A Tragedy Beyond Comprehension

Thursday 25 November 2010

The past few days have been so dreadful for all of us here in Cambodia. There was a feeling of numbness on Tuesday morning as many of us awoke to the terrible news of over 300 people perished at the end of the annual ‘Bon Om Thook’ (Water Festival), in our capital city of Phnom Penh.

As I write this during a national day of mourning here, the death toll has risen to over 450 and is likely to rise further.

What has made this tragedy so much more difficult to accept, is the knowledge that so many people from the villages and provinces, look forward to this event as the highlight of their year. They save a little money each month, so that they can travel to the cities of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, and take in the sights and sounds of this wonderful festival. For many, it’s their only visit of the year.

For some, it was their first – and only visit to Phnom Penh. I read an article of a 53 years-old mother who lost both daughters – aged 15 and 23 along with her son-in-law. It was their first time in the capital. I’m sure there are many more heart-rending similarities. As a parent with children of similar ages, I can and yet at the same time, can’t imagine what that lady is going through.

I did intend to write an article and post photo’s of the festival here in Siem Reap, but today doesn’t feel the right time.

So, I’ll finish by expressing on behalf of Peace of Angkor Tours and our staff and friends, our sincere condolences to families affected, wherever they are in Cambodia.




2 Responses to “A Tragedy Beyond Comprehension”

  1. Mairead Says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all in these sad days. The world mourns with you, Cambodia.

  2. Colleen Allan-Burns Says:

    I grieve for you all at this sad time, my thoughts are with you, the world mourns with you all in Cambodia.

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