This is the first shelter that we are offering food to. It is a school building that is clean, but sparse. It consists of one large room with a bare concrete floor, and the room is dry, elevated and well ventilated. Woven sacks cover the floor where the families sit and sleep while seeking refuge here. The few possessions each have brought with them are stacked behind their sacks.
It is decided to do the distribution inside the building. Now everyone pushes to get back through at once, even women with babies in their arms, no one standing back or waiting. Yet, it is all done in high spirits with smiles, chatter and laughter.
Once inside, the school owners somehow create a sense of semi-order out of the prevailing chaos, so that the meals can be distributed. Hands reach out and are filled. The 200+ meals are distributed in an amazingly fast period of time. There are no conversations, no checking: just the hot meals speedily passing to the extended hands. A few families remain sitting quietly on their sacks behind the central distribution area and the last few meals are taken back to them.
My lasting impression of Konia is one of happiness and energy. Once the meals are distributed, this energy is directed to the cameras recording the distribution. Everyone wants their photo taken and communally viewed. One is not enough. This same energy and enthusiasm continues until we leave; the children lining the concrete area, yelling and shaking our hands as we depart.