Last week when I checked the weather forecast for our time in Greece, I was disappointed. I was hoping for a warm week of Greek sunshine after “suffering” through our early Michigan winter. Instead the forecast showed several days of rain. When we arrived at the island last night, our Greek hotel owner was fretting about what the rain would do to the people in the camp. I felt incredibly selfish for wanting sunshine for the sake of my own experience.
The people we met and served today walked down the hill from the Camp to the Center and arrived soaked. They take a shower or do laundry. We assist however we can (entertain the kids, help with laundry/shower schedules, serve tea, check for and treat lice, find clothes for the families being treated for scabies). Then they haul their laundry back up the hill, through rain and rivers of water that pour down the street. They live either in the overcrowded camp or in unheated tents outside the camp; the lucky ones have wooden pallets under their beds to keep the water from soaking their belongings.
Two of my teammates, Jean and Ginny, worked as aides in the classroom today. At noon they walked the first group of kids back “home” to the camp. Jean and Ginny came back soaked. I accidentally tipped a bottle of water over and into Ginny’s lap while she was eating her lunch. I felt horrible. She sighed, “It’s ok, I’m already soaked.” I scrambled to find a towel but it wasn’t much help. They both had another class to assist that afternoon, and then walked those kids home. They were soaking wet and didn’t complain. Because we all got to go back to our hotel rooms, warm up, and put on dry clothes.
Another 660 refugees arrived by makeshift boats this weekend. I wonder where they will stay. Are they dry? Are they being treated kindly? Will they discover the Center?