Mytilene, Lesvos, Day 13

In the continuing saga of “Sonia is too tired to write by the end of the day,” I am once again falling asleep.  Today was a fun day though, so it’s good-tired, not miserable exhaustion.  It usually takes me about two weeks to get acclimated to a new place and really settle in, and sure enough just as I’m coming up on two weeks at Pikpa I find myself getting comfortable.  Soon I will be as firmly entrenched as any of the long-termers there.

Today I didn’t volunteer for any specific tasks at morning meeting.  We divvy up the things that have to get done every day, like cleaning, taking out the trash, and sorting donations, but today I decided that I would just find projects that needed someone and do them rather than saying I’d do a specific thing all day.  That turned out to be a pretty good idea, because there was a massive stack of dishes waiting to be washed.  My roommates will be incredulous, but I actually don’t mind washing dishes if I’ve got company, so I reached through the kitchen window, filled a basin with hot water, and went at it.

It took well over an hour to do all those dishes.  Joanne from Canada and I scrubbed in hot water and rinsed in freezing cold, scrubbed and rinsed, scrubbed and rinsed, and eventually the pile dwindled to just a few really grimy pots and pans.  Just as I started in on my last few, Dan came by.  “Do you have something after that?”  he asked.

“No, I figured I’d just find something,” I replied, abusing some steel wool.

“Can you deal with that?” He pointed to a pile of decrepit cardboard boxes stacked haphazardly next to our outdoor couches.  We use and reuse good cardboard boxes, but these were in a sad condition and needed to get recycled.  I agreed and finished washing dishes.  I ended up building a space to put broken down old cardboard so that we can reuse it on wet floors.  That carried me through until lunch, and then I took a break because I planned to pack food and clean houses again in the evening.


I love power tools

Naturally my break turned into a trip into Mytilene to rescue Anna, who was stuck in a cafe without a ride.  That meant finding a car, a driver, and anyone who wanted to go to a shop.  I ended up in Andre’s car with Michael driving, Farzaan in the front seat with all his stuff on the way to the airport, and Ella, me, Chicken, and Sausage in the backseat.  Chicken and Sausage are two very small, very cold puppies.  Andre put them in his car to warm them up, and we take turns snuggling them on wet days.  It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.


Did I mention it was snowing?

We dropped Farzaan off, collected Anna, went to the shop to buy cigarettes for three people, and by the time we made it back to Pikpa they were already packing food.  Oh well, that meant we got to hang out in Anna, Sim, and Dan’s room and relax for a bit.  Shortly thereafter I got a phone call from another volunteer.  She and her roommate were stuck on the side of the road and their car wouldn’t turn back on, and could I please get someone to go pick them up and help figure out what was wrong with the car?  I launched my second rescue mission of the day, and within twenty minutes Ray was off on his pure white steed.  (Actually it’s a muddy whitish car, but same concept.)  Ray is a volunteer from Vancouver who does most things around the camp and is always down to give rides.

Tomorrow morning I’m going to attempt to find a clinic to get my kitchen certification, so I can help out in the kitchen if they ever need people.  In Greece you have to have a special kitchen license that says, among other things, that you don’t have Tuberculosis.  I have to go get my chest x-rayed in order to prove that I’m not consumptive, so I’m going to bed now in preparation for getting up at six-thirty or seven.  Here’s a puppy picture as your goodnight present.  Kalinichta!


Sausage likes to rest on top of Chicken


2 thoughts on “Mytilene, Lesvos, Day 13

  1. Several friends commented that they really enjoyed your writing. The pictures are good to see what your environment looks like. Do you ever get over to the “official” intake area?


    • Hooray and thank you! When you say official intake area do you mean the beaches where the boats land? I’ve been to the nearby stretch of beach several times, but never when there was a boat or boats coming in. There’s no specific place where they land – they often drift in under paddle and tide power after their motors break, so they wind up all over the place. If you mean the camp where people get their registration done that’s Moria, and I haven’t been there yet. Probably next week? It’s all a bit up in the air… as you may have noticed, things change quite quickly here!


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