On tenterhooks

Posted August 20

As many of you know, the Sisters For Sale documentary isn't the only thing I'm working on at the moment. For the past three months, I've also been working towards something I consider more important. 

Though I'd prefer not to be so cryptic, if you understand what it is I'm doing, then you'll understand why I can't speak openly about it. While there are many things I can't say now, there are a few things I can tell you. 

There are decisions now being made which will have lasting repercussions on the lives of families in both Vietnam and China. It has been a long and unexpectedly complicated process, with unforeseen difficulties and sudden reversals. 

There are very real dangers whichever path is taken, and there have been long discussions about how these might best be avoided. Myself and others have examined the situation from every possible angle, weighing one risk against another.  

There has been conflict of opinion over whose assistance would be most beneficial, and whose might be harmful. There is an ongoing political nightmare, communication difficulties, and many factors that are beyond our control. 

At the centre of all this, there are some girls who are very alone, and very far from home. 

Though they are now young women, I can't help continuing to think of them as girls. Their street-smart and sociability has always concealed the fact that they've had little formal education, and little experience of the world beyond their mountain homes. 

They are essentially children being forced to make very adult decisions which will forever alter their own lives, and the lives of those around them. I've never been known for my patience, and find nothing more frustrating than the sense of helplessness I now feel towards them. 

Unfortunately, there is still no end in sight. 

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