: one mission that has called people together from all corners of the world. This is our privilege and passion. Essentially, our heartbeat.
Before you begin to wonder why I'm speaking in plural pronouns, let me introduce you to my friend, travel-cohort, and co-host Audrey. Audrey, meet my friends.
Upon arriving in Timişoara (pronounced Timm-shwara) this afternoon, we quickly learned that this popular transit destination welcomed few visitors. As the only ones in line at passport control/baggage claim, the quizzical airport police confirmed that we really meant to end our travels in Timişoara. "This is your final destination?" "Yes." "Timişoara..." "Uh, yes."
Our field contacts picked us up from the airport and took us to the organization's office. We were served a warm lunch of soup, chicken, fresh bread, and melon. Even warmer was the welcome from the staff of mostly volunteers that shared our mission to curb the momentum of human trafficking. We asked why the government had begun, then quickly stopped funding national victim-services. "The politicians we try to appeal to are the same ones exasperating the problem as clients in the industry." Unrestrained by this heart-wrenching fact, however, the dedicated workers of NFS assured to us that saving even one life made it worth the call.
The sobering truth is realizing how crafty and sophisticated the industry is and that the victims are individuals that we are dealing with, portraying tremendous amounts of courage. We hope that we can adopt if only an ounce of their courage and wear it as as easily as we carry our camera bags and bottles of water.
Well, time to fuel up...