|Cambodia: Spirituality of the everyday.|
Michael teaches cinematic arts and broadcast journalism in Los Angeles.
Whether it was the genocide at the hands of the Khmer Rouge or the ravages of weather and the jungle on ancient stone wats, this place is in a constant cycle of decay and regeneration. It’s no wonder that Buddhist spirituality permeates every element of society in Cambodia.
Sunrise at Ankor Wat was beautiful and peaceful despite the throngs of Chinese and Australian tourists. This UN World Heritage site was built in the 9th century and later restored by the French in the early 1900’s. Originally built as a Hindu temple, it was later converted to a Buddhist temple, where it remains an active religious site.
Oddly, tourists are free to roam the site, and hopefully not vandalize the samsaras or other detailed relief carvings that wrap virtually every surface.
After making a small donation, this monk blessed me with a chant and a bright pink bracelet, then blew on it for good luck. I really like his krama, a multi-use bandana-like scarf that Cambodian men wear.
Virtually every home and business has a spirit house to ward off evil spirits. Food offerings and burning incense are placed in these mini temples, which you’ll find in yards, apartment balconies, or alleyways.
|Students at Angkor Wat.|
|Documentary scripting time.|
|Building wheelchairs for landline victims.|
|Sunset at the floating villages.|
|5:00 am can’t kill these smiles|
|Elephant rides at Bayon temple.|
|Landmine victim helps us assemble wheelchairs for other amputees.
Note the prosthetic leg.
|Students interview amputee landmine survivor.|
|Foot massages for the girls.|
|Model US airplane dropping cluster bombs.|
|Bayon temple of faces.|
|Gardens at Metta Karuna Centre.|
Bill Morse, Director Cambodian Landmine Museum, Siem Reap
Briggs Boss, Sophomore, Thacher School
Stacy Serrette, Teacher and Dean of Student Life, Emma Willard School
Paul Rusesabagina, Real-life Hotel Rwanda hero who saved over 1200 people during the Rwandan genocide.
Shirley Hahn, Beverly Hills, California
The Santa Barbara Independent
Alex Greer, Junior, Laguna Blanca School
Kelly Bennett, history teacher, Santa Barbara Middle School
Alexandra Kall, Francis Parker School
Spencer Barr, English Teacher, Santa Barbara High School, California
Stacy Serrette, Director of Student Life, Emma Willard School
Eric Taylor, Francis Parker School, San Diego, California