Greece to Serbia. Team 28.

The last time Amanda and I were in Serbia it took us almost 2 full days to drive the 10 hours between Thessaloniki and Belgrade.  Between customs delays and snow!  This time we flew from Thessaloniki to Belgrade in less than an hour.

It was a bitter sweet breakfast today, we were dropping off 4 of our teammates at a hotel they were going to stay at for 2 nights while we went to the airport to head up to Serbia for a week.  It was such a great team!  Always sad to say goodbye but I know we will be catching up on Whats App for the next months.

We dropped the extra baby beds we had made up but not distributed to the warehouse near Alexandrea then headed to drop the rest of our team off at their hotel.  The road leading to the hotel was sketchy at best, Monday is a(nother) holiday in Greece, so everyone seemed to wanting to be in Thessaloniki as literally ALL the hotels were full.

Their hotel and “spa” was down a dirt road, surrounded by green fields and what looked like a sludgy creek.  All of us have to carve time out of our already full schedules to make these trips.  Our villages at home fill in the gaps where family cannot.  It is nice they will have 30 hours to relax and reflect before re-entry into their lives.  It is never easy.

Amanda and I headed to Thessaloniki to go back to the meringue restaurant we’dIMG_6384 stopped at a few days earlier- the town looked like it had swelled to 3X its usual population.  There were people EVERYWHERE!

I may or may not have eaten 2 amazing meringue cookies, just saying- you could never prove it!

We arrived at the airport 3 hours before our flight- Serbian Air would not let me  check in yesterday and their website said to get there 3 hours early.  Well the ticket agents weren’t there for another hour.  But thankfully we were the 1st people in line, the agent said Amanda did not have a ticket even though she had her receipt, and relevant numbers and codes.  It took an hour for the agent to figure it out.  To reserve a seat when you checked-in cost $3.00USD.  The flight had maybe 30 people on it, our row had 3 people, when the gentleman in our row tried to move, the flight attendant said “no, you have not paid for the other seats”.  Right out of United’s Customer Service Manuel.  Crazy!

Belgrade was cloudy and raining- what the Weather App says will be the forecast for the

IMG_6394
Not all aid delivery and squishing people into the back of vans- aid work also means LOTS of waiting!

next week we are here.  It took an hour to get the van, and when we went outside in the rain to pick it up, it was way to small for what we needed so we waited another hour for them to bring in another 9-passenger van.

Everything was settled and we headed into town with a large rain storm ahead of us.  We were quickly checked into our hotel before the down pour started-thankful!

Dinner tonight was in the hotel restaurant.  We are tired and in need of a good night sleep.  Tomorrow we will do the shopping for the camp we will be working at on Mon-Wed.  But tonight we will try and get to bed before midnight!

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