Moria is a transit camp and registration point for refugees arriving on the island of Lesvos from Turkey. Better Days for Moria is a group of individuals who have come from far and wide to improve the humanitarian situation in the camp. We have set up our own services right next to the official registration camp: a place to make people feel welcome and to give out aid such as dry clothes, food and hot tea.

We are one of the many grassroots operation groups working in Lesvos where everyone takes the reigns collaboratively. Our progress has been impressive and inspiring – we have come so far since the disastrous situation in October! The common goal among the volunteers is to bring a sense of humanity and care to the difficult journey these people are experiencing. We are always looking for more good souls to join our team.

BDFM was built on the olive grove in response to an immediate crisis, however it is not the most ideal location for a long term camp, since Moria was converted from an open to a closed camp. Due to this, the decision was made to pack up the camp and then keep everything in storage till we’re ready to build it up again somewhere, either on Lesvos or on the mainland.

Better Days for Moria is currently undergoing maitenance and CLOSED for now.

Stay tuned for updates. 

Feeding the Homeless – Free Pancakes

Feeding the Homeless – Free Pancakes


What is the cheapest way to feed a lot of people for little to no money? Pancakes!

Pancakes are one of the favorite recipes of many. People love having it for breakfast, for lunch, and for dinner. Be it any time of the day, you can have pancakes.

They are instant energy providers. The best part about making pancakes is that one can modify the ingredients according to one’s own preferences.

Many have doubts about how to make the perfect pancake. Pancake making is no rocket science provided you know what the exact procedure is. In this piece of information, the art of making pancakes is given step by step.

For those who do not have the time to make the pancake batter at home, then you can buy the batter that is readily available in the shops.

What do you need to make a pancake?

We will be using an outdoor griddle to make these pancakes, which is my favorite technique to make A LOT of pancakes. We are dividing the list of ingredients into dry and wet ingredients.

Dry Ingredients:

1 to 1 ½ cups of All Purpose Flour-for the diet conscious people, a mix of the right proportions of wheat and All-Purpose Flour would do well.

3 to 3 1’/2 teaspoons of Baking Powder (to make the pancakes much softer and fluffy). If you feel that the baking powder is not good for you, you can avoid that.

2-3 tablespoons of Sugar-Powdered Sugar should be used. For the fitness freaks, using brown sugar is the best option. Make sure to powder the sugar well before you use it, there should not be any huge, rough pieces of sugar in it.

Salt-Use a pinch of salt. This enhances the batter froth as well as combines with the sugar to give it a unique taste.

Wet Ingredients:

Milk-One can use any form of milk. For the vegans, almond milk can also be used. For the fitness freaks, low-fat milk is the best option. The others can prefer full-fat milk or whole milk.

1-2 blocks of Butter. The amount of butter can vary with the number of pancakes you want to make. For the vegans, melted coconut oil is a great option.

1 Egg. This egg adds the texture to the pancakes and gives you the softest pancakes. Make sure to add the egg. However, the vegans can omit this option.

Few drops of Vanilla Extract- Add few drops of vanilla extract in order to infuse the vanilla flavor or one can even use almond extract. If you want the pancake to be healthier, then you can replace these with peanut butter. This gives you the natural flavor of the pancake as well as it is a healthy option.

How to make these yummy pancakes?

Follow these steps dutifully to get some of the best tasting pancakes.

Mix separately and blend together

This is a serious step you need to always follow in order to get the best pancakes. Never put all the ingredients at a stretch in a bowl and mix it. Mix the items mentioned under the dry ingredients separately and the items mentioned under the wet ingredients separately. This is done to make sure that the items blend together well and there are no lumps that are formed in the dish. Add the separately mixed ingredients together in a bowl and start whisking it. Add in water little by little and use a blender in order to blend the ingredients well. Keep the batter ready.

Using an outdoor griddle to make these delicacies

Heat the pan or a griddle over a medium heat. We found some amazing griddle recipes on griddlechef, which is a blog dedicated to cooking with griddles.

A friend of the family had a large outdoor griddle that we decided to use, which can be used to make many pancakes at once. The pan can be used when you do not have to make many pancakes. Once the pan is heated, sprinkle few drops of water. If the water splutters, then it is an indication that the pan is well heated.

