My knight in shining armour
Yesterday was my 7th or 8th consecutive Thursday in Brussels, Belgium.
Everyday I work hard at the moment with little or no time to rest, stretch, eat well. But its what I signed up for.
To be on my feet all day, run around, distribute aid, to have people upset or disappointed or afraid or just plain angry with no one else to shout at because their whole world and their life is lost.
Running from picking up litter, giving out items, serving food, consoling people, controlling 400 plus men… But then today, like every Thursday my armour dented. Many times.
The elderly man who resides in the park but was grateful for a cup of tea. The six year old boy who sleeps in the park everyday with his family, who politely requests a food pack as if it is a great privilege just to be fed.
And still… It is the tall man who melts my heart. We’ve become friends on my trips down. As he’s 6ft something, beautiful smile and weathered face…we say hi and today he sees that I don’t have many volunteers with me today. In fact I have one by my side as I try to give out aid fairly and with respect to over 400 men. So he comes over and assists.
At first he helps with the line, ensuring people queue, then jumps in to help with tea, and then security, and then my right side. Then he helps translate. Then pick up litter. Then give out food packs.
He sees me struggle to lift a giant container of water so he runs to help. He sees a man get angry because I didn’t have what he asked for and he steps in to save me.
He helps for four hours. Misses his hostel bed registration to ensure he helps us with our little pick. He then precedes to help us pack up as it gets to nightfall.
I ask when I’m serving tea would he like. I ask when giving out food packs would he like. He always says no he is ok with a glistening smile.
At the end of the day as we leave I cannot stop thanking him. The now 500 men have all gone and it’s just him and his friend. Prime opportunity to ask me for something. Prime chance to see what he can get.
He smiles. Thanks me. We shake hands. He says see you soon.
He will spend every day in that park. He will spend every night on a park bench unless he can gain a coveted place in a hostel. Today he was my knight in shining armour, I just wish I could be his.
To volunteer or donate go to www.care4calais.org