Mission report from Rita – January 17, 2014
Friday January 17, 2014
I arrived in Jordan last night with one doctor on the same flight. We got out of the airport without any issues and together we brought 8 bags full of medicine. I had 6 bags with me and AF only charged me $200 for all the bags.
Today early in the morning I went and met the other 7 doctors that arrived early for the missions the other 7 will be coming tomorrow.
Today we spent the day in 5 different villages that the Syrians had set up in parts of Deira A’alla. The people in the different villages were from the same areas in Syria. One group was from Hama another was from Idlib and Aleppo area, and some other people were from around Damascus.
The people really did not have much at all but they were happy that they were working, not making much money – only $5 an hour or so and it came out to $200 per month, working in the fields and their kids were going to school nearby from morning until the afternoon.
They did not have much – just the basics in the tents and a bathroom that was communal, but there was water and the vegetables from the fields where they are working. I am not trying to say it is perfect, but the people are adjusting and trying to make a living for their families and not having to rely on handouts.
We had some volunteers with us from the Jordan Women’s Union that were giving classes on preventive health care that were attended by the women at the camp. We did this at each one of the camps we went to and it works quite well.
I talked to a number of the Syrian people and it seems that most of them had just come within the last three months or so. One woman that was about 70 came with friends out of Hama. It took her four days to get to the Jordan border. Once she got to the border she had to make her own way to since the other people had places to go. She found a cab driver that learned where she was from and he said “I will take you to a place where people are from your town,” and he dropped her off at the camp, took no money and wished her luck. She was taken in by the people and is now in her own tent, but she needed clothes and other items, which we will get to them in the next couple of days. Today we only had medicines and lots of baby formula which we handed out.
It was a really fulfilling day and it was so great to get the kids laughing and playing- they loved it when I showed them pictures of Omar Sharif, my little dog they had such a laugh that this strange lady speaking Arabic is telling them about her little son, a dog——–
Tomorrow we are going out to Cyber City, which is a new area for us that has a lot of Syrians and also Palestinians that had been living in Syria.