Posts tagged “Two Kyrgyz Women”

Kyrgyzstan terms from “Two Kyrgyz Women”

On Friday I had my composition students download the free version of the book titled “Two Kyrgyz Women” by Marinka Franulovic. About five years ago, I had had my ten Kazakh students read this book in hard copy that I had been gifted with from Marinka.  Now I am glad I can have my American students read the free e-book version. Here it is:  http://www.free-ebooks.net/ebook/Two-Kyrgyz-Women

I think it is always a good idea for the teacher to read or do whatever assignment he or she is giving to their students.  I’ve read this book several times before but now I see it with fresh eyes after what I have learned much more about modern day slavery. Actually this book helped to jump start me on this path as an educator to inform others about this great evil. In any case, I will quiz my students on Wednesday whether or not they have read the first story about the first Kyrgyz woman who was in slavery in a tobacco plantation in Kazakhstan.

On p. 24, the first slave named Ainura revealed a little bit about her husband who had become an alcoholic and didn’t help support the family with their two children.  He would often tell Ainura, “Nobody is getting rich by working.”  This was according to the Kyrgyz Post-Soviet moral relativism that pervaded the country soon after the fall of the USSR.  When my American students read this part, it will go against everything they have been taught by their parents and grandparents who worked hard to own their farm or run their business.  My students have a high cultural value of believing in hard work or having a good work ethic. Most of my students value hard work and they had better because I am going to work them hard in the next ten weeks of this semester.

Interesting to read on p. 29 “Some of the world’s most spectacular architectural treasures were built by slaves, and no one is embarrassed to appreciate them.”  Immediately I think of the Great Wall in China and KNOW that there were thousands of slaves who died creating that monster structure which can be seen from outer space, maybe even from the moon.  Marinka, the author, further wrote: “Some of these new land owners in Kazakhstan may earn money by using foreign workers for free, and they do not seem embarrassed by this either.”

On p. 32 the slaves were reminded by their “owner” to NOT speak in Kyrgyz if they met anyone who was a stranger to the farm.  These Kyrgyz slaves who had been brought up to their northern neighboring country didn’t have the right documents. The manager put more fear into these “slaves” that they may be beaten or imprisoned if the Kazakh police found them without proper IDs on the farm.  Apparently on the next page, one girl who was from the Krygyz city Osh and not used to rural life spoke a different kind of Kyrgyz.  As it turns out, Altanay was much more educated than the other slaves and she just did not know how to work quickly like they did.  The masters dubbed her with the name “White Hand.”  She did NOT last long under their abusive jokes and shaming techniques. Actually she was only on the farm for two weeks before she disappeared.

I have seen the movie “Nefarious: Merchants of Souls” and will probably go again next month to another screening of this 1 1/2 hour documentary of slavery in our modern 21st century.  Nothing is new under the sun and the unfortunate like Altanay who was called “White Hand” probably ended up as a sex slave. Many young girls are picked off who do not come from a loving home where the father protects but rather assaults his own daughter. According to this documentary, some mothers in other lands sell their daughters off to be sex slaves.  The question was asked, how can a loving mother do this?  Some of their responses were that they love their daughters enough to sell them to local dealers and not to dealers in some place far off.

These two Kyrgyz women were mothers who happened to be married to selfish and uncaring husbands.  I found out from Marinka that the two women ended up going back to their family and their husbands because what they had been through as a slave did NOT compare to what they thought was a bad home life. They were desperate enough to believe a lie about getting a job in Kazakhstan to support their family.  Little did they know they could have died under the conditions they were subjected to.  In their shelters they were separately told to NOT tell anyone in their family what they had gone through with slavery, they would have been ostracized by the very people they needed to love them.

Anyway, I hope to have some spirited conversations with my students on Wednesday when they come back to our class after a LONG weekend. Today is President’s Day so we have the day off.  Good thing, I could use the break as I know my students can too.  However, reading this 150 page book will open their eyes to the depravity of man.  It is NOT just in Kazakhstan, it is all over the world and slavery is going on right at our doorstep.

