Today we were at the Kara Tepe refugee camp in Lesbos, entertaining the kids. This is a daily struggle; they are bored to death in the camp.
The kids are very happy with all the supplies we bring. The swings, the soccer balls, the food, everything. They lost everything. Grown-ups destroyed or took their beloved teddy bears, toy cars, Playstations, iPads you name it.
If some of the kids don't get their way they get violent. The boys throw the regular punch or even a rock at each other. Almost all of these kids come from a war. Afghanistan, Syria, Congo...
Sophie, my better half, got hit by a rock yesterday. I can imagine their frustration.
When they play, they forget their misery for a while. Their parents can rest for a bit.
Imagine when you fall asleep and your recurring dream for the last months or even years is being on the phone and listening to a recorded voice:
"Please hold. You are caller 2.500.000. There are 2.499.999 refugees we have to process before we can redirect you to your next dream."
At the playground, I meet Wahad and Jalal. Before I met them I coincidentally photographed them. They had found an electrical box at the playground. Managed to open it and charge their phones. Smart guys.
I show them the pictures I took of them, they laugh and say they feel caught in the act. Phones are extremely important in camp, in Wahad's words:
"Yes, well you see charging my mobile phone is more important than food. I need the Internet to stay in touch with my friends in Iran, UK, Afghanistan and Turkey."
I find out they are both from Afghanistan. Left everything they had over four months ago. After we talk about my ideas on how people from countries that are in the middle of financial crises, like Greece or Italy, weren't very open to taking a lot of refugees in, they ask me which countries have the strongest economies.
They want to get to the UK. On the map, they found out that they are exactly halfway. Or: "stuck in the middle."
I just made this map and tomorrow when I find them, I'm going to tell them that according to my map they are slightly closer than halfway.