Notes by a global nomad:

It’s been quite a journey since a few months ago when I frantically packed for The Golden Triangle region and with fingers flying and burning up the keyboard, I finished a book project (actually it’s 3 separate books). After flying to multiple cities, and traveling by trains, planes and automobiles, my head feels like it’s spinning with the faces of different people I have met and the colours, the textures, the outlines, the smells of the vastly differing contexts all run in a long smoky blur. The challenge now is to write what I’ve witnessed.

I miss the folks at my last pit stop… the former trafficked & sexually exploited women I had met and interviewed and especially this adorable 3 year old Ai Xin who left a mark on me. I haven’t uploaded her photo yet. But I can share this: her father is a pimp and her mother was a 16 year old who was forced into prostitution. Her 35-year-old father could no longer care for her full-time. Ai Xin was out with her dad all night while he did his pimping work and she had the filthiest mouth (she’d repeat what her father would say). Some abolitionists convinced Ai Xin’s dad to release his daughter to their full-time care and it turned out that he had asked his older sister to take her in, but she refused (he beat her up for some other issue and she was angry with him). Now Ai Xin’s in a safe home for former sex slaves who are single mothers and her innocence is being restored.

She’s a three-year-old child again!

Here’s another photo with elderly ‘comfort women’ Japanese military sex slavery survivors of the Asia Pacific War from my collection of memories this year:

These grandmas are so girlish and happy in this picture. They loved taking these photo booth style pictures.