A year or so ago I saw one of CNN's programs about every day people making a a difference.
I was sitting in my guest house in Siem Reap after returning from a mine field with Aki Ra. I thought "Shoot, Aki Ra should be on that show!".
In June I sat down at my computer and Googled 'CNN Heroes' and spent about 15 minutes nominating Aki Ra.
I read about the process. Last year over 9,000 people were nominated as CNN Heroes. The CNN staff read every application and 28 were selected as CNN Heroes. Their stories were aired on CNN and its partner networks between February and September. A panel advanced 10 names to the final list. The final decision was made by viewers such as ourselves who had the chance to vote online.
A month ago I received a call from CNN telling me that Aki Ra had been chosen as a CNN Hero. CNN sent a film crfew to Siem Reap to film Aki Ra, Cambodian Self Help Demining and the Landmine Museum.
I was in the United States!!!
Jill and I had scheduled our annual return to the US for the week CNN arrived. When I bought the tickets the agent told me, in no uncertain terms, that I could change the return portion of the ticket, but under no circumstances could I change the outgoing portion. Oh well. Sophary, Gerry, Bomber, and Sao took the CNN crew all over the province to do the filming and seeing the results, they did a phenominal job.
It is a wonderful tribute to Aki Ra and the people who work with him.
Watch CNN Heroes - Aki Ra, on line at: http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/index.html
There are 2 videos to watch. One is marked 'video', and its about demining. The other is marked 'extra' and it is about the Museum and the kids. Be sure and see both.
Sophary and Naret are here visiting. They were unfamiliar with 'jetglag'. NOT ANY MORE!
Babu in California