Trude’s aid journey August 8 – September 2, 2015

Trude arrived on Lesvos late night 29th August, and left for home in the evening of 2nd September. Those were som very intense days, filled with strong impressions. We are certain that many of the refugees that landed during those days will remember the reception and welcome they received with joy and gratefulness. The pictures and stories Trude sent home shows that the help was both needed and welcomed.

en kvinne med fem barn inne i en bil

30th August kl. 18:21

This has been the best (not including the birth of my children) and the worst day of my life!

I’m now sitting on a lookout post with my bonoculars and a first aid kit. That was the first gear I was handed when I met with the English couple that sorts clothes and coordinates and warns volunteers when boats arrive.

Yesterday, 4000 people arrived the island with rubber dinghies. They pay about 1000€ per person to join a boat, and a 100€ extra for a life jacket. There are huge piles of used life jackets on every little beach.

Today, we have operated 4 cars, about 6-8 volunteers, driving shuttle with children, pregnant women and old people from where the boats land and the 8km into the village. I am sure there have been other volunteers, but I haven’t seen those. I have not seen a single representative for any of the established aid organisations!!!

From the mentioned village, there’s 65km to the “capitol” on the island. There are no buses! We are not allowed to rent a bus because the camps and the captitol already are overfilled. Met an old lady with wounds that smelled from far away, she started walking the 65km.

A pregnant woman with 24 days until due date had pains and her water broke. We called an ambulance, but I don’t think it arrived. Suddenly the woman was gone.

The police denies us to provide food to the refugees, but I don’t care about that.

But there’s also a lot of joy amongst them that arrives safely across the strait! They are nice, they take pictures and they cheers. The children are overjoyed by a teddy bear and dry shoes.

It is heaven and hell at the same time. On the beaches you can find tourists that takes a sun bath and a swim, and 200 meters further up there are people arriving that is fleeing from bombs and torture.

2nd September

Some short info about status and the next steps, while I have to spend the night at an airport. There’s huge support and I am forever grateful for everything you contribute! Also encouraging words! I haven’t been able to read every comment, but after every boat landing I’ve had need for some support, and I’ve found it in this group.

During these three days I have lived and learned more than I could ever imagine! I’ve also felt a lot of hoplessness and anger. All feelings are magnified to the extreme. When a five year old hangs around your neck being grateful for a biscuit, or a lady cannot thank you enough for some sanitary pads and some wet tissues, when a grandmother cannot kiss you enough times on the cheek just because you’re there, then you get the perspective of things!

But it’s feels extremely sad to be able to help just a few.