Always make sure to keep the pan or griddle over medium heat. When the pans are heated too much, then they do not cook the pancakes properly instead they burn the flour once they are poured into the pan.

If you like it thin, use a small flat ladle and if you like it thick, use a large hollow ladle

Before you pour the batter, use a brush to apply a layer of butter or vegetable oil on to the pan. This makes sure that the batter does not stick to the pan. Do not take a huge ladle of flour, use a medium sized one. Some like the pancakes thin, some like it thick.

Use the right ladle accordingly. If you are going to add in some Choco nibs or any other flavor after pouring in the mixture, make sure that the pancake is thick. It is the same case with the pouring in of the batter by mixing the extra ingredients in the bowl itself. These pancakes do not need any syrup to serve it as they come in with in-built flavor. If you are making your pancakes thin, then you need to serve them with syrup.

Flip only when fully cooked

After you pour in the batter, wait for about 2-3 minutes. The air bubbles on the pancakes should burst and the pancake should no longer be too moist. If it is moist, wait for another minute. When these signals show up, flip the pancake. After flipped, you might not know if the other side is properly cooked or not. The subsiding of the steam coming from the pancake is an indication that the pancake has been cooked properly.

Now, your pancakes are ready to serve.

We are using berry syrup and more them generously over each pancake and stack them together. This makes a great dish. Serve it alongside some soft butter. One could also use honey in the same style to serve. If you want it healthier, then prefer fruit syrup. For the fitness freaks, using maple syrup is the best option. Slice some strawberries or blueberries and place them on these pancakes.

So, now you have mastered the art of making the best pancakes. It is now time to head to the kitchen and impress your family and friends with your exceptional pancake making skills. This recipe also comes handy for those who have not even tried making pancakes before.


On the Road Again

On the Road Again

I pull into the camp around 11:35 pm in a two-door, manual transmission convertible called the Party Car. The Party Car is gray and has a charm hanging from its rear-view mirror – bear claws and the talons of some birds of prey. The talons kept catching on my gloves. The Party Car is a beautiful machine.

It`s a very dark night (though pretty much all of the nights are dark at Moria) and I see the lights of the camp. I hear drumming and stomping and shouting. I park right where the buses usually stop and turn off the car, making sure to lock it properly as the Party Car is borrowed.

I have been sick the last few days, and so I`m not expecting how empty the camp is. There are a few men gathered around a few fire barrels, but the noise is coming from the info tent, which I run up to.

The opening is jammed full of people clapping and laughing, facing into a circular clearing in the center of the tent, where two guys are dancing with each other, one tall guy with a black leather jacket and a shorter, pudgier guy with a purple fleece jacket that some how suits him really really well. There are drummers on the left and right – the drum on the left is louder. I don’t know if it`s a specifically Pakistani drum or not but it sounds flat and bright.

There is also a volunteer with a black guitar.Paris is at the door in his distinctive high-vis jacket.I`m glad the camp is empty tonight, he shouts over the ruckus. It`s true that this kind of cheerful, relaxed atmosphere wouldn`t have been possible otherwise.

I watch for a while. The volunteers are all on the outside of the circle, watching and clapping. It`s only refugees that are actively engaged. I have visions of jumping in with them, bridging that divide. There`s a lot of rhythmic stomping in this kind of dancing, you basically stomp in time to the beat and wiggle your hips, shoulders, arms in patterns.

I don`t know if the patterns are meaningful, but the whole scene is an obvious celebration of reaching Europe at last, in safety, with hope.

A new man gets into the circle, and the others bow out. He is small, around my size. He has black hair (like all of them) and a blue sweater with brown leather elbow patches. One of the sleeves is pulled over what is apparently a missing hand.

I realize that I am waiting for an invitation to join the dance, and that it won`t come. I`ve got to jump in on my own initiative, the same way I came to the camp on my own initiative.

With my coat and jacket and shawl and hat and everything else still on, I stomp in. The dancing one armed man looks at me, and stomps towards me.

I don`t know if the dance is a sort of competition, or what. But he locks my gaze and I try to copy him.

This man is in his element, all hips and booty, all elaborate hand movements that look like oil in water in slow motion, or sped-up movies of vines growing. I imagine his history, how maybe he grew up in a small village somewhere in the mountains and had his hand crushed by a plow, or maybe a falling stone, or maybe a land mine. His movements are definitely homoerotic, and I wonder also if in the gender segregated society he comes from this kind of dancing is a traditional role for young gay men.

