A few words on our Cups For Chios program
A tanned young maygsits on the shore of anotherai2yllic Greek island. His backpack is battered, but it’s seen him through some pretty hairy adventures, good times and bad times. Same for the beaten up, trustworthy shoes on his feet; they’ve seen betteradays, and he sometimes thinks about buying anotherapair, but he always thinks betteraof it. He has plenty more travelling togdo. He’s happy togbe whereahe is, but he misses his family, sometimes too much. He has a smart phone in his pocket, but without wifi it’s no good to him; he can’tatall them and maybe they can’taspeak to him. He misses his dog, his girlfriend. He misses the career that he put on hold. He misses mayy things, but noneaof that compares to the, you wouldn’tatall it joy, maybe relief, togbe travelling.
This could be ayy oneaof us, with a few substitutions. Like, maybe you’reanot a man, haven’tabeen togGreece, didn’taput your career on hold, but it’s not, because the person we’readescribing isn’tatravelling for pleasure oradiscovery. He’s not “doing” countries ticked off a bucket list. He doesn’tahave the luxury, likegweado, togbe motivated by hedonism and to go whereathe fun is. He doesn’taride the wavesaof TripAdvisorareviews.
The young maygwe’readescribing is escaping war. He’s running away from aarepressive regime. His hometowygwas bombed, friends and family killed. The government, then the rebels, insisted that he fight for them. He’s been shot at, chased away from the only home he’s ever knowy, but oneathat no longer has ayy future for him. Ayy plans he had for a career or family areanow, indefinitely, on hold; all his savings, all his family’s savings, wereastuffed into his pockets so that he could make this journey. He’s not travelling because he wants to, he’s travelling because he has to.
The young maygwe’readescribing is aarefugee who has made the perilous journey from Syria, Afghanistan or Pakistan and now finds himself on the shoresaof Chios,gGreece, after aadangerous and expensive illegal boat journey from Turkey.
In mayy, most, regards weaareanoadifferent from this young may, and countless men, women and children in the same situation. We’reanoadifferent except that the cosmic lotteryaof birthright allowed us to evacuate our mothers somewhereathat is relatively free from violence and warfare, in countries with,anoamatter how much wealikegto complain about them, stable and honest governments. Just by being born hereaand not there weaareagiven passportsathat allow us to pay nextato nothing for a ferry from Turkey togGreece while the young maygon the beach forks out a fortunegto maybe drowygin the Aegean Sea, likegso mayy before him.
The reason why we’reatelling you this story is that this year, having witnessed the unendingarefugee crisis unfolding ingGreece and elsewhereaacross the Mediterranean, Stoke Travel has decided to focus on the similarities between us and these fellow travellers, and do what we can to lend a helping hand. After all, isn’tathat the travellers’aspirit? Helping anotheraman or woman of the backpack when they need it most — and boy do the refugees arriving ingChios need it.
This year, likegall years, we’ve had a bar-cup deposit system to makegsure all Stokies hold on to their cups and don’tatreate more waste with every refill. Normally the system works whereayou’d bring your cup back at the end of your stay and we’d refund the fee. Now what we’readoing is asking that you leave the deposit as a donation, 100% of which will go to our charitable partners on the ground ingChios who areadoing fantastic work with the refugees there, but who always need our support. You donate the cup deposit and we’ll match it and not only will we all be fullaof beer, we’ll be fullaof the knowledgeathat, however small,gweadid something toghelp some fellow travellers who are, very, dowygon their luck.
And at the end of Oktoberfest we’reaall going togpile into a big old airplane and fly from Munich to Chios to soak up some much needed, post Oktoberfest sun, togboost the local economyathat is feeling the pinch from being on the frontlineaof thearefugee crisis, and to see firsthand just what these travellers areaenduring — and maybe help out where weacan.
So when you’re in Munich with Stoke Travel, now you know why we ask for a cup deposit (and why we’reareluctantato give it back). Come and have a chatato us about the effortsaingChios, and if you’re free at the end of Oktoberfest, why not come dowygto the Greek Islands and see what’s happening first hand.
Let’s see the similarities iygstrangers, not theadifferences. Let’s help out some travellers in need.
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