I pretty much praise anyone who finds a reason or the time to explore my site, and when people search the web and end up on Nomadderwhere, I'm just as thrilled. Some of my most popular posts are some I wouldn't have pegged to be for the masses, for example: My JanSport Backpack Review
And since the death of Evan Witty in April of 2009, I've received google searches daily from people who still wonder about his abrupt and unexpected death in Cambodia. It's somewhat comforting to know he's still very much in people's minds. I hope my post on Evan Witty offers some comforting words, as it's by far my most popular post to date.
However, I also get many searches that creep me out:
"child sex" "naked boy"
and the most troubling...
"cambodia sex tourist friendly hotels"
From these searches, people navigate to such stories as my night out at a hostess bar in Phnom Penh. That evening out, I experienced street flooding, chatted with some ladies at a hostess bar about their children, and fell asleep in the bathroom (don't judge). Hopefully those interested in the child sex industry are coming here to look for actions against the epidemic, not directions explaining how to find such activity.
I write about this today because...
1. it's Friday the 13th and creeps are ...well, creepy; and
2. I left the orphanage a year ago today.
It was one of my goals by year's end to find a way to return, through a collaboration with Fighting for Futures and an alliance with Airtreks. Though this didn't pan out due to my own budget restrictions, I don't plan to cut off my concern just because I can't physically return. What can I do if I can't actually be there? Enter the knife-like tongue.
The visceral effect this disgusting occurrence has on those who witness it is a repulsion that screams to be known and acted upon. I know it's hard to decide which worthy causes in this world deserve our attention the most, as it's something like choosing a favorite child, but for me it's hard to imagine a worse start or end in life than to rely on a pedophile's twisted business for basic sustenance.
The media have been posting stories and videos on Youtube for decades displaying the realities of the sex tourism industry around the world, and not surprisingly the creeps keep on a-violating. Does it make a difference to simply make the public aware of this issue we seemingly cannot change? I guess we all say, "It's worth trying," but the utterance of this phrase [to me] almost seems to declare instant defeat and the acceptance of heartsickness for one and all.
Here's one of the many videos I found, this one from the New York Times from 2007.
We make that worthy try, and there seems to be a airtight seal on the workings of impoverished communities where women and children fall into the industry of the body.
Then come organizations that seem to finally have a solution for catching the scum. Here's APLE and their sting operation on Harvey Johnson, suspected offender of all codes moral, judicial and human. I have yet to find the outcome of this case, but let's hope being a spectacle on ABC and across the internet will incapacitate him wherever he is.
There are a lot of people doing this work locally and operations concocted stateside, but I don't think it's promoting the right mindset to think these are the only people who should be making strides.
Enter initiatives like Fighting for Futures, which blossomed from a traveler's experience in Cambodia and aims to eradicate the child sex industry (and other awful realities of the third world) by enhancing their educations with liberating, creative approaches. Cathleen, the founder of FFF, felt that visceral repulsion and now spends every waking hour putting her own money into fundraising efforts across New York City in order to promote her upcoming trip to Southeast Asia to implement these creative programs.
She traveled. She was moved. She's going after the creeps.
I Challenge You
Today, on this Friday the 13th, I urge you to combat the creeps. Take a look at Fighting for Futures, Operation Twisted Traveler, and many other programs and organizations for the empowerment of kids stuck in this creep industry. It's modern-day slavery, human trafficking, and it's despicable.