‘It takes time to process everyone, some of them come without documents too, and when we don’t let them in straight away, they pelt rocks at us and climb the fences. I feel for the children most of all. Adults stole their food and their water when we had nothing left. I killed snakes and cooked them just so the kids had something.

Then there’s girls about as old as your sister, eleven, twelve, that are walking around pregnant from rape. We had one woman come and tell us that the men she travelled with raped her almost every night since they came to the Greco-Macedonian border. We can’t do anything—no arrests, no clearance refusals, nothing.

We’re under pressure to feel sorry for them, but no one has any idea where these people come from, what they’re capable of. Yes, some people are running away and won’t ever go back, and then there’re others that just want to make trouble.’

The snake on television strikes, burying its fangs deep into the fragile body of a mouse. Around us, the lounge room dims as the snake constricts the mouse and its bones crack in the silence. My uncle scratches his nerve damaged hand. Since he returned from Afghanistan, he does not look at us when he speaks.


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