Bernadette’s Blog, Kolkata 201025 Jan 2010, by Uncategorized in
About five years ago I read the book Slave by Mende Nazer and Damien Lewis. I remember being both deeply shocked and moved by Mendes story. I was intrigued…. modern day slavery??? I needed to learn more so I kept reading books on the subject. A couple I recommend are Sold by Zana Mushen and Andrew Crofts, and Not for Sale by David Batstone. Once I realized how prevalent modern day slavery was I decided to try and become more involved. I started by attending a human trafficking forum in Boston where I first met Sarah. I decided to host an awareness event for Made by Survivors that was such a great experience and very easy to put together. I highly recommend hosting one for anyone thinking about it. Then last winter I attended another forum in Boston with my mom. Sarah was there again and during her presentation she mentioned the volunteer trip to India. I turned to my mom and whispered, “I have to go on that trip!” Now here it is, January 25th 2010 and I leave for India in four days – I can’t believe this trip is already upon me! I have traveled abroad before but it has always been more leisurely trips with family and friends. This will be my first experience traveling abroad as a volunteer. As always, the week leading up to any trip is filled with a mixed sense of excitement and apprehension. With this particular trip I feel myself filled with more emotions and nerves than usual – one of which is fear. Fear of the challenges that await me, the unavoidable culture shock of suddenly being immersed in a culture and country so different than your own and of course a fear of the emotional challenges that will undoubtedly present themselves given the nature of this trip. But I am excited to face these challenges with the help of the other wonderful volunteers and the group leaders going on this trip. Mostly, I feel an immense sense of gratitude that I have been given the opportunity to volunteer with TEN and to be a part of something so important. I am looking forward to meeting everyone going on this journey with me. See you in Kolkata!!!