During our family zoo adventure today, lots of wonderful animals came close and communed with us - two brown bears, one silky siamang and two outrageously friendly orangutangs! Eowyn took this pic of one lovely lady!
Hello! This is my good friend Karen, with whom I write, laugh, eat, drink, and plan our India trip...
I am feeling very excited, as tomorrow Bens and I are dropping Eowyn and Cosette at my parents in law (yes, Sue is feeling really well, and up to having the girls over night! It's wonderful!) We're going to hear the Dalai Lama talk about teaching children empathy, and tomorrow evening and Saturday, we're going to Brian D McLaren 'Everything Must Change'. I am ever so excited at the prospect of all this neuronal stimulation!
Millions of people are enslaved. Today. 2008. Many are women and children, forced to have sex many times a day. Terrified of violent owners. Some as young as six.
My eldest daughter is six. She is snuggled on my husband’s knee right now, carefully reading aloud a story I wrote about her for her sixth birthday. She articulates the longer words, like ‘beautiful’ very slowly and clearly in her lovely sing-song voice. She smiles as she reads her own name in the story.
Some as young as four.
My four-year old daughter is snuggling next to me. Her skin is incredibly soft. Her shiny hair smells sweet and familiar. “Look, Mum, I have legs as long as you! I’m a big girl!” she says, stretching out her four-year-old legs next to mine.
A dozen little girls huddle together on a dirty couch. A single light bulb sheds pale, yellowy light their soft cheeks, their shiny hair. Their legs aren’t long enough to reach the dusty floor. Their ‘owner’ brings a man into the room..
I remember being four, and learning to ride a bike, my mother standing behind me to help keep me steady. She was so proud of me when I stayed up all by myself.
He doesn’t look at her face. He doesn’t see her beautiful brown eyes. He doesn’t know her name. He points at her, and she is pulled off the couch.
Thanks for taking the time to explore the hideous reality of modern day slavery. I can hardly bear to imagine what it must be like to be a small child - some as small as my little girls - removed from family and familiarity, treated violently by my 'owners' and raped multiple times a day by 'clients'. I want to be a superhero and rush to each child this is happening to and rescue them, and hold them, and cry with them, and take them someplace safe and love them.
Here are some good groups fighting slavery which we could join:
Bens and I walked in to a subdued bedroom. Four tall, strong guys stood around the head of a bed, on which sat their father. Bens knelt next to him and gently held his hand. I touched the man's hand, and prayed God would bless him. His hand was pale and cool. Bens looked at me, a deep sadness in his eyes. This man had been his loving mentor through his teens and early twenties.
We helped him back into bed. "Benjamin and Megan are here to see you," his wife said, leaning over and rubbing his legs. Her dark eyes were strength, sorrow, longing and resignation. She looked at him with love. He looked at her, his eyes mirroring hers, so alike they almost seemed siblings.
His gaze wandered to me. His brown eyes are imprinted in my memory. His eyes were longing longing, wanting resolution, connecting, trying, being determined. I looked back into his eyes, wanting to express love and respect and compassion, feeling helpless and inadequate.
Bens squeezed his hand goodbye. We left him surrounded by his loving, sad family. Today we were told he died just twelve hours after we left. Please hold his family in your love and prayers. Thank you.