IMG_1930First off, it has been a great birthday week- a college friend and her husband were visiting from Pittsburgh so that was an added bonus!   Yummy birthday dinner at Pizzeria Bianco with friends and family- seriously feeling  the love.  Mae was to tired to attend after 3, count them THREE soccer games this week, with few subs she played most of the games and for her that was more than ENOUGH!

Dinner’s, lunches, breakfasts, spa-ing…….all was good.  So far the 50’s have not been that scary……..it just gets better!

In 48 hours will be on my way to meet my team in Athens for a humanitarian mission for:  Carry the Future (CTF):  .  Like many people a mom in Los Angeles felt compelled to do something while watching the devastating Syrian war unfold in images on social media.  Her action was to have a baby carrier drive to send baby carriers to the refugees as they landed in Greece.  This organization is 6 months old and has already sent 7 teams of volunteers to hand out and fit carriers on refugees since it’s founding and has collected over 10,000 carriers.  I will be part of team 8- 5 women from around the US and 1 from Canada who leave on April 12.  We will be the 2nd to the last team- for the foreseeable future- as the refugee crisis has changed, so to have the needs.

Initially  our team was going to meet the ferries as they came into Athens from the islands where the refugees land and were processed.   Once in Athens the refugees would start the long trek into the EU, away from the ravages and war and towards a future of hope.  With the closing of the Macedonia boarders a couple of weeks ago- we were taxed with the job of supporting the 4,000+ refugees stuck in tents and out in the open in the pier area of Athens.  Last week most of those refugees were resettled into camps (these are very basic camps with tents set on gravel)- scattered in and around Athens.  So now our job will be driving around in a van crammed with baby carriers and visiting the surrounding camps to fit carriers and distribute aid.

Part of our job is to be a mule for the organization- our checked baggage will be filled with packed baby carriers and we will only have our carry-on to have our clothes for 10 days and items to give out to the refugees.  I plan to bring 2 carry-0ns, a stroller (to give away) and a backpack.

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This was me with all the refugee loot scattered wondering how it all was going to fit into my carry on’s!  Well not Georgie………i’ve told Rob i’m expecting no less than 6 photo’s a day from him of the dogs.  I keep thinking of things and adding them to either the list or the bags.

When I first heard about CTF it really touched my heart- I too felt this is something I can do to help these people who have left behind their lives in search of a better, hopeful future for their children.  And maybe a part of my desire to go to Greece is to bear witness to this unfolding human nightmare and in some small way make a little bit of a difference in the lives of these people who have seen unspeakable horrors, yet had the courage to move forward toward a better life for themselves and their children.

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