 

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December Christmas Decorations at the Carnegie

Right now I am in class with my dutiful composition students typing away on their post-assessment of the semester.  They all NEED the 25 points that this task is worth, that is, if they answer all the questions correctly.  In the meantime, I am about to leave them to themselves so they can finish this assignment on their own while I go off with two of the students to the Carnegie building.  This is for my other comp lab class that actually thought of this assignment to do as a kind of “field trip.”  Anything to get out of class, right?  I didn’t tell them that they will have to look at the traveling exhibit that is there at the Carnegie and answer the 14 questions that I composed so that I KNOW that they read the material.

I have had a pretty good semester with very compliant students but this 1:00 p.m. class has been a challenge.  They are very diverse and needy in some respects. The mature ones I tried to get out of this challenging class to an earlier class I taught. The ones who are not prepared for college are still in this class with the exception of a few.  The antsy ones play off of the others but after enough disciplining, they are by now ready for the rest of their college career.  I have had them write papers on human trafficking and that was after they downloaded the FREE e-book version of Two Kyrgyz Women.  I have harped on them about APA formatting style and researching with good keywords.  They know about that now but many of them had learned MLA formatting in high school, if they learned that at all.  Some came with grammar errors and others came with persistent punctuation or spelling problems.  They are all good kids at heart.

Anyway, in about two minutes I will leave this group of 16 students to their own devices.  I must trust them but I will get a report from the student who gathers up the 700 word self assessment.  I will have a GREAT time with my other composition class who are ready, I hope, to put up the Christmas decorations in the Carnegie.  We will have three Christmas trees to put up.  Lots of icicle lights and also more ornaments and about ten wreathes.  We will have the local newspaper over to take photos of this event.

*******

Back from the “field trip” and all 16 students showed up and two others from the historical society were on hand. We had a photo of the 19 of us for the paper and then some of them had to get back to campus for their other classes of the day.  We stayed on until 5:30 p.m. after being there since 1:30 p.m.  It went very well with the kids all pitching in and stringing the lights around the pillars and others putting the 3M plastic up to keep the cold air out.  It should be looking nice for Friday night after people read about it in the newspaper tomorrow.

The kids were READY to help because they didn’t want to work on the 14 question worksheet that I had given them.  They got half done with that. I found out that the 15 kids I left behind were very diligent and wrote and wrote so that they can have extra points.  I will have all these papers slipped under my door for me to find tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow I will have the students do their powerpoint presentations on their final research paper.  I am in the home stretch and feeling good!

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American student’s response to “Two Kyrgyz Women”

My composition I class is currently looking into different aspects of human trafficking in order to write their third paper for me.  I’m starting to get their impressions and reactions in their extra credit assignments, some are getting emotionally connected to this difficult topic.  The following is what my American student wrote after she read “Two Kyrgyz Women.”  Fortunately “TKW” is on free ebooks, so she was able to read this on-line. My student knows that sex trafficking hits close to home for her.  This is because she had a childhood “friend” who was part of a trafficking ring as the “pimp” and now sits in prison because she was caught.  Another girl she knew was one of the trafficked girls, it could have been my student.  This tragedy seems entirely too close to home when it affects my Minnesota students.  So, for my one student reading about this woman’s pain in Kyrgyzstan was very real to her.

