Seabrook woman to help victims of sex trafficking in India, NepalEditor's note: This is the first in a series of articles profiling the trip of alocal woman who is traveling to India and Nepal to work with the victims of sextrafficking. Her stories will appear each Tuesday in the Hampton Union.Six years ago, as a naïve 19-year-old college sophomore from Seabrook, I decidedthat it was time for me to get serious about changing the world.Although I was young, inexperienced, and had never left the country, I somehowconvinced Saint Michael's College to accept me into a competitive internationalservice trip to Calcutta, India to work in Mother Teresa's homes for physicallyand mentally handicapped orphans. Armed with an endless supply of hand sanitizer,Pepto Bismol, and the feelings of unshakable optimism and invincibility that comewith youth, I set out on my first real adventure.Long story short, it was not the tragically romantic movie I had played out in mymind, and I was hardly the self-sacrificing heroin I thought I would be. Thepoverty, the pain, the desperation of the people I came into contact with left mefeeling useless, selfish, and, a new feeling I had never felt before, like acomplete idiot. How could I have ever been so foolish to think that I, just somekid from New Hampshire, could ever make a difference?I vowed I would never go back again.But the faces of the children I had worked with, children who had never had theopportunities or options I had growing up, compelled me to try. And I did go backagain...; and again...; and again.On my last trip to India, I found that I could see things that I couldn't seebefore. Yes, there was still poverty, desperation, and sadness, but there was alsofamily, friendship, love, hope, and stories that gave me faith in the remarkableability of human beings to overcome the most challenging obstacles:I met a mother who lived on a sidewalk under a plastic sheet, who sewed scraps ofsari cloth into quilts to sell so that she might send her daughters to college.I met a man who eked out a living holding baskets for shoppers for the equivalentof a few pennies a day, but who ran all over town looking for me to return a bagfull of valuable jewelry and scarves I had accidentally left behind;I met endless amounts of children who, despite growing up in orphanages, brothels,or on the street, dreamed of becoming doctors and teachers;And, over the next three months, the Hampton Union has generously allowed me toshare some of these stories with you.This fall I will be travelling to India and Nepal to research what has been calledone of the worst human rights issues of our day: human trafficking and sexslavery.Every day, all over the world, young girls are tricked, lured, or kidnapped andsold into sexual slavery. For those who escape with their lives, the future isgrim. Many are HIV positive, are stigmatized as prostitutes and rejected by theirfamilies and communities, and bear the physical and emotional scars of a youthmarked by trauma and abuse.