I was traveling in a poor Eastern European country 10 days ago. Each family member there was doing whatever they could to earn a few dollars each day. Every day I climbed a rugged hill. It got hot early in the day and near the top there were a couple young men selling water and other cold drinks for a buck. Aware that this was probably the only sounce of income for them, I gave them a large tip with each purchase.
I never spoke to them, prefering to keep silence during the first part of my day. One day there was an older man there. I figured he beat the others to the spot. Because of his age, I was even more generous.
On the 7th day, I took some time to chat. The two young men were brothers. The old man was their father. They would climb the hill at 4am loaded with ice and drinks. This was the family income as they could not find jobs. They invited me to their home. I spoke to my host family who said that there was work to be found and that it all sounded shady.
The 8th day I met three young men at the hill top. They insisted on my visiting their home. They really didn't look like brothers. One was lean, blondish blue eyed, the others dark haired and stalky. I felt obligated to say yes. I told them I wanted to spend the last night at the village church with the local people to go to Mass and recite the rosary. They all agreed to wait for me and pick me up at 8pm.
As I left the church, there they were all smiling and anxious to get going. They put me in their beat up car, two in the back and me up front. As we pulled away, I thought to myself,"Well here we go. I'm being kidnapped." Taken! My only consolation is that it could not possibly have been for the sex trade unless there is a fetish out there for flabby middle-aged men with bulging prostates.
It turned out to be an incredible evening. But why did I place myself in harm's way? I do this often enough. I feel like that's what I do. I do as I am told even if it is against my better judgement. Moments like these I feel stuck in the child porn ring doing as I was told.