Monday, 21 December 2015

Dirty Girls of Lesbos - part one

Be patient. I’ll get to the dirty bit soon. So…
I live on Lesbos. You’ve all heard of it. You’ve all heard what’s happening here.
My friend, Alison, called me. She needed help with the washing. She was lost under piles of bin bags filled with wet clothing lifted from the beach.
When the boats arrive the people on them are soaked to the skin, so they strip down and the volunteers give them clean dry clothes. The clothes people like you donate, so thank you. Thank you so much.
The discarded clothes are bagged up and volunteers launder them so they can be reused. A simple, effect, clever idea.
So, I went down to Alison’s house and grabbed a couple of bags from the pile slowly swallowing her front porch. And I lucked in – I got baby clothes. I didn’t get the stinky socks or the stale smelling jeans that weigh a ton when wet. I got itsy-bitsy coats with giraffes, and ABCs, and teddy bears appliquéd on the front. I got teeny weeny stripy, spotty, join the dotty socks. I got stripy little leggings like Pippa Long Stocking’s, and sand encrusted vests and pants. Everything was so small and soaking wet with sea water and pee-pee, and I swear the fear still clung to them. It must have been a terrifying journey for these kids.
I felt a little upset in my stomach.  A little teary. But I lucked in – my other friend, Ariadne, got men’s jeans and washed them all only to find she had a tissue in nearly every pocket.
Now, when these clothes go back to the beach they will be dry and clean, and smell of ylang-ylang and lavender – well, according to my detergent bottle they will. And I hope the fear will momentarily wash away for the child wrapped up inside them, for I know what is to come and it is not good.

Please keep kind thoughts for these people. There is a high probability that you too, are the child of refugees or immigrants.  You are a only a sliver of history away from this beach. You are where you are because someone else made a similar journey in order to have a future, and that future is you. Wear it well. Who are we to deny that same future to others cut from the same cloth?

Part 2 soon, and I swear I will get to the point.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you already made a significant and really worthy point, so I can't wait to see what the "point" point is. :)

All of you over there inspire me to think anew about what more I can do to help people around me in need.It's really easy to get absorbed in your own stuff and forget that it's not the most pressing, important stuff in the world.

-michelle

Not much to say really... said...

Hi, Anonymous Michelle.

Part 2 is coming after my Ylva blog hop with my secret guest blogger. Oooh! That all happens tomorrow.

And now that I think of it, I'm not sure what my 'point' point is either. It's just that I have something to say about what is happening here. And if I say it long enough, and over and over again, maybe Europe will hear me and people like me.

Ann said...

Great reminder. The story in my family is that one of our first female ancestors here essentially ran aground on the beach at Long Island in about 1640 with the others with whom she and her ill husband were traveling. They missed what little town there was by a very long shot and had to walk. With her husband being close to death they refused to carry him and she refused to leave him. They left them both to die. She was saved by an older Native American man after a few days. She had already suffered her husband's death and her own ill treatment by some other Native Americans. She has numerous descendants all over the US who have contributed well to society. They had nothing when they arrived. She and her new husband (a sailor) contributed much to the area around Long Island and what is now northern NJ.

Not much to say really... said...

Exactly, Ann. Look back far enough and there will be a fantastic family story. Generations of people have moved all over the globe all the time fleeing famines, war, or forcibly removed by slavery. But we've always moved like great herds across this planet. Today is no different from yesterday, we still have wars and famines and slavery. As an individual all you can do is be kind, for it seems our governments can't change anything, ever.

Jack said...

Though we normally gone enjoy very good herds spanning it community. At present is not an unlike last week, you always contain competitions and even famines and even captivity. Being a man or woman every can be done is without a doubt end up manner, as it would seem to be much of our governing bodies find it difficult to shift all sorts of things, ever in your life.