I returned to Samos around noon on the ferry. There were refugees leaving Lesvos to go to Athens, Greece and many more refugees from Samos joined them as I stepped onto land. The cabin that the volunteers use for distribution is right next to the port so I went there immediately to see if I could catch a ride back to my “flat”/nusing home. As I stepped in I was immediately swamped with new faces of volunteers who had arrived while I had been in Lesvos, and refugees boarding the ferry asking for warming layers, hats, and gloves. The cabin we use for distribution was immaculate when I had left, but as I stepped inside I could not even walk for boxes were spilling off the shelves all over the floor. I spent almost an hour trying to put it back into order, but left after volunteers kept on coming in and bringing in refugees in as well. I honestly was just overwhelmed from the past day, no sleep, and coming back to a mess that I had not forseen.
I went back to the usual hang-out spot where we usually grabbed a meal or soda/coffee and use the Wi-fi. Probably the wrong decision, because I was sitting there absorbing the past 24 hours and suddenly realized that I was alone, again. We had always come here as a group, sharing each others plates, sharing stories, and relaxing after our shifts. I looked around at all the empty seats and would have completely lost it had not our waiter come over to sit with me for most of the time I was there. After I finished eating I went back and finally slept.
I woke up late evening and wandered into the meeting room at the nursing home. Most of the volunteers were there, some who I knew, some who I did not know. It was good to see faces, but they had not shared the same experiences with me. Here on Samos it is more of a safe bubble where we only deal with the port camp, entertainment of the children, and light distribution. The warehouse is about as safe and far removed from the crisis as could ever be. A few of the volunteers had made soup, so at least there was that.