Laos: Legacies of War and a Promising Future

Riding through the countryside of Laos’ remote Xieng Khouang province, we spied verdant rolling hills, villagers of all ages escorting livestock on the dusty roadside, and giant craters disfiguring the landscape. For an instant, these cavities in the red earth evoked images of sand traps on golf courses. However, with Laos’ unfortunate distinction of being the world’s most bombed country per capita, not much golf is being played here.

Guided by a local father-and-son team, we had embarked on a day trip to visit the country’s mysterious archaeological treasure: the Plain of Jars. We would also visit two villages: Ban Naphia and Ban Tajok, nicknamed ‘Spoon Village’ and ‘Bomb Village,’ respectively.

Continue reading “Laos: Legacies of War and a Promising Future”

A Monkey Tethered to a Bomb Shell in Rural Laos

Throughout Asia during these past few months, we had the opportunity to gleefully observe monkeys outside of customary zoo environments. Some monkeys gracefully walked on power lines as if they were tightrope artists; others stole human goodies from garbage cans at outdoor establishments. The luckiest ones lived in areas that blended a natural with an urban environment (such as Ubud, Bali’s Monkey Forest or Elephanta Island, an hour’s boat ride from Mumbai). Continue reading “A Monkey Tethered to a Bomb Shell in Rural Laos”

A Landmine Awareness Photography Exhibition in Phnom Penh

While walking along Phnom Penh’s riverside, we happened upon a landmine awareness photography exhibition.

This child’s lively eyes and curious gaze caught my attention. His peaceful spirit contrasted sharply with the cruel creations depicted in the images at which his father was intently gazing.

Continue reading “A Landmine Awareness Photography Exhibition in Phnom Penh”