March 25, 2013

Trước Thềm Hội Ngộ: The Album - Page 3

The Album-Page 3

"Après deux jours de march, nous sommes arrivés à Red Hill. C’etait le Dimanche de Pâques. Et moi, j’ai vue de nombreuses personnes blessées, mortes sur la route. Cela était très angoissant, quelque choses qui me faisait vraiment mal au fond du coeur et que je n’oublierai jamais. 

Quelques jours plutard, l’equipe médical “Médecines Sans Frontières” est venue soigner les gens blessés et les malades. Nous, nous étions très heureux de les aider dans cette mission qui nous a donnée un bon exmple d’amour de l’humanité Personnes d’entre nous ne ....ce qui allait arriver dans le future. Mais un petit sourire au moins, pour le moment, après s’être sauvé de la prison Phnom-Chat" 

"We arrived at Red Hill after two days running in the evacuation. It was Easter Sunday. I've seen many wounded people and death along the way. The scene was very scary, sad,  and embedded in my mind forever. 
A few day aftre the evacuation to Redhill, the medical team Medicines Sans Frontières came to treat the wounded and the sick. we were very happy to assist them, a small token of appreciation from us 
We were not sure what would come in the future, but at least for now we were all smile in this picture, savoring the moment when we were saved from the prison of Phnom Chat "

* * *
This photo was taken just before  we rode on the open back of the yellow truck to the border,  to bring back the field hospital tent for the MSF (Medicine Sans Frontières) , early April, 1983

The MSF white tent served as field hospital had been left at the border when everyone was ordered to evacuate to Red Hill. The tent was close to the anti-tank ditch, and right in front of the mine field where dozen Cambodian refugees had been lying death,  blown apart, for quite sometime. Their bodies were bloating under the intense heat, and nobody dared to come in and retrieve the bodies for burial, even their relatives, for fear of live  mines still around. (the relatives eventually hired some "chú cùi", the defecting "bộ đội" , or PAVN- People Army of Vietnam, who came in and dug the hole to bury the death next to where they died, for 100 Baht a body)

Several days after evacuating to Red Hill, MSF nurses, Marie Claude and those in the picture, asked if we could send some volunteers to ride with them back to the border, to take apart the tent and get back to Red Hill as quickly as we could, to avoid being targeted by Bo Doi artillery. We all knew the risk then, but we volunteered anyway. I guess we could not say no to  all their kindness and generosity.

The picture was taken just before we rode to the border. Not everyone in the picture rode back though.  I only remember Thach Khe Mara and me, with two or three Khmers, and probably one or two of us rode in the cab with one of the nurses. I am pretty sure there were more than 4, but do not remember who ...(Hung)


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