Yesterday was a superb day here on the island. We seemed to have skipped spring and just gone straight into summer. Just back from Sydney I had woken early and Matthew and I decided to take the dogs along the track towards the sea, a familiar and beautiful walk, especially at this time of year, with the abundance of wild flowers bordering the track. We took off on our walk with three very excited dogs, Hector, Nellie and Tollie. Quite some way down the track probably about 1.5 kilometers we saw a group of people heading towards us. At first we thought it was a walking group but on closer inspection realized it was a large group of refugees. There were about thirty of them, young women and men and two children. They had risked their lives crossing the Aegean Sea over night on a small boat from Turkey. Matthew and I stopped and spoke to them, a couple had some basic English and we learnt they were from Somalia and Syria. These people asked where they were. They had no knowledge they were on an island let alone in Greece. They were beautiful people with nothing more than a few possessions carried in a bag or rut sack. They were tired and thirsty and anxious to find the nearest town where they would present themselves to the police, they were still a long way from that. People often say to us that we are ‘Living the Dream’ and in some ways we are but as Matthew pointed out on seeing these people, they are the ones ‘Living the Dream’. Their dream is escaping their homeland, risking their lives to find a better life without war and persecution. The meeting was a thought provoking experience and I have to admit to a sadness that has hung over me since. We did what we could, loaves of bread, cheese, bottles of water, biscuits and chocolate for the kids but it’s haunted me that it wasn’t enough. Where are they now? Will the find a place to settle and make a new life for themselves, will there be any opportunities? I leave you with one image today an image of the end of the day where the water is still and calm and my thoughts are with the beautiful people.

BOAT 2/Claire Lloyd

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