The video we shot in Laos last month is turning into an interesting trio of short films. Here is the first episode, I hope you like it.
I popped in to ASI Head Quarters, and was greeted with a treat. A golden dawn over fresh fallen snow.
Flying back to Paris, I was reminded how the vast mountains and valleys of Western Afghanistan went on and on.
Phong at the COPE Center in front of the instalation representing a cluster bomb opening up.
One of the survivors of leftover wartime UXO that we have gotten to know in Laos is Phongsavath, who lost both his hands and his sight a few years ag when a friend unknowingly handed him a live bombie. He Was 16.
Phongsavath hasn't let this keep him down. Using a computer donated to the Cope Center, he is able to use the internet to help raise awareness of the problem of UXO. (His screen name is Peter Kim).
I told him that I'd share a link to his youtube videos. There's one where Miss Minnesota ( a girl of Lao Heritage) serenades him with "Birds In The Sky" . The song is still stuck in my head.
As we towed our array through the fields, a constant trickle of traffic went by; cattle wandering , villagers from upland rice fields heading back home, and hunters with long flintlock rifles and packs of tiny hunting dogs, all streaming by, mostly ignoring us and our quest to find and remove the bombs lurking under this peaceful landscape.
It still caught me by surprise.
Although forwarned that the winter in the Highlands of Laos could be cool, and armed with jackets and fleece, it still seamed like a jarring contradiction to go from the heat of Vientiane to 1250m altitude in the mountains and experience strong winds and cold temperatures in the evenings.
Our accomodations, thached longbuildings with tarps stapled on the inside, formed an effective shelter from the elements, but when stepping out for a bit of star gazing, either driven by the stunning night sky and lack of light pollution, or just jet lag, all the layers of clothing I had seemed like just enough.
(I can already hear the comments: " Oh Boo Hoo!")
My Name is Eric and My Job is Scientific Exploration.
That means I'm lucky enough to join expeditions to excavate sunken cities, climb volcanoes, find missing bombs, and Sail old research vessels, while searching for the mysteries of the natural world.