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    [post_content] => We have just said our sad farewells to the group at Siem Reap Airport. Each of us is going home with a small stone in our bag or pocket, that we collected from the beach of the Mekong. It symbolizes both an accomplished goal and a new one just set. We always say that the journey is not complete at the end of the trip, because the real journey, of what to do with all the new things we've learned, is actually only just beginning. Good luck, Appleby students! We know you will go on to achieve great things!
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Appleby College Cambodia

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The journey ends (and begins!)

Claire Bennett,Appleby College Cambodia

Description

We have just said our sad farewells to the group at Siem Reap Airport. Each of us is going home with a small stone in our bag or pocket, that we collected from the beach of the Mekong. It symbolizes both an accomplished goal and a new one just set. We always say that the […]

Posted On

03/22/16

Author

Claire Bennett

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    [post_date] => 2016-03-20 21:45:35
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    [post_content] => Yesterday, we took the long journey from our homestays on Koh Pdao island, by boat and then bus, to the city of Siem Reap, which is our final destination. The journey was long but it still doesn't reflect how much the city seems like a million miles away from the subsistence farming community that we made our home for the last week. Here are a couple of pictures of us getting muddy in the organic vegetable garden that we were part of making. More to follow!
    [post_title] => Some pics from the island
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Some pics from the island

Claire Bennett,Appleby College Cambodia

Description

Yesterday, we took the long journey from our homestays on Koh Pdao island, by boat and then bus, to the city of Siem Reap, which is our final destination. The journey was long but it still doesn’t reflect how much the city seems like a million miles away from the subsistence farming community that we […]

Posted On

03/20/16

Author

Claire Bennett

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    [post_date] => 2016-03-19 11:30:14
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    [post_content] => During our education session today, we were exposed to many upsettingfacts about education in Cambodia.  Only 13% of teachers have auniversity degree, 21% of students actually attend high school, 47% ofschools don’t have bathrooms, and teachers only get paid $150 a monthwhich is not enough to sustain their lives, causing them to succumb tobribes from either parents or students. In Canada, this is differentfrom private schools, but in the public school system many teachers goon strike because of low wages. If I were to create my own educationsystem from scratch, I would aim to create an interesting and funlearning environment, so that every student feels excited to go toclass. The education system would be structured based on what path theindividual wishes to follow. For example, if a student wanted tobecome a doctor they would take sciences such as chemistry, physics,biology etc throughout school. Each household in the country would paya schools tax based on their income which would go towards the publicschool system. Each teacher would have fair and equal pay and yearlybenefits. The school facilities would be monitored and would need tohave basic necessities such as bathrooms, desks, proper supplies, aplace to play and have physical education. For me, when thinking of myeducation system in Canada, it wouldn’t seem very different, but as wesee and discuss Cambodia’s education system, maybe these ideas wouldmake it possible for every student, either rich or poor, to get aneducation and do whatever they would like.
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Appleby College Cambodia

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If you could create your own education system, what would it look like?

Cameron Norfolk,Appleby College Cambodia

Description

During our education session today, we were exposed to many upsettingfacts about education in Cambodia.  Only 13% of teachers have auniversity degree, 21% of students actually attend high school, 47% ofschools don’t have bathrooms, and teachers only get paid $150 a monthwhich is not enough to sustain their lives, causing them to succumb tobribes from […]

Posted On

03/19/16

Author

Cameron Norfolk

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    [post_date] => 2016-03-18 09:42:55
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    [post_content] => Today I woke up in Koh Pdao. To be honest, I woke up differently thanI have ever done, as the loud sound of roosters filled my ears. Thisstarted at around 3am! In a way this is a cool experience as I havenever had the chance to be woken up by an animal instead of an alarmclock. After breakfast we went off to work. We are building avegetable garden for a family here. Phiya, the local organiser, is amaster gardener, and he set up lines for us to dig the rows. We had touse a hoe to smash the ground, making beds for the veggies and also aridge for the irrigation system. I never realised how hard this workcould actually be until I started doing it. I don’t know really if itis that physically straining, although the heat really takes a toll.On the first day we completed 4 rows and I felt satisfied with that.
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Appleby College Cambodia

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Today I woke up in Koh Pdao

Kathryn Brown,Appleby College Cambodia

Description

Today I woke up in Koh Pdao. To be honest, I woke up differently thanI have ever done, as the loud sound of roosters filled my ears. Thisstarted at around 3am! In a way this is a cool experience as I havenever had the chance to be woken up by an animal instead of an alarmclock. […]

