Calais, October 26-27, 2022
The weather this week was mild and the day centre busy with people from a vast array of countries. Our location under a covered area in the courtyard outside meant we connected with many new people and had a fresh vantage point on the day centre activity.
In the courtyard, football was played next to table tennis, sandwiches were made and eaten, and clothes were washed, spun and hung up on the washing lines around us. Occasionally gusts of wind lifted the washing or drew a ball off course.
We were proudly shown photographs of sweet delicacies, miniature works of art, made by a master pastry chef in a hotel in Egypt, and of trees lovingly planted in a now abandoned hand built home in the Middle East; we responded to a request for a typewriter to continue writing down feelings, and sat alongside a boy from Sudan as he modelled a mother cow and her baby.
The Community Table was a place where too many words to be carried in one young man’s head could be redistributed amongst those sitting around it, and friends from Egypt, and then another group from Syria could find a way to rest, ground and settle before the evening ahead.
Bobby Lloyd & Miriam Usiskin