cambodia pt 1 - a sobering start

'3 years, 8 months, 20 days'.

speak to any Cambodian about the Khmer Rouge and at some point you will hear these words spoken with both anger and sadness. it's a period they would rather forget - a period of mass genocide, repression, and disregard for human life - but it seems like it will forever be a part of the Cambodian identity.

and so it was during our first day on a recent trip to Cambodia that we saw the mass graves of The Killing Fields, stood in the torture rooms of the S-21 school-turned-prison (blood stains still visible and the smell of ammonia filling the rooms), and heard the harrowing stories of the regime. not a usual start to a holiday, but certainly gave us a solid reference point for the next two weeks we would be spending in the country....

 (click photos to view in lightbox)

choeung ek killing fields - bracelets surrounding a mass grave of women and children, executioner's tree in background

choeung ek killing fields

tuol sleng genocide museum (s21) - torture room

keeping count.

stay tuned... happier photos to come!