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How Fortunate We Are & What Humanity Needs to Understand & Focus On

This is my story of the other side of visiting Thailand, Cambodia and Laos recently.

Cambodia was interesting. Story time again. We went to Cambodia (Siem Reap) areas and rural areas. The guide was born during 74/75 during the Khmer Rouge era (War of Viet Nam). My father spoke of these cities. My husband asked about this but our guide wanted to present the initial tour of positivity and appreciation first and if time would share later. He did tell us he was an artist on the side. He painted a few pieces of his spiritual areas of the country and we bought some. He sold Cambodian scarves and I bought one. He said, that many lives were lost. Especially the night market where places to eat, karaoke and music was...was the right people's home areas before the war. The rich were told to leave and they had no knowledge how to hunt or eat plant life to survive and died. He said that if you were sick they had a 'hospital' which was honey herbed stuff for everything and nothing to really make you well. Many died. In the hospital, they asked you questions you normally wouldn't share to know your real name and family members so they could enslave & imprison if you lied to protect yourself. Your guard was down. He did say that. He said they created a space called "security office" for those to feel safe and be protected but it was a prison instead to get your real name and all those connected to you. Doctors and lawyer and teachers, journalists were gotten rid of first.

They created uniforms and the kids were trained to be soldiers (my father told me that part only). The children to sleep on hay in the fields and use that as their bed and pillow and covering. To stay in the fields in the hot sun and then school was to learn to kill many ways. My father had to kill a child I remember his story as he had no choice. The child wouldn't lay down a weapon and kept coming...the child was trained to be a killing machine. Many people died trying to find food and shelter and kept walking...We saw the "Killing Fields" and I prayed as we didn't stop. I remember seeing the movie. My guide said the real person who was a journalist and his story was murdered a year after the movie was out. When I saw that movie; I cried for the people involved...soldiers or civilians. Hoping we do not create more of destruction.

Yet today, the highest paid person is a teacher next to a government official. Why is that not here in the USA? However, the dark side is the teacher asks for bribes for a pencil, paper, copy the text book to read, for scores and the exam and report card are bribed. If you don't have the money; you don't get the scores to move forward. He didn't have it for his daughter. She cried. Of course, we gave. What kind of system and then the parents are so poor they have their children peddling, fans, flutes, etc. They promise if you buy; they will go to school. They won't as their family needs them. My husband and daughter stopped them by Angkor Wat to do magic tricks. The kids gathered as kids giving high fives and enjoying the time to be a kid to see the magic show. I cannot tell you how much a dollar means. You are kings with that dollar. I made sure I thanked them when I bought anything. Their money in Cambodia is rill and I think 2k is one dollar. They make so little. Laos is worse as a casino is being built and done in a corrupted way. We donated to musicians playing for money who went through landmines in Cambodia.

Thailand is much better off than both of these. I cannot tell you how much I felt so overwhelmed by need and understanding how much better we are. Although I got sick from Bangkok pollution you can walk to a local pharmacist who can give you and sell meds without a doctor's visit. I was sick from the butane barbecue tanks to run vehicle right beside the tuk tuk drivers and the gas was in the air. The smog was dirty air.

I cannot tell you the pros and cons of our country but I do know I cannot forget this trip. I shared a video with my Dad about the city on water. He never asked any questions about any of my travels but this time he asked. I gave him pictures of the present in peace and beauty. I felt it was a necessary healing to him.

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344 Candler Park Drive

Atlanta, GA, 30307

donnapeera@gmail.com

Tel: 404-435-3511