Last days: Time for everything

“We’re out of tape,” said our coordinator at the morning meeting, “But all shops are closed now”. “Not my Chinese shop!” I exclaimed with raised arms, “Should I go there and check if they have tape?”

I drove down to the shop and bought all their tape (6 rolls, or something). After dropping the tape at the warehouse, I drove off to Idomeni. I received a text: “The tape was great! Can we get some more until tomorrow?” I called the Chinese shop, they said yes. Some few hour after, the dentist student from before dropped by the container. She had been given permission to stay at the dentists, as it was her last day. Totally fine by me; I walked off towards the Hummus team. I met some of the Syrian volunteers on the way, and understood that the distribution was already over. “Do you speak Turkish?” one of them, let’s call him H, asked me surprised. “Do you speak Turkish?” I asked him back.

We walked towards his tent to say hi to his mom and siblings. Then, we decided to take a walk towards the little town of Idomeni. From the hill, we could view over the camp Idomeni as well as across the Macedonian border. There was some larger building there with people outside. I wonder if that’s also related to the refugees? H’s father is in Germany. He went there some while ago to treat some disease, and now the rest of the family cannot get to him. “Even if my family reunifies, I wouldn’t be able to go,” he said, “I’m 20, I’m not a child.” We sat down on the grass. Rain started falling softly. And then less softly. We hid under some bushes until the rain stopped, and then walked back to the camp.

I visited a bathroom at the camp for the first and the last time. I planned initially to wait until I got back to Polikastro, but then I thought that this is the reality of people here every day, several times per day – how am I “too good” for this? We went to some MSF bathrooms quite in the corner of the camp; ”Those are better,” said H. They were not too bad, only filled with small flies along the walls. And a puddle of faeces in the corner. I’ll spare you from pictures. There is no paper or soap in the bathrooms, which makes sense to me, but I wonder if all the inhabitants have these things themselves?

The Chinese shop called me – ”We have the tape! You can come and pick it up whenever”. Amazing. I walked to the car, but dropped by the train on my way. Well, it’s actually hard to not drop by there when crossing from one side of the camp to another, but still. I had promised to visit the kids from before. The oldest girl, still not a teenager, ran up to me and gave me a caramel. ”Why?” I asked her, ”Keep it!” She explained: ”You gave us candy yesterday, so it’s my turn to give to you now!” How sweet is she. We played some board games, and looked through their toys and picture books. She gave me her bracelet, and a box of rice pudding. ”It’s for you,” I said, ”not for me”. ”I already have one,” she replied, ”It’s for you”. On the wall they had put up drawings on a neat line. ”We got these from kids in Spain, they sent to us!” the girl explained exited, pointing at pretty drawings with hearts and butterflies. ”I drew this one,” she pointed. Three persons crying in the center of the picture, other people lying down in pools of blood. I wonder what she has already seen in life, this beautiful child.

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My warehouse shift was 17-22, and it was quite calm. It seems like we have most things in order. I decided to rinse through the male trousers box – the box itself is quite full, but it mostly consists of suit trousers and too big sizes. Jeans is a rarity, although many people want it. I grabbed a headlamp and jumped down into the box to separate the suit trousers from the rest. When I say box, I mean a big box. I’ve been imagining sleeping in these, I think it would be much more comfy than our paletts. From  there, I could also give instructions to our ”visitors” when they were looking for certain items. I liked it. Northern Lights was there with a rather big group. ”Who has the night shift tonight?” I asked, and three people answered. ”Do you want to tag along?” they asked, and I hesitated. It was probably not very necessary, although they were happy for me to drive, but also it’s almost my last day and I just want to do everything. ”Yes,” I said in the end.

After my shift ended, I went to Park Hotel to talk with another of the coordinating persons there, and then to the lovely Chinise shop to make our order. I mean, what other shop would be open at 22:30 during Easter? One of the volunteers from Northern Lights also came to buy some things. I decided to get a headlamp and a raincoat for myself. ”Take it,” said the shopkeeper. ”I want to pay,” I said, but she refused. Why do I always lose?

Around midnight, we drove to Hara again. I was afraid that it would once again be a mess, as it had rained, but it wasn’t too bad, not at all as crowded as last time. We did our distributions, and went home after some hour. I had enough energy to brush my teeth.

Good night!

Jess

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