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The adventure of transporting relief supplies: on the road to Lesvos by car and trailer

SAO trailer adventures on the road

SAO Anhänger abenteuerlich unterwegs

In May, we put out an appeal in Switzerland to collect donations of materials to furnish our Community and Empowerment Centre Bashira - from office chairs to playpens, and quite a lot came together. Frankly speaking: We collected so much that we loaded the car and trailer to the brim. We want to thank all donors very much.

Together with a Volunteer, our delegate Raquel Herzog drove to Lesvos in her own car with a trailer: first through Italy, then by ferry to Lesvos. The journey went well. And yet, it is an adventure every time. On Sunday, the 11th of June, we received a message from Raquel via WhatsApp. She was on her way back to Switzerland. When she boarded the ferry, the parking attendant directed Raquel Herzog to the upper floor. Unfortunately, it was not high enough for the trailer. She got stuck, and the canvas was damaged.

Raquel wrote to us:

"I found myself spending the next couple of hours with a bunch of charming Italian garagistas in greasy overalls and one staff Capitano, handsome, suntanned dressed all in white (although he helped big time, he somehow made it, still being all white in the end), moving the hanger and car back and forth about 100 times. Attaching and detaching the hanger-on and off and finally bringing the whole thing down to the truck level. After everyone had a shower, I invited all of them to a gelato on the sundeck, where we chatted and laughed about Italians saving a hanger full of Greek olive oil. After the gelato, a huge, fully orange moon rose, and I stood there amazed with a beauty that no camera can capture. I went to bed."

That is how it's done!

PS1. Raquel Herzog has a load of olive oil with her on the way back, bought from micro-producers on Lesbos. We will report later on the olive oil, its producers, and how you can buy it to support SAO.

PS2. For the two projects on the ground in Greece, we would also be very happy if you would transfer your donation to our Euro account - thank you!

Olive oil from Lesbos

Office on the road

PS3. What should also be said: The harbour in Patras, where the story took place on the ferry, is a fortress. Hundreds of refugees lurk in front of a high wall. These men wait until a lorry approaches. Then they try to get over the wall unnoticed and, hiding on the underside of the truck, smuggle themselves onto the ferry. Those who make it report bad coughs, lasting hearing damage, and more. The police check with cars, motorbikes, and wailing sirens. And after check-in, another barrier awaits sharp barbed wire. The hopelessness is palpable. Here is a video report by the Austrian news magazine "Profil."

Im Hafen von Patras: Die Hoffnungslosigkeit ist mit den Händen zu greifen.


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