Moria-camp bears it’s fangs at night time.
What turned into a twenty minute walk through the camp has disfigured into a chaotic couple of hours. We are exhausted from the patient load and the danger of being out here is palpable and erratic, like a tachycardic pulse.
The chain-link fence of this former Greek prison shakes and shudders in rage as the adults with infants and young children beg the authorities for sheltered accommodation.
Around the road and into the camp, a water distributor had left his crates of water unattended and was now trying to remedy the situation by screaming and violently shoving refugees one by one, escalating already a tense situation.
On the other side of the water-truck, hundreds of men were lining up for a small container of rice and beans, the air filled with the discontented grumblings of hungry, young men. Only the poor line up, and only half of them get will get the food.
Winter was exhaling it’s frosty breath on the people in the camp, and the sun doesn’t draw strength like it used to.
We are trying to leave the camp when a frantic young man approaches our group with his young children. They have fallen on the journey over from Turkey in the frigid ocean and need help. The children’s clothes are visible soaking wet. They have nowhere to sleep, nothing to sleep on and no blankets to cover up with.
“You can’t be everything to everyone,” the voice in the back of my head sounds, as we have to turn away and leave.
“But this isn’t everything to everyone,” I respond, seemingly to myself.
“This is a blanket and a tent for a family that nearly drowned.”
“This is food and shelter and clothing. It’s almost nothing, and I can’t give it.”
We make it back to our clinic for our debrief where we’ve seen hundreds of patients in the day, and my face is met with the group’s weary smiles and handshakes. We’re coming together, this wonderful eclectic group of people, and we did one hell of a good job today. I’m so proud to be a part of this crew, my powerhouse wife a leader and work horse on this team.
But you always remember the family that you walked away from, even though you know full well there were another dozen families like it. Shame. Not Good Enough, Ravi.
To The Family: I Am So Sorry.
Back out in the camp fires burn down, smoulder and sizzle on the hillside that is Moria, much like my simmering anger on this night.
Scorched plastic burns the nostrils and in the distance, if you squint, you can see hundreds of people in there, waiting, watching and hoping for the sun again.
Because the darkness is so black, it bites you till you bleed.