Always been told whom to trust and who are not us
And without asking I believed without a fuss.
I had a picture perfectly portrayed,
From bits and pieces that my surroundings provided me in a tray.
Told not to be friend and treat them like complete strangers,
Like from different worlds, but in fact we’re neighbors.
For this little girl didn’t know what was held beyond that line,
So she never questioned and always thought her mind-set was “fine”,
Until one day she finally acknowledged that something wasn’t right…
Determined to explore reality, she went on a quest with all her might…
No more stories or tales from others to tell her what they are like,
For she was gonna experience them herself whether different or alike.
But to confess it wasn’t easy to at start for there were no clues,
Then along came CTEP, which practically dragged her out of the blues.
For CTEP; meaning Cambodian-Thai Exchange Program was more than merely just another plain ordinary camp!
It was a place where her love for different kinds unfolded,
Erasing all understandings and images she was ever told.
With an opened heart, she tried learning and reaching out to touch,
From doing that she found out, they didn’t differ from us.
In fact there is no such thing as “enermies”, “others” or “US”,
For it is all imaginary and built on the basis of distrust.
If there were more loving and understanding… surely nothing can come between us,
Devastatingly our societies weren’t ready for that and it makes my heart crush.
Conflicts, National interests and border disputes; they force us to distrust,
Oh come on, quit the arguing it is driving me “nuts”!
Why do you keep letting others tell you how to feel?
When you know that history, media and discourses aren’t even real!
Don’t easily believe them and follow their flow,
Be bold, swim against the currents and tell society what you know.
Weave your ultimate dream into a world of something new,
A place for everyone to stand and have a chance, not just to benefit a few.
If you ask me what I got from CTEP, I would say “too much, very much”,
Everything and everyone there expanded my horizons of love and trust.
There in the midst of the Sihanoukville hills,
Was where the holes in my heart began to fill…
Thanks to CTEP, at last I could make it right,
My hates and prejudices within was out of sight….
Now I can freely love and live my life
Experience from Cambodian-Thai Exchange Program 2011 by Siwaree Limwanitsin, Thailand