By Kosal Khiev
After 30 years of living and not really living I find myself in Cambodia. A country beyond what i have read or heard about was a country alien and foreign to me as the world would be to me if i was still in the states for having been incarcerated since the age of 16. I have wondered often times how it would be like if i was to have been given a chance to paroled to the streets of the great U.S. of A. How well would i have adapted to my surroundings with having to deal with 2 paroles..1 state and 1 immigration so that means twice having to check in monthly with the constant fear will this be the day they will deport me..i could only imagine to live like that..and as years goes by you get a sense of comfort and you have a job and a family and a wife and kids..then boom..just like that you check in one day and you dont check back out..you see this is these other guys stories…good guys..who learned from their mistakes made as a youth and change their lives for the better and in turn changing the lives of those around them..Scott Kang is one of those guys as well as Mout Ty..Brothers and fathers who was torn from their families who had jobs and contributed back to society..so here i am,in Cambodia walking the streets in Phnom Penh during the second day of the Water Festival and it is filled with kids and teenagers and old folks laughing and running and rollerblading..who would have thunk but yep rollerblading..lol..and i stand amazed and blessed by everything around me..and i felt that this path of mine has been carved out for me a long time ago..when chisels was the tooth of a bear..and i find myself fortunate to be here in Cambodia where i feel needed and in truth i needed Cambodia too.
By: Kosal Khiev
Last night, I help graded first grade paper’s, helping a friend who was in turn helping me learn how to fill an application..lol..the exchange was simple enough but the process was, at least seen from my perspective ,beautiful and invigorating. We were able to just sit and talk and commune on a level beyond the physical, transcending into a world deeper beneath flesh and blood but the discovering of ourselves, each other, and in the world in which we both live, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It was amazing cause somehow, two much different worlds with two wholly different upbringing and background we’re able to come together over a homemade dinner with family and friends, break bread and share the simplest thing as an idea that can be the seed of something great. But it was so much more. Down to the core basic emotions: fears, hopes, dreams, and doubts, we all breathe the same. And I, Kosal Khiev was blessed and fortunate enough to be aware of that process as it unfolded before my eyes. It materialized like two lost cities being reshaped and sculpted from the rubbles of broken pebbles stained with blood and cloth..I saw the earth take root and manifested into a field of daisys; beautiful flowers that continues to deny their label, WE ARE NOT WEEDS!! And that we will continue to grow in groves, and thrive in whatever harsh element you may place us in. and it was there that two torn cities merged and the process became apparent that through the sharing of stories born from the belly; two lost cities we’re able to find each other. And there they began the process of rebuilding. Thank you my friend.
By Kosal Khiev
A lost memory floating through waters of broken shipwrecks. I was there,a boy stranded in the land of broken men. At one point we were sons. Infants born from mothers who had dreams of seeing her young grow and blossom to become the man who had never became one. I imagine her whispering words of love filled with stories of grand possibilities. How her eyes would be the color of ancient oak trees;deep rich brown lined with wrinkles that time has etched upon her,wondering what roads she must have traveled. But there in those sweet dreams of a boy who yearns to hear those precious stories of infinite grandeur lies the nightmare ,because when the smokes dissipates and evaporates back into the grim reality that confronts me; a patchy grass dirt yard enclosed off with bricks,concrete, and mortars. The gun tower sits, perched like a deadly predator ready to clip any who disturbs this wasteland filled with the unwanted and abandoned dreams of men who grew with no fathers. But just like that the landscapes erupts. Men grunting and wailing and gasping and choking and dying.
And BOOM!! The deafening sounds of block guns exploding and men of prey folding as a sea of skin tones clashes like titans.
but then the smoke clears again and its not what you would imagine. It’s twilight and the sound that awakens me is a rooster crowing somewhere nearby. And the room I’m in is a one bedroom guesthouse called the President in Battambang, Cambodia.
to be continued.