When I first started to read the book I saw that she depended a lot on her family and tradition. That no matter how bad life gets, you can always depend on family. She also went on to say that her father and mother constantly told her that one day she will get married and have a husband of her own. She always stated that she wanted to stay at home and never leave but her parents continually stated that one day every girl gets married. She had many fond memories growing up, from the lake Issyk Kul and all the swimming she would do there. She traveled a lot from her dad’s business and remembers the many places they lived. She then went into taking about all things that led up to her circumstances. From the marriage of her brother and the joy of his first child, to the start of a new journey for herself in Bishkek at a Technological University, and how proud her father was of her to accomplish such an undertaking.  As well as the effect of her father’s death, and how not only she but her whole family was starting to struggle financially.  Shortly after her father’s death she was soon to be married; her mother was shocked to hear that she was to be married so shortly after her father’s death. She refers her to wedding not as her wedding but as her kidnaping. She says it was so well thought out and much less expensive than a regular wedding. Her soon-to-be husband’s uncle and other men went and spoke to her about how wonderful the man she was to marry was, the perfect one for her. Her mother gave in and they were off to be married. She goes into saying how the night of their wedding what had gone on and how all his family was eager to know what had happened. As well as what her husband expected her to give to him the night of their wedding and how she lost her virginity that night. I have seen this more times than not, that men find women they want to marry because they just want the intimacy, so they marry the women so they can do whatever they want to the women as husbands and wives so they don’t have to face consequences. When in reality they don’t really love the women they only want their own satisfaction to be filled.  I know one woman in particular that her husband constantly depend stuff from her and was still never happy even though she gave him everything he wanted. They are now divorced and they have a wrecked home. He is off living with his girlfriend he had been seeing while still married and their two children are messed up with alcohol and drugs at the age of 15 and 19.  

            The author went on to talk about many stages in her life, from the birth of her second child a little girl, sending her boys off to school, and constant coming and going of her husband who later returned with a Mazad car and spent more time away than with her and the children. She went through a lot during this time and did a lot on her own to make everything the best she could. She later had an encounter with her husband’s long-time girlfriend which caused even more heartache. Shortly after that her husband had to pay twelve thousand dollars because of an accident that was caused when he drove his car too fast.    She goes into a long story that leads up to her abduction; she thought that she was sent to Dubai to meet her sister-in-law Nurgal. Only to find out that she was there to pay back Adele seven thousand dollars.

            She talks deeply of the many horrible things she had to endure the whole time she was imprisoned. It is so sad to me to see all these women taken advantage of something that is so valued. It is something that should be saved for the one man you love and marry.  But people don’t care as long as they are making money and can buy whatever they want and are getting the satisfaction they want, they are happy at the expense of others. It most always starts with a lie that most everyone believes, they are made to make it seem so real and that it’s going to help them earn money or help their family. So when they have no idea what is to come, it hurts me to read all the many things she had to endure the time she was imprisoned, especially knowing she had children waiting at home for her. How can someone take a mother away from her children so they can be satisfied for their own profit?  I can’t imagine all the hurt she had to go through day after day, the regret of living and all the “what ifs.” This book by Marinka Franulovic has definitely made me more aware of things that are happening in our world today, I even know thirty miles from here. People need to be aware of these things so we can help other women escape or help women before they too become victims.

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Extra Credit for my Comp I students

We are into Week 7 of our Composition I classes which to me feels like mid-point for the semester. The students are now putting the finishing touches on their second paper and we are looking into materials that relate to human trafficking.  Paper #3 will involve this horrible topic and cover different subtopics of the following where victims of trafficking can be found throughout the whole world:

1) tobacco and cotton fields

2) building construction

3) begging in the streets

4) child laborers

5) child soldiers

6) pornography

7) prostitution

8) forced marriages

9) surrogate maternity

10) harvesting of organs

In order to improve their percentage grade, my students have been given the following options in order to get more emotionally involved in this assignment.  I know human trafficking is a tough one but not one to be avoided because it is unpleasant.  I will encourage them to do something in their sphere of influence.

1)     Read the book on-line – Two Kyrgyz Women” by Marinka Franulovic and write 500 word reaction to one or the other story.  The first is about a mother with her baby working as a slave laborer in the tobacco fields of Kazakhstan.  The second is about a woman who was prostituted, taken from her four children. Both women were restored to their families but are not telling anyone in their village of the dangers they were in.  Very much a taboo topic in Kyrgyzstan.

http://www.free-ebooks.net/ebook/Two-Kyrgyz-Women#ixzz1z5pbxEsN

(25 points for each story, 50 points for whole book)

2)     Read the book on reserve at the UMC library “Not For Sale” by David Batstone and write 100 words summarizing each chapter for 10 points each (read what chapters are of interest to you)

