Choosing the right path

By Nicole Meadows

In the entrance yard of The Cambodia Land Mine Museum and Relief Facility, rusty six-foot rocket shells rest upright in the sand.

Inside, a green moat surrounds a gazebo with walls of glass. Anyone looking in would see round metal canisters hanging in clusters from the ceiling and piled on the floor. All of these are deactivated land mines, a small fraction of the millions laid across Cambodia.

The founder of the museum, Aki Ra, was a child soldier of the Khmer Rouge who now works to eradicate his country of land mines. He has also established an international school for child victims of land mine explosions, which is located next to the museum.

In addition to displays about the not-for-profit’s work and students, the facility tells the history of the Khmer Rouge regime, a topic that I had not yet understood.

An information sign about the site stated that the museum “is a firm supporter of utilizing tourism as a means of launching social awareness education. Doing so inspires humanitarian and developmental action.”

I feel like being a tourist here is a walking social awareness education, but maybe it depends on where you walk. Hopefully, I will be able to choose paths that inspire action.


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