A cold windy afternoon and evening in triage by the sea. Soon triage will be enclosed – hopefully before the next rain predicted for Monday. I love doing triage because I love meeting all the refugees who come for medical care. Many come with significant issues others come for a band aide or a paracetamol for a headache or antacid for their stomachs. Some come because they are just overwhelmed with their desperate situation. I always introduce myself, ask their names and where they are from (using a translator) and ask how I can help. Sometimes it is a few minutes of hand holding while hearing a story of frustration about having needs unmet. If our team can help source something we will. Lily and Rodwan are working on a coordination app with other ngos so we know where to advise people to go for a coat, a shower, bedding, shoes diapers etc.
Then there are the truly heartbreaking moments, like last night a mother brought in her 9 year old daughter doubled over in abdominal pain. The child has a recent history of bladder infection and as I read her medical record I see it started with a rape. OMG what to say? Tonight there was a urologist in the clinic so at least I could send her to the right specialist for the bladder infection but what of this child’s mental health, to recover from this horrible experience and the ongoing trauma of being in a refugee camp???????? These are the moments the tears flow freely and my stomach churns in disgust.
Our team is working on making the isolation area for covid better. At this time there are individual tents and the patients are just given a pad to sleep on and a blanket, nothing else for 14 days of quarantine. We are trying to get nutritious hot meals from Nikos delivered daily. He is ready but the camp grand Pobah is slow in saying “Ok”. Why? Don’t know. We want to supply a comfort bag with a kettle, tea, a cup, a basin to wash, a towel to dry, some cards. What else???? A radio maybe. Problem is we need at least 100 of each. Working on this.
I wanted to do a post on being thankful, thankful for all that I have, thankful for the privilege of my life, thankful to be able to serve. Thankful for the support of all you who donate. Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day, though many of you will spend the day without the usual festivities and company. It will maybe be a day to just be grateful for what you have and the people in your life.