Walking the long narrow hallways of the Hanoi Hilton prison. The prison is in downtown Hanoi looks like a school house from the outside ... but the lessons taught inside were horrific. Built originally by the French to intern the Vietnamese political prisoners. The terrible years were from the 1920's until the Vietnamese gained independence in 1954 from France. These photos show the mal-treatment of prisoners from shackles and torture to the guillotine. In Vietnam the war was called The American War when 500 US soldiers were imprisoned there until 1973. Among the field pilots that checked into the Hanoi Hilton included Senator John McCain ... for 5 years.
5:56 in the morning, now across the pond from Angkor Wat. 12th century temple city. A place of worship and like a fortress to keep locals safe from invasion. From China in North and Thailand in the West. This 1-mile square picturesque Temple took only 30 years to build (completed in 1150AD) but even today (2017) is in very good shape. A man-made wonder. Travelers from all over the world are awake and on-sight this morning to experience dawn rising behind the main tower, peaceful reverence. While Thailand originally started out as an Hindu country, slowly over the years their beliefs have shifted towards Buddhism. Another instance when I feel small, was at Angkor Wat. Together, man and beast built this magnificent temple. An estimated 300,000 humans and 60,000 elephants moved sandstone in place for the artisans to carve their stories of battles and Gods in 30 years. Angkor Wat is preserved because it has always been open for families to live and pray. Cambodians are consistently happy people and when you speak to them about the meanings of Angkor Wat they are so proud! Young and old, Cambodians will make their pilgrimage to this sight while onboard this life. Honored that I have as well.
Days are happy, here in Cambodia, we have seen a many Happy Buddha's. The bathrooms are called the Happy Room (the locals say "you go inside one with an upside-down smile, for bad belly or worse and after a little while ... come out with happy smile). Cambodians are primarily Buddhist so their karma (outlook of life) is very positive. Adult Cambodian’s have seen their share of war and desperation, (1978 Killing Fields) so they choose to bring their children up with happy outlook always. Cambodian’s also raise their children to be polite and respectful of elders. They do not use names to address one another, they use a reference of brother or sister when people are close to their age. Showing respect is very important to the Cambodian’s. They will address their fellow man according to their perceived age. If they are close to your age it is brother or cousin. If they are older than you, the proper address is father, even if they are not old enough to be your father. If they are even older the proper address in Grandfather. Cambodians will not look you directly in the eyes, this is another way to show respect. Basically, they want to avoid conflict, and stay as happy as possible in this life. They believe living their life with dignity and prayer... is key to setting up the goodness of the next life ... sound familiar?