Base Camp

Awoke Tuesday morning refreshed and ready to hit the streets. Secured a Cambodian cell phone and began setting up meetings and picking up remaining gear. Met with Borom of Cardamom Media to discuss film permit options and to compare interpreter and driver services. Met with Youk Chhang of the Documentation Center of Cambodia. Chhang put me in touch with Dacil and other employees of DC-CAM who are heavily involved in assisting the prosecution for the coming war trials. Conveniently located less than a five minute walk from where I’m staying, DC-CAM looks to be a great asset for the film.
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Drove by the new courthouse for the war trials but was denied access to its perimeter by the Cambodian police. I have since gained the proper permission and will soon return to the ECCC headquarters. This afternoon I met with Mech Sokha, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge period, who runs four orphanages in Phnom Penh.
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Sokha rescues children from the local garbage dump and provides them with a place to live and go to school. At one of the orphanages, the children were painting a thirty foot mural the length of the building.
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At another, children were arriving home from public schools beaming with excitement and smiles. I played volleyball with some of the kids in the fourth orphanage who also showed me how to jump rope….Yes, unfortunately “white man can’t jump” still applies in Cambodia.
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What started as a haven for 6 kids in need has quickly grown into a collective of buildings that house and teach over 120 kids at a given time!
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A few more final meetings scheduled in and around Phnom Penh before I head up to Siem Reap!

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