The Greeks are fantastic hosts and cooks, but they are the most aggressive and terrifying fucking drivers I have experienced thus far. [Albeit…I never drove while I was in Bangkok.] Several important moments of my life flashed before my eyes while racing through rush hour traffic, trying to deliver medications to another Syrian refugee NGO before they closed up shop for the day. Amazingly, I didn’t kill any of the motorcyclists who weaved through the narrow spaces between vehicles and lanes like water.
Once again, it’s time to ask myself what my role in the refugee crisis response is…am I needed? Would operations cease to exist without me? The answer to both of these questions is no…but not in the way you’d expect. They could find someone else to fill my role, they could operate with a skeleton crew and without a maternity know-it-all, but what I have come to value is how essential the TEAM is. Individually, we each make a small dent that is barely noticeable on its own. All of us, however…that’s a field hospital. That’s a cohesive primary health care system. That’s a support group after the long hours, people with whom you can drink sangria out of a bowl with. At least that’s what I’m telling myself…it really is the best feeling in the world to know that you are a part of something good, something pure in its intentions.
To say that I’m even more disturbed/unsettled by the rising alt-right rhetoric is an understatement. To be perfectly honest, sometimes I cry a little after seeing what you kids post on your facebook walls…mostly because I understand that you’re not terrible human beings, but I can’t reconcile how something so awful and misguided could ever cross your minds. This isn’t a lecture, merely a statement. Hate destroys the hater, not the hated.
So yeah…I believe the respectful term is Roma, but I’m not using the word in a derogatory manner so I hope this is okay. A gypsy chased me away because I was handing out free balloons on the waterfront, which is apparently her turf. True story.