Last day of civilisation!

Trip Start Jul 14, 2012
Trip End Sep 14, 2012

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

We have been reunited with all the wave 1 and the rest of wave 2 this weekend!! We arrived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on friday night, after an absolutely rank journey. It was so lovely to see everyone and the 20 of us went out for a meal and drinks etc. Unfortunately it seems that wave 1 have been soooo unlucky out in the village, as five of them had to be taken to hospital over the course of the month they spent. Two people has Dengue fever and the other three had virus'/parasites. We are all a little concerned about getting sick out there but it has never happened to anyone on SKIP before so it really was just very unlucky.
I have been designated a school and given a curriculum. The school is a thirty-fourty minute bike ride away and we start teaching at 7am so I am intrigued to see how I manage that. Bonnie and I will be teaching ages 10-16, who all have different abilities, we have been planning lots of cool things for them to help them learning and we can't wait to start. The Village we are going to is an 8 hour bus journey from Phnom Penh, and we have to travel by dirt tracks and such like to get there. We have one hour of electricity per day and have to shower using rain water! Think I may collapse due to culture shock when I get there.
Today some of our wave went to what is known as 'The Killing Fields' for abit of a Cambodian history lesson, most interesting thing I've done in a while. We started off the day at what was originally a school, called Tuol Sleng built in the 60's, which was turned into a prison known as S-21 by a political group called the Khmer Rouge in the 1970's. The Khmer Rouge had a leader called Pol Pot and he was awful. The prison was used to torture innocent, educated people and their families, as the Khmer Rouge feared an uprising, they wanted to get rid of intelligent people who they believed were a threat to their regime. Families who lived in cities were forced into the countryside to work as slaves in the rice paddy fields. The prison is now a genocide museum and they gave the original torture weapons and rooms full of victims skulls etc. We had a tour guide who himself had to leave his home for the countryside when he was very young. He told us how his mother had to run for miles to get to and from the paddy fields in order to feed him and how he nearly died of starvation many times.
The killing fields themselves were the most depressing things I've seen in my life; as it's monsoon season the mass graves into which educated families were put, often whilst still alive, were flooded so human bones, teeth and skulls were uncovered as the mud all moved away. I stood on a stray tooth at one point, the whole experience was very hard hitting.
This will be my last travel blog entry for a while due to lack of electricity in the village, can't wait to get there =D
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Mel Is Les on

Wow! And I thought visiting the slums in India was hard hitting. That sounds like a brilliant experience though, seriously getting worried about you... you're prone to illness! D=
Can't wait to see all the pictures! Hope the teaching and everything goes well don't forget to take your tablets everyday! =D
Love You!

Matt C on

Good Luck Han!

dad on

take care han!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thinking bout you,me lucy tyan ella jake send hugs ,let us know as soon as youre back in leccy land xxxx

beccablack2012 on

Wow Han boom boom with the culture in this bad boy of a blog! I really want to go the Killing Fields at some point in the future - sounds tough x

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