We drove six hours today from Katmandu to western Nepal. Although it was a bit bumpy and a few of us got a little queasy, the trip was an incredible experience. Nepal is such a beautiful country, lots of trees and high hills. Getting short glimpses of the daily lives of people in the villages we passed by was meaningful because the culture is very different from our own. They work very hard and live simplistically.
Half-way to our destination we stopped at a women’s prison where about 20 or 25 women are employed to make Red Thread bracelets. The leader of the project is actually in prison because she used to be a trafficker herself. She is now so thankful to be doing something that combats the crime she used to commit. The other women prisoners also feel blessed for being employed by Red Thread. They many times feel depressed in the prison, but making the bracelets helps not only give them an income (which they usually send home to their families), they also know that the bracelets are for a great cause. Their family and friends are now more educated about trafficking because of what they are learning in the prison while making the bracelets.
A young 14 year old girl rode back with us today after spending a week in Kathmandu. She has been in the safe house for the past 9 months and will hopefully return to her home village soon. She was rescued on the border; she had been deceived into thinking she was on her way to getting a job in India. The trafficker told her to pretend they were engaged to be married, thinking it was a more believable lie for the anti-trafficking surveillance unit. We loved spending the day with her; she is such a precious girl. We really look forward to meeting other rescued girls in the safe house tomorrow.