Cambodia is a small country with a not so small history. While we were in Siem Reap it was all about the Temples and the ruins and the Wat nots…pun intended! Our very first morning we arose at an ungodly hour, to behold the sunrise over the Angkor Wat. I was not really up for it and to my disappointment there was no sunrise, just a slow dawn over the low cloud cover. Ho hum, at least I wasn’t burnt to a crisp as the clouds stayed low until afternoon. We saw the Angkor Thom and Bayon temples before the sun won its battle to dominate and by the time we sweated our way through the Tombraider temple of Wat Ta Prohm I was ready to give up the ghost. I appreciate the skill and sheer patience to create such majesty, but I can’t really get the fascination or the need to spend seven days exploring temple after temple. I have more fun shopping for things I can’t buy.
My best memory was having cocktails on a street corner at what can only be described as a cart…best margarita in a while.
The day out to the war museum was a nice change from the temple overload, but I had very little idea of the kind of war this country had seen until we reached Phnom Penh.
History is one of those subjects that puts me directly into a coma. Reading and learning about all the atrocities of the not so distance past has also not enamoured me to the subject. The killing fields of Phnom Penh had me knotted up for days. How does one human inflict such horror on another and not see the wrong in it. And how does the world look on and turn the other way? These sad sacks that were the master brains behind it, still await their trials. Living life in luxury and getting to spend their last days with family.
Our students at the dorm, shared their candid and honest reflections on their country’s struggles and their desire to change the plight of their people. It makes one believe that some day we humans will find our way again. If we can only make sure that the people we entrust with power is worthy of it and won’t turn on us to serve their own interests.