Photo of the Week
Photo Title

« Back to Yak Board Archive Site

Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010


WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 38683
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2010-07-21 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2010-07-21 06:00:00
    [post_content] => Today we went to the genocide museum and the "Killing Fields." The museum was good: The atrocities of history, preserved in concrete. Our guide Sam was phenomenal: The atrocities of life, preserved in his body and soul.

 

On the tuk tuk ride, he was openly angry at the Cambodian Government as well as Vietnam. He spoke poignantly and pointedly about corruption. Heshared parts of his story and he relayed an absence of hope. He was 15 when the Khmer Rouge evacuated the city.

 

At the museum, we went through the cells and the hallways of S-21. Saw the beds and the restraining devices. Single pictures and a single bed in every room - representing the many. The museummoved intoa sea of faces - nameless souls whose spirits linger on the hearts and minds who dare to look and see. Human Beings. Lives, stories, histories, families, sorrows, and joys extinguished through brutal exsistence, torchure, and death - hundreds of faces, each with a pair of eyes - look through me and whisper

I am

Remember

Tell the story

Make peace

 

The museum continues through small brick confinements - cells. A chain in the ground to hold prisoners in, they lay starving, brutalized, helpless. A man's name is scratched into one stall - cell # 22. That man is alive today. One of the seven that survived back then. A man walks around the courtyard, every day. Every day the same visit to S-12 to talk to people. This man also survived. One of seven.

 

The gallery of art and artifacts give names and stories, before and after photos - a lifetime reduced to a brief paragraph

focused on fear

the inability to run his or her own life

the inhumane experience

 

A man's artwork is displayed, bold strokes of truth. He is also one of the seven. Artwork and artifacts. The unimaginable and the concrete. Side by side. Instruments of torture and depictions of brutal truths. The skulls bear witness.

 

From there we travel 16 km into the country. Today by tuk tuk, then, Cambodians would have been crammed onto Chinese trucks or walked each step bringing thoughts of coming torture, lost loved ones, agonizing starvation, a battered body, a possible death. Which would have been worse at this moment in time, life or death?

 

We arrived at the killing feilds, walk past the man with one eye and one leg begging at the gate and are fronted by a towering, ornate, pristine Buddhist style monument.

Pictures are taken.

The windows run the height of the building, the colors contrast the sky.

Pictures are snapped.

A closer look at the windows and skulls appear. Skulls: the cranial protection of all human beings. One species. Curved bone across the top, eye sockets that fall into deep resesses, jaws with teeth entact.

Human skulls

9,000 of them enclosed behind glass in a monument that reaches to the sky.

Pictures are snapped. a door is entered. Colorful origami is strung by the door, blessings and prayers offered. Pictures of Buddha against the glass and a hand made sign that reads of hope.

I am standing eye to eye with 9,000 lost souls of S-21, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the human race, the world.

 

Seventeen levels of skulls and bones reaching to the sky. My reflection stares back at me over the glass, voices are hushed, people's silhouettes    are seen over the skulls and through the glass.

Life and death

And are we all not capable of good and evil?

and who am I to have been born in America in 1967 instead of Phnom Penh in 1775? It could be anyone, it could have been anywhere.

Good or evil

alive or dead

But today it is me confronted with the skulls of 9,000 spirits, 9,000 souls, 9,000 memories I have just met.

 

The eye sockets reveal every face that I saw in the museum. Their stories and voices, their laughter and love, swirl around this place and draw me in. I am drawn by the souls in each eye socket but am still connected to the world. The last picture is taken.

 

I continue through the memorial. A corner must be turned around the square base. Gray cement seperates me from the skulls behind the glass. For an eternity of a moment, I must squeeze my body into this tight space. I cannot see where I am going, I cannot see where I have been, but I can feel this space'stightness, its power, its metaphor. I maneuver to the other side and find myself in a corner.

I stand alone with 9,000 skulls.