Posted On

03/18/16

Author

Kathryn Brown

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    [post_date] => 2016-03-18 09:41:00
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    [post_content] => Yesterday we had the pleasure of listening to Mr Khim (an elder fromthe village where we are staying) about his time as a Khmer Rougeofficer, and about his life growing up on Koh Pdao. This time, theconversation was much different to others we have had with olderpeople about the Khmer Rouge. It’s easy to hate all people involved inthe regime, but listening to the courageous acts of Khim during thattime makes you take a step back from that generalized accusation. Allthe others we have interviewed were prisoners of the Khmer Rouge, buttalking to Khim, who was on the side of the Khmer Rouge and even aleader, and listening to the horrible events that happened from atotally different perspective was refreshing. Personally,  the honestyand humble attitude Khim reflected was a perfect demonstration of hischaracter. For a man to be placed in such a horrible position and notbe swayed by greed or thirst for power. This is why he is still aliveand he has gained the respect and support he has today. His honestyand foresight in his opinions on the ongoing court battle to convictKhmer Rouge officials was inspiring.
    [post_title] => Another view of the Khmer Rouge
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Appleby College Cambodia

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Another view of the Khmer Rouge

Dawson Cox,Appleby College Cambodia

Description

Yesterday we had the pleasure of listening to Mr Khim (an elder fromthe village where we are staying) about his time as a Khmer Rougeofficer, and about his life growing up on Koh Pdao. This time, theconversation was much different to others we have had with olderpeople about the Khmer Rouge. It’s easy to hate […]

Posted On

03/18/16

Author

Dawson Cox

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    [post_date] => 2016-03-17 08:31:32
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    [post_content] => In Koh Pdao, we have been working on building a vegetable garden,sometimes during the hottest parts of the day. The project requiresintensive labor. Some of the qualities required are teamwork,perseverance, skill and positivity. I find it quite worrying that mostof the group participants came into this project with no idea of howto make a basic garden or how to grow plants. While us students arestudying back in Canada, the people of Koh Pdao are making their ownfood and sustaining themselves. If it were up to me, then everyone inAppleby College would go on service trips to learn these skills, butthat is not always possible. To a small extent, teaching kids to beself-sustainable would provide us with invaluable skills, such asindependence. Overall, I think that everyone should practice aself-sustaining way of life for a short time, as it will benefit bothurban and rural people.
    [post_title] => In Kho Pdao
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Appleby College Cambodia

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In Kho Pdao

Aadam Ahmed,Appleby College Cambodia

Description

In Koh Pdao, we have been working on building a vegetable garden,sometimes during the hottest parts of the day. The project requiresintensive labor. Some of the qualities required are teamwork,perseverance, skill and positivity. I find it quite worrying that mostof the group participants came into this project with no idea of howto make a basic […]

Posted On

03/17/16

Author

Aadam Ahmed

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    [post_date] => 2016-03-17 08:30:39
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    [post_content] => When it comes to genocide, human nature is something of greatfascination to historians and general onlookers. However, theCambodian genocide puzzles historians and “experts” (that are notpresent on the ground) because the motives of the genocide and humandecisions cannot be explained. In the Rwandan genocide, ethnictensions between the Tutsis and the Hutus was the clear cause. Theholocaust was implemented by soldiers, not ordinary citizens like inthe Cambodian genocide. What extenuating circumstances drive people toperform atrocious actions without seemingly any thought? The mainexternal factor that existed during the Killing Fields was threats tothe individual and family. In an interview with a former Khmer Rougeagriculture officer, he discussed how every day he feared for his ownlife and that of his family. No hate, animosity or tension existedbefore the Khmer Rouge came to power, but through the imposition of aregime based mainly on fear, they were able to perform horrendousactions. The second factor is societal or group mentality. The KhmerRouge regularly encouraged citizens to turn against their neighborsand fellow Cambodians. People were not able to divert from the pathlaid out by the regime, and any action contrary to the regime’s orderswould be reported by fellow “comrades.” The underlying question isshould we be more empathetic towards these individuals, consideringthe life they faced? As spectators to or scholars of this genocide, itis easy to say: “I would never do that” or “I would die beforecommitting such crimes.” Unfortunately we have an incredibly limitedperception on this topic, and it is impossible to pass any kind ofjudgement on these individuals. When Khmer Rouge soldiers discusstheir past experiences, their eyes reflect feelings of grief, but alsofear, as they remember the pressure they faced. Of course, fullypardoning or forgiving these people is out of the question, butequally we cannot fully criminalize behavior that has diverseindividual factors, other than just evil human nature.
    [post_title] => Who is to blame?
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Appleby College Cambodia

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Who is to blame?

Nikhil Gowd,Appleby College Cambodia

Description

When it comes to genocide, human nature is something of greatfascination to historians and general onlookers. However, theCambodian genocide puzzles historians and “experts” (that are notpresent on the ground) because the motives of the genocide and humandecisions cannot be explained. In the Rwandan genocide, ethnictensions between the Tutsis and the Hutus was the clear cause. […]

Posted On

03/17/16

Author

Nikhil Gowd

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    [post_date] => 2016-03-16 21:39:00
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    [post_content] => 

Today we arrived on the island of Koh Pdao. We will stay seven nights in a resident’s home, learning Khmer and the way of life of a rural person. On arriving, we quickly noticed the difference between the life in the rural area vs life in the city. Life in the city is very busy. There is constant traffic and everyone is up early working. The jobs in the city are things like working in a restaurant or shop, or working in construction. I personally found it very similar to the city life in Toronto – besides the fact that in Toronto we have stop lights and stop signs, unlike here. The people in the city also have easy access to food as it is provided in a restaurant or you have the ability to purchase it in a store. Lastly, the city is covered in garbage and has lots of homeless people on the streets. This is sad to see as Cambodia is such a beautiful place, filled with beautiful people. Life in a rural area is almost the opposite. We noticed the drastic change as soon as we arrived on the island, and saw how slow moving and peaceful the flow of the day was. There is no traffic on the island, there is one road, which is only consumed by bikes and motorbikes. Everyone on Koh Pdao receives their income and food by farming, that is much more difficult as you do all the hard labor yourself, and you are so far from the mainland that it is difficult to get tools and machines to help. In order to receive their income as well as food they have to rely on the animals they purchase, the vegetables they grow and the rice they produce. Lastly, compared to the city, Koh Pdao is very clean, with no excess garbage anywhere. Seeing this was very refreshing, and reassuring regarding the real beauty that Cambodia has to offer. Overall I believe that life in the rural area may be a little more difficult to live in with regards to income and food, but I would much rather live in a rural area such as Koh Pdao than in the city.

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Appleby College Cambodia

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Kho P’dao

Alyssia Watkin,Appleby College Cambodia

Description

Today we arrived on the island of Koh Pdao. We will stay seven nights in a resident’s home, learning Khmer and the way of life of a rural person. On arriving, we quickly noticed the difference between the life in the rural area vs life in the city. Life in the city is very busy. […]

Posted On

03/16/16

Author

Alyssia Watkin

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    [post_date] => 2016-03-16 17:40:12
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    [post_content] => The S21 prison used to be a school, which is kind of ironic becausethe Khmer Rouge abolished education so it was symbolic – a schoolbecame a horrible and traumatic place. The s21 prison was hard to see.It was a new emotional level for me, as I was standing in the sameplace where so many people died. There were even blood stains on thewall which made everything so much more real and scary in a way. Inthe other rooms, there were boards of information and stories. Thishad a large effect on me too. It was really hard to read the realstories of the 7 survivors of the camp, and the perpetrators whosomehow attempted to justify all of the terrible acts they hadcommitted. I don’t understand how those people didn’t feel remorse forkilling so many innocent men, women and children. One quote said: “Itis better to accidentally kill an innocent man than to let an enemygo.” Another said: “In order to cut the grass you must take out theroots,” – meaning you must kill the whole family. There were paintingson the wall re-enacting the torture, and in the background was thedistinct black and yellow tiles that we were standing on. It actuallyhappened, and it happened here. Although it was difficult toexperience,  I’m thankful I got to learn about this terrible event inhistory.
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Appleby College Cambodia

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S21 Prison Used to be a School

Kathryn Brown,Appleby College Cambodia

Description

The S21 prison used to be a school, which is kind of ironic becausethe Khmer Rouge abolished education so it was symbolic – a schoolbecame a horrible and traumatic place. The s21 prison was hard to see.It was a new emotional level for me, as I was standing in the sameplace where so many people […]

Posted On

03/16/16

Author

Kathryn Brown

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    [post_content] => In learning about the Khmer Rouge, the group was able to relate the nation’s past to its current situation.. At DC-CAM, a huge emphasis is placed on the idea of reconciliation between perpetrators and victims. Entrenched in the ideas and beliefs of Cambodians is the idea of forgiveness and understanding. Accepting the past, victims and perpetrators are able to live alongside one another. Such ability illustrates the welcoming hearts of the beautiful people of Cambodia. In western society, crimes are punishable under the notion of justice. However, this idea of sentencing perpetrators does not go hand-in-hand with the ideals of the Cambodian culture. We then ask ourselves if expensive tribunals and court dates are what is best for the Khmer people. Or is it we, who ignored the atrocities of the genocide, who obtain the most peace of mind through sentencing? In essence, it is the spirit of the Cambodian people that instills the hope of creating a better future. As global citizens, it is our responsibility to join them in this journey of reconstruction and reconciliation until the nation’s full untapped potential is realized.
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Appleby College Cambodia

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Reflection on the Khmer Rouge

Lauren Kirigin,Appleby College Cambodia

Description

In learning about the Khmer Rouge, the group was able to relate the nation’s past to its current situation.. At DC-CAM, a huge emphasis is placed on the idea of reconciliation between perpetrators and victims. Entrenched in the ideas and beliefs of Cambodians is the idea of forgiveness and understanding. Accepting the past, victims and […]

Posted On

03/13/16

Author

Lauren Kirigin

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