A Tough Transition by Molly Hock

As you already know, Kyle and I have returned home from our time in Greece. It has been a difficult transitional period for me, but I use this as fuel for our upcoming return. As soon as I wake up each morning I turn my phone on to catch up on what is happening on the ground. I read the online volunteer forums, but I also enjoy hearing from many of our refugee friends who are stuck in the same place as when we left. I love receiving updates on how everyone is doing, but it does leave me with a heavy heart at times. It can leave me feeling helpless when people I care for continue to struggle on the other side of the Ocean.

We continue to offer whatever support we can from afar. We are sponsoring a pregnant friend of ours with bread, eggs, and milk each week. She is struggling to sustain herself on the canned food that has been provided for her. We have sent a phone to a friend who needs a way to contact his loved ones.

a-tough-transitionThe list of needs continues, and it is a challenge to know my personal limits. I have friends alone in the hospital, unable to communicate with the doctors. I have friends who have been stuck at the border since we last saw them in Greece. Another friend needs medical attention that he can’t receive. The list, the needs, the suffering goes on.

Do you remember Little Ahmed I introduced you all to? He calls me throughout the day, and I always smile to see his name appear on my phone. A conversation with him will always brings laughter and a full heart. Our conversations tend to be rather similar, as we have limited ability to communicate with words, but our attempts bring ridiculous amounts of laughter for both of us.

I read a quote yesterday that instantly made me think of my connection with Ahmed. Pablo Neruda says, “Laughter is the language of the soul.” This makes so much sense to me as Ahmed and I continue giggle together each day.

Each and every day the suffering continues. Almost every morning Ahmed asks me, “News Macedonia?” “No, no news  Ahmed”. How can I explain to to him that Europe has closed their doors? How could I ever justify the lack of humanity? It is nice that he is young, because his mood quickly shifts, and we leave the reality of the situation behind.

As most of us already know, Europe is now sending the refugees back to Turkey after registration, and an impossible attempt for asylum. Human beings are being treated and traded like animals, as we all continue about our lives here in the West.

I struggle to find a balance here at home, and at times I feel as if I am living in two worlds. Part of me remains with the refugees, while the other part tries to be present in the here and now. I value time with my friends and family, and I value my personal time. I value my yoga  practice, my time reading, meditating, and connecting with my inner-self. Even with how grateful I am, my inner fire, focus, and determination revolve around the refugees.

I find comfort in knowing that being here is what needs to be done for me to be able to serve humanity more long-term. I am accomplishing as much as I can each day, knowing it is all part of it. I spend my days reading about the current situation (which changes each day), offering companionship to my friends difficult situations, working to finance next trip, helping other volunteers coordinate their trips, memorizing useful words in Arabic, organizing a fundraiser, and working on our new project. Kyle and I joined efforts with our friend Zoe, who we met in Lesbos. She also happens to live in Arizona, so we are able to meet together here. Zoe founded a new NGO, One Light Global. Please check out the site if you feel inspired.

I am excited for the opportunity to join our personal efforts with others who also work from the heart. I will write another post today in order to share with you all of the exciting projects we are working on!