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The Aspara

Angkor Wat 2
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A part of me was not surprised by the events we had seen.

Everywhere we stood in the temples of Angkor Wat, we were within eyesight of carvings that portrayed legendary battles, mythical journeys, and historic achievements.

If every living thing is born as a product of its' environment (and I would say it is), then some pretty amazing things are sure to be born in this area.

Carvings that are 600 to 800 years old become as much a part of the landscape as the water, wind, and earth that shapes and destroys them.

More than anyplace I have ever visited, Angkor is a place where man and nature combine in a slow dance of creation and destruction.

Some of the temples are still buried in dense jungle, overwhelmed by banyan trees. Overwhelmed in fact, to the point where, in some cases, the trees are the only thing holding the temple together.

Lichens color the walls. Roots strangle the framework. Earth heaves beneath the walkways.

In these cases you are constantly reminded: Nature Always Wins.

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Ta Prohm

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Still Smiling

And yet...

There's a resilience to the Cambodian people that is reaffirming.
Kevin kept saying, "You have to feel for what these people have gone through, over the years".
And it's true.

But it's also true that you have to feel the strength that manifests itself in the natural smiles of the Cambodian people. People who are gentle, thoughtful, and pleasant to be around.

The people we talked to seemed to have spent a lot of time considering the situation in their country.
A couple of men kept mentioning the 'Cambodian Legacy', meaning Angkor Wat, its' history, and its' care taking.

It seems as though the people of Cambodia are realizing that, while Nature Always Wins - why can't Human Nature also win?

And why not?

To preserve this man-made marvel, in this overwhelming natural setting, with all the glory and history that created it, would be an achievement that would make even a god smile.

That would be quite a legacy.....

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