The shadows beneath the stairs provided a temporary reprieve from the demands of the street. *Ola blended into the darkness, but I spotted her and paused to greet her and ask her nationality. Caught off guard she admitted she came from Uganda, like so many others we meet on the streets. I knelt down to catch her […]

I looked out the window once again, hoping to see her return, but there was no sign of her. If I’m to be honest, after the major blowup she had before running out, there was a part of me feeling momentarily relieved, but a bigger part of me wanted her to come back. I met […]

True love is a stranger she dares not let in. While there is something appealing about him, she can’t believe he is for real. She turns him away at the door and cries because he pulls on something deep within her. It’s an unfamiliar place, locked away and she’s scared to go there. The door […]

Death’s shadow loomed over Yana, sucking the life from her emaciated body. We had been acquainted with Yana, a tall blond Central Asian, for a couple years, and we were increasingly concerned, but Yana mostly kept to herself. One night on a routine visit, Lionel, the manager of the brothel, pulled us aside to ask […]

Eden’s baby was still nursing when she was left behind in Africa. As a single mother, it was not Eden’s plan to leave her baby behind, but not much was going her way. The breaking point came when Eden’s father died unexpectedly. Her stepmother sold their home and took off with all of the inheritance. […]

Evil is the only word to describe what I have heard. I have seen and heard a lot and I’m not easily shocked anymore. When women tell me their traumatic experiences, I have learned to not gasp in horror and to respond without giving in to the tears. Later though, when the moment has passed, […]

Bangkok had very few Christmas decorations when Jeff and I first arrived twenty years ago. A department store was decorated with tinsel and played carols for shoppers and a hotel had a display of reindeer and a sleigh out front. The bars caught on quickly and bar girls wore Santa caps to entice their international […]