Today was our day off, the clinic was closed. We slept in, washed our hair, did some laundry, met at Melis, our favorite coffee shop, then drove north to Skala Skimenos where the refugee boats arrive from Turkey on the north side. Boats also arrive near here in Mytilini. We met with members of an NGO Lighthouse who are spotters (24 hours a day). They receive the refugees on the beach along with Israid, delivering first aid, water, emergency blankets and biscuits. Then the refugees are taken to the stage 2 UNHCR camp, then to Moria. They said that 6000 people have arrived this year in the north alone.
We spent the afternoon in this quaint fishing village where we were told there are many heroes. The people of this town are on alert always to grieve the refugees and they support the egos who are working there. The restaurant where we ate a DELICIOUS lunch asked us if we are working and when we told them we were working at Moria, they gave us a big smile and thank you. I heard the people of this town were collectively nominated for a nobel peace prize in 2016. It gives such hope! Scott and Marine went to the rubber boat and dingy graveyard and collected some remnants of these to bring to Tama and Nancy, who are working on the bracelet project. Tomorrow Zoe will go to the south to do beach clean up with Omar.
This evening Genevieve cooked us a delicious meal at our house. It was so good. We then had a group meeting which was so helpful. It was great to focus in on clinic efficiency, provider support, safety concerns, etc. Most of us are dealing with the emotional weight by staying on task.
Tomorrow we are preparing for a busy day as there has been no clinics today and MSF is closed tomorrow. We will be the only clinic open. We will be doing the pediatric and OB/ GYN emergencies as well as general emergencies. But the gift of the day is it is daylight savings – even here in Greece so we get an extra hour for sleep or coffee.
One last thing: There is a Syrian man who has severe eye damage from a bomb blast. He is in desperate need of surgery. He has already lost one eye and may lose the other. He needs $600 for the surgery. We are collecting for him, we are going to give him the money. Any help is so appreciated.
All of you who have donated have had a great impact here. Your money is allowing us to treat so many people and have the meds they need. However, there are over 11,000 people here.
THE NEED IS SO GREAT.