Dear people of WordPress,
It has been many moons since my last post. I apologize. I have gotten several very gentle, kind reminders that there are people out there who want to KNOW WHAT I’M DOING DAMMIT, POST ON YOUR BLOG ALREADY! No, I jest, they were all very kind and gentle, and so here I am, satisfying my lovely readers.
It’s not going to be very satisfying. Buckle up.
The reason I haven’t posted in an age and a half is because the EU and Turkey have conspired together recently to broker a deal wherein all new arrivals in Greece will be processed and sent immediately back to Turkey. Needless to say, this violates international humanitarian law, which states that each asylum case must be assessed individually. I think they’re getting around it by calling it an emergency situation? Well of course it’s a bloody emergency, there are thousands of people fleeing horror after horror and all they meet with is rejection!
I have some feelings about this, as you can probably tell.
What this means for Moria camp is basically that the inner compound has become a detention center. People go in and they don’t come out except in big buses, which take them to ferries, which take them to the mainland, where they get either shuttled off to other holding centers around Greece, or deported back to Turkey, which has been designated a safe third country. Better Days for Moria, where I work, has suspended services for ten days while we send a small team off around mainland Greece to check out the situation, because reliable information is scarce. They’ll assess various holding centers and camps around Greece and report back, at which point Better Days will decide whether to stay where we are (unlikely at this point I think) or pick up and move somewhere else.
We’re not sure what the future looks like right now, but the refugees will keep coming as long as there is something to run away from. I keep telling people: they’re not running to Europe, they’re running away from their homelands, and that is a significant distinction.
Right now BDFM is a ghost camp. I built a garden four days ago with Sofia and a few other random volunteers, and now it will probably never be used. I’m considering digging up the plants, repotting them, and moving them somewhere else. They can be refugee plants; somewhat traumatized, unwanted, both useful and beautiful, uprooted at the whim of those in charge, and replanted wherever there is space. That turned into a way better metaphor than I was expecting.
In the meantime, there’s a spot of good news! Kiki and Ramon are getting married on Monday! Kiki is one of the founders of Better Days, and Ramon is our fabulous infrastructure man. They’re both a little wacky, a little wild, and incredibly hard-working. The wedding promises to be a bash of epic proportions. Suggestions so far include fireworks, tattoos, and and a priest in a literal penguin outfit. We may never recover. I’m looking forward to it.