With our van and Iris House’s van we are able to split up and deliver/pickup aid twice as
fast. Max and I started our day by walking the the office of the legal team- the one I’d worked at yesterday. Jo needed my computer to help load the cards so we dropped that off at 9am and headed to the container area.
First we stopped at the “China Store”. Discount shops run by Chinese nationals- very strange to hear a Chinese person speaking Greek with a Chinese accent! We bought shorts and t-shirts for the prisoners that we will meet with tomorrow
Right now Iris House is renting 4 containers- each has a purpose: hygiene, children’s clothing, adult clothing and over flow-currently strollers + cookers. Abu is in charge of the refugees in Chios City. Vulnerable cases like unaccompanied minors and newborn babies are supposed to be put up in Chios city proper in apartments. Abu arrived from Somalia 7 months ago. The day after he and his VERY pregnant wife arrived on the island she gave birth to their son.
For 21 day Abu and his wife lived outside – no shelter within the walls of Vial camp. With a new born baby. I remember his case- a SOS went out to the aid worker community no the internet. Like many, I assumed that someone, anyone would figure this out. No one did for 21 days.
Today Abu is the Chios City coordinator- making sure that those who have been resettled into the apartments in the city have the help they need. Today we delivered aid to an apartment of unaccompanied minor girls. Went to the hospital to give a stroller and new born aid to a 4 day old baby and to an apartment with a 4 day old baby.
I finally asked Abu if he knew how to drive a car after the 10th time JUST today he had me drive the wrong way down an impossible narrow lane. “No” was his answer. And also “No Problem” is something he literally says 100 times a day.
On one of the many times we ended up in dead ends we stumbled upon the Turkish Bathes- remnants of a bygone time.
Janne had us pick up the food at “Chios Peoples Kitchen”. It was once again yummy rice and spinach. Over 1/2 of the 10 person Iris House team is fasting for Ramadan but those of us who are eating get to have a yummy vegan lunch everyday.
We stopped to eat at the containers then headed back to Chios City to pick up the rest of the 130 cookers that are going to be distributed next week. The 2 vans miraculously found 2 parking spaces in front of the store and we quickly loaded the vans with the cookers.
Next we drove up to Chios’s former television station which is on top of a hill overlooking the ocean and Chios City. Iris House’s Janne is thinking or renting it for the new Iris House. It would be amazing and fantastic if she is able to pull it off! Max got his drone out and took some footage for the video he is doing.
A quick trip to the grocery store to purchase food and hygiene items for the prison run tomorrow was the last thing we had to do today.
It was almost 8pm when we pulled into the lot across from our hotel.
Tired but feeling good about what were were able to accomplish today. We walked along the sea front to find a place to have dinner. It really is a beautiful island and we both can see ourselves returning.