On-the-Ground in Samos,
Day 4 (Tuesday)
As we drove from the volunteer house in the morning, I was struck again by the camp on the hillside. No more than a blip, a little strip of blue and white canvas above the town. The population of Samos Town is est 6,500 and the Camp population 4,500. The area of land assigned to each giving perspective.
We arrived with Anne at the shop for 8.30, ready to start day 2 of the weeks’ distributions of women’s clothes packs, and had another really great day. This time with Martijn giving out a Shelter Suit and sleeping bag combination, which caused almost as many smiles as choosing a new bra!
When we give out tickets, not everyone shows up, but ‘show rates’ this week for the jumpers, socks, underwear, bra and sleeping bags / shelter suits has been about 80-90%. And there’s lots of women coming to register too.
Meanwhile Omar was at the camp finding tents that were falling down and replacing them, and tents that were leaking to add some tarpaulin. About 40 new tents were pitched, and a whole pallet of tarp used to keep people dryer. Later in the day and overnight there’s been rain (there’s a small storm rumbling overhead now).
And then there was a third team, under Negia from Athens, in the warehouse sorting donations. They were joined by Jacob and the team from Action for Education who offered to help too whilst they’re waiting for the lease in their new Samos centre to be ready.
Just as we closed a local Greek man came to ask if we could come and collect some donations from him and his friends. San and I took the van just around the corner to his garage and collected about 10 boxes of clothes, shoes, toys and more. It’s always amazing to have help and support from locals.
Next, Anne and I went bra and underwear shopping as we were running out in the shop for the end of the week. Thanks to a wonderful donor, Anne was able to buy 300 bras and 200 underwear which we know will make many women very happy this week!
Lastly, it was the wonderful Negia’s birthday. She’d booked dinner at a Greek taverna, Omar got the cake and Negia had us finish out the day dancing to Cuban tunes....