Wednesday, 23 December 2009

On the Road to Gaza

Hello from Amman in Jordan!

Rada, Jo and I are still alive, our ambulance is almost still on one piece and your aid is totally intact. Rock on!

It is a huge relief to be able to blog for the first time during the convoy. Getting to an internet cafe has been tough work in most of our overnight destinations (which at the beginning of the trip were entirely petrol stations and sports halls but are now hotels and hostels) and those convoy members that do have internet on their laptops are so busy emailing and blogging themselves they understandably have not had much time to offer to those of us without instant access.

Currently I am sitting in an internet cafe down the road from a press conference/demonstration at the Jordanian Union Complex somewhere in Amman. We are tired, but happy to be here. On the road last night we encountered our first real authority difficulties, with the police blocking our path after crossing the border into Jordan. We had a sit-in, with all convoy ambulances blaring every single horn and flashing every light, and eventually the police gave up, probably due to being deafened (chortle chortle).

Our welcome from normal people in the street throughout Turkey, Syria and now Jordan has been phenomenal. Turkey has been the most overwhelmingly exuberant with clutches of supporters standing in the middle of motorway central reservations in the pouring rain and at 2am just to wave and cheer us on. It is overwhelming to have such heartfelt support.

It is a massive blessing to get a morning off today, only our second bit of time off in over two weeks of solid driving at painfully slow speeds, or break neck races after waiting around for hours at a time. We are all quite stressed because we never know what is happening each day from one hour to the next. There is a lot of justifiable criticism about VP convoy organisers from the convoy members, but it has to be said the resourcefulness of the drivers and the team leaders means we have succeeded in all we have needed to do in spite of anything the organisers fail to fix or arrange.

We are now bracing ourselves for Egypt. We need your support for this. Please contact your MP by email or fax, and also send messages direct to the UK Foreign Office, demanding that Egypt allow safe passage for the convoy and facilitate its entry into Gaza. Egypt must let us in.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas over the next few days, and please do tell your friends and families that we are living up to your support so far, but we will do our utmost in the time ahead of us to get through Egypt, get into Gaza and give the Palestinian people your support, money, aid, good wishes, solidarity and love. Watch us on Press TV (Sky Channel 515) to keep up to date on our progress from now on....

Hugs all round and "Viva, Viva Palestina!!"

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