Lesbos – Making Choices

Who do you give a bottle of water, a ride in the van, a banana, dry socks or shoes? With limited supplies, you have to make choices. Some of these are easily made. The vulnerable such as babies, handicapped and the elderly first. Some choices are harder. With over 50 people on a single shabby boat, you may have to leave behind one family and take the other, give clothes to one soaked girl instead of the little boy next to her. Sometimes you make the wrong choices, sometimes the right choices.

It’s not the long hours of work, lack of sleep, dirty conditions or hard work that makes it tough, it’s the choice between one human being and the other that lingers in your head at night. it is making that choice to go to bed at three in the morning while leaving behind hundreds of people wrapped in blankets under the sky.

One such choice I made when handing out water to hundreds of people in the line for the bus under the blazing sun, the choice between who gets a bottle and who doesn’t. I wasn’t handing out tickets to a concert or luxury items, I was simply handing out the first and most basic human need while denying exhausted and dehydrated people a bottle of water. While water is provided in plenty by the Boat Refugee Foundation space in the car and people to hand it out are limited forcing you to make these difficult choices…

Door Peter van Zoeren