Learning in the MYP – TIS Cambodia Interview Series

“Cambodia 2016” By Koko Suzuki and Hank Harris

During our Grade 7 trip to Cambodia, we interviewed the grandmother of Narath, an ex-student of TIS Cambodia who TIS is sponsoring to go to college. Narath was our host when we were staying in Thmei Village. Her grandmother told us about her experiences and story under the relentless and gruelling Pol Pot (or Khmer Rouge) regime.

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The grandmother of Narath, Chin Ner told us her experiences: Chin Ner had 12 children but 4 of them died because they were ordered to be soldiers in the Pol Pot regime and fought and lost with the Vietnamese. We are deeply sorry for her loss. She was ordered by Khmer Rouge soldiers to be the one to get the food from the rice farms, get water and resources for the other soldiers and was moved away from her children- moved away to a different village in Cambodia.
We asked her about her life before Pol Pot’s regime but she forgets because it made such an impact on her life – it made her think of how Cambodia’s past was Pol Pot’s regime and not much before that tragedy, so her son keeps reminding her that it was a peaceful, friendly and an amazing country that will never be forgotten by the people who were there before it all happened.

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Narath’s Grandmother Chin Ner

When we asked Chin Ner, about her perspective of Cambodia right now, she answered that, Cambodia is still developing again after Pol Pot. Cambodia is starting to change in a good way and will have a better impact on all of us. She does not want to move from the village and want to stay in Thmei until she dies. Her husband on the other hand broke his leg during a motorcycle accident. This happened 2 years ago but he could never get hospital treatment because they could not afford it. Although before, her husband used to cut down trees and get food, but now he cannot do that anymore. We saw her husband lying down in the shade. At the end, we gave Chin Ner a pencil innovation of Aisyah’s – a pencil that can be planted later and grow into a plant, She was very pleased and thanked us.

We hope you got to understand a bit about what happened in their time, and how we should be grateful about the things we have. We hope Narath and her family are doing well and hope that Cambodia will go back to being an amazing country – even if it’s amazing right now. We hope it will be a more liveable place in the future. We have learnt that we, even if we don’t know it – take things for granted, and things make us happy. But in Cambodia they have their own way of happiness without any object – just happiness in general. This made us realize that we have to appreciate what your own country is doing for you.

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Thanks and Have an Amazing Weekend,

Koko Suzuki and Hank Harris, G7