On the first day of my trip to Cambodia I took a morning trip to visit The Killing Fields also known as Choeung Ek, where large numbers of people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge regime, during its rule of the country from 1975 to 1979, immediately after the end of the Vietnam War.
About 2.2 million out of 7 million were killed during the Khmer Rouge rule under big brother number 1, Pol Pot .
The facts are there to be read and retold, but the feeling and registrations you get while there are impossible to forget. It was so overwhelming to think of all the children and women killed in this execution center which is only one of thousands that sprung around Cambodia at the time.
To try and push away the thought of babies smashed on trees to save bullets, and women raped and then killed in cold blood is a task I will never be able to achieve.
And yet I wanted to see this. I wanted to know what my fellow humans did, what possessed them to do this.
I suppose I had to go through this day before I went on to see the beauty, spirituality and charm of Cambodia. Our human history taints us and is an integral part of who we are.
Cambodians are now happy to have peace since the year 2000, and they are content. Because of the extreme cruelty they had to endure, they are happy to simply enjoy their lives and their families in peace.
Much to learn here…