Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Siem Reap

After a hurried morning of oversleeping, panicked last minute packing, and almost missing my transport, I jumped off the motorbike and finally boarded a bus to Siem Reap with my colleague. Once on board, we found ourselves in the company of 9 others sent to monitor the attempted murder trial of 9 young villagers (trumped up charges, arising from a forced eviction). There was a young Irish film maker, who has been documenting forced evictions around the developing world, but particularly in Cambodia. There were two American film makers/trainers from Witness Brooklyn, a new-to-me (amazing) org that provides video equipment and training to human rights workers and activists around the world. There were several human rights lawyers/advocates, activists, and monitors. And a very active monk.

That evening, we occupied the second floor of a pay-by-the-hour guesthouse (read: dodgey, but, as I was informed, with very attentive staff), where we shuttled in and out of each others' rooms, in between meetings and more meetings, planning and more planning, discussion after discussion, until near eleven o'clock, when sleep finally won out.

The next morning, at five o'clock, my alarm buzzed. And, as wakefulness slowly took over, clearing the haze of sleep, my first thoughts of that day were:

I love this work.
I am so inspired right now.
I am also lying on sordid bedsheets.
How strange.
I need a latte before court.


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