Today we got organized. We went through all our medicines and medical supplies, went to a pharmacy in Silet. Tomorrow we start 15 days of refugees centers in Chernivtsi, Ukraine as long as there is no military action. The Ukraine Ministry of Health has approved all our documents and credentials.
We have secured a car and driver that will stay with us at all times and have registered a locator app to let our family see where we are. We feel prepared. The team has been networking with the many NGOs that are here providing a multitude of services. The Romanian border was chaos which has become the new order. There are buses leaving constantly to all over Europe. They fill up and go. There are a multitude of volunteers serving tea, coffee food, clothing, volunteers from the Romanian emergency service greet refugees crossing into Romania with assistance. Triage is functioning now. Yesterday 5,184 people crossed – so the rush has slowed down.
I am heartened by the response of humanity to this tragedy. Our first reaction is to give, to share, to care. But I know from my refugee experiences this does not last. It gets old. Volunteers burn out. They have to return to jobs, generous people want to reclaim their extra bedrooms, their profit making Airbnb’s. In Greece we saw the initial generosity, women running from their kitchen with pots of stew to feed the refugees, offering clothing warm blankets and after several years there was resentment, frustration alienation. This is different as these refugees are neighbors, they look the same, they speak a similar language. Refugees become inconvenient, even neighbors.
For now the generosity is wonderful. On the Ukraine side of the border it is only long lines of cars and people standing for hours. A few warming tents and 2 free food stands. Today I think the humanitarian corridor must be functional as there were many, many vans packed with supplies crossing into Ukraine heading to KIYV. There is a critical shortage of all supplies, in those cities under siege. Tomorrow we cross the border at 7:30 am. We are all hoping for peace soon.