Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag Rain and travels
15 november 2014
Rain and travels
The rain started. Lots of cold water turned the dusty camp into a mud pool. The colours on the road there changed from the dry sandy yellow to dark green and brown. Fall. I love it. However, it was less lovely when I got out of the car and stepped into the slippery mud that covered all the fragile paths in the camp. My colleagues and I walked very carefully to our tents and with every step I was worried I would get stuck and step while leaving my sneaker behind… I felt ridiculous and I must have looked that way too because all the children laughed at me. Well, at least some good came out of it ;) The next day I bought a pair of warm rain boots, and a thick coat, so the next time I was in the camp (it was warm and sunny, of course) I looked again ridiculous.
In the last few weeks large groups of refugees from the Syrian town of Kobani (you’ve probably heard that name in the news) arrived to our camp. They are hosted wherever there is space left: in the mosque, in the school, in large empty tents on spare land. Their many children run around (barefoot or on plastic slippers) and play in the mud and gravel. It seems innocent enough but when I observed their games for a while I noticed they throw stones at each other and carry sticks around like guns. They know how to hold it better than I would. They hide behind the trashcans and “shoot” each other in the back. Their mothers observe them without emotion and I realize it is probably not shocking for them anymore. Yesterday I saw a scene that almost made me break my rule of not photographing the (misery of) children: the empty land where some families are hosted is separated by a fence from the improvised camp-school playground. That day the children of the school were playing a game in the yard, supervised by their teacher. Some children of the new arrivals watched them from the other side of the fence, their hands tightly gripping the iron wire. It was a very confronting imagine of the need and importance of education. Not just so the children learn something and develop themselves; but also to give them a sense of normality, a routine they are used to. Unfortunately the new arrivals cannot immediately enrol in the school, but they can join the daily activities of Terre des Hommes. It makes me happy we can help with this and I know we are doing something important for them, but for the parents education is usually not a priority. Priorities are food, winter clothes, shoes, hygiene times, a stable place to live…. Fortunately, we – and the other NGOs in the camp – are working on providing these things too, but the resources are never enough to meet everyone’s needs.
Work here continues through all days and hours. My working days are long and I often continue in the weekend. So it was great to take a real break last week and go to Suleimaniye in the weekend. Two colleagues and I drove the three and a half (!!) hours south-east to this city, but it was totally worth it: the road through the mountains, villages and fields were we regularly saw a flock of goats with a lonely shepherd in the middle of nowhere… I enjoyed every minute of it!
A friend of my colleague generously hosted us in his house in Suleimaniye and took us around the town. Since they are all Italians they were happy to discover a new Italian restaurant in town, owned by an Italian lady. We had pizza there and I thought it was the best pizza I had in years, but my Italian friends were more critical! The owner came to apologise for the inferior cheese - she couldn’t find better in the region – but we all agreed that it was still the best Italian food Kurdistan has to offer. On the way back to Erbil we stopped several times to photograph the beautiful sunset that coloured the sky pink behind the dark mountains.
Kurdistan is beautiful! I hope I will have a chance to discover more of it!
Have a nice day all!
15 november 2014 12:01 | Door: mam
Ik vind het een prachtig verhaal met zelfspot én compassie voor je werk.
Ook zonder foto's zie ik die kinderen achter het hek staan...
Veel sterkte met het moeilijke en vele werk dat er elke dag weer op je bordje ligt,
en hopelijk heb je nóg eens de gelegenheid te reizen en van het land te genieten.
Dikke kus, mam
15 november 2014 13:37 | Door: Isabella
love to read about you
Hoe doe je vandaag? Ik was net voorbij toen ik zag je profiel en het gepakt in mijn ogen dus heb ik besloten om te stoppen om hallo en weten hoe je aan het doen bent. Ik zal graag meer weten over jou. Gelieve terug te krijgen naar mij via mijn e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, dus ik kan sturen u mijn foto's en een of ander ding grenzend mij ik wil scheren met je mee.
How are you doing today? I was just passing by when i saw your profile and it caught my eyes so i decided to stop by to hello and know how you are doing. I will like to know more about you. Please get back to me through my email email@example.com, so i can send you my photos and some thing bordering me i want to shear with you.