Diary of War

13 March 2022

Day eighteen

Anna [on the move]

[[After a train ride of 12 hours, we arrive in Lviv. We want to have breakfast, but we have to get in line for the train. It leaves in three hours, but the queue is already long. We’re afraid we might not make it. 

Families with children and the elderly are allowed to board first, then everyone goes in order of arrival. There are 11 wagons, with over 60 people in each. The children cry most of the time, phone service gets cut off along the way. 

Eventually, we come to an abrupt halt in the middle of a small village. We stand there for four hours. The children need food, water, a toilet and a place to sleep. It’s very stuffy and the air is heavy. I imagine all the mothers taking the train by storm. 

I look around at the people travelling with us. People are sleeping between the carriages, on their bags, near the clogged toilet. There are animals in carriers who want to be set free. There are disabled people, old people. Everyone is fleeing from horror and fear, and I’m sure life has many more surprises in store for us all.

But as they say—difficulties can bring people together. Kids sleep not only on top of their parents, but alongside everyone else. Quarrels arise when someone opens a window. One person is too cold, while others are stuffy and hot. Someone talks too loudly, causing resentment in those around them. We arrive at the Polish border, where they give us water and food. Volunteers help us carry our bags and try to answer all our questions. Are we safe now?