Rose is taking photos quietly the entire time, as I hear the constant whirl of her camera’s shutter. It’s how she works—never speaking only observing, while my questions bring passion to the worn, tired faces of those who fear they have no way out.
My brain is overflowing with mental notes, but a deep breath keeps my anxious emotions at bay, wanting to make the most of our approved forty-five minutes we have inside the camp. I jam my hands into the pockets of my pants, trying to contain their building nervous energy. I know I’m not only ready to write but also need to write, purging my overwhelming thoughts and feelings upon the blank pages of a tattered notebook as quickly as my hand will allow.
There are many sides to the issues here, as Greece is the main port where all refugees attempt to land their makeshift boats and rafts. Officials continue in their attempts to move many to the mainland while nearby countries agree to settle hundreds, but not more than a thousand at a time. The process of resettlement is just that a process—one that is long and drawn out with no immediate end in sight, as the number of new daily arrivals exceeds the number of departures.
“That’s it. We have to go,” Z prompts, at the direction of camp officials who have been monitoring our every movement.
I nod my agreement, but a large hand wraps around my arm, jerking me backward. “Miss, please—”
“Hands off.” Z shoves the man as K points her gun in his direction.
He releases my arm, putting up his hands in surrender.
“Now. Move.” Z growls at me, even though I have done nothing wrong.
We’ve pushed the limits of our stay here, but her lack of patience is probably somehow my fault as I’m in no rush to leave. There are so many sad stories to tell, and most just want a chance to be heard. They will have to wait for another time, and I softly thank those who granted us access despite their hesitancy.
“Let’s go.” K pushes us toward our car without another word.