3)     Check out and watch movie “Changeling and write 300 words about your impressions about it and how it might relate to your Paper #3 (25 points)

4)     Check out and watch movie Taken” and do the same as above (25 points)

5)     Read my blog entries about human trafficking from this Kazakhnomad blog site for 10 points each and write 150-200 words OR read this other blog which is very current and posted from India written by Katy Westrom:

http://katywestrom.theworldrace.org/?filename=bleeding-red

6)     Take the Slavery Footprint survey to find out how many slaves work for you.  Do the finetuning to get a more accurate score.  Write 150 words telling about the results and what surprised you the most about this inventory?  (5 points)

http://slaveryfootprint.org/survey/?gclid=CM69yfrr1LUCFe4-MgodkUQAzQ#where_do_you_live

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Sending Wrong Messages on Human Trafficking

I wonder where the whole Invisible Children and KONY 2012 thing has gone to?  If you watched the video that went viral about 3-4 months ago…now THAT was a conflicted message!!! The three young guys who started this organization probably initially meant well for the sake of those children in Sudan and Uganda who were caught in the brutal web of Joseph Kony. Also, I wonder if Kony really will be captured and brought to world justice by the end of this year???

The reason I have gotten involved with the whole issue of human trafficking and trying to help eradicate it was the three plus years I spent in Kazakhstan (teaching in Almaty and Astana). To me, there seems to be a spirit of slavery and non-freedom that exists in that country, at least in those two Russified cities.  Contrast that with the Kazakhs living in the outback areas and hard-to-get to places who probably have a strong sense of independence and warrior spirit. Sadly, those Kazakhs who were “domesticated” during the Soviet period have maybe lost the will to fight to declare who they really are as Kazakhs. What a proud heritage from the long ago past.  Yet there are those vulnerable individuals from Central Asia who live in today’s contemporary society. They WANT to get out of their miserable economic situation. They have been duped by the lies of traffickers. Somehow I could relate to the book I read titled “Two Kyrgyz Women.”

I have probably gotten about 40 other people to read this book as well, ten were my Kazakh students in Astana.  I have handed out so many copies of this short book written by Marinka Franulovich that I am pleased to report that it is now on line FREE!  What good news to see this gem out there on the Internet for more people to read and become aware of the trafficking problem in Central Asia. My hope is that someone will pick up on these two stories of brave women who came forward and make it into a movie for a wider audience to know the truths in this book dealing with Central Asian culture and how women get trapped into slavery.

Unfortunately, there is a wrong message being sent out just below the description of this book that is free on-line.  Because it deals with the sensitive nature of prostitution and women being trafficked, there is a sensually provocative book also being advertised that is the exact opposite of what lessons should be learned from “TKW.” (sigh).  I told Marinka about this conflict and she wrote to the e-book distributors but I think there is not much that can be done about this.  Check out this link in order to get the free download of “Two Kyrgyz Women.”

Another wrong message I witnessed yesterday was Will Smith’s wife who posed nude in a short video clip to promote something concerning human trafficking.  Talk about a conflict of interest, what was Smith’s point in doing that?  I saw the interview where Jada Pickett Smith explained what she did, but it escaped my understanding. Okay, so her daughter Willow Smith got her started on this topic of human trafficking after she had witnessed the KONY 2012 video.  I wonder what good will come of this video that Jada Smith did? Building awareness about trafficking by going nude?! Apparently Mr. and Mrs. Will Smith were in the audience of some gathering on June 19th where Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a talk on human trafficking.

I hate to admit that I have never been a fan of Hillary’s but I DO respect her firm stance against human trafficking. She is consistent as a fighter against this tragedy and it is outlined in the speech she gave below.  Check out the link and see the report that just came out this month from the State Department about what is going on in the world with trying to eradicate human trafficking.

