I went to Geneva, Switzerland the first week of September to participate in a drafter’s workshop for UNGIFT recommendations on health consequences of human trafficking. The worshop was successful and it was cool to be working with people from all over the world on a common theme. The fact that so much got done among people with such different perspectives was refreshing! We are on schedule and hopefully a document will be produced by the end of the year!
As for the city of Geneva, it was not quite as magnificent as Vienna, but still a marvelous place. It is a much smaller city than I anticipated and it had a more intimate feel to it. It is also very international as the WHO, IOM, WTO, UN (among others) HQ are there? Have you had enough alphabet soup? My friend Clydette and I had some time the day of our arrival in Geneva but we were so exhausted from the travel over that all we could muster to do was a couple of tourist trolley rides that take you around to see interesting sights.
I know that the Swiss are famous for making watches, but I didn’t expect to be able to buy one EVERYWHERE! Watches, chocolate and Swiss army knives! I couldn’t afford any of the watches, the knives wouldn’t go into my carry-on, so all I got was chocolate to bring back. Not too bad!
A day or so after getting back from Geneva I headed to Green Lake, WI for the Third International Christian Conference on Prostitution affiliated with the International Christian Alliance on Prostitution. People from all over the world, from all different cultures working with men, women, and children in prostitution were in attendance. There were numerous workshops on shelters, business as mission, recovery, and a lot of other topics. I gave a workshop on the health consequences of prostitution and trafficking. It was a rich time to network and learn from each other as well as encourage and build up one another in this difficult and taxing work.
Even before the very first meeting, I had connected with a great pal, Jill, from my D.R. Congo days four years ago! Jill had a room to herself and so I moved in that very night! I had planned to stay in a tent for the week, but I had no issues of regret as it thuderstormed that night and was freezing all week! Neither one of us had even considered that we’d meet there again! I also got to see several other people from my Thailand days and it was great to share and catch up with each other. Of course there were so many new people with whom to get to know and discuss possible future collaboration. So exciting to hear what is going on around the world!
As the world gets smaller to me in terms of geography and networks, it actually seems to get larger in the people that I’ve come to know and love!