Writer. Fighter. Lover. Dreamer. The doctor's say she's generally functional.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 10 - Phnom Penh, The Killing Fields

Went to the Killing Fields today - it was a sobering, emotional and shameful experience. I am ashamed of what humans are capable of. I looked at the skulls and could not beleive what I saw. It was difficult to take pictures - but as we learnt in photojournalism, sometimes you must. I only couldn't bring myself to take pictures of the skulls upclose, and a tree that babies were slammed headfirst into.

I just stood there. I knelt and prayed a decade of the rosary at some places(which you all know is not very likely, considering it's me. Still have a whole Rosary penence from 2 years ago that I haven't done, hehe.) and I said sorry to God, sorry for being part of a world that did this. And I felt ashamed to be human.

My God, I said, what have we done?

If you are not familiar here's some background:

"Following their leader Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge imposed an extreme form of social engineering on Cambodian society — a radical form of agrarian communism where the whole population had to work in collective farms or forced labor projects. In terms of the number of people killed as a proportion of the population (est. 17.5 million people, as of 1975), it was one of the most lethal regimes of the 20th century.

The Khmer Rouge believed parents were tainted with capitalism. Consequently, children were separated from parents and brainwashed to socialism as well as taught torture methods with animals. Children were a "dictatorial instrument of the party"[3] and were given leadership in torture and executions."


We like to think that humanity has developed and changed. But it hasn't. In the Khmer Rouge in 1975, children were brainwashed to kill their parents, friends and relatives.

Today when I went to the Killing Fields, there were children there who were obviously brainwashed by a syndicate. From the past to the present, what have we done? Look into their eyes, there is no soul. It sent shivers down my spine. In the Khmer Rouge, they were brainwashed to kill, torture and hurt. Today, they are brainwashed to demand money. They shouted at me when I wouldn't give them any. I know I'm not supposed to give them anything, but I couldn't bear to. I gave them my water instead - I'm weak about these things. Given the differences in years, is there really a difference? We think we have come far in humanity. But we haven't.

We haven't at all.


  1. Heartbreaking to read, i can't imagine how you must have felt being right there.
    Hope you've been well, glad to hear your stomach's doing better. Love.

  2. Oh girlie, I love you sooooo much.