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25 Days of Bulgaria

“Bulgaria, I reflected as I walked back to the hotel, isn’t a country; it’s a near-death experience” – Bill Bryson, neither here nor there Sofia Our bus lurched into Sofia in a rather dramatic fashion. After meandering out of the scorching heat of a Greek spring we headed north through villages with worn stone cottages […]

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Let’s play a game

Let’s play a game, use your imagination and follow along. You’re cosy in that recliner you love, you know the one. You picked it out together right after you brought your first home. It was after the wedding, of course. But before you started painting the nursery pink and stocking up on tiny socks. It’s […]

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Everybody has a story

An old Arab gentleman ushers a curious volunteer into his tent and gestures with his wiry thin arms to have a seat. Sit, he says with his eyes. The shrapnel wounds down his legs tell more than his words. Min-ga-la-ba she smiles, uh, hello, she corrects herself. But it’s her clear, shining eyes that express […]

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Life after 3 months working in refugee camps

The meadows here are overgrown with wild strawberries, sweet peas and brambles. The hillsides roll on for what feels like ever and I sit here, sipping a fresh mint tea with the sun on my cheeks. Where Athens was orange blossoms and pine needles, and Idomeni the stench of burning plastic and mud puddles, this […]

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The day we marched to Macedonia

I like the way his whole face smiles, beginning in his shining eyes and bursting out across his tiny cheeks as he dangles his mothers handbag from a nearby stick. His bigger brother pulls it off to the ground, they collapse into giggles and he tries again. I shuffle around in my sodden trousers, finding a […]

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I didn’t cry

I’ve run out of tears for the everyday. For the child tugging on my trousers in need of more things than money can buy, for the desperation in that parents eyes, for the putrid toxicity of people so desperate they are burning their plastic raincoats for firewood. I didn’t even cry in the Macedonian field, […]

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Where will they go?

A little girl scrutinises under a rock with her torch, carefully turning each one over looking for treasures underneath. She reminds me of myself as a child, endlessly fascinated with searching for creatures in the rock pools. Completely oblivious to the fist-fight breaking out nearby, she gently replaces each turned stone as men in orange […]

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Making friends at Polykastro

I have spent the past few days wondering how, when I finally got the chance, I might tell the story of the past five days. Agonising over the details and the timelines. What happened when? Did the hospital trip happen before or after the border closures. Honestly, it has been a bit of a rough […]

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Saint Valentine and the Gasoline Wasteland

Valentines day was spent on a road trip across northern Greece, transporting our team of 4 volunteers, a donated Swedish ambulance and a stockpile of medical supplies almost 1000km northwest of Lesvos. At the other end of the world from this escalating assault on Syria, my hometown was once again rocked by a large earthquake. […]

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