2019 Youthlinc Real Life Refugee Scholarship Winners Youthlinc is pleased to announce a new…
What it means to be human — Update from Cambodia
Today we had the opportunity to go to the Killing Fields. In 1975 the political group, the Khmer Rouge, took control of Cambodia. They proceeded to start genocide against the people of Cambodia in total killing close to two million people. The main targets were educated people. We visited the site and it was a very sober experience. We were able to see the mass graves and the tools that the Khmer Rouge used to torture the people there. A girl in our group had this to say,” I had a experience that really hit home. My ancestors are Armenian there was an Armenian genocide long ago and the killing fields helped me grow close to them.” Our reflections of the Killing Fields have been profound. Seeing such a place where humans, who have their own personal experiences and spirits, are being brutally beaten and murdered is eye-opening. It gives us an insight to human beings as a whole and the entire purpose of Youthlinc. We are here to not only build a sustainable community and provide the Cambodian people the means to have a life, but to show that there are humans in the world. We can only hope that this entire humanitarian experience can provide both sides of the equation with a meaningful opportunity as well as the chance to see everyone the same way… as humans.
By Meg, Colby & Associates
We started the day in Phnom Penh feeling very refreshed after a long night’s sleep. We had breakfast at the hotel and then left to Pursat. The bus ride was long, but we stopped at a small rest stop of sorts with a bathroom and snacks.
Eventually, we pulled in to Pursat and before we knew it we were pulling up to the hotel. It felt great to know that we could settle in for the next week and a half. After lunch, we walked a couple blocks in the cool rain to a market. It was a locals market, full of so many unique things, pig heads and raw, unrefrigerated meat included. One group had the chance to walk around a pagoda near the market. There were monks in training and ornate details on the main pagoda.
After walking back to the hotel, and a short break, we rode tuk-tuks to a marble shop where some people bought small statues. Our group of tuk-tuks continued, and looped around the city, seeing a soccer field and stopping at an island built in the middle of the river. The island was full of activity, one of which was an aerobics class. Our group excitedly joined in, but eventually stuck to doing our own dance moves, like the Macarena. The local community was really involved in what we were up to, and some children started to dance around with us. We all had a blast! As we rode back to the hotel on the tuk-tuks, we wound down and enjoyed a relaxing night in. Kaitlin and Alexis Stevens finally joined us after an eventful trip in Thailand, to say the least. We’re all happy to have them back in the group.
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