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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Siem Reap, Cambodia

There are stops in a journey that demand more than a moment of reflection. Here in Siem Reap good and evil are present in equal measure. Local residents believe that God met and fought the devil in this place but they won't say who won the battle. The blazing glory of the sunrise at Angkor Wat is countered by the screeching silence of skulls from the "killing fields" that pack the pagoda at Wat Thmey. The buildings of Angkor Wat are astounding and complex - a tribute to the artisans and slaves who created them. The area around the temples is, however, still being cleared of land mines that are a legacy of the Khmer Rouge. This is an area of extreme contrasts. Outrageous luxury - mea culpa - shares space with naked brown babies selling trinkets for pimps to put food on family tables. Bob and I have seen abject poverty before, but never in a place where there is so little hope. To come here is to know that there is, indeed, a heart of darkness. Blessings to you all..... Mary

1 comment:

Pam said...

It sounds heartbreaking. Picturing the little babies selling trinkets makes me want to cry.

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