June 2, 2011
“Eye-opening”, “Cheap Food”, “Perfect Pace”, “Unique/Knowledgable”
These were some phrases that came to mind when we were asked this morning to describe the trip thus far in two words. Although some were comical and others more serious we all agreed that this has been a well balanced trip of both trying to understanding the devastating genocide that took place as well as also being able to appreciate the beautiful culture and all that Cambodia has to offer.
I know I’m supposed to speak about today, but I can’t help but include a few pictures from yesterday (When I checked my camera tonight I realized I had only taken four pictures today… three of which were food).
The beaches were BEAUTIFUL and warm waters enticing (even though I got stung by a jellyfish…)
So here are some shots from Sihanoukville…
Anyways back to our adventures of today.
In the morning we went to Royal University or according to Kosal the “Harvard of Cambodia”, which is actually where he went to school . We met with students from the Media/Communication department where they had just as many questions for us as we did for them. We had a group discussion and then had lunch at the cafeteria where we engaged in individual conversations. Several of us completely forgot about our research paper and just talked and connected with these students in a light and friendly manner. It is crazy to think how these people on the other side of the world really aren’t too different from us. Conversations ranged from pop culture regarding favorite TV shows, such as American Idol, to the impact of globalization on the world. It was incredible to listen to their near impeccable English (a couple of them are going to be are translators later in the week) in addition to their in depth understanding of international affairs.
Later we went to DC Cam where half of the group did research for their topics while the other half conducted a three hour long interview with Mr.Chum Mey who is one of three survivors of the S 21 prison. It was “eye-opening” to hear this man’s story of torture and survival, but also forgiveness and hope for Cambodia’s future. He is hoping to make a visit to USC!
We went straight to interview human rights activist Theary Sang back at Villa Langka. Her name was first mentioned during our visit with the German ambassador in reference to her bold posting of a swastika on her website regarding the German co-investigating judge. She was very passionate about her beliefs and we quickly realized that she is not one to take a back seat in her humanitarian rights efforts.
With stomachs growling we hurried on over to dinner to devour delicious Vietnamese dishes. FYI Next time you go to Vietnam/ order Vietnamese food make sure you understand their definition of “cupcakes” and “pancakes” *see pictures below*
Lea heuy!! (good bye)
Side note: See previous posting for title clarification.