Packed and ready to go we loaded the van with our bags and went out in search of a newer NGO called “Unmentionables”. A beautiful place for women to get pads, underwear and bras. They also offer a number of classes for women and men- such a great idea and a great need. CTF is looking to partner with someone to store our baby beds, baby gear and diapers with in Athens.
As with most days we got lost finding the space after we’d parked the giant van in a parking garage-no problem, once we got the correct address added we were only about 8 blocks off from the space. Google maps is a curse and a blessing- today it was a curse as it had us marching all over trying to find this space but a blessing because we got to see close up area’s of Athens we usually would not see. Athens has to be the graffiti capital of the world, literally on every block there is amazing graffiti my favorites are usually on building that are crumbling specks of years past. Roofs open to the sky and elements while art holds up the dreams of what once was.
Our next stop was to the warehouse Elliniko to pick up some aid to bring with us up to Serres. This is the big warehouse on the site of the Olympic basketball stadium. The workers at the warehouse were nice enough to pull the aid needed to distribute Serres’s Spring clothing so the only thing we had to do was to stuff 20+ boxes into our already almost full van.
We call this “Tetrusing the van”. I was missing my travel wife Amanda for this task as she is the World Champion of filling a van with aid! Someone had the great idea to take the empty plastic Ikea Dimpa bags we ship aid into and open the boxes and stuff the Dimpa bags with clothing. Easier to get into the little nooks and crannies of the van. It was perfect. We got 3 pallets of boxes into the van- all but 3 boxes made it! Not to bad. Granted the 2nd row didn’t have foot room- legs had to be put on top of boxes and we couldn’t see out the back window – the usual!
It was about a 6 hour drive out of Athens to Serres- the roads were perfect and with an overcast sky driving was easy. Sarah took over the last couple of hours of driving while I took a little cat nap in the 2nd row. It was not easy finding our hotel- and the side roads were not in very good shape so we had to drive slower then the posted speed limit but we arrived safe and sound. Dinner was at the hotel restaurant and we went over our plans for tomorrow. There is an easy rapport with this team and we spent the drive getting to know each other and sitting in silence looking at the passing beautiful scenery. Once again feeling blessed to have such a great team to work with. We are about 10 miles from the Bulgarian border- it was so dark when we arrived but the area looks beautiful from what we could see.