Archive - February 2012

Hawkeye February Blog 2012 February 01, 2012

Thirteen time zones from home is about as far away as one can travel and Cambodia is a world away from the Western comfort zone (fried tarantula being a specialty at one restaurant). The resilience of its people after about one third of its population, (primarily the educated) were exterminated, is reminiscent of the Rwandans. Tuol Sleng prison which was originally a school in the middle of Phnom Penh had 20,000 go through its horrors. Only 7 survived and today only 2 of those are still alive. This photo is of the women's building.

The warmth of the Cambodian people with their almost perpetual smiles belies the brutality of their past and poverty of their present. Peering into the eager faces of young college students, observing their dedication to learning and determination to make a difference in their country convinces you that their future will be brighter than their ancestors. The Russian Market is near Russian Road and there you can find food, silk, pipes, opium pots, souvenirs, etc.

Cambodia is home to the largest (77 square miles) religious complex in the world: Angkor Wat which was constructed and lived in from AD802-1432. There are over 70 separate sites to be visited in the complex. Ta Prohm is one of the most exotic with the massive spung trees (Tetrameles Nudiflora) draping their roots over the walls, smothering temples as though to drag them down into the earth. As you would imagine there is a large collection of Buddhas to be found throughout Angkor, a truly spiritual site, whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist.