I’ve been freezing the all night, trying to sleep on the front seat of the van in the only square place I could find.
Park in front of the train station, seeing all these train going to an unknown destination… and I think I already felt at that moment that these train were full of the migrants I was about to meet few hours later.
And the sun came out at last, 6 the morning, a coffee and cigarette and then, I went to the camp.
the all structure wasn’t easy to find and after a good 30 min of research I found it at the very end of the city.
How to describe it… well it’s a mix of a campsite and a military base.
First I’ve been amazed by the number of cops around, all wearing guns of course, not very friendly and talkative.
In a way you could feel the tension in the air, as I arrived the day when Slovenia and Austria were supposed to close their frontier with Croatia.
I guess everyone here wasn’t sure about the next.
I went through the administration duties and registration with my new German co-workers Sophia and Felina.
Simon and Christian, the guys driving the IHA charity organisation were with us as well and gave us a quick tour of the all area.
The camp was separated in 6 different sectors to host the refugees and other tents for the NGO like red cross, Care, UNICEF and so on…
And as I’ve been told, “filming was extremely forbidden inside the camp” then I didn’t knew what to expect.
But I was more here to help than to get pictures and so, I went to the area where all the clothes and donations were sorted and I started to make some order with Sophia and Felina.
Couple of train were passing trough the camp doors, carrying migrants in and out.
And then at 2pm it’s happen: Slovenia and Austria closed their frontiers.
And we’re expecting 2500 refugees to stay here in the camp for God knows how many days… everybody was nervous of course, But we continued to store and sort the clothes, bag after bag, box after box…
And I drove the van inside to bring the first part of what I’ve been collected on the way, and I felt proud somehow to recognize some of the donations and to know that I was coming from this person or another.
But still the truck wasn’t that empty after the first wave…
Then the last train of the day passed with all of the people inside and we ran at the first sector to bring them blankets, warm clothes etc… as the night was coming with the cold.
And we entered the tents… and it was frightening to see all these people there… helpless, hopeless, tired, panicked and without any answer to their questions.
“Where are we? ” “when do we leave? ” “where are we stopping next? “
“I don’t know.” “You’re in Croatia. ” “I can’t tell you. ” “I hope so… ” that was the only things we could answer.
The only thing we could possibly do was to ask them what they needed “clothes? Pants? Shoes? Which size? Did you eat something? Etc… and then after few quick notes on a sheet of paper, rushing to the container area, get the stuff and to bring them as quick as possible facing all these people gathering around you to try to get something… whatervever it could be…
And hopefully it didn’t last long as the thousand people who arrived just spend 30 min in the camp and then leave to slovenia in another train.
Lucky guys those one…
And i’m glad our shift finished that way… till the next day.
5.20am, the phone alarme rang and i woke up in the front seat of the van were i spend most of my night for the last days.
Outside the sky is crystal clear, the kind of deadly cold winter skies…
Mixed with blizzard,