Today was our first full day in Phnom Penh. Everything from eating a Cambodian breakfast to visiting the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, I'm realizing I will need to make some lifestyle adjustments. Obviously, I had some mental idea of what those adjustments looked like, but after spending a day in the country I will be LIVING in, I concluded that transitioning to a foreign country is going to be something that will take time.
If you've never heard about the Khmer Rouge and Toul Sleng, here is a starting point: Toul Sleng. It's sad to think these innocent people were murdered over disagreement, generational lines or just because. In fact in the middle seventies, over 1 Million people were brutally tortured and killed. Toul Sleng is basically a place that was used to document the prisoners, torture them for information and then they would be brutally murdered. It was a very heavy place to visit. Blood stains and the stinch of decomposition still remains. Tools, shackles, wire beds and torture devices were everywhere. I kept asking myself, what goes through someone's mind during a session of brutal torture? In the midst of what seems like making a profit off death, Noelle and I head to the 3rd floor of one of the buildings and see this flower. It was just sitting there all by it's lonesome. I thought it was pretty especially in a dirty place such as Toul Sleng.
Ahhhh...it was hard. Thankfully, the Cambodian people are rebounding. I see smiles on the streets, people working hard and kids playing all around - it's a great site. On the other hand, there are lots and lots of older folks still being impacted by the mass genocide from 20yrs ago. My heart breaks for them.
As we were riding back on a tuk tuk, (Cambodian taxi) I found myself looking around the streets of Phnom Penh. I love people watching. There are young and old, mostly young, street vendors trying to make a living, and mechanics diligently working on Motos. Cambodians have an amazing work ethic! I'd love to see a 14yr old brat try to make it here in Cambodia. I don't think so :)
We wrapped the day by heading to the market. Ginny was looking for a steal at the local silk stand. Ginny heads up a ministry of In His Steps called Sak Saum. It's focused on employing young women that have been involved in some sort of trafficking. In this program along, Ginny could spend all day counseling and praying for these delicate daughters of God. I'm so thankful for this ministry and what the Lord has entrusted to In His Steps. It's fun seeing lives being transformed through Sak Saum.
So, I wonder what's in store for tomorrow? A photo shoot? I think YES! I have the opportunity to do a photo shoot for the Sak Saum women modeling the products they make. Noelle and I are super excited about it!!
Ok, my eyes are getting blurry...maybe from the jetlag. Good night.