The trip dives into worlds of social enterprise and love, wars and princes. I start my day by shooting an AK-47 at a shooting range. Having never done it before, I figure why not, it's not like it's an everyday thing back in Canada. Halfway into it, I become increasingly unnerved by the power and impact of each shot.
During a somber visit to S21 and the Killing Fields, I reflect on how much pain the Cambodians have gone through but also remain confused at the prospect of them making money off the shooting range. The eerie walls of S21 are lined with portraits of victims and their autobiographies. It strikes a chord, and I leave, shuddering at the thought of the mass killings. I wouldn't want to be anywhere close to a gun after having my people go through the Khmer Rouge regime. I get that it's tough, with the average citizen earning between $50-100USD per month, but really? Rocket launchers and bazookas, machine guns and armed rifles, they all seem to take away from the severity of it all.
The day lightens up with dinner with an old friend and coworker of mine. The last time I saw him was in 2009 in Toronto, and here we were. Natural maturity comes with the territory of aging, as he prepares for a wedding and sets his roots in Cambodia. Wow.
These snapshots continue to pile up. Bella, the girl from Kent, who hates her PR job in Hong Kong and is moving here to teach. Brent, the Australian who migrated to Siem Reap to open a bar. Emma from London, England, the advertising department for Universal Pictures. Her boyfriend from London, ON, Joey, the artsy type. Austin, the American who looks like he's 15 years old as he takes a long draw from a cigarette.
I like this, the fleeting connections and the quick goodbyes, the mutual moments of silence as we relate to one another. All on our own journeys with so many different curves and unexpected turns.
I lean back in my 3-legged chair, take a sip of the freshly-squeezed guava juice in front of me, and breathe deep. I'm missing the girl I wish I could see it all with.
A blog on my continuing journey through life, covering self-development and success strategies, but also personal reflection.