Urgent Need on Lesbos: Refugee Aid .Diary-Days 6-7, Lesvos, Greece 2015

By Alan Stone

Days 6-7, Lesvos, Greece 2015
Yesterday, Friday, I experienced, for the first time, the arrival of a small boat full of refugees (see photos). It was near the Mytilini airport as I was driving back to Camp Pipka. Most of the people were already off the boat, and the rescue people and NGO volunteers, as well as many others, had things well under control. They've all done this many times before.I couldn't do much but watch, learn and take a few quick photos. It's been windy here for the past few days and even in the day time it's a perilous two to four hour crossing depending on wind direction and currents. Because this crossing area is below (south) of Mytilini's port the other danger is crossing in front of merchant and ferry routes. Imagine it at night.
With our attempt at working the information tent at Camp Moria cut suddenly short on Thursday (long boring story of miscommunication, poor management and frustration) we decided to take a day to drive up north to Molyvos. First, though, we'd heard about a small encampment just outside the port where volunteers had set up a small food distribution point for refugees waiting to board the evening ferry to Athens. The volunteers there are making small meals of soup, etc. for whomever manages to find them. There are also a few tents set up (illigally) in the park across the street. We asked if they needed anything and were told jackets and/or large cans of tomatoes. So, we headed up to the warehouse we'd been working at on Saturday and Sunday to see what we could find. It didn't take long to return with cans of beans, a few men's jackets and two large boxes of hooded sweat tops.
Then it was off for the hour-plus drive over the mountains to Molyvos. The day had turned overcast and colder in the north but it never rained. Molyvos is not getting as much traffic from Turkey these days as the smugglers in Turkey have changed their routes to further south. We had lunch at the Captain's Table and met Vera, the volunteer coordinator for Starfish Foundation. Vera gave us a little overview of how they worked there; much more organized than Moria but Starfish is a recognized organization and that helps.
Have to sign off for now. Terry is sick in bed with a cold and I need to make a pharmacy run. Then it's off to help Pipka with their warehouse issues. More on Pipka later tonight. Stay tuned.

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About Georgia Bairami

H αγάπη για τον τόπο μας είναι δείγμα πολιτισμού.Τίποτα δε μας ανήκει όλα είναι δανεικά και τα οφείλουμε στις γενιές που ακολουθούν..
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