It has been almost a year since I've been in Cambodia. This milestone makes me realize how lucky I am to have this second chance at rediscovering my homeland again. I am thankful that I have been able to share the window of my world, past and present, to the outside world.
I've been amazed by the many connections I've made so far from this blog, from rising young leaders in Cambodia; to teachers, tuk tuk drivers and street food vendors struggling to survive; to people around the world who genuinely care about my country.
One of them is Duncan Stuart who is from New Zealand but his heart belongs to Cambodia. He spends his free time helping to raise awareness and funds for Savong School, a free school in Siem Reap. Duncan genuinely cares about the many issues affecting Cambodia and his blog at Savong School aims to provide a broader picture of Cambodia's development in the education sector. I conducted an email interview with Duncan for his blog and shared my reflections of coming back home, thoughts about the education system in Cambodia, and my hopes and dreams for my country. Below is the interview. Thank you Duncan for the opportunity.
This interview was first published on Savong School
REDISCOVERING A DIGNIFIED PAST: INTERVIEW WITH MITTY STEELE
By: Duncan Stuart, April 21st , 2014
More than quarter of 1 million Cambodians live in the USA and for the sons, daughters and grandchildren of the refugees who escaped Cambodia during the Pol Pot era there is inevitably a sense of incompleteness; a sense of a stolen personal history. Among the US-based Cambodians to retrace the steps of her family, and to reconnect on a personal level with Cambodia is Mitty Steele, a young writer who began interviewing her father 10 years ago before he died.
“I have promises to keep. Miles to go before I sleep”
THE FINAL MOMENTS
It was 7AM on June 26th when my mother called me to tell me that my father had been rushed to the hospital. His condition was getting worse. He had been suffering for a number of years from Para Supra Nuclear Palsy (PSP) and the disease was at its final stage. I rushed to the hospital as soon as I could. We had been through this before and he somehow recovered. This time was different. As I walked into the hospital room I could tell the prognosis was bleak. The doctors told us there was nothing more they could do. We were told to make final preparations.