Such a fantastic team working this week at Iris House- it is amazing how the new volunteers are instantly welcomed and feel useful.
Our first task was to grab 62 cookers from another warehouse. Iris House is the only one of the 3 warehouses that distributes directly to Vial Refugee Camp. We grabbed the cookers in
the 2 vans and returned to the container area to sort aid for tomorrows distribution of hygiene items. We were only there a short while until a couple of us drove the 2 vans to the “1€ Store”. Similar to our “Dollar Stores” Chios’s version was jam packed with everything you didn’t know you needed.
In our case it was shampoo, soap, deodorant and washing powder. We stopped at the famous Chios Windmills for Max to shoot some video. The interpreters LOVED the drone and I imagine Max will be making one of them.
We got 12 cookers ready and went to Vial to give to newly arrived people. The interpreters had told the new arrivals that we were coming and we parked up the road from the camp. Soon about 100 people had arrived. With an increase of new arrivals they all wanted the cookers. Janne and the interpreters did a great job registering all the new arrivals. Most had arrived in the past 24 hours. The camp is busting at the seam with many tents with 7-9 people crammed in them. Picture a space maybe 10’X10′.
It was almost 7 when we dropped off one of the interprets that lives in town near our hotel. We quickly dropped some items at our hotel and went and picked up Jo and her friend Sandy. Jo is an independent volunteer i’d met in Athens about 18 months ago. She was raised in Macao but has traveled the world and is often here in Greece volunteering. This time she is working at a NGO that helps with legal issues for the refugees. It’s such important work and it was really interesting to talk to both of them about the asylum process.
We drove to Karfas a sea side village about 15 minutes from Chios center. We met David the Swiss volunteer with Iris House who is staying in Karfas. It was a lovely dinner decompressing from the intense day and getting to know other kindred spirits.