Lesvos: ‘Is there a medic?’

We hear someone screaming through the volunteer house. ‘There is someone laying on the street.’ We grab our crash bags and hurry outside. A young man, I think he is in his early 30, lays on the sidewalk, shaking and half crying. We can’t reach him and he doesn’t react to our questions, lost in his own world. Its late and dark outside. The cold wind whistles around me and I look at the man who is totally wet, without shoes, and his fingers cramped near his head. He looks Afghan but I’m not sure. His arms are covered with blood, probably from the sharp coral. He keeps weeping and mumbling, with his eyes squeezed but we can’t understand him. We cover him with a rescue blanket and at the same time the ambulance arrives.

‘There are probably more’ says our Greek neighbor who helped us out. Together with some volunteers we walk down towards the beach. We search with a big light for more possible refugees on the shoreline, but we don’t find any. We do find two shoes, perfectly lying next to each other near the water. I look at it and keep wondering if they were his. Maybe he didn’t come from Turkey but was already on the island? Was he desperate, didn’t want to live like this anymore? What made him go into this cold sea? The sea where already thousands of refugees died.

I feel sorry for the man, sorry for him who reflects the other 5000 refugees who have the same despair and frustration and are stuck on this island. Stuck in a hopeless and inhuman situation. I look at the rough sea, the high waves and think of the people who will risk their life this night to cross to reach Europe. The Europe from which they think that everything will be better, which isn’t.

We walk up the hill back towards our house, some volunteers have to go on their shift in Moria. Moria the camp where many people are waiting in their tents for months, waiting for people who help them to make it a bit more bearable, waiting for a better life.