Mytilene, Lesvos, Day 14

What a lovely day!  Hard to believe I’ve been on Lesvos for two weeks already.  It simultaneously feels like forever and like I got here just yesterday.  I’ve found myself giving people directions, orienting new volunteers, and describing Pikpa to new people as though I’ve been here my whole life, but I’ve still never even been to see Moria!  I’ve barely made it out of Mytilene, but there’s so much going on every day that I don’t know when I’ll have the time.  Maybe I’ll start setting aside a day or two each week to go to Moria and the No Borders Kitchen, to give myself a little break from Pikpa and see some different sides of the refugee crisis.

I went in late today after spending the morning doing some of my own sadly neglected work.  I helped Ray move and store a bunch of boxes of donations in one of our two shipping containers.  We’re going to transform the containers sometime soon, put a deck across them so that we can hang out up there and watch the ocean, and also make it a 24-hour distribution center for refugees coming off boats nearby.  We don’t get as many boats as the North coast, but sometimes it takes longer for the UN buses to come collect the cold, wet, tired refugees, and we don’t always have a place for them to wait.  If we can make the two containers into an enclosed, protected space, with warm clothes and electricity and maybe hot tea and coffee, it could be a real help.  It’ll also be a nice place to hang out in the summer for both volunteers and refugees, as the view of the sea is beautiful and there are some shade trees.


Container interior, post-organizing

I spent a while organizing some clothes for the night shift in the semi-dark, as I am inheriting the mobile closet and homemade changing rooms built by Vanda.  She’s headed to Turkey for an indeterminate amount of time not less than a few days and not more than a few weeks, but then she’s headed back to the States for the foreseeable future.  Since I’m staying for a while I’m carrying on the legacy of patrolling the beaches (whenever I can get a ride) with donated clothes, emergency blankets, and lollipops.  She’s got a great system set up already, so all I have to do is maintain it.  I’m not going out tonight due to unexpected car trouble, but soon, dear readers.  Soon.

I’m moving in with Jane, Basak, Clara, and a couple of other Germans tomorrow, so maybe I’ll learn some German!  That would be great, and I will have the opportunity to get it completely confused with my few words of Greek and Arabic, which should be fun.  I think if I could choose a superpower right now it might be to understand and speak any language fluently.  It would be so useful, and I would love to be able to talk to everyone in the entire world.  In the meantime I’ll keep working on tourist Greek and roommate German, with occasional Arabic phrases thrown in.  What a mix!

2 thoughts on “Mytilene, Lesvos, Day 14

  1. Dear Sonia,
    While you seem to be having a great time playing with puppies and dodging smokers, your old Gramma Didisops is working hard doing crostics and reading the book you gave me – Gloria Steinen’s memoir. I think of you with every page. You and your blog are in my mind, of course. I’m very proud of you for taking on this valuable service to the migrants, and look forward to your next post.
    With love from Gramma


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