Enough people have written to inquire if I am dead or alive that I realize I better post something soon before someone calls the authorities.
Yes, I arrived home safe and sound from Thailand. Yes, it was a very productive trip. Yes, my eye has healed almost completely. I went to numerous doctors when I got home, who all gave my eye a good report. And yes, I am busy writing the "Not For Sale" children's book and curriculum--which is why you haven't heard from me. Multi-tasking is not one of my strong suits (hey, it allows me to focus all my attention on one project, like a book, and not go crazy).
The trip was excellent, and all the interviews, meetings, and visits to safe houses and shelters really helped me focus "Not For Sale" even more clearly than it was before. I learned there is already a child-trafficking awareness curriculum and companion DVD in the schools, and that all Thai children are required to read/watch it. As a result, the rate of trafficking has gone down dramatically--though among ethnic Thais, not among children who are members of minority groups who do not necessarily go to school. The rate of trafficking among those kids is still high. So they are the ones we are now focused on reaching with a soon-to-be completed children's book and companion curriculum--all to warn kids about trafficking and give them other options no matter what they face. Once we test the book and curriculum in Thailand, we'll translate everything for other countries that also have a trafficking crisis.
The person (me) who was panicked about writing fiction ("I'm a journalist, I'm a journalist!") now can't stop writing this children's book. I'm following my own advice and working my way through all 7 steps in How to Write a Book--and each day the book grows longer and longer.
I'll tell you more in future posts. (Please don't make me multi-task.)
Meanwhile, I'm putting together a team to travel to northern Thailand this fall. Many of you have asked, "What can I do to help stop child trafficking?" This trip will help you answer that question. If you'd like more information, just email me at email@example.com. (Write "Thailand trip" in the subject line.)
Thanks for following my travels while I was in Thailand. Don't forget to look at the photos--I've added more. Click on the picture to the left of PawPaw in the the red "songtaow" (taxi bus), or if you receive these updates by email, just click on www.dianascimone.com to view the photos. And as always thank you for being one of PawPaw's best pals.