Today's scavenger hunt began in the outskirts of Timişoara. We found one of the program's beneficiaries, now working full-time at a langoserie (eastern bakery serving langoš, a deep fried flat bread garnished with cheese). Nina* is now in the final stage of after-care, saving to buy her own apartment within the year. This is a success story that makes the challenge of bringing a girl from a rescued state to full independence so rewarding. Here's to you, justice-seekers of Romania!
We realized that our pre-trip ignorance had us fooled when that "quaint village of Timişoara" turned out to be a great big town of half a million. Downtown, la centra, we found a canal, an opera house, a cathedral, and a restored brick wall that used to surround the city before the revolution erupted in the late 1980s. It's hard to fathom the beauty of the city intermixed with the blunt and casual reality of prostitution, which we discovered first hand at night. Without an intentional interest, it is almost too easy to be unaware and oblivious to the crime.
Never mind cultural idiosyncrasies, language barriers, and dietary preferences, we all have equal status when it comes to dignity. How has the distribution of it become so disproportionate? And why should Romania be an exception?
Well, time to disagree.
* other name used to protect privacy of beneficiary