Monday, September 18, 2017


The wonderful new yesterday is that some of the kids announced they are leaving - heading next week to an apartment in Athens and Then to a relative in Switzerland. At the other site, two bus loads left for Athens and beyond, papers in order and cleared to go. Most of the people have waited for 2 years for the gears to grinds slowly through the paperwork. And if the family has a new baby, that person is classified as a new resident and the family goes to the bottom of the list to start over.

These camps - and there are 50+ in Greece, many more in Italy - are as organized and humane as helping groups can make them. The life is limbo and frustration with delay is the primary source of discontent and suffering. The EU-Turkey agreement has essentially closed the border from Turkey to Greece and giving a great deal of money to Turkey to set up camps some so that will be the point of entry to Europe. Slowly that will impact the boat traffic to Greece and close these camps. The hope is that with the new emphasis on these Turkish camps those persons waiting in Greece will not be forgotten. Both the transient residents and Greeks from wha our tour guide said will be glad when this phase is over.

The pictures of Bangladesh camps are a far cry from what the sites here have become but it has taken several years to reach this point. My heart aches for those countries and people just starting through the process.

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