A History of Violence

What struck me was how peaceful it all was.

The courtyard between the school buildings was neatly manicured. The only sounds were that of singing birds perched atop trees with flowers in bloom. You could occasionally hear the Tuk-tuk drivers that gathered in front of the entrance to Tuol Sleng, smoking their local cigarettes and playing chess with improvised pieces on a beat-up, wooden plank.

I moved on to The Killing Fields, hoping to find the tragedy that gave the land its name. What I found was a bucolic scene of orchard trees that dappled shade on parched earth cracking in the unforgiving heat

There was a rustic tranquility at Tuol Sleng and The Killing Fields that made it difficult at times for me to believe that genocide once took place on these grounds. A truly frightening thought.

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