|Rice patties and sunshine|
Since high school I've dreamed of road tripping across the United States and photographing some of its high points. After many years of dreaming and a few years of rough sketching and route planning, I finally decided that the summer of 2013 would be the one for the trip. I was excited and a little nervous as I began acquiring all the necessary supplies for what I then thought would be a 2-month road tripping adventure.
Two weeks before I was to board the ferry for my first destination, Isle Royale National Park, a Michigan island that sits just off the shore of Minnesota and Canada in Lake Superior, we met a friend of my mom's at church and everything changed.
The lady at church was the wife of the Dean at Mercer University's School of Medicine. Her and her husband were leading a mission trip through Mercer and were looking for a photographer and wanted to know if I would be interested. There were just 2 issues with that, the first, they were going to Cambodia, the second, they were leaving in a week and a half.
|The in-flight display of our flight path|
Now I had been out of the country before, once, as a tourist, to Canada, in middle school. But Cambodia isn't Canada, and this wasn't a tourist trip. Cambodia, by itself, is one of the poorest countries on earth. It's hard to say exactly how poor, because it receives so much in foreign aid that half of its government's budget comes from foreign sources. This massive amount of foreign aid is in response to the Kmer Rougue’s social reengineering that devastated the country in the 1970’s and left it bereft of nearly all educated members of society. We visited some of the more notorious sites of this genocide (S21 and the killing fields). Cambodia is slowly putting itself back together but corruption in the government hampers its progress.
|S21 Tuol Sleng execution center|
|Skulls from the "killing fields"|
|View from the former high school|
converted to S21 to hold
|A monument filled with skulls of the dead|
|Rules for the prisoners to speed up executions|
|The tree that held the loudspeaker to down out|
the screams of those being killed.
|Our bus ride to our hotel|
|The hotel lobby|
|The view of Phnom Penh from my hotel room|
|Inside the royal compound|
|Dirt paths like this one are the main way rural Cambodians travel from home to the main road|
|Sunsets were always beautiful|
|the view of the mountains from the river|
|The Bungalows main "room" where large group events took place|
|The restaurant and lounge area of the Bungalows, on the river|
|A rare house visit to provide more help to a man in need|
|The "pharmacy" at our first clinic location|
|A man in clinic|
|This was our nicest clinic location, and one of the nicest buildings we saw outside the major cities|
|A church where we did clinic with patients waiting under a tent|
|A group photo on the last day of clinic, with Korean missionaries|
|Towers interrupt our walk through the jungle|
|Some of the local food supplemented with french fries|
|The pool in Kep|
|The view from our crab shack in Kep|
|The boat we took to Rabbit Island before boarding kayaks|
|A child waits outside of clinic|
|This famous Banyan tree covers ruins in Ankor Thom|
|A lone monk rests in an opening in the upper level of|