September 20, 2015
Before I share exciting news for Liv & Lov from the Cambodia part of the trip, I'd like to share a few posts about why it had such an impression on me. I decided during my visit because of what I learned, felt and admired in the country and the people, their history, ancient and recent- to search for and create relationships to source there.
First Cambodia broke my heart.
The moment we entered the capital, Phnom Penh, I knew it would. It is a country rising from the ashes. A country of such beauty and creativity with a recent horrific history of genocide. Pol Pot's regime killed the creatives, the intellectuals and their entire families, emptying out entire cities. Eliminating 1/4 of Cambodians. I would have been a prime target- educated, a creative, someone who wears glasses and someone who speaks more than one language. Any ONE of those would have been enough. We visited the museum located at one of the torture centers and one of the killing fields, walking over bones that are still rising from the soil. We met a survivor whose sorrowful eyes immediately brought me to tears as his eyes locked with mine. I will not be posting any graphic photos out of respect for the lives lost but it is important to share what happened there. The goal of opening these places to the public (where these crimes against humanity occurred) is so we do not allow genocide to happen again. It is why the survivor speaks there everyday and why many survivors recorded their story- in order to educate the youth of today to stop genocide in the future. So many did not believe it was happening and did not help. It lasted nearly FOUR years without a country intervening because they did not believe it. I hope we join together to fight for humanity in the future.
It is a cultural tradition to have spirit houses for the deceased in Cambodia to wish them luck in their next lives. This was the one outside of one of the most disturbing mass graves- filled with women, children and babies.