SECRETARY CLINTON: “Thank you. Thank you all very much. And I am delighted to see a standing room only crowd here in the Benjamin Franklin Room for this very important annual event. I welcome all of you here to the State Department. And I want to begin by thanking Ambassador CdeBaca and his team for all the hard work that goes into this report, and the passion that they bring to the fight against modern slavery. I would like, Lou, for you and your team to either stand or wave your hand if you’re already standing. Could we have everyone from – (applause) – thank you. I so appreciate what you do every day, not just when we roll out the report, and I’m very proud to be your colleague.

I also want to welcome our 10 TIP heroes, whose work is making a real difference. You will hear more about each one individually when we recognize them, but I want, personally, to thank them because they do remind us that one person’s commitment and passion, one person’s experience and the courage to share that experience with the world, can have a huge impact. And I am delighted to welcome all of our TIP heroes here today. Thank you. (Applause.)

And I will join Lou in thanking Jada Pinkett Smith and Will for being here, and through you, your daughter. Because, as Lou said, it was their daughter who brought this issue to Jada’s attention, and I am so pleased that she has taken on this cause. And we look forward to working with you.

In the United States today, we are celebrating what’s called Juneteenth. That’s freedom day, the date in 1865 when a Union officer stood on a balcony in Galveston, Texas and read General Order Number 3, which declared, “All slaves are free.” It was one of many moments in history when a courageous leader tipped the balance and made the world more free and more just. But the end of legal slavery in the United States and in other countries around the world has not, unfortunately, meant the end of slavery.

Today, it is estimated as many as 27 million people around the world are victims of modern slavery, what we sometimes call trafficking in persons. As Lou said, I’ve worked on this issue now for more than a dozen years. And when we started, we called it trafficking. And we were particularly concerned about what we saw as an explosion of the exploitation of people, most especially women, who were being quote, “trafficked” into the sex trade and other forms of servitude. But I think labeling this for what it is, slavery, has brought it to another dimension.

I mean, trafficking, when I first used to talk about it all those years ago, I think for a while people wondered whether I was talking about road safety – (laughter) – what we needed to do to improve transportation systems. But slavery, there is no mistaking what it is, what it means, what it does. And these victims of modern slavery are women and men, girls and boys. And their stories remind us of what kind of inhumane treatment we are still capable of as human beings. Some, yes, are lured to another country with false promises of a good job or opportunities for their families. Others can be exploited right where they grew up, where they now live. Whatever their background, they are living, breathing reminders that the work to eradicate slavery remains unfinished. The fact of slavery may have changed, but our commitment to ending it has not and the deeply unjust treatment that it provides has not either.

Now the United States is not alone in this fight. Many governments have rallied around what we call the three P’s of fighting modern slavery: prevention, prosecution, and protection. And this report, which is being issued today, gives a clear and honest assessment of where all of us are making progress on our commitments and where we are either standing still or even sliding backwards. It takes a hard look at every government in the world, including our own. Because when I became Secretary of State, I said, “When we are going to be issuing reports on human trafficking, on human rights that talk about other countries, we’re also going to be examining what we’re doing,” because I think it’s important that we hold ourselves to the same standard as everyone else.

Now, this year’s report tells us that we are making a lot of progress. Twenty-nine countries were upgraded from a lower tier to a higher one, which means that their governments are taking the right steps. This could mean enacting strong laws, stepping up their investigations and prosecutions, or simply laying out a roadmap of steps they will take to respond.

But this issue and the progress we’ve made are about much more than statistics on prosecutions and vulnerable populations. It’s about what is happening in the lives of the girls and women I recently met in Kolkata. I visited a few months ago and was able to meet with some extraordinary women and girls who were getting their lives back after suffering unspeakable abuses. One young girl, full of life, came up and asked me if I wanted to see her perform some karate moves. And I said, “Of course.” And the way she stood up so straight and confident, the pride and accomplishment in her eyes, was so inspiring. This was a child who’d been born in a brothel to a young mother who had been forced and sold into prostitution. But when her mother finally escaped and took her daughter with her, they were out of harm’s way and finally able to make choices for themselves.

