Update on Grande-Synthe trip 31/01/2016: Getting up was harder than usual as we'd been up till midnight smashing up a van load of pallets in order to make firewood for the camp. On arrival at camp we met with actually quite chirpy gendarmerie (military police) and then we were introduced to the splendid Justin from ABC who sorted us out with a camp pass within seconds so we could drive the van onsite.
Word had spread that we came bearing 240 steam kettles, and they went down a treat. After leaving coats and shoes at the distribution centre, and tents/sleeping bags and a couple of boxes of kettles with Dylan at the Irish distribution tent, we began kettle and tea distributions with help from our friend Souhaila's team. We each took a box of kettles and a rucksack full of tea, and began distributing to the least accessible areas of the camp. Despite having our wellies on, the mud was almost knee deep in some areas, it became easier to just slide through it as opposed to walking! We then headed back to the van to finish off distributing firewood, baby wipes, razors, thermal socks, socks, and shoes.
Once the van was empty, we were only left with our donations for the Dunkirk Kids Welfare School, so we headed there for some activities and to drop off the last of our donations. We picked up 2 beautiful sisters on the way Havi and Rhane and then went to meet Sara at the School. What an absolute pleasure it was meeting this truly wonderful woman, the work she does along with the other teachers is genuinely amazing, and you can see the difference in the children they work with. Most of the kids ran off for food as we arrived but we stayed with Havi, Rhane, Lea and Lohan drawing and writing in english. Princess Lea, showed off her counting skills using the bottles of bubbles we brought to count to 7. By the end of our time at the school Rhane was able to write her name and 'I love you' without having to copy from our writing.
We finished off our trip sharing tea and cake in our friends tent talking about his life before Dunkirk and just friendly chatter. The Kurdish sure do like their tea sweet!! The conditions at the camp have not improved since our last visit, most of the kids are on antibiotics with chest infections and other health problems - but not once did we feel upset, there just wasn't any opportunity for it as every one welcomed us with a smile, we laughed and we had a great day at the camp on Sunday. The hardest part of the day was having to say goodbye. A huge thank you to the team, it may have only been 3 of us but we had the power of much more such positive vibes throughout the entire weekend. A massive thank you also to all the amazing people we met at the camp that helped us throughout the day.