I stand and look and see and feel untill I cannot look at see. The tears come slowly, the empty eye sockets, soul deep, stare down and up and over. Cracks tightly meander across the tops of skulls. Jaws are open and shut and broken.

 

Silent witnesses to genocide.

 

The tears come harder and I no longer see or look, but can only feel. The physical reaction is out of my control. My body trembles, my eyes weep, my breath convulses, I cannot move although life moves around me. My mind prays but the prayers are not spoken - directly connected through this experience, something moves through me.

 

Humanity at its best, taken by humanity at its worst.

 

And who am I?

But honored to bear witness

to be in this space

having souls and spirits wash through me

 

and who am I?

but capable of all things

within all the reaches of humanity

capable of choice

I will bear witness

and I will choose to bring peace.
    [post_title] => The Killing Fields
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => the-killing-fields
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2015-12-18 11:40:53
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-12-18 18:40:53
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://localhost/emily/wordpress/?p=38683
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 36
                    [name] => Best Notes From The Field
                    [slug] => best-notes-from-the-field
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 36
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course.
                    [parent] => 0
                    [count] => 504
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0
                    [cat_ID] => 36
                    [category_count] => 504
                    [category_description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course.
                    [cat_name] => Best Notes From The Field
                    [category_nicename] => best-notes-from-the-field
                    [category_parent] => 0
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/best-notes-from-the-field/
                )

            [1] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 372
                    [name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010
                    [slug] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 372
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 250
                    [count] => 71
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 21.1
                    [cat_ID] => 372
                    [category_count] => 71
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010
                    [category_nicename] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010
                    [category_parent] => 250
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2010/cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Best Notes From The Field, Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010
)

Best Notes From The Field, Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

View post

The Killing Fields

Kathy Millar,Best Notes From The Field, Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

Description

Today we went to the genocide museum and the “Killing Fields.” The museum was good: The atrocities of history, preserved in concrete. Our guide Sam was phenomenal: The atrocities of life, preserved in his body and soul.   On the tuk tuk ride, he was openly angry at the Cambodian Government as well as Vietnam. […]

Posted On

07/21/10

Author

Kathy Millar

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 47639
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2010-07-07 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

The Stupa at The Killing Fields contains around 9,000 skulls which are arranged into eleven tiers according to age and gender. Once one acknowledges the presence of the deceased, what's most daunting is that every piece of bone looks the same. The heads are piled carelessly, portraying the ignorance of human life executed by the Khmer Rouge. Not one stands out.I tried to feel sad: to picture that every skull was significant to me, representing someonethat I care for. I shivered when I realized that not only would the skulls of every person I love not be able to fill up more than one tier, but that they would look no different to me than the skulls I was facing. Feeling the skeletal structures of my own face, and backing up against the glass walls tightly surrounding the overbearing pillar of the dead, I finally felt emotional. The simplistic value of human life was strengthened in my mind because no matter what I do and what I make of my life, my skull will forever be unchanged. While I may not have any blood connections to Cambodia, my identity as a human being is indistuingishable from so many that perished here.

The Killing Fields are not a dead end were trucks used tostop and unload blindfolded victims. It is a transfer of life.Somethingthat I brought with me as I left to continue with my life feeling so organic. So accompanied.

[post_title] => Human [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => human [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2010-07-07 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=47639 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 372 [name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [slug] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 372 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 250 [count] => 71 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 21.1 [cat_ID] => 372 [category_count] => 71 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [category_nicename] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [category_parent] => 250 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2010/cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 )

Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

View post

Human

Eric Nelson,Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

Description

The Stupa at The Killing Fields contains around 9,000 skulls which are arranged into eleven tiers according to age and gender. Once one acknowledges the presence of the deceased, what’s most daunting is that every piece of bone looks the same. The heads are piled carelessly, portraying the ignorance of human life executed by the […]

Posted On

07/7/10

Author

Eric Nelson

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 47640
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2010-07-07 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

"What you have left after genocide is hope," said Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, in a meeting we had at their office yesterday morning, kicking off our next two emotional days. This man is incredible. Not only has he survived the Khmer Rouge, but he has risen from the ashes of genocide, attended some of America's best universities, and helped develop the Cambodian tribunals. TIME magazine has named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and he is famous enough to call Christiane Amanpour a close friend. This was the first time the Dragons trips has met with Youk, and it was definitely an inspiring way to dive into our intense journey into Cambodia's recent history.

