Thursday, January 19, 2017

Cambodia

I wasn't sure I would like Cambodia: I'd heard that it was sad and depressing; that it hasn't recovered from having millions of people murdered by a government gone mad in the 1970s; that it was very poor. This all may be true but their history and culture runs deep and what I experienced was a gracious and resilient people, welcoming to strangers and getting on with their lives. I'm glad I came.

When I asked Lee, our driver, how he survived the Khmer Rouge genocide, where anyone who could read could be sent to the 'killing fields', he told me he was just a boy at the time but his father had to pretend that he was illiterate by hold a page of words upside down when being tested by a soldier. He also told me that his younger brother suffers mentally today due to starvation in the womb.

We decided not to visit the killing fields of Cambodia on this trip. Instead, like many others who come here, we went to see the great temples of Angkor and also took a side trip to a fishing village built on stilts, called Kompong Phluk.

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