The last day of our CAS trip was amazing, it was one of the most relaxing and fruitful day of the entire tour in Cambodia. We woke up early as usual and had breakfast in the hotel, which was not of desirable quality, but was still enough to kickstart the day. The first thing we did today was take the bus to the killing fields museum. Just like yesterday, it was an audio tour around a historical site, but in another location that also preserves a major part of the Khmer Rouge’s history. We walked around the execution grounds and observed different parts of the killing field. There were weapon sheds, mass graves and other facilities that were kept in shape in the museum. The mass graves were protected by rainproof sheds and some of them were a large concave underground, used to house many of the dead bodies from the genocide. There was also a large temple containing 17 layers of bones and leftovers from the executions that acted as evidence for the Khmer Rogue. The skulls and skeletons were taken to be inspected with forensic science to determine the mode of deaths to figure out how the torture and killings were carried out, and also what type of people were subjected to death, including their origin, nationality and age in respect. It was truly a moving and depressing experience to learn about the executions and the mass killings that resulted from getting Pil Pot regime. We paid our respect for those who where subjected to torture and execution through this horrible time period after our audio tour around the historical site. We ended with a video that documented some of the scenarios and pictures from the execution period.
After this, we went back to the hotel to pack our luggages. We then took the bus to a BBQ restaurant, where we had our last taste of Cambodian crusine, which seemed similar to all south-east Asian meals, but were distinct in flavour and the minor details which we deeply felt through all the local meals from this trip. We celebrated Mr. Mak’s birthday with a birthday cake provided by the tour package in advance.
After lunch, we went to the Russian market and bought goods to sell in the college fair. We had 200 USD to spend. The most memorable moment was bargaining with the shop owners, lowering the prices as much as possible to maximise the profit. We considered and bought a wide range of different souvenirs and gifts, including wallets pencil cases, bowls, bags and elephant pants. We tried to aim for the more traditional type of gifts that people would buy at the school fair. All the profit we earn from selling these goods will go towards Starfish foundation and Camp international in Cambodia. Our objective is to help contribute and improve the living conditions and expand opportunities that students and the next generation of Cambodians will encounter after multiple encounters with the local villages and communities that face troubles with the basic physiological needs for living.
After shopping, we got on the bus which drove us to Phnom Penh international airport. After checking in, we got some free time to wonder around the airport. At 7:00 pm, the plane finally took off, it is finally time to say goodbye!
For these past 7 days, it was truly a meaningful, and eye opening experience for all 16 of us. From challenging farming work to visiting different temples to tasting Cambodian cuisines and experiencing the Cambodian culture, we grew physically and mentally. We would like to thank Mr. Mak and Ms. So for supporting and taking care of us throughout this entire trip. If it weren’t for them, the trip wouldn’t have been this successful.
By Ethan and Isaac