This is the second of nine journeys in the “And There I Was” series. In 1991, through a chance meeting in Bangkok with an old CIA station chief and his retired French army counterpart, expeditions were arranged into Cambodia and Laos, both still reeling fifteen years on from the devastating effects of war and genocide. The author’s route took him through Thailand’s northern hill country, on to Cambodia and Laos and finally Nepal and India. Experience intensely profound moments in Laos and Cambodia, sit along the Mother Ganges in the holy city of Varanasi beneath billowing clouds of smoke from crematoriums and contemplate the path of life. Bear witness to Cambodia’s horrific memorials to the genocide and take in the grandeur of Angkor Wat. Sit in a cave on the Mekong and explain to a Pathet Lao soldier why your country indiscriminately killed so many of his people. Die a slow death in an island bungalow on the Gulf of Thailand, feel the heart-wrenching anguish of a young girl’s cremation and finally, the emotions evoked when setting one’s eyes for the first time upon the Taj Mahal. DH Koester has been a farmhand, aerospace engineer, atomic physicist, vagabond, materials engineer, professional photographer, artist, furniture maker, writer and hobo. He holds degrees in both Physics and Mathematics and though a citizen of the United States, he spent seven years in the Canadian North.
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