Archive for February, 2010

The bleak and the beautiful, the grim and the great

The bleak and the beautiful, the grim and the great

It’s hard to describe the way I felt at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and later at the Killing Fields just outside Phnom Phen city, Cambodia. Certainly I was incredibly sad, appalled, horrified and sickened. The hundreds of mug shots of now-dead people staring hopelessly out at us from the past were truly chilling. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot overthrew the pro-Western government of Cambodia and embarked on a process of agrarian social engineering, eliminating the middle and upper classes and forcing nearly everybody that remained into working in the rice fields. Money was abolished, as were…

Click to read on...

How to ride an elephant and cuddle a tiger

How to ride an elephant and cuddle a tiger

We’ve spent almost a week in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand – THE place for animal experiences. I’ve wanted to get up-close and personal with elephants for a long time and finally got the chance to do so a few days ago at Baan Chang Elephant Park. We were worried about encouraging unethical elephant camps and exploiting the animals, so we did quite a bit of research beforehand and learned that the elephants here are not made to do tricks like painting and playing football for tourists. They have either been rescued from elephant “camps”, or from owners who led them…

Click to read on...