Carry the Future sets up all of the hotels and arranges the transportation within Greece. Typically our hotels are 1-star hotels, sometimes a 2-star hotel. All are very basic, clean and include a buffet breakfast. We are the only guests at our little hotel on the hill in Chios,
Greece. Each morning we start our day with an amazing view and have breakfast in the hotel lobby. Not a typical US buffet breakfast, MUCH better. We linger over coffee and 2nd helpings of the amazing Greek yogurt and talk about upcoming day and well, life.
In main land Greece I’ve only driven 9 passenger vans, here on the island it is a 7
passenger van which because of the narrow roads really couldn’t be anything bigger.
Most days we head over to the NGO we will be working at that day. This trip we are working mostly for the Iris Center and later in the trip will do some work for other local NGO’s. Typically we are helping hand out aid, sort aid, play with the kids, see what has to be done and do what we are asked to do……this Center offers showers to the 60-ish refugees visiting a day and because lice is a big problem we have been on lice duty, checking if the resident thinks they may have lice, and if they do treating and combing out their hair. It is not especially glamours or earth shaking.
We help make sure the parents have their tea or coffee cups filled. There is an easy camaraderie between the volunteers and refugees. A smile and hand gestures can speak volumes and if needed, there are interpreters around to help.
We typically work with people in their 20’s, but sometimes peers. Everyone with the same commitment to putting a face to this crisis and helping out where we see we can help the most. Today driving around saw the cutest dog and visited a bakery with like 25 different baklavas!
Many volunteers are here a minimum of 2 weeks and often share space with the long term volunteers (3+ month). They usually all get around in an impossible small European car, so getting aid from say a warehouse to a camp can be difficult without a
van. So, almost daily our van is needed to help get goods from Point A to Point B. Today we returned to the post office we’d been to yesterday. The 12 boxes of Winter aid from Norway was sitting in the post office/mini mart in the town/village center. Today Courtney the Center manager was able to get the 12 boxes released and we somehow got them all in the van. This took 90+ minutes. We are totally on Greek time.
With a budget from CTF for certain items like diapers, or donated to us from our family and friends we almost daily are out purchasing aid. Today it was bath towels as the Center had gotten very low on towels- and if you have 20-25 people showering a day you need MANY towels!
Dinner was at a small family run restaurant about a 10 minute walk from our hotel. The food was amazing and we try and imagine how busy and packed we know this island is in the summer.