Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Day 4

Hmmm where to begin. Sivon arrived in his Tuk Tuk and drove me out to the Killing Fields. I am telling you this because the story needs to be told. People need to remember. This time in Cambodian history is as bad, if not worse than that of Nazi Germany.

In the 80's the river flooded and eroded a lot of the top soil that exposed the mass graves. There is a designated walking track around the area (just the ground dirt) and every now an then my guide pointed out teeth and bones that were making their way to the surface. There are also old clothes everywhere, some above ground and some still half buried. My guide is 37 years old and was brought up during that horrible time. He was lucky because his parents were farmers where as the Khmer Rouge were killing all those who were educated so they could not take away his power. Around 9000 bodies have been discovered so far. Many are still underwater. Not one of these people were shot because the bullets were too precious. Farming equipment was used to kill them. Khmer soldiers who betrayed the leader were also taken to the killing fields however their death was painfully long. As an example to others who would choose to go against their leader these soldiers would have their heads cut off with a banana prong (the spiky bit of a banana leaf). There is a banana tree there and I felt the prong, it is not razor sharp. The irony of this particular Killing Field is how beautiful the area is.

After lunch I went to the prison where they tortured the people for 12 months before sending them the killing fields. There is row upon row of faces (mug shots) of the people who had been there. Many of them had no expression at all. Only a handful had fear or anger. Some of the cells that held the elite had images of the last person found in there, still in their gruesome death pose. In one of the many halls of photo's there was one image that will haunt me forever. It is of a woman who was the wife of a Khmer leader turned traitor. It was because of this his whole family was to be killed. The two photos of her showed her front on and profile. The profile shows the her up against a machine that emitted an electric charge to kill them. In this photo you can see a tear running down her cheek. In both photo's she is holding her sleeping baby.

There is much more that I can tell you but I won't until I can load the photo's (don't worry they aren't the gruesome torture ones).

On a light note the rest of the day was quite fun. I just did some shopping with Gwen and had a pedicure for US$1.

Tomorrow we drive to Siem Reap. It will take 7 hours and I am not sure if Gwen will be taking her computer so it may be a few days before I can update the blog.

1 comment:

Edleen said...

Kerin, have a great time!!!
hope to see pictures :)