Now I don’t know what’s going to happen to that young girl, whose image I see in my mind’s eye, in the years and decades ahead. But I do know that with a little help, her life can be so much better than her mother’s. And that’s what we need to be focused on, and it’s what we need to try to do for all victims and survivors.

That’s why in this year’s report, we are especially focused on that third P, victim protection. And in these pages, you’ll find a lot of proven practices and innovative approaches to protecting victims. This is a useful and specific guide for governments looking to scale up their own efforts. What kind of psychological support might a victim need? How should immigration laws work to protect migrant victims? How can labor inspectors learn to recognize the warning signs of traffickers? And what can you and all of us do to try to help?

When I met with the people who were working with victims in Kolkata, I met several young women from the United States who had been inspired by reading about and watching and going online and learning about what was happening in the efforts to rescue and protect victims. And they were there in Kolkata, working with organizations, NGOs, and the faith community, to do their part. So this is a moment for people to ask themselves not just what government can do to end modern slavery, but what can I do, what can we do together.

Ultimately, this report reminds us of the human cost of this crime. Traffickers prey on the hopes and dreams of those seeking a better life. And our goal should be to put those hopes and dreams back within reach, whether it’s getting a good job to send money home to support a family, trying to get an education for oneself or one’s children, or simply pursuing new opportunities that might lead to a better life. We need to ensure that all survivors have that opportunity to move past what they endured and to make the most of their potential.

I’m very pleased that every year we have the chance to honor people who have made such a contribution in this modern struggle against modern slavery. And I’m also pleased that this is a high priority for President Obama and the Obama Administration. It’s something that is not just political and not just a policy, but very personal and very deep. You might have seen over the weekend a long story about Mrs. Obama’s roots going back to the time of our own period of slavery and the family that nurtured her, which has roots in the fields and the houses of a time when Americans owned slaves.

So as we recommit ourselves to end modern slavery, we should take a moment to reflect on how far we have come, here in our country and around the world, but how much farther we still have to go to find a way to free those 27 million victims and to ensure that there are no longer any victims in the future.”

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Unexamined Lives and Pursuit of Truth about Slavery

“The unexamined life is not worth living” is something Socrates was known to have said. I believe we all need to examine our assumptions about slavery and sex trafficking. I just did a Slavery Footprint survey that figures out how many slaves work for you in the products you use or eat and the clothes and shoes you wear. According to this survey, I got 22. I think the norm for North Americans is 44. Eventually I would hope that I would have NO slaves working for me in this globalized economy.  I need to re-examine what products I use.  Would that mean I have to give up using my computer all together? Maybe…

Plato also is known to talk a lot about education in “The Republic,” especially about those who are worthy to rule a nation (Book VII). His main point was that those students who learn to rule should know how to “think critically, understand definitions, compare concepts, seek reasons and critique and defend different views in conversation.”  I would hope that Central Asian students studying under western practices would catch this and run with it.

In this blog I’ve “started the conversation” about human trafficking and human rights issue ever since I read the book “Two Kyrgyz Women.”  The author Marinka Franolovic wrote me the other day and gave me several links about a woman journalist in Mexico.  She said she had met Lydia Cacho about five years ago who has been leading her crusade against sex trafficking of children in Cancun.  Brave woman.

Yes, people don’t want to be challenged in their thinking.  John Churchill in an article he wrote in “Phi Beta Kappa, The Key Reporter” (Vol.76, No. 3, Fall 2011) wrote the following:

“Plato thought overcoming this problem was a matter of age and training.  But some old dogs never overgrow young stunts.  The real question is this: “What differentiates mere pulling and tearing from the dialogical pursuit of truth?

The answer is: the aim of the interlocutors….[in the case of the global sex trade]…this isn’t the pursuit of truth.  It’s a contest of will and power.  Plato thought that you could overcome the competitive emphasis on winning the argument by bringing people to love the truth.”

