No shortage of displaced people, sadly.

The former supermarket is fairly quiet. Many large and small rooms are filled with cots. There must be 1000+ people here. Women, children, elderly, disabled and volunteers wander around. We have a section where we set up food service, like a cafeteria. We serve paninis, meat and vegetarian, coffee, milk, cookies, juice and cookies. At lunch we serve hot turkey, bulgher salad, rice and soup. Faces are solemn. children break into playfulness occasionally. I got a smile out of one toddler in a stroller. Misericordia is here from Italy. So are the Mormons, Hadassah, others. There are medical people and organizations – Polish I think.

Finally, While on a break outside, there’s a pick up soccer game among the older kids – a sight of what one would expect with so many children.

I am working in the cafeteria all day – 9-9. A very long day. Some of my ”colleagues” speak Polish or a variation (a little Russian or Ukrainian), and some combination. Hand signals, smiles, pictures help. Today I made contact with a beautiful older woman who was sitting at the table in front of me most of the day, with her suitcases next to her. I thought maybe she was leaving. She and I made communication during the day with facial expressions. Later I tried talking with her and her companion at the table. Turned out she was waiting all day to get a cot in the next large room to open up. At 8pm, a line formed of a hundred or more individuals & families to get their cot assignments for the night, along with their allotment of blankets, etc.

I hate to say it, but many children spent several hours toward the end of the day bothering me constantly for candy and cookies. Eventually, I had to start shoo’ing them away – over and over again. Tiring and irritating. I finally started trying to use humor, with hand signals and facial expressions to show them I knew them and their game, then shoo’d them away! lots of knowing smiles!

About 8:30pm, I met 2 men and a woman, volunteers who came on their own, who had ”rescued” a baby kitty from somewhere. The woman was going to Germany and was taking the kitty. We were gathered around playing with the kitty, when from a corner of the room came the most shrill and ear splitting scream. As it continued and people gathered round her, one of the men I was with said, she must have just gotten some very bad news. It happens a lot he said. Apparently, someone (a nurse?) from Hadassah escorted her out. One can only imagine…

At 9, we were exhausted. I wondered how I’d feel in the morning. My body was aching, but I was ok.
It’s morning now and we’re preparing to get our Covid test and go back to TESCO (the former supermarket) which is our assignment for the week.

The people are mostly lovely, serious, solemn, friendly, hungry, tired, etc. etc. My body is ready for another day. My mind is too. My heart is full.