Stepping into a clean, gentle looking coffee shop is always a great thing to do after being in the woods for too long. It allows you to familiarize yourself with society in a controlled, predictable environment. I had just gotten back to town after my expedition in Gila, New Mexico. My hair was still a shaggy mess and my skin had turned from my normal pasty white to leather. I was meeting some cool cats from the Tiny Hands International crew to discuss the expedition.
The conversation quickly turned to the importance of our mission. Although adventure is my passion, it will never be my sole purpose. My mission, and the mission of Tiny Hands is to fight sex trafficking, specifically along the Nepal/India border.
Have you ever seen something so powerful that you feel your soul crumble? Something so wrong, and yet so real that you couldn't ever forget it, even if you wanted to? That's what happened to me that day in the coffee shop.
Paul, one of the guys who promotes THI for a living, turned his laptop in my direction and pushed play. The video was taken from a hidden camera that was being worn by an undercover investigator. A man greeted the investigator and accepted his cash. A few bucks. The investigator was then taken into a shack, where he had his choice between young girls. The man who was pimping out the girls explained which ones were suitable for which sexual acts. The investigator chose, the door shut, and the young girl who appeared to be younger than 10 years old, moved a rock in front of the door, before approaching the investigator, offering herself to him.
Of course, in this situation she was engaged into a game of rock-paper-scissors, instead of sex. The film was used as evidence in order to bring the pimp to justice.
That girl was nothing more than property to the pimp. She had been sold into sexual slavery.
This was the first, and only time I have ever seen this act, and I would love to forget seeing it. I want nothing more than to remove the sight of a sex trafficking victim being sold from my memory. But I can't let that happen. We, the free people of the world, need to act.
What should a person cost?
That's one equation that I have no problem solving.
Nothing. Freedom is priceless