Today brought the first of my interviews for my documentary. I was quite excited to get the ball rolling, but to be honest I was also quite nervous as I have never really gone about the whole interview and filming process alone!!
My interviews were at CSHD with Aki Ra and Sophin Sophary at 9am. I had mentioned this to the guys from my hostel the night before, and one of them insisted in coming along with me… partly I think because he didnt want me to go off alone (no idea why he thought that…) and partly because he was interested.
Aki Ra was an amazing man to meet. As an ex-child soldier and founder of Cambodian Self Help Demining, he won the CNN heroes award in 2010, yet he like the rest of the Cambodian people I had met was humble, friendly and ever-smiling. He answered all of my questions in perfect english despite thinking his english was poor and then humoured me with a little photo shoot at the end.
Sophin Sophary was also an inspirational character, as one of the key female landmine clearance workers for CSHD. It was interesting to not that on camera she said that all of her colleagues were very welcoming, but off camera that some men and people of her village were not impressed with her job role and thought that she was trying to be stronger than the men (something not accepted in Cambodian culture).
After a morning of work, Scott and I headed off in our tuk tuk to the nothern temples and the Cambodian Landmine Museum. The temples were amazing. I literally couldnt stop smiling the whole way around and that wasnt even Akor Wat!! We passed through some beautiful villages on the way, with flocks of smiling people waving at the roadside. At the second temple was a waterfall…. not huge, but big enough to walk under and wash in the ‘holy water’ (I was definitely hit on at this point in a very cliche manner and tried to awkwardly remove myself from the situation as quickly as posible!)
Finally the Cambodian Landmine Museum was a homage to all of Aki Ra’s work with the CSHD. It mainly shows the background of the organisation and the hundreds of shells and bomb casings that the landmine clearance workers have removed from the ground. I have now quite literally been there, done that and bought the t-shirt!!
Hopefully tomorrow, Ankor Wat…