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Project Sekong 2013: If We Find Casings We Will Likely Find Cluster Bomblets

March 28, 2013
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Project Sekong 2013: If We Find Casings We Will Likely Find Cluster Bomblets

There are different ways to distribute cluster munitions but, essentially, they all involve a “mother” bomb that explodes in the air over a target area, releasing numerous, smaller, sub-munitions, sometimes called cluster bomblets. The bomblets fall to earth, detonate, and scatter shrapnel over a wide area. In some instances the bomblets do not explode...
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Project Sekong 2013: Two Rules To Follow Here If You Want To Stay Healthy

March 26, 2013
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Project Sekong 2013: Two Rules To Follow Here If You Want To Stay Healthy

To remain healthy here I stick to some unwavering standards. The most important self-imposed rule is to never drink questionable water. I used to raise sheep and one thing you’ve got to admire about sheep is their demand for wholesome water. A sheep will die of thirst standing next to a pail of dirty...
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Project Sekong 2013: Our collection of cultural artifacts helps Lao refugee families connect with the past. We keep looking.

March 24, 2013
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Project Sekong 2013: Our collection of cultural artifacts helps Lao refugee families connect with the past. We keep looking.

My pack lightens quickly after I arrive here. I usually have goods such as medial supplies that I deliver to hospitals, clinics and aid programs. Once those items are distributed I travel lightly. As clothes wear out I discard them, further lightening my load. When my baggage bottoms out I start thinking of items...
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Project Sekong 2013: Our Answers To The Most Commonly Asked Snake Questions: Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, and No. For The Questions, Read Below.

March 20, 2013
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Project Sekong 2013: Our Answers To The Most Commonly Asked Snake Questions: Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, and No.  For The Questions, Read Below.

Here are the five questions people most commonly ask us about snakes in Laos: 1. Are there a lot of snakes in Laos? Yes. Many interesting varieties, big and small. 2. Do you encounter them in your work? Yes. We see them all the time, because we work where snakes live. Hardly a day...
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Project Sekong 2013: Don’t Count On The Police Here To Solve A Problem With Old Ordnance. People Are On Their Own!

March 18, 2013
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Project Sekong 2013: Don’t Count On The Police Here To Solve A Problem With Old Ordnance.  People Are On Their Own!

In Laos, if you find a bomb, it’s your bomb.  If you find a landmine, it’s your landmine.  To Americans who are accustomed to calling on the police or fire department for a variety of services that fact of life