I’m troubled that there are many uninformed people who don’t want to enter the conversation and know the truth about slavery in the 21st century. They would prefer to think that slavery was abolished after the Civil War in the 1800s.  They would like to think that Wilberforce was forceful enough in his dogged determination to end slavery in U.K. and the rest of the British empire.  Not so. Read the following:

Dr. Jack Mezirow, professor emeritus at Columbia Teachers College, believes that an essential element in adult learning is to challenge our own ingrained perceptions and examine our insights critically. Dr. Mezirow says that adults learn best when faced with what he calls a “disorienting dilemma”—something that “helps you critically reflect on the assumptions you’ve acquired” (Barbara Strauch, The New York Times). This is the opposite of saying, “My mind is made up—don’t confuse me with the facts.”

I would hope that the young university students in Kazakhstan would be open to learn what they can about the tragedy of slavery which is happening in their own country and the rest of Central Asia.  They are the future leaders of Kazakhstan, I know they keep hearing that over and over again at the new university in Astana.  However, I believe there are old dogs in high places that are using the same stunts that they learned under the Soviet system to keep the truth down.  They would prefer that the populace NOT know about slavery that is taking place right in Central Asia.  May the pursuit of truth be captivating and held captive instead of people!

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We want to DO something about Human Trafficking in Kazakhstan

We heard an incredible story at our tri-birthday party that happened just that same day to one of the ladies. I think it best sums up our mission to do something about human trafficking.  Admittedly it is a HUGE problem, what can we do as a little group?

Here’s a good example, she was driving on the Interstate and a driver in front of her looked like they were drunk. The car was going all over the road and then suddenly stopped right in the middle of the fastlane. (!!!)  Big semi trucks and cars were whizzing by at 75 miles an hour!  If it hadn’t been for this meeting tonight and keeping in mind about unfortunates who are used, the teller of this tale might have gone to the right in the slower lane to bypass this erring driver as well.

Turns out it was a very frightened woman from Nigeria or some African country that kept repeating “I am missing, I am missing…” to our friend who had abruptly stopped behind her in an effort to help. That was the extent of the African’s English vocabulary. Finally it was figured out the poor woman was very lost and wanted to get back to the main city where she lived.

Here’s the analogy about what this person (angel in disguise) did to help. God will make opportunities to help others available to all of us.  It is up to us to open the door to walk through to help people who are down and out and not to walk past them (think Good Samaritan story). We, as American women, have options (trafficked victims don’t have any options) to help those in need or we can just speed on by.  Earlier in the narrative our friend had called 911 to report a supposed drunk driver but no help ever came.  Therefore, sometimes you have to take things into your own hands as this person reported to us last night and help those who are in trouble.  Yesterday it was this scared African lady whose “angel” directed her back into town.

What made the evening so amazingly powerful was the energy and dynamic power that undergirds each woman represented. She has a loving husband who supports her and she can speak her mind freely. Sadly, the same cannot be said about those held in bondage as slaves in Central Asia.  That is why we got together last night to discuss ways we can raise money to send to the shelters in Kazakhstan through people I know and trust in Almaty and Astana.

Two months ago, someone came up with the idea to have a rummage sale and everyone admits that they have “stuff” they are willing to part with.  In fact, we in the U.S. have an overabundance of things. These “things” are exactly what the people who are trapped in trafficking need and want.  Some of the necessities such as furniture, kitchenware, bedding, children’s clothes etc. to help their families would be what we would be selling.

In many cases, older Kazakh or Kyrgyz women are tricked into a “too good to be true” scheme because it is fabrication meant to be an enticement.  If only these women knew the truth behind the unbelievable things they hear.  Many times, they are so busy trying to keep life and limb together for themselves and their children because the husband is either an alcoholic, gambler, womanizer or all three and more!!!

That was the summary of what our earlier meeting was several months ago when we first discussed the book “Two Kyrgyz Women.”  We need to make other people aware of this problem that is not only overseas but also at our backdoor.  Someone cited a case where a trafficking ring was busted in South Dakota or along I-29 and I-94 where illegals from Mexico were being used and not paid.  Of course the biggest thing for those unfortunates to step forward is that they have no documents and no rights to be in the U.S. in the first place.

(to be continued)

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