Friday, November 6, 2009

Hi parents,
Today, we woke up very early in the morning and got ready to travel to Phnom Penh, a 6 hours bus trip. We had our breakfast on the bus and i am sure it is a nice and long sleeping bus trip for many students. When we reach Phnom Penh, we checked in into our hotel rooms. Yet again, the condition of the beautiful hotel was a pleasant surprise. We then went out for lunch for a Chinese cuisine! The lunch was great with jokes and fun with friends around us.
Next, we proceeded to the Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre, which is the Killing Field. We knew about the 3 main mass graves, one being the mass burial ground for 450 corpses, another for 166 headless corpses and the last one for the corpses of women and children. Beside the burial ground of women and children stood the majestic killing tree, where soldiers smash babies' head against to and killing these innocent lives. We also got to know the cruel fact that 3.5 million populations were killed during the Pol Pot Regime, with 7 million Cambodia populations at that period of time. Some of us also entered the stupa where skulls and bones of the victims are placed.
At the genocide museum, it was a solemn affair when we stepped in to see how prisoners were captivated and tortured to death. Out of 20,000 people held in this place, formerly a peaceful school, only 7 survived. We walk past the actual cells that the prisoners were chained at and some blood stains were still evident and visible on the floor. There were also photographs after photographs of prisoners and young Khmer Rouge soldiers. It was devastating to see how innocent lives were taken or destroyed during this Pol Pot Regime. We were also appalled by the cruel ways the soldiers used to kill, such as plucking out the nails of these prisoners. Many of us were very disturbed by the images, photographs and the drawings that portrait the different ways of torture. But it gave us a great realisation and a warning to not repeat history. It also increases our knowledge to the world at large, and how this historical event shaped Cambodia it is now.
After the tour to these devastating museums, we continued our shopping spree in a small shop called the Villageworks, an enterprise which sell things and the money collected will be used to help other poor Cambodians in the country. Many of us had a big 'harvest', buying all sorts of things from bags to key chains. Finally, it was dinner time. Everyone enjoyed their last dinner with their group for this trip. Everyone was a bit reluctant about the separation of the group and the end of the whole learning trip.

Logging off! Updating again tomorrow (: Good Night!

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