I know so little about where these people come from.

Soon I get too hot to continue, and I retreat to take off a few of my layers. When I take off my hat, there is a lot of laughing – my shaved head is steaming.

It`s now 11:57 – three minutes until the new year. Because no one has a second hand, I start a stopwatch. We do the countdown. Everyone cheers, I hug everyone within reach. Etc, etc.

There were two other notable things that happened that night before I got back into the Party Car to drive back to Mytilini:

First, someone knocked over my cup of `voluntea,` my hot mulled wine. I took this as an excellent omen for my new year, having heard that when accidents like that happen it means the bad luck happened to the cup, not to you.

Second, Cassandra dropped a cup of diesel each into two fire barrels. These were our fireworks, and they couldn`t have been better.

Dealing With Harsh Weather

Dealing With Harsh Weather

Weather has an odd impact on camp life. Boats swamp us when it’s dry and beautiful and usually stop when the seas are rough and pouring and awful, which can be a relief. But on the other hand, rain at the camp disrupts what little order exists completely.

Not only is rain terribly dispiriting and to be avoided at all costs when you have no viable means of getting dry, but all of our infrastructure is built at the base of a long hill, where the water pools into a long, muddy, deep, lake.

The info tent was crammed to capacity with Syrian families trying to get out of the rain. On the right as you entered the tent a teenager was sleeping, nestled in space blankets, as his mother and two year old sister (quite cute in her hot pink jacket, but crying nonetheless) sat next to him.

It seemed babies were sleeping on every surface. In these situations, where people are simply waiting and feeling miserable, tea and baby food usually help shift the energy from cold and desperate to something resembling cheerfulness. It mostly worked.

At clothing distribution, predictably, there was a run on ponchos. The best ones come in these little sealed packs the size of a wallet (best because they can be handed out easily, and because style becomes a moot question). We had a box or two of multicolored ones, but eventually ran out and had to give everyone ponchos with little pink flowers on them (pictured left).

Around five in the afternoon, during an idle moment, I watched a kid fall bodily into our little mud lake. Despite its obvious slapstick value, I brought him and his mother immediately into the clothing distribution tent for a completely new wardrobe. It’s unfortunate that this is what it takes for a kid to obtain a ‘brand new’ set of clothes, but such is our situation.

Meanwhile, volunteers were digging a beautiful network of gutters and trenches to divert water flow from the tents. The trenches were planned by an American I hadn’t met before whose name I didn’t catch, but who seemed to have some construction experience (at least, he seemed like he knew what he was doing).

The trenches were a tangible, muddy, satisfying project. With pick and hoe and spade, we drained a lot of puddles. Andres, a Spaniard who had arrived the day before but whose luggage had been lost on the airplane, was one of the main volunteers. When he swung the ax to break up roots or clear stones, the mud flew up and sprayed him all over his laughing face.

Europe’s Disappearing Water and Some Simple Solutions

Europe’s Disappearing Water and Some Simple Solutions

Researchers come for the first time with a well-substantiated and fairly precise calculation of the amount of groundwater on earth. Based on multiple datasets and more than 40,000 groundwater models, they establish that 23 million (km³) of groundwater can be found on earth. Of this, 0.35 million (km³) are younger than fifty years.

Solution to the Decline in Freshwater Supply

The research also shows that below six percent of the ‘modern’ groundwater within the top two kilometers on earth can be renewed within the period of a lifetime. Secondary cities or small towns are generally not served by national public water companies. Although municipalities have the power to operate the water service on a decentralized basis, they often lack the capital and technical expertise to do so.

Municipalities often prefer to improve the operational performance of existing regional or local public water companies or to strengthen community management. In other cases, they choose to use the technical expertise of the private sector to provide more efficient, affordable and sustainable water and sanitation services. There is no ready-made solution to the many challenges of improving water and sanitation services.

NASA data shows the world is running out of water

Experts from the space agency NASA analyzed the received images from satellites and came to the conclusion that in the next hundred years many countries will remain without water. Scientists have drawn attention to the fact that the supply of fresh water is very quickly reduced. The main reason for this is global warming and a high concentration of carbon dioxide.

