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Human Trafficking Survivors

  • Healing Touch

    Tuesday I spent the day at the Nijoloy shelter outside Calcutta, drawing and playing and sketching in a mural map of the world. The children look forward to our twice-yearly volunteer visits with tremendous enthusiasm. Unlike the busy and heroic shelter housemothers, the volunteers have nothing more important to do right now than to hug the girls, to hold their hands and dance around the courtyard, Growing up in a shelter home, or raised by mothers who are beaten down by a life spent in forced prostitution, the children are very hungry for affection.

  • Reuniting

    It's been one week since returning to India and what an amazing trip it's been so far! It took a couple of days to adjust to the craziness of Kolkata which can be somewhat of a sensory overload when you've been living in Boulder for the last year and a half. Yet, you do adjust and somehow playing chicken with an oncoming bus is suddenly no big deal. All of that being said, I love it here because I love what we came for...the girls. What a joy it was to reunite with them.

  • Value

     January 25th, 2011:The differing value of money in amount as well as denomination becomes so sharply divided to me in a completely non-traditional sense, during international travel.  This week, using my photography skills to help hope-filled, girls relax while taking pictures of them (holding a card they've written their names, on decorated in a pretty way) in hopes of sponsorship to provide basic necessities illustrated that point in a forceful, underlined way.  Thirty dollars a month for 1 year, $360, provides one of these beautiful young people a full year at a good school.  I spend that much in cat food. 

  • I am now committed

     We have spend the past two days at the first of two shelter homes we will be visiting. Today we return there again, and then one more visit next Friday, where apparently a film crew will be filming us for a piece on trafficking. They will be following us around on our last three days here, from the sounds of it. 

  • The Real Journey

    Today I set out for the real part of this Indian journey. I get into Kolkata this evening around 7:30, but don’t actually meet up with the volunteer group as a whole until tomorrow night for dinner. I’m looking forward to meeting those who I’ll be side by side with for the next two weeks, but still nervous as all get out for what’s to come in the shelters we visit. I know I’ll see beautiful faces and smiles that conceal indescribable pain and abuse; I just pray I’ll be able to be of some use for the girls who wear those smiles.

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