"Part of me remains behind - I will come back"

by Volker Domres/RBU,  2011/03/25

Volker Domres has been working as humedica coordinator in Brazil since the middle of February. Having travelled a total distance of 30,000 sea miles and having called at and left correspondingly many harbours, the experienced sailor should be used to taking leave. Nevertheless, the imminent departure from the people in Brazil is hard on him. In his report he describes how every single person has become dear to him.

humedica coordinator Volker Domres has become just as dear to little Debora, as she to him. Photo: humedica

"First, there is Odette. She is the heart and soul of the kitchen, always concerned about the well-being of both local and international assistants. She cooks for us and the children at the humedica children's village and she does the laundry.

During the thunderstorm that triggered severe landslides in January, Odette has lost her son and one of her granddaughters. Nevertheless, she turned up to work at the children day care centre of humedica Brazil every single day. She cooks delicious meals and anticipates my and everyone else's every wish.

Every evening she gives me the keys to the kitchen so that in the next morning I - being an early bird - can get into the kitchen and have a coffee. When no more medical teams from Germany were accommodated here, I asked her not to do the extra work of cooking dinner for me alone. But Odette still continues to serve me a delicious dinner, always explaining that I need to eat something.

Someone who has also become very dear to me is Philippe. He is eleven years old and from the first day on he has been my Portuguese teacher and my football partner. Now that I take breakfast alone, Philippe always gets up earlier and takes breakfast with me.

Little Philippe (second from the right) helps Volker whenever he can, although he himself depends on help after he has lost many of this family members. Photo: humedica

He imitates everything I do, from the way I put cocoa powder into my coffee to the way I spread butter on my rolls and make my sandwiches. He has also always been present when we put together the relief packages. During the night of disaster, the little boy lost several of his family members.

And I will also miss Claudio, our driver. Claudio is willing to help and always there when you need him. He compiles the lists of relief goods needed, together we determine where our help is needed most urgently, and during distributions he is in charge of neat distribution and personal handover.

Claudio lives at Campo de Coelho and he has taken in the family of his friend. Claudio's friend died during the night in January when the heavy rains triggered the mudslides.

Prita, a black and white dog, tends to keep us all awake with her hoarse barking. When I do my rounds at sunrise, she always accompanies me and afterwards she falls asleep under my desk. It would be better if Prita slept at night for once.

And then there are Debora, Bruna, Douglas and the many other children who spend their days at the children's village. Whenever we can spare some time, we play football and tabletop football together.

The team at the day care centre of humedica Brazil and Volker Domres. Photo: humedica

When I leave, part of me will remain behind. Perhaps I have spent too much time with the people at the humedica children's village - I don't know. But what I know for certain is that all of them have become dear to me and that I must come back."

Dear friends and sponsors of our work, we are planning to run long-term projects in order to contribute to reconstructing numerous people's houses. Therefore we need your support! Thank you very much!

      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference "Landslide Brazil"
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

Please also donate online in order to help the people living in the disaster region of the Latin American state, or choose a fast, simple and secure way of supporting us by means of sending a text message:
simply send DOC to the abbreviated dialling +49 8 11 90 and support us with a one-time donation of 5 euros, with 4.83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into the humedica project work.

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