Screenshot-2017-12-28 Instagram post by Wat Opot Childrens' Community • Jan 13, 2017 at 5 43pm UTC

Hello All, and thanks for following me. This weeks blog post is about Wat Opot Childrens Community. Wayne Matthysse was a medic in the Vietnam War. He was one of only two that survived the war out of his entire company. After working in Honduras for 12 years he decided to return to Cambodia. Without money, connections or even knowing how to speak Khmer he opened an AIDS hospice with a Cambodian friend he had met. Back then the medications for treatment were not yet available and little was understood on how AIDS was contracted. Therefore, people diagnosed with AIDS were often completely abandoned by their family and community. They were left to die on their own even if they contracted the virus through no fault of their own. Wayne offered these people a place to die with dignity and care. As more people died at Wat Opot they often left children behind that were now homeless and also carrying the virus. Wat Opot is no longer a hospice but an orphanage for these children, many of which are HIV positive. Wat Opot is about 10 K from where I live and I get up there when I can. More on Wayne and Wat Opot to come.   http://www.watopot.org

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Disclaimer: The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Cambodian Government.
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Hello All, and thanks for following me. This weeks blog post is about the vaccination runs. Approximately 10 days out of a month we will ride a moto out to a remote village to give vaccinations that include TB, polio, hepatitis and pneumonia among others. Vitamin A is also a common deficiency in Cambodia so every child under 5 years gets a dose every 6 month along with Mebendazole for parasites. I got some great pictures of the countryside but these are of the latest run. The clinics are often held at a school or some type of public building. Some of these villages don’t even have a road but a path just wide enough for the moto. I really enjoy these runs and getting out to see remote areas of Cambodia and meeting the people that live there. December is the coldest part of the year in Cambodia. I find it amusing seeing people bundled up with gloves and scarfs to keep from shivering in 70 degree weather while I’m perfectly comfortable. However, the really hot season is soon to come when the tables turn and I’m the one that will be suffering! Until next time.

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Disclaimer: The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Cambodian Government.
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Hello All, and thanks for following me. This weeks blog post is about the international court that tried Pol Pots inner circle for crimes committed during the years of the Khmer Rouge. 1.7 million people had died in a relatively short period of time beginning with the US bombing raids, the brutality of the Pol Pot regime, followed by the civil war. When it was finally over, a quarter of the population of Cambodia had died from either war, execution or starvation. However, the UN backed international court doesn’t put an end to this painful part of history. Anyone who is over 40 years old in Cambodia has painful memories from this time. So many had lost friends and family. The host father of my current family lost 4 relatives. My previous host mother lost 3 cousins. The soldiers came one day and she never saw them again. The picture on the right is of the court itself. The picture on the left is Chum Mey, one of the few survivors of Tuol Sleng that is still alive today. Please refer to an earlier post on Tuol Sleng prison. Due to the court, Duch, the Chief of Tuol Sleng prison, will spend his remaining days of life behind bars.

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Disclaimer: The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Cambodian Government.
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