2016/02/21

#6: SARA

I will never forget last night as long as I live. There is simply no leap the imagination can make to replicate these scenes. Scenes which happen over and over every night, and only the latest of which I have participated in. We arrived at 11pm last night and only finally left at 12 noon today simply because every human hand was needed. And those were by far not enough ☞

During the night, our beach alone handles around 10 boats with I don’t know, 40 to 60 people per boat. I’m talking mothers, children, screaming babies, teenagers, Dads, old men and woman. Freezing cold. Soaked in rain, waves, panic. Some in a 2 hour crossing. Some in 6. At night in the dark. One little girl, lost from her parents, faints in my arms and I don’t know if she’s going to die of cold right there, and I don’t know what to fucking do because I’m panicking and the medics are frantically resuscitating another child. Who does not make it. Who dies, right there on the beach next to me, while her parents scream and scream. And every clever opinion and narrative I’ve come across just noise and nonsense next to this. You’re talking kids dying on our shores next to their screaming parents, and not one measly article in the BBC news today. I take off the water sodden top of the girl, Sara and she wakes, freaking out because she does not know where she is or who I am. Her Mum finally finds us amongst the commotion and we get her dry & put warm clothes on her upper body.

After that I realise that there is no use in anything but to hug this little girl until she warms up. At some stage by the grace of God she starts even smiling & I poke her nose, she laughs and I realise it’s not me getting her through it, it’s her getting me through it. We get the family at last into the bus to Moria, and the next boat arrives. I have never scene such a sight, and I salute all the people who suffered the journey and all the INCREDIBLE volunteers and aid workers there – every night.

PICTURE BY BASTIAN FISCHER

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