They picked us up in the morning and we headed north to the city to Circus School. Once we all were changed, warmed up and supplied with safety belts, the instructor asked for a volunteer. Everyone shuffled their feet; I didn’t feel like wasting time, so I raised my hand. I had NO idea that meant I’d be first The Rest of The Lesson. First up the 25 foot ladder. First to step around the support truss and stand on the narrow board with my heart pounding in fear. First to get strapped into my harness. First to lean out hips first and grab the bar. First to crouch on “Ready” and drop on “Hup”. First to follow the directions:
“Look at the far wall!”
“Legs down!” and finally
“Hup” to drop into the net.
I loved it. I had a sugar crash after two rounds and wasn’t able to complete the catch with the pro at the end of the lesson. Lovey did it though! Happy Birthday to her.
For lunch we took them to the ‘best Chinese food in San Francisco’: San Tung at 11th and Irvine. After two servings of the incredibly addictive ‘dry fried Chicken Wings’, we exploited our membership at the de Young museum and all went in for free. After touring the galleries, we grabbed drinks at the café and sat out in the sculpture garden. While sipping our hot drinks and flavored waters, we heard a roar of jet engines and saw the Blue Angels swoop through as part of Fleet Week.
Overall if we’d stopped there, it would have been a beautiful, wonderful day. But, we didn’t.
They dropped us off at home and an hour later, Jrex and I went to the movies.
I’d heard about a movie and then actually got free tickets from someone at work. We knew it would be disturbing, but we had NO idea. The movie? Call + Response: “The first feature rockumentary to expose the world’s 27 million most terrifying secrets”. A local Oakland-based musician started to find out about the modern slave industry. The more he investigated, the more he wanted to do something about it. As he spoke with other musicians, they wanted to join him. In the end, the movie segues from black and white segments with songs responding to slavery back into color interviews with survivors and advocates. Julia Ormand, Ashley Judd, Madeline Albright, Moby, Switchfoot, Emmanual Jal. Other musicians I’ve never heard of and stories I can never forget.
The amazing thing was that the movie managed to convey the enormity of the issue without leaving one paralyzed in despair. By the end of the movie all I could do was pray, “Lord, show me what to do and I’ll do it.” Jrex was furious at the injustice, I was crying and heartbroken.
They took hidden cameras into brothels. To hear a white man saying, “You give ‘yum yum’?” (oral sex) “What about ‘bom bom’?” (intercourse) and to see a seven-year old girl smile and nod eagerly is one of the most horrifying echoes I carry from the movie. One of the musicians rapped a piece called “War Child” about his experience being abducted into an African child soldier war. Apparently right now there are more slaves worldwide than were exported from Africa in 400 years of the slave trade. Back then, a group of 12 abolitionists met in England and determined to end the British slave trade in their lifetime. They succeeded. “Lord, show me what to do and I’ll do it.”
I’m sure my prayer for action will have far reaching consequences, but in the short term we have the following action list:
- Give up chocolate (unless it’s guaranteed free-trade). 80 percent of world chocolate is a result of slave labor. No more chocolate chip ice cream or brownies or hot chocolate. Trade As One does carry free trade versions of much of that, so it won’t be total withdrawal, just nothing in a café or restaurant.
- For Jrex, he’ll be emailing Sweet Marias (his coffee bean supplier) to find out which of their beans they know are slave free.
- We’re going to sponsor additional Compassion girls. With education and options, the need to sell one’s daughter is diminished. I want to find out if they have any kids who have been rescued and specifically sponsor them.
- Look for volunteer options here in the Bay area. There are numerous sex and labour slaves in this area.
- Renewed commitment to buy clothes from resale stores. Cheap new clothes are often supplied by labor slaves.
My overall sense from the Lord was to love his broken children. That’s been my hearts cry for much of my life. I just don’t know how or when. It’s not something I can inflict on my husband in terms of what we do with our house. But it’s something I may be able to do as a volunteer. At the moment, I’m ready for him to get a job so I can be Lady Bountiful and volunteer time to make a difference in the world. Who knows what life has in store, but at the moment, we have to do what we can do here and now.
The movie was made with no financial backing and right now is only on a limited release. Check out the locations. If it’s near you, I highly recommend it. Disturbing? Undoubtedly. Worth seeing? Definitely.