|Our first glimpse of the camp|
|Not nearly enough loos...|
|Just off the "Main street" - contrast it with the below picture|
|Further back in the camp - the differences are obvious|
|The ones living here are the really desperate and vulnerable|
|My feet not even visible in the mud...|
|1 year old... how long is he going to have to live like this?|
|10 months old... where can he learn to walk?|
|A forgotten welly|
|Imagine living in that half open shelter :(|
Once our rucksacks were empty we walked back to our van in the carpark, restocked and came back. We could only work during daylight hours and made 3 round trips on the first day and 3 on the second. On the second day we also did a humungous supermarket shop first thing in the morning and made 100 food bags (each containing a bag of rice, tin of tuna, tin of tomatoes, jar of spices, tin of chickpeas, tin of red kidney beans, packet of biscuits, fresh apple/orange, tinned fruit, a handful of tea bags and wrapped sugar cubes) which we also took tent-to-tent.
|Some of the 100 food parcels|
We didn’t stop to eat or drink ourselves as there were so many people to see and so little time. The welcome we got was incredible and the tea one man served us was probably the best I have ever tasted. One volunteer who joined us on the second day questioned why we didn’t just do a distribution line in the main street (reasons why not explained above), as that would take about a quarter of the time and would have been much easier for us. But she soon changed her tune when she saw the faces of the families at the back of the camp when we hand-delivered aid that they would otherwise have not received.
|Pathway to nowhere|
There was a really powerful advert that went viral a year or so ago - the basic message being just because it isn't happening here, doesn't mean it isn't happening. Just by a fortune of birth was I lucky enough to be visiting the camp delivering aid, rather than being in the camp myself.
Has the experience affected me? Yes. Without a doubt. At the time, when we were out there, I think it didn't sink in properly. Maybe a result of my medical brain being efficient at compartmentalising situations for me to deal with later? But now I am home, going back to "normal" day-to-day activities, getting ready for work, commuting on the tube, I can't stop thinking about it all. The faces, the mud, the awful living conditions. I feel so guilty that we didn't do more. Why didn't we walk faster, hand things out quicker and have more time to buy new supplies? Why didn't I just give all my remaining euros to people when our food parcels had run out? Why didn't we stay out for longer? Well at least that one I can answer - I have two little people of my own at home and they were missing me!