Youk told us his story, about being beaten in his Khmer Rouge, about escaping to America, about his experiences in America, about his Americanized children, and about the bitter resentment he felt for the Khmer Rouge when he first supported the tribunals. However, like so many other Cambodians, Youk has moved past most of his negative emotions and anger, instead choosing a philosophy of "Peace over justice." It was truly amazing to see another example of the inner beauty and forgiveness that Cambodians display, despite all of their horrific history. The Khmer Rouge has left him with a stronger sense of family, and now he is determined to commit to his mother and prove himself in her eyes, but no matter what, she has said that she will be happy as long as he is content and healthy.

Now Cambodia is poised at a turning point, and we as global citizens must help these resilient people face the issues present in the country today, whether it be genocide education, street begging, or Khmer Rouge tribunals. Youk is determined to confront Cambodia's unsure future by first looking back, for "We must look behind us first in order to paddle forward."

[post_title] => The Paddle [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-paddle [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2010-07-07 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=47640 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 372 [name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [slug] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 372 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 250 [count] => 71 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 21.1 [cat_ID] => 372 [category_count] => 71 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [category_nicename] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [category_parent] => 250 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2010/cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 )

Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

View post

The Paddle

Yuki Davis and Alexandra Cotrim,Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

Description

"What you have left after genocide is hope," said Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, in a meeting we had at their office yesterday morning, kicking off our next two emotional days. This man is incredible. Not only has he survived the Khmer Rouge, but he has risen from the ashes of […]

Posted On

07/7/10

Author

Yuki Davis and Alexandra Cotrim

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 47642
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2010-07-07 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

We go to the killing fields to try to feel the suffering of those who died. By remembering and feeling their suffering, we ackowledge them as humans. We cannot truly grasp how those at the killing fields must have felt. But by being present, remembering what happened, and attempting to put ourselves in their shoes, we acknowledge their experiences as real. In essence, they are heard. We must try to feel their suffering in order to become compassionate. By being moved deeply enough by the experience of remembering, we can feel obligated to stop such atrocities from happening again.

I was moved by the pit filled with women and children. The women were raped before they were killed. Consequently, they were stripped of their dignity and ownership over their most personal possession: their bodies. The babies, too, were stripped of their dignity, as Khmer Rouge soldiers swung them against trees, music blaring from speakers to drown out their moans. Perhaps the babies were treated most unfairly. After all, they were not given a chance to grow up and tell their stories. I became extremely angry as I considered the sick reasons why the Khmer Rouge had killed the babies; to prevent further revenge. Additionally, the Khmer Rouge robbed the mothers of the enduring knowledge that their family would survive. Yet, in the end, the mothers and babies were reduced to bone beneath my feet, the patterned kromas and sarongs strewn in the dried mud.

I felt present throughout the whole experience. I tried searching myself for feelings, but all I could find was emptiness and brief clumps of anger. I tried meditating, to stay present enough to comprehend the carnage that had occurred beneath my feet. I tried to cry, to feel some emotion that would push me closer to feeling compassion and giving the victims something that they deserved. I tried imagining that the skulls (shoddily stacked up in the stuppa) belonged to individual people. And that, within these skulls, there were brains that could process pain, joy, and grief. But I couldn't. I searched myself and found nothing but emptiness and anger.

