2nd Junior High School of Kalymnos, Dodecanese, Greece – Stories of Kalymnian Immigrants

μετανάστες1And suddenly the house is on fire and they were all inside , little Nicholas , Mary , and my wife , Irene . While I was outside and looked from afar . For some reason I could not get close . Kokalomenos stood under the big locust tree and looking at this horrible spectacle helpless to react. The children were screaming through the house . The klammetanastes1ma Nikola sounded very loud. ” Skefooo … ” cried Irene and I still. I could not do anything. All around , there was nobody . All had disappeared . But really , who went all in. The wife cried yet. Others can not be heard anymore. That was not them see you again . And then the old building began to crumble . I saw it falling in on me and then …

” Drin , Drin … ” sounded the alarm and I jumped out of bed sweaty . It was 6:00 in the morning and had to get to work . What a nightmare and he ? ! How long do we have to see happy dream ? Guess since I left Kalymnos and came here to work . Australia is a country that welcomes the Greeks. Especially in Darwin , has many, especially Kalymnians , who left their beautiful home to come here alone or with their families and work until the crisis is in Greece . Yet , even here no one is alone , everyone has their side their countrymen , several times victims because of racism .μετανάστες-ρατσισμός1Mild quick coffee and rushed to work . I got in the car and left. The job is difficult but it pays better than in Kalymnos. When we go to work outside the city , in the areas of Aboriginal , we get a lot more money , but the job is even tougher. It’s not easy to carry cement all day under the hot sun .

Every day the same movements . Nothing changes . I wake up in the morning . I’m going to immigrants – ratsismos1douleia . At noon I take a break to eat but do not have time to go home so I eat sandwiches for lunch . Then , in the evening , tired as I am I get home by car and by force not fall asleep on the wheel. Once almost collide and knock a small child who was walking on the sidewalk and just beyond his mother almost had a stroke when he saw that even a few inches would have killed her child. Returning home , I sleep immediately . I have no courage to do anything . Sometimes , I see a little TV . The evening is one of the few times that I can talk to my family .

I have not been to Kalymnos for a year . It is really very difficult to live away from your family and not being able to go to your country . Every time I think about how much you have grown taller Mary and how big it is now Nikolas want to drop everything and go back permanently. And my wife . How long do I see her ? Unfortunately , I can not go often to Kalymnos because tickets are too expensive and if I leave then I can never get the citizenship . It was a very difficult decision to leave my job , my friends , my family and I come to a foreign country without knowing how often I’ll be able to come to Kalymnos .

One day , long before I go to work . I did not hear the alarm . The immigrant- μετανάστες-ρατσισμός2ratsismos2proigoumeni day I had to stay longer hours at work and I was actually more tired . I woke up after an hour of panic . I got up quickly and got ready as fast as I could. Leaving the building , I walked to the car where I realized that my car had broken down . Not started those efforts if I did. I had no time to waste . I went quickly to get a taxi . I could not be late more . I went walking up the main street to be able to find one faster. Fortunately soon passed one that was empty and so I would not have another delay.

On the way too fastidious . It was after 8 and we still had a long way to the point where I was working at that time . I was thinking how unlucky I was to receive all of them within a day and waited more. My boss is very strict with their work schedules and wants us to be always on time . It is not easy to get a job so everybody be careful not to slow . A few days ago has fired since long in the morning to go.

Finally arrived. The last half hour passed very slowly . I just got out of the taxi and ran to catch fast job. I was very lucky . My boss was late more than I am and thus rescued . The rest of the day passed quietly , ordinary. Nothing remarkable . I worked until noon , a short break for food and work again . They took the afternoon and Kalymnos. I was glad that I heard at that time. It was the only thing I could make at that time the mood. Then in the evening I started to go home by bus passing relatively close to my home . Then it all began .

After the bus left me almost five minutes from my house , if I went away, I started to walk . He was dark and the road there were few cars . As I progressed , my phone rang . It was Irene . We were talking when I saw a group of children , from twenty to twenty-five years , to look at me weird . I’m not sure if I saw them look at hatred , anger or if you condemn something . Then , they began to approach me . By then banged shouting in English with a strange accent word that I had never heard before but from what little I understand and remember is that it hated me just because I’m Greek .

The next thing I remember is me lying in a hospital bed and a doctor over me . He said that within the next 24 hours will have been transferred to a hospital in Greece. I was unconscious the last 2 days . I had been hit very badly and further threw a ladder they found me after a while. Seriously hit my right leg and the doctors of the hospital contacted my family and with their permission , and I was unconscious , was an operation which unfortunately did not work and so I will stay disabled for the rest of my life .

I could not imagine anything worse that could happen to me . I was thinking about my kids . Nothing would ever be the same . Nobody can understand how I felt then if you do not pass the same. My whole life was destroyed within a few hours .

The next day I was transferred to a plane bound for Greece . I wanted very much to see Irene , Mary and Nicholas. To hug and to comfort him . They were the ones who probably managed to make me feel better. Finally arrived in Kalymnos . For a while I forgot all . After an entire year watching my favorite island . But then I looked around me . Wheelchair reminded me everything. Everything I did once on this island would now be very difficult or even impossible to do . I will not go back to hunting mountain nor even play football in the municipality.

Eventually even though I was never able to walk again , normally at least , maybe slowly all people understand that diversity is not a reason to ruin his life . But because this is very difficult , at least I hope my children grow up to believe in equality of all people . So at least you ‘ve given them a life lesson after lacked many things when they were young due to my disability .

Mallias Lucia-Elpis, 3rd High Country Kalymnos


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