As we gaze towards the Turkish coast, we see the Turkish Coast Guard trolling back and forth all day…and almost no arrivals on this side. Oxy camp is empty. We did some minor jobs and drove down the coast to Skala Camp, also quiet.
Yesterday we helped the Greek Coast Guard to process a group of 74 they had picked up offshore. The buses picked them up by noon and by five o’clock we saw three of the men when we visited Moria Camp, which is nearly empty. Those three men were already being registered, showing how fast the processing has become.
After visiting a likewise-quiet Kara Tepe Camp, we went to the ferry terminal and saw probably a thousand or two refugees queued up to board the 8:00 pm boat to Athens. Our wonderful Arabic speakers assisted in helping sort out some confusion and aiding passengers own what to do.
Today we saw the massive dump site where discarded life vests have been deposited. It really provides a startling visual representation of the population that has fled their violent homelands through this poor island.
Despite their dire economic situation, the Greeks have demonstrated many acts of kindness and humanity. One minor example is that restaurant owners show their support of our efforts with a discount on meals.
No one knows if or when the boats will start arriving again But most believe they will. It is getting very cold, one cannot cross in rubber boats without getting soaked, and nighttime crossings will be terrible, especially for vulnerable children and elderly. We remain vigilant the next call.
These photos were taken by Sharif at the harbor. The volunteers helped get the refugees dried and warm. We have extra clothes if they need to change out of wet clothes. The mylar emergency blankets are really helpful because they are small, light, and easy to transport.