Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A moment to reflect....

I return from Greece and the refugee camps...different. And while I know I helped individual babies...individual mothers. The big picture is soo bleak for these resilient souls. With spotty internet, I did journal along the way on my facebook page. This is simply one of those entries.

Thank those of you that supported my efforts...Ongoing support is still needed and there is a link at the end of my post.

September 16th, Kahlachori Greece

I've been to and worked at three of the refugee camps surrounding Thessaloniki Greece. Each is Different from the other. Some are predominantly Kurdish. Others more Arab and Iraqi. Yet...each camp, inside, has the acrid smell of rotting garbage and raw sewage. 

I worry that I may be getting used to this mishandled crush of humans and poor poor infrastructure. Something seen and done regularly ( and we do work every day. Dawn till dusk) can quietly become "normal". 

The smell, however, slaps me, and wakes me each time.
 Here these beautiful bright eyed children, these often college educated women create moments of normalcy in the makeshift shelters they call home. Through grit, resilience and often, the help of each other... They wait for the day their country stitches itself back together. I desperately want to change this for them. It hurts how much I want to.

I had to stop by a young mothers tent to deliver a package of food this afternoon. On the way, I was met with the beaming face of Amina... (I had sat down with this pregnant mom earlier in our clinic tent, assessing her situation). It was no different from meeting a neighbor on the street at home. Arms reaching out, she brought me to her with a kiss on each cheek, beckoned me to sit. There was one dingy broken chair outside the row of tents. She hurriedly brought it over gesturing me to sit. I sat. I so happily sat. A spoon of Nutella she had been licking, was offered to me. It was a decadent treat and she wanted to share. I tried to suggest she eat it, gesturing to her growing belly.... But her eyes and her beaming smile and her spoon of chocolate insisted. And so we shared a spoonful of Nutella. Three other mothers came over and joined us. The spoon was passed and Sweet black Syrian coffee was offered in thimble sized plastic cups. And there we sat, us five, on a damp and muddy floor, with laundry hanging to dry on the tent roping. We giggled We joked. We shared.
Perhaps...the best sharing I have done in a long long while.
They ARE us. We ARE them.

You can donate to this valiant and small non profit that is doing important work  Here
You can spread awareness....ask your politicians and the UN to allow these refugees a home. In Europe...In our country.


donna baker said...

Linda - I can't say enough or even talk about it, but to say, thank you. My thoughts are that at least they've made it out of Aleppo. That someone helped them is deeply moving. I hope the leaders of conscious will bring them to their homelands to work and live normal lives. When the Vietnamese came after the war, they were the hardest workers- their children always excelled.

mollie's mom said...

I have been on multiple mission trips to a variety of difficult places and you ARE changed and you WILL be processing for weeks even months to come. You truly cannot "unsee" what you now know.I am so glad that you were able to go, to see, to now know and to share your skills with those in need. It's never enough but it is something and to them it's everything. And isn't it amazing how those with nothing, a spoon of nutella, will share as much as they have. Thank you for going. Marcie

Te de Ternura said...

Me siento tan impotente, que la rabia me corroe al ver que los asuntos humanitarios no interesan a "nadie", y los que sufrimos por ello no sabemos que hacer, porque aún con donativos las penurias no cambian totamente. Quizás ya nos hemos "acostumbrado" al dolor televisivo, a ver a diario circunstancias que por más que luchemos son muy difíciles de cambiar visto lo visto, y una gran mayoría deciden olvidarse y pasar página.

Anonymous said...

to know of someone like you who literally has WALKED the talk. i'm in awe and respect.
i speak of it here about the plight of the refugees and that as you say...
we ARE them. how can people not see it?
i live in a "red" state full of fundamentalist christians. and you know what?
they are scared to death that 2 or 3 BAD terrorists might be mixed in with "all those refugees" ... so. their minds are closed. and they look at me like i'm anti american or something. it's pitiful in the extreme.
at 71 i can only help from here. but YOU actually are HELPING. thank you dear one.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

This post has been on my mind ever since I read it a week ago. I am in awe that these camps exist in this day and age, in the time where we are supposed to be the most advanced. Sadly, these camps do not come to light and when they do unless it is in the news 24/7 people have the mindset out of sight, out of mind.

You are blessed to have meet these wonderful people. Who are as another commented blessed to be out of Syria.

Thank so sharing your experience. I am off to make a donation.

Lyn C said...

Hi Linda, this is Lyn from Instagram

I came looking to your blog to find out more about your time here. Your words struck to my core - Mishandled crush of humans! How on earth is this happening in our lifetime of immense prosperity and media coverage (it's not like we all don't know it's going on)

I'm always so grateful there are people on this world like you who go and do. Xx


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