This week, I’ve begun to shift from the wonderful Refugee Community Kitchen to the Refugee Info Bus, which provides wifi, news, legal and asylum information, activities, and English and French lessons to people living on the streets and in the woods of Calais. Alongside this, there is ample opportunity to get to know some of the individuals living here, what they hope for, and what they’ve left behind. Continue reading
A weird couple of weeks. I’ve been slightly out of action due to slipping while carrying a gastro of curry and simultaneously badly burning my right arm and spraining my right hand – a really fun combination for bandaging up and for working in a kitchen… However, I’ve made myself as useful as I can and am healing up well, and it’s given me plenty of time to think about what’s next for me (but more on that in a future post). The past few weeks has also seen a surge in tensions around Calais and Dunkirk, and the fighting has made it to the UK news. There’s nowt more depressing in this work than when it is too unsafe to deliver aid, especially when it is for reasons that right-wing press will have a field day over. However, in the middle of it all, as always, are human beings caught in the storm – like M., a teenage boy from Iran who’s just trying to get to the UK to be reunited with his mum.
Once a week, I have started to go out on “maraude” with Utopia 56, driving their water truck which provides water (obviously) and phone charging facilities. This begins, for me, at the end of my usual 12-hour day with RCK, and lasts until around midnight. Due to the nature of the role, there is plenty time to stand around and chat to people as the night closes in over Calais’ fields and woods. Continue reading