Learning in the MYP

TIS Cambodia

Hein Suo, is an elderly lady living in a rural village called Ping Pong in Cambodia. We wanted to ask her some questions as we were told that she was a mother during the Khmer Rouge and had first hand experience. When choosing the questions, we had to keep in mind that this was a very tragic time for Cambodians and we didn’t want to choose any questions that would offend her or her family. We wanted to get an overall idea of her story. Here is Hein Suo’s story:

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Scared. Terrified. That’s how I felt. The days under the rule of the Khmer Rouge were long and arduous. Day by day, under the burning sun, frightened for the life of my six children. I worked in the rice fields all day and night, with barely anytime to rest, far away from where my children lay. Not only did I have to collect the rice in the fields, but I also had to cook the rice for the superior. As I wasn’t given any food to eat, it was hard for me to be able to feed myself. In fact, most of my meals were leaves, roots and wild fruits. Anything I could find to eat that didn’t belong to the Khmer Rouge. Every day as I walked around, I could see the dead bodies scattered on the ground. I noticed new bodies each day as I walked around, and thought of all the innocent people who were killed. My only desire was to go far, far away from this horrible place, and find my loved family. With the massive amount of soldiers guarding the areas and dangerous landmines planted in the ground, my wish was impossible to become true. My mind was always filled with thoughts, hopes and memories of my children. Finally the day came in 1979, where the Khmer Rouge were defeated and the innocent people were set free. I immediately returned to my home, where I found my relative but none of my children returned. All six of my children had been killed by Pol Pot’s army. The only thing that I am sure of is that my children were brave and strong throughout this terrible time. They have lost their lives but I am sure have helped change Cambodia. Despite the terrible loss of my six children, I know that I have to keep going on.

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Hein Sou was interviewed by
Angelina Barbini and Zac Cherry (Grade 7)