In this prologue, the author narrates her tour of the sites that comprised the old Cambodian village of O'Thmaa on the final days of her fieldwork, which formed the basis of this book. Accompanied by a neighbor named Pu Thon, she went on to see the original village's four parts, each containing a group of households whose members were related to one another by birth or marriage. The four parts formed a loose arc that together made up O'Thmaa village. Some of the houses belonged to Khmer Rouge soldiers and their families. Pu Thon spoke about the calamitous events that destroyed the O'Thmaa village in the early 1970s, during the time of the Khmer Rouge revolution and civil war. The author also reflects on how she was able to gain the trust of Pu Thon, as well as others in the village, who at first could not understand why she was there and what she was doing.
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