23.10.2015 - 27.10.2015 39 °F
Can't believe I've been here a week. Had to ask someone what day it was, he didn't know either. It's as if time has become irrelevant, or at the very least, a distraction. Buses from the Serbian border keep arriving. Inside the camp there's a large tent we're contstantly re-stocking from our storage tent 1/2 Km away using the only form of transport we have. A small wheelbarrow we "appropriated" from the Red Cross. Haven't yet decided if they're totally inept or deliberately obstructive. Either way I'll never again donate to them, particularly with so many other NGO's here preforming miracles.
Our group established a schedule of sorts. Some of us distribute fruit, cookies and water as the buses arrive, others staff the volunteers tented camp kitchen while still others are inside the main camp in one of the three 'zones' the refugees are constantly shuttled thru. We were told there was an average of between 4k and 10k people every 24 hrs here this last week. They arrive at all hours. Inexplicably, the greatest numbers come between midnight and 5am. We run on shifts to allow everyone at least some downtime. Several of the nights I worked along with four others, in the clothing tent distributing warm blankets, jackets, parka's scarves, all donated from agencies in Europe and trucked here. Our shifts ran from 10pm - 3am. The line outside the tent often was 75-100 people long and often a real challenge to maintain order.
The group with whom I joined are all such amazing people. Each one has taken time off from university studies, or jobs to drive here. In some cases like the guys from Newcastle in the UK, it was an 18 hr trek. They'd arrived in rented truck, with 7 TONS !! of donated clothing they'd collected in 36 hours from their home town. Everyone I've met is commited in the same way - to make a difference in the lives of those now are facing such hardship. It's a great honor to be here amongst them.