Flutter on a flip flop

Sun 14th August 2011

Just after we exited the cabinet, I noticed a butterfly attracted to Matt’s flip flop. It flew around for while, landing near my feet and eventually resting on the yellow sole.

Matt

Matt says...

 
Claire

Claire says...

I felt like this was a poignent moment. The butterfly, a true representation of life in it’s purest form. After the atrocity of the regime, life in Cambodia is peaceful now and the people are proud of their colourful culture.

 

9000 skulls

Sun 14th August 2011

We then visited The Killing Fields. This was unbelievable. We actually walked on top of the fields where thousands of people were savagely murdered. You could see bones and parts of clothing buried under the hot, dusty path.

Matt

Matt says...

It was quite harrowing photographing some of the 9,000 skulls on display. To think that only 30 years before each one was a living, breathing person with their own hopes and dreams. What a horrible way to end one’s life.

It was the end of an emotional day that I won’t forget for a long time. Cambodians don’t want to forget either. They continue to educate people about the past, as to stop it ever happening again.

 
Claire

Claire says...

Nearly 9,000 skulls are displayed in a cabinet in the centre of the fields. Retrieved from the graves in the fields in the 1980s after huge monsoon rains washed the bones and rags up.

 

Chum Manh – The truth

Sun 14th August 2011

Here Chum Manh poses with his book “The Truth” (which we bought a copy of). I felt very honoured to have met him, marking such a shocking, but memorable part of the trip.

Matt

Matt says...

 
Claire

Claire says...

 

Chum Manh: S21 survivor

Sun 14th August 2011

This is Chum Manh, one of the S21 survivors. His family all dead,  just wants to educate people about his experience, to help prevent it from happening in Cambodia again.

Matt

Matt says...

 
Claire

Claire says...

Chum showed us the visible scars on his hands and feet caused by the inhuman torture methods. He welled up whilst talking and it was heartbreaking to see.

 

Metres from paradise

Sun 14th August 2011

Look how close to relative paradise the S21 prisoners were; Palm trees only metres away. Yet they were stuck in hell behind barb-wire fencing. The barb wire was there to stop them jumping from the building and killing themselves.

Matt

Matt says...

Cambodia is 95% Buddhist. Buddhists believe they are reincarnated after death, this is veto’d if they commit suicude. They won’t be reincarnated since they didn’t “take care” of their previous life. It shows how bad the conditions must have been in S21 that they would prefer to end their own life (and all future lives) to escape.

 
Claire

Claire says...

This may have been a view familiar with some of the prisoners. Maybe it was toture staring at the blue sky when all they wanted to be was free; the barb wire a harsh reminder of what they faced everyday.

 
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