Every time, at the beginning of a new year, besides wondering what the new year has in store for me, I also like to take stock of the one that has just ended.
A few months went by on the sly, and I can’t remember much of them. Others are still very fresh in my memory, as if they had happened just a few moments ago. I took pictures of them both with my mind and with my camera, and when I try to recall them all the emotions, smells and colors come back to me.
Of all the months of the year 2013 the one that tops my personal list is August, when I went on vacation. I was in Cambodia, backpacking, traveling on beaten and unbeaten tracks: following my instinct I explored and discovered new places and new cultures. Cambodia gave me a lot: I learned new ways of life and met people that I will never forget. I could write pages after pages about that trip but it would be difficult for me to tell you what I felt with words. I am a photographer, not a writer, images is what I like to use to express myself.
I will share with you some of the pictures I took (lots of smiles) and the few lines I wrote on my journal as I was saying goodbye to this wonderful part of the world from the airplane that was taking me back to Bangkok.
Goodbye Cambodia,There are lots of things of you that I will miss.The dignity of people who managed to survive civil wars, invasions, bombings, visionary dictatorships and the worst atrocities that a human being can suffer or even remotely imagine.The generosity of people who have little towards those who have even less than them.I will miss your colors, your scents and your bad smells. The taste of your food. The magnificence of your Khmer temples. The echo of the mantras in the Buddhist monasteries. The slow brown water of the Mekong. The crowded buses, carrying any sort of things, the water buffalos, rice fields, air con that knocks you down. I will miss your humid and sticky heat, your afternoon showers, your muddy roads and street stalls selling insects, snakes and fried tarantulas (come to think of it, I might not really miss that much). I will miss walking among people who keep saying tuk-tuk.The list of things that I will miss is long…but what I will miss the most is your people’s genuine smiles. Smiles made with mouths, faces and eyes. Those deep black eyes of the children that make you want to hug them when they look at you.Goodbye Cambodia, I’m leaving a part of me here.
Of all the photos I’ve got I chose to publish the ones I took of these kids. I spent a whole day with them. Rain was pouring down, they let me take shelter in their house and flooded me with smiles and happiness (and maybe that’s why tears are running down my cheeks while I remember them).