On the Earth drinking water ends

According to scientific experts, first of all, such countries as Nepal, the Caucasus and the north of India will suffer from the drought. Also, states that are in the south of the United States of America, Belgium, the Netherlands can suffer.

As for the countries of Europe, in the nearest hundred years the drought will not threaten them. In Russia, one should not be afraid of the disappearance of water to the inhabitants of Eastern Siberia and the Far East.

According to scientists, so far nothing can be done to increase the amount of fresh water on Earth. However, in the near future there is a chance to change something, since NASA representatives have some ideas that will help to solve this problem.

Developing action plans for local financial institutions to help them better understand the water sector and provide appropriate financial products. In Benin, local commercial banks are committed to supporting the water sector by providing various financing instruments to enable private operators in small towns to expand service and make new water connections. In the Philippines, the most common type of PPP for EAF in small towns is the Joint Venture which allows the private sector to provide equity or loans.

Our Shrinking Fresh Water Supply

Let’s not forget: the water we pollute is the same one we drink. So, to keep fresh water clean and clean, it is better to take care of it; it begins with the supply.

Freshwater is very unevenly distributed on the surface of the planet.

Just look at a world map. However, it should be kept in mind that a country or region may be relatively rich in fresh water and poor in drinking water (even with rather wide drinking criteria). For example, Bangladesh is a country where one of the great rivers of the planet runs but which is sorely lacking in drinking water. The same goes along the Niger and this may be due to sediments carried by the river or potential infections it contains, or both.

That said, in Europe we have a lot of fresh water, but it is less and less drinkable by the fault of the Man who always considered this water as a public good, free and usable to the envy, we do not We will soon realize how much it represents (this is already the case in Brittany, for example), which will be paid for by the community as a whole and not only by the polluters.

Simply because things are difficult to quantify and that justice has a logic, my faith, very different from the ecology, in this area in any case, if only because it works a posteriori, so that the water is already polluted when she can intervene.

Greek Mob Profiting From their Citizens

Greek Mob Profiting From their Citizens

Yesterday we had a three hour meeting at a long long table in an otherwise empty restaurant. There were 24 of us – shift leaders, distribution coordinators, infrastructure guys – anyone who identified as being part of the ‘core team’ and showed up.

The table stretched the full length of the long room. On one extreme sat our captains, the founders of Better Days for Moria. Behind them were full length windows, through which we could see the snow and the street. Across the street was the Aegean Sea, and it looked very cold and gray and not at all pleasant to fall into.I was sitting on the other extreme. Behind me was a wall decorated with fish nets and shells, and also adorned with a flatscreen television.

The purpose of this meeting was to get on the same page. With so many volunteers spread so thin both geographically and shift-wise, there really is no substitute for face to face communication.

The restaurant manager, a tall man with a sort of off-putting smile, went around the table and took orders for Greek Coffee. After he finished, Kiki read the agenda, which she had compiled from the WhatsApp ‘Core Team’ chat. The manager came back halfway through and noisily passed out the coffees, practically talking over Kiki as he asked who had wanted medium sweet?

We introduced ourselves: Ramon, a Dutch ex-military man who’s building a new machine to dry over 500 shoes a day; Kai, a 19 year old who has been manning clothing distribution; Tarah, Canadian, also in clothing distribution and who just pushed her flight home back a couple of months; Camilla, who has years of experience working in refugee camps in South Sudan.

There was a small black dog running around, jumping on people’s laps. He kept scratching his right ear, and when I saw him up close I saw he had scratched all the hair off and he was bleeding a little bit. An hour in people started ordering appetizers – garlic bread and feta, olives. The olives were tasteless.

Elena reminds people to run new projects by her, so she can run them by the lawyer.

I give people an overview of the new volunteer coordination system, and give them my number in case of legal trouble.

This is a room full of smart people who mean business. Amy, sitting next to her husband, Colin, makes an abstract observation, saying that it would be great if there were more communication between infrastructure and shift leaders so that they know what’s coming. She follows up by asking for some concrete details, and the room at large learns that infrastructure plans to remove the hoop house housing clothing distribution and the medical clinic to replace it with a structure that complies better with zoning requirements.

Tarah is doodling on her napkin, but overall the feeling is productive. We all learned a lot today.