Benjamin Talarico

[post_title] => Why We Go [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => why-we-go [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2010-07-07 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=47642 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 372 [name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [slug] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 372 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 250 [count] => 71 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 21.1 [cat_ID] => 372 [category_count] => 71 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [category_nicename] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [category_parent] => 250 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2010/cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 )

Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

View post

Why We Go

Benjamin Talarico,Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

Description

We go to the killing fields to try to feel the suffering of those who died. By remembering and feeling their suffering, we ackowledge them as humans. We cannot truly grasp how those at the killing fields must have felt. But by being present, remembering what happened, and attempting to put ourselves in their shoes, […]

Posted On

07/7/10

Author

Benjamin Talarico

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 47645
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2010-07-07 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Just a quick note from the instructor team to inform everyone that our team will be offline for few days. We will be meeting with Sustainable Cambodia in Pursat province learning about rural development, followed by a one night wat-stay before heading to Battambang by bamboo train. We'll be back online on about July 13th.

More at that point!

Best,

Allana, Cat and Mara

[post_title] => Offline for a few days... [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => offline-for-a-few-days [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2010-07-07 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=47645 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 372 [name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [slug] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 372 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 250 [count] => 71 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 21.1 [cat_ID] => 372 [category_count] => 71 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [category_nicename] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [category_parent] => 250 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2010/cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 )

Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

View post

Offline for a few days…

The Instructor Team,Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

Description

Just a quick note from the instructor team to inform everyone that our team will be offline for few days. We will be meeting with Sustainable Cambodia in Pursat province learning about rural development, followed by a one night wat-stay before heading to Battambang by bamboo train. We’ll be back online on about July 13th. […]

Posted On

07/7/10

Author

The Instructor Team

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 47650
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2010-07-07 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Are you educated? Are you a doctor, a teacher, a skilled worker, or religous figure? Are you a government worker, or do you support the government? Do you have family that does? Do you live in the city? If so, come with me. We need you.

And they did. 17,00 men and women, including their husbands, wives, children and babies came along, willingly or forcefully, to Tuol Sleng Torture Center, otherwise known as S-21. 17,000 went in, and only 7 came out. From 1975-1979 the former Tuol Svang Prey high school was converted into a slaughterhouse, where high-ranking Khmer Rouge official "Duch" carried out brutal and sadistic acts of torture, disfigurement, and murder. Shovels, axes, rods, ropes, shackles, bamboo sticks, picks, even palm fronds. Everyday items were converted to instruments of torture; used to cut fingers, crush skills, pull nails, rip skin, lose consciousness, regain consciousness, and continue the vicious cycle of torture and interrogation.

Are you cringing yet? Is this too graphic? Should I phrase it a little less violently?

Mothers watched while soldiers laughed as they smashed their babies' bodies against tree trunks.

You can't create a euphamism for that.

[post_title] => "A single death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic" - Stalin [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => a-single-death-is-a-tragedy-a-million-is-a-statistic-stalin [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2010-07-07 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=47650 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 372 [name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [slug] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 372 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 250 [count] => 71 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 21.1 [cat_ID] => 372 [category_count] => 71 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [category_nicename] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [category_parent] => 250 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2010/cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 )

Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

View post

“A single death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic” – Stalin

Madison Sink,Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

Description

Are you educated? Are you a doctor, a teacher, a skilled worker, or religous figure? Are you a government worker, or do you support the government? Do you have family that does? Do you live in the city? If so, come with me. We need you. And they did. 17,00 men and women, including their […]

Posted On

07/7/10

Author

Madison Sink

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 47651
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2010-07-07 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

I was standing on bones, on the physial remains of dead and tortured Cambodians. I watched our guide pick up a decaying tooth from the ground as he relayed to us that more and more pieces of people wash up during the rainy season, to this very day they come across more evidence of the horrors left behind from the Khmer Rouge.

The past few days have been particularly emotional. We visited Tuol Sleng and The Killing Fields, which are both monuments made to help remember the recent genocide in Cambodia and commerate the thousands of lives lost from 1975 to 1979. The Killing Fields held hills of earth previously uprooted to hold mass graves, some of which contain over 400 people. There was a tall building in the center of the site that was home to some of the more intact evidence collected over the years. I stared into the empty skulls of 9,000 children, mothers, brothers and sisters, all victims of a fierce rampage born out of fear and hatred. I saw the mangled clothes sticking out of unpaved trails between the graves, tufts of fabric jutting out randomly and seemingly deteriorating further as I stood helplessly. I felt my feet, heavy and swollen in the midday heat, standing obtrusively over lives that once laughed and played on the same earth that I can still enjoy.

S-21 featured hundreds of pictures that really helped make the genocide more comprehensable for me. It put faces on the faceless victims I tried to imagine and the names to hundreds of namless numbers. Words can only begin to describe the images. The papery skin, stretched over malnourished cheeks waiting to turn into skulls on a shelf in a museum.

But Cambodians are more than just bones on a shelf.

They are more than mere victims, greater than fragmented bones. They are more powerful than just "the ones that survived", more articulate than their crudely silenced family members. Cambodians are not simply broken individuals, they make up more than just pieces of a puzzling genocide that we will always struggle to understand. They are the roots of banyan trees, running deep connections through the cracked tragedies of history but still finding a way to bloom. They are the bricks of bright orange, yellow and purple Phnom Penh buildings, once dismantled by a destructive government but now recreated and more majestic than ever. They are robed monks, who had fingernails and teeth pulled for what they believed in, but today will still bless American travelers on their way through a thought-provoking country.

Cambodians are strong willed, they are endlessly generous, and to me they truly define what it means to be family. By attempting to understand them and their past, we are all part of that unpenetrable bond.

[post_title] => An Unpenetrable Bond [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => an-unpenetrable-bond [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2010-07-07 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=47651 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 372 [name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [slug] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 372 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 250 [count] => 71 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 21.1 [cat_ID] => 372 [category_count] => 71 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [category_nicename] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [category_parent] => 250 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2010/cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 )

Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

View post

An Unpenetrable Bond

Naya Herman,Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

Description

I was standing on bones, on the physial remains of dead and tortured Cambodians. I watched our guide pick up a decaying tooth from the ground as he relayed to us that more and more pieces of people wash up during the rainy season, to this very day they come across more evidence of the […]

Posted On

07/7/10

Author

Naya Herman

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 47702
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2010-07-06 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

There's nothing quite like lying, dead tired from a day of stomping through the leaves and stepping over leeches, trying to absorb the fact that we are in a jungle halfway across the world. My belly is full of rice and I'm stretched from one end of the (oddly U.S. army issue) hammock. Through the green tint of the mosquito netting is the total dark that can be found only in the most remote of places, which is certainly where we are.

There's a creak every so often as someone shifts position in their hammock, or maybe it's just Ben rocking Leah to sleep. I am clean from my river bath and the world smells like forest and cooking fire and the tobacco from the cigarettes of the guides in the hammocks near us. I fall asleep to the sound of the rain.

[post_title] => Hammocks [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => hammocks-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2010-07-06 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=47702 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 372 [name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [slug] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 372 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 250 [count] => 71 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 21.1 [cat_ID] => 372 [category_count] => 71 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [category_nicename] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [category_parent] => 250 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2010/cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 )

Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

View post

Hammocks

Sophie Matuszewicz,Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

Description

There’s nothing quite like lying, dead tired from a day of stomping through the leaves and stepping over leeches, trying to absorb the fact that we are in a jungle halfway across the world. My belly is full of rice and I’m stretched from one end of the (oddly U.S. army issue) hammock. Through the […]

Posted On

07/6/10

Author

Sophie Matuszewicz

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 47709
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2010-07-06 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

The small eco-tourism village of Chi Phat in the Koh Kong province of Cambodia could not possibly support a large Western hotel since the easiest way to get to it is by a two-hour boat ride. Therefore, the eco-friendly tourists who wish to explore the rugged, yet untouched environment of this small community stay in small, family-owned guesthouses along the village's main road. Five other lovely ladies and I stayed at a brightly colored, elevated house fifteen minutes away from the Chi Phat NGO central center, exploring the village's mud puddles, cows, and friendly residents along the way.

The first time we came to our guesthouse, our host mother came to the top of the stairs and welcomed us with a big smile. We greeted her enthusiastically with our formal "Jum riep sua"and we instantly were received into her home. Our introductions in Khmai opened up a new level of welcome as we each said "Kgnom ch'mooah Yuki (or Kelly, Leah, Sophie, Alexandra, or Cat)" to her laughing and smiling outrageously. Throughout the rest of our stay in Chi Phat village, whenever I would greet our host mother in my simple Khmai, whether it be "Sua s'day" or "Soksubaai?" she would return my most likely unintelligible accent with an even warmer feeling of welcome than before.

Most definitely learning a language as different as Khmai is difficult, but being thrust into it with traditional greetings and interactions with locals has forced me to try whatever I can to communicate. Whenever I speak in my cryptic Khmai, like to this host mother, Cambodians always welcome it as me trying to immerse myself and consequently giggle hysterically or ask me if I am Cambodian (!). Staying in Chi Phat helped me to practice my Khmai and connect much more easily with those so graciously taking us in.

[post_title] => Simple Exchanges [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => simple-exchanges [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2010-07-06 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=47709 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 372 [name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [slug] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 372 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 250 [count] => 71 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 21.1 [cat_ID] => 372 [category_count] => 71 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [category_nicename] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [category_parent] => 250 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2010/cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 )

Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

View post

Simple Exchanges

Yuki Davis,Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

Description

The small eco-tourism village of Chi Phat in the Koh Kong province of Cambodia could not possibly support a large Western hotel since the easiest way to get to it is by a two-hour boat ride. Therefore, the eco-friendly tourists who wish to explore the rugged, yet untouched environment of this small community stay in […]

Posted On

07/6/10

Author

Yuki Davis

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 47700
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2010-07-06 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

I wasn't drinking as much water as I should have been, the leeches were little pests, and the thick forest was making me a little bit gloomy. Mara came up to me and we started talking about the trek, chi phat, and then the Cambodian genocide. He told me of his family's experience while I spoke of my grandfather's Holocaust story. We told parallel stories of tragedy, courage, and hope. Mara told me about how the Khmer Rouge would hide out in the jungles of Cambodia, the very jungles we happened to be stomping through. These people experienced the same leeches, heat, and trees as we did. Absolutely unbelievable. However, when Mara and I were getting to the parts of our stories when his Uncle made it to Arizona and my Grandfather made it to Chicago (a happy ending!), we stepped from the looming jungle walls into a serene and peaceful clearing. It was absolutely breathtaking, reminding me of the good that can come after such pain, and the joy that can come after such sorrow.

The depth of conversations one can have in such a moving place, the beauty of a simple field, and the similarities between nature and life. These things are what makes a moment, a memory, and happiness.

[post_title] => An Unexpected Clearing [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => an-unexpected-clearing [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2010-07-06 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=47700 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 372 [name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [slug] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 372 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 250 [count] => 71 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 21.1 [cat_ID] => 372 [category_count] => 71 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 [category_nicename] => cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010 [category_parent] => 250 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2010/cambodia-studies-in-development-peace-summer-2010/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010 )

Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

View post

An Unexpected Clearing

Leah Feiger,Cambodia: Studies in Development & Peace, Summer 2010

Description

I wasn’t drinking as much water as I should have been, the leeches were little pests, and the thick forest was making me a little bit gloomy. Mara came up to me and we started talking about the trek, chi phat, and then the Cambodian genocide. He told me of his family’s experience while I […]

Posted On

07/6/10

Author

Leah Feiger

1 2 3 8