Our last morning started with a 4:00am wake up to go and meet a ferry from Athens that had winter aid- these ferries are HUGE! Semi’s are dwarfed in the hold.With helping hands it was an easy collection of bags, we returned to the hotel to get some sleep (in Sara’s case) and finishing packing.
Our next stop was at the Center to drop the aid and say our goodbyes. Our Facebook feeds have added more friends these past few days- from across the ocean and lifetimes apart we will be able to watch from afar these new friends stuck in Greece.
We stopped to say goodbye to a Syrian family- the babies bed improvised. The parents anxious to know what their future holds. We don’t have answers.
One thing that has shifted this trip is that no one wants to come to the US- Canada has replaced all other countries as the destination of choice. With less then 1% of the worlds refugees settling in the US,Canada or Australia it is most likely that our new friends will still be in Greece the next time we return.
Chios is beautiful and yet for so many a prison. One of our new friends, a 20 year old from Lebanon learned today for the 3rd time his asylum request was denied. He has 1 more chance and if not approved he will be forcibly returned to a country that will arrest him upon arrival.
That is the story of late, 3 years into this mess the forced returns are meaning more heart ache.
The camp still has many people sleeping in tents and I am comforted knowing that there are people trying to help as much as they can. It will not be enough and another winter means more deaths in the camp from cold and sickness.
Our prop plane left late in the afternoon for Athens. The sea looked so beautiful and peaceful during our short 30 minute flight. Unfortunately for aid workers, We know the sea is a cemetery for so many. Just this week a large raft sank, mostly women and children lost.
Sara will be retuning to Canada today with 2 dogs rescued from the streets of Greece. New families wait for them.
It has been a good trip- we are tired and our hearts are full and heavy at the same time.