Beautiful country, beautiful people, ugly history…
We have yet to see Angkor Wat (leaving tomorrow morning) and the crown in the Khmer Empire's reign over the region hundreds of years ago.
Today we saw the other thing that makes Cambodia famous. Pol Pot's war on development and the educated people in the country has left scars that will take generations to heal. Estimates run that between 1 and 3 million people were killed by the Khmer Rouge.
Today wasn't a nice day, but it was a necessary day. We visited one of the "killing fields" outside the capitol city and also the S21 torture prison. Walking among mass graves and seeing clothing and pieces of human bone sticking out of the ground is a sobering journey. Following this up with the prison where they documented, tortured and killed so many people is heart breaking. All detainees were photographed and had to write an autobiography of their lives. The torture was also documented and the cells where it took place have photo portraits of some of these acts. Nothing is held back or covered up. It is there to see in all its grim truth for others to make up their own mind about how this could have happened. This was not tribal as in Rwanda or about resources such as oil, gold or diamonds. This was… well I still don't know how to put it in my own words.
Germarie said last night as we arrived that she feels Cambodia will touch her like no other country we have been to. She was right.