Day 3

While I have focused much of my writings on the tragedies of Cambodia’s past, today I witnessed the relics of a remarkable era. I visited the ruins that lie on the outskirts of Siem Reap and can honestly say that Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples are some of the most awe inspiring creations I have seen.

I spent almost the entire day meandering through the ancient edifices and marveling at the reliefs etched into stone. The scale of the work left me wondering how it is possible that humans could build something so meticulous, miraculous, and masterful. Walking through amazing architectural feats reminded me of the unparalleled ability we have as humans to grasp genius and artistic skill and employ them to sculpt glory out of stone.

There is little that I can say or write, that would describe the grandeur of it all. How can you put into words the experience of smelling pungent odors that leak from damp and corroded stone; of 100 foot trees fingering their enormous roots through the cracks of ancient walls; of vistas from temple tops over forest canopies; or of the impressive reliefs that continue to challenge the storms of time? It is truly one of those things you have to see to believe.

The temples of this region help make Cambodia a wonderful place for Youthlinc students to experience. I am so grateful to have met such wonderful and peaceful people and to have experienced a portion of the wealth of history and culture this country has to offer.

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