Cambodia Day 2 – Heavy Hearts
Thursday, September 12
Today the team visited the genocide museum that Pol Pot and his regime used to detain, interrogate and murder the Cambodian people. It was originally a school which was converted into a torture prison and processing center before detainees were sent to the Killing Fields. It is horrific that a place of education and hope was turned into a place of death…it is hard to put into words.
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
After a break for lunch, we headed out of town to the Killing Fields. The one we visited was just one of over 300 Killing Fields that have been discovered throughout the country. This is where prisoners were taken to be executed and placed in mass graves…including children. It is hard to imagine and process the terrible things people do to one another.
To help us process the day, we enjoyed a sunset cruise on the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers. We ended up being the only people on the boat tour and enjoyed the company of the staff. They answered our many questions and helped identify all the thngs we were seeing.
The contrast of the floating village on the Mekong River against the Casino being built on the Tonle Sap River was jarring. After a short walk back to the hotel, we were emotionally exhausted and ready for bed.
Before we came on this trip, we knew our hearts would be broken. Before we left this morning, we spent time in prayer knowing that what we would see, hear and learn would be unimaginable. But we knew that this was an important part of understanding and getting an appreciation for the Cambodian people and the horrors they have faced. And how the country is still trying to heal.