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Posts Tagged ‘Phnom Penh

A Glimmer of Hope at the Killing Fields

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I haven’t written anything about my trip to Cambodia in August because I’ve been really busy. It’s probably too late to write now but I just had to share my favorite photo from the trip with you.

Fleeting Beauty at the Killing Fields, Phom Penh, August 2009.

Fleeting Beauty at the Killing Fields, Phom Penh, August 2009.

On our first day in Phnom Penh we went to the Killing Fields and it was quite a tough visit. Walking around the mass graves, seeing bits of bones still in the sand was more than depressing. We were emotional and I wondered about our guide’s own experience of this tragedy, if all his family had survived.

We had just walked past the baby killing tree. The Khmer Rouge used to swing babies from their feet, knocking their heads against the hard bark to kill them.

This was too much to comprehend and we stopped for awhile. I was looking at one of the signs at the stylized Khmer script and a dragonfly came and rested on the edge of the sign for a few seconds.

Here was something alive and beautiful in this place filled with dark memories. Even though it was fleeting it filled my heart with hope. After experiencing a tragic history, it’s important to look forward and try to see the light and be positive.

Growing up in South Africa has taught me this. Everyday we are bombarded with bad news and it’s difficult to try and be positive about the future under all this.

Reflecting on our trip, I have to say that this photo represents my impression of Cambodia. A sad and tragic past hangs like a dark cloud over the country with glimpses of beauty and hope hidden in the shadows. You need to look hard to find it.


Written by BiancaZAR

October 24, 2009 at 9:42 pm