breakfast. I see them in the line at the distribution every day, waiting patiently already before we arrive. I gave them the lice spray that they had asked about before, and one of the oldest sisters sprayed the young girls’ hair. Let’s go, I told Maja after some minutes. But then, they suddenly started to play music, and one of the older girls let out her beautiful hair and started dancing around the tent while everyone else clapped the rhythm. Soon, we were all holding hands and dancing dabke around the central tent pole. Dabke makes me happy.

After some while, we decided to go to the other family, who wanted to go back to Syria/Turkey. We checked if they had spoken with the info tent, which they hadn’t. We went to the info tent to see if there were any Arabic translators there, but there weren’t. Only a volunteer who didn’t seem to understand very well what I was saying at all. She eventually said that there were usually no Arabic interpreters there, opposite to what we were told by the other volunteer. Very confusing. We left like that, and headed towards Polikastro to get some computer work done.




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