It begins with a girl: Safely there


We're here. Internet isn't working great in hotel today.
So no blog
post will likely be up tonight. Although I did take
lots of notes
today. From the moment the sun began to rise behind us
over Japan as
we headed over the East China Sea.Watching lightening
storms in the
distance as we glimpsed the sun for the first time in 12 hours.
It's been quite a day.
But the airline was so wonderful. We had a great lunch with
James and Athena Pond.
And a really good foot massage that was so needed after the flight.
We've had some great group talks about our focus and
what we can bring back.
I am already seeing tensions in Cambodia in
general as a society. The
people. The culture. A great divide between
wealthy and poor. Between
young and old. Know I'm safe. And I'll get a blog post
out as soon as I can.
Love, Shelby
#
I received this note from Miz Shelby this a.m.
Thank you for your prayers.
It looks as though the flight was wonderful,
which is saying a lot when you
are traveling that distance.
They are in Phnom Pehn, and are likely asleep as I type this,
given it's 9:30 p.m.
there (it's 7:30 a.m. here in Oregon.)
Tomorrow -- which will be our tonight --
they are headed to the center for
Transitions Global, the ministry they are partnering with.
The James and Athena that Shelby mentions live in Cambodia
She will likely mention them again. After a visit there, they will head out
for Choeung Ek Memorial (The Killing Fields)
and the Tuoi Sleng Genocide Museum.
#
As someone who has heard the stories from dozens of Vietnam veterans
about their authorized but unrecognized excursions into Cambodia,
I find poetry in Miz Shelby's trip. The following poem hangs
in the museum she will be
visiting:
The New Regime

Poem By Sarith Pou in Corpse Watching

No religious rituals.
No Religious Symbols.
No fortune tellers.
No traditional healers.
No paying respect to elders.
No social status.No titles.

No education. No training.
No school. No learning.
No books. No library.
No science. No technology.
No pens. No paper.

No currency. No bartering.
No buying. No selling.
No begging. No giving.
No purses. No wallets.

No human rights. No liberty.
No courts. No judges.
No laws. No attorneys.

No communications.
No public transportation.
No private transportation.
No traveling. No mailing.
No inviting. No visiting.
No faxes. No telephones.

No social gatherings.
No chitchatting.
No jokes. No laughter.
No music. No dancing.

No romance. No flirting.
No fornication. No dating.
No wet dreaming.
No masturbating.
No naked sleepers.
No bathers.
No nakedness in showers.
No love songs. No love letters.
No affection.

No marrying. No divorcing.
No martial conflicts. No fighting.
No profanity. No cursing.

No shoes. No sandals.
No toothbrushes. No razors.
No combs. No mirrors.
No lotion. No make up.
No long hair. No braids.
No jewelry.
No soap. no detergent. No shampoo.
No knitting. No embroidering.
No coloured clothes, except black.
No styles, except pajamas.
No wine. No palm sap hooch.
No lighters. No cigarettes.
No morning coffee. No afternoon tea.
No snacks. No desserts.
No breakfast (sometimes no dinner).

No mercy. No forgiveness.
No regret. No remorse.
No second chances. No excuses.
No complaints. No grievances.
No help. No favours.
No eyeglasses. No dental treatment.
No vaccines. No medicines.
No hospitals. No doctors.
No disabilities. No social diseases.
No tuberculosis. No leprosy.

No kites. No marbles. No rubber bands.
No cookies. No popsicle. No candy.
No playing. No toys.
No lullabies.
No rest. No vacations.
No holidays. No weekends.
No games. No sports.
No staying up late.
No newspapers.

No radio. No TV.
No drawing. No painting.
No pets. No pictures.
No electricity. No lamp oil.
No clocks. No watches.

No hope. No life.
A third of the people didn't survive.
The regime died.

(My apologies for the wonky spacing. My laptop had a heart attack yesterday.

Hoping that the computer geeks are able to transfer all the data to the new one
but won't have that until later this coming week.)
About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.


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