Cambodia: Kingdom of Contradiction

Cambodia contradicts itself at turns without breaking stride or word. So it should be no surprise in Battambang, when I turn one way to see this

IMG_2255.JPG

then turn the other to see

IMG_2249.JPG
IMG_2212.JPG

 

 

 

It's a place where you look up to see Khmer-era temples built on mountaintops

IMG_2260.JPG

 

 

 

Then look down into caves where Khmer Rouge killed thousands of innocents.

 

Nature's beauty, man's ability to create, man's ability to destroy all collide. I think ours is the only species that actively seeks to undo the actions of other members of same. It's our great strength: the worst of us brings out the best of us. But it's also our great weakness: why does it take bad shit happening for us to get outside of our selfishness and self-imposed daily life constraints to actually take an interest, to reach out and help

So what about me?

I've been blessed and fortunate in my life and certainly in recent years. I worked jobs where I made enough money to leave them behind and go on this journey. Along the way I've been shown kindness and gained more than I've given. So before I came back to Cambodia I searched for a way to give back. I found a small school that needs volunteers, and so for the next two weeks I'll be teaching here.

It's a small thing. I'm still far more indebted to life. But I'm excited to be doing something--to salve in a tiny way the terrible wrongs done over the decades that still plague this place. And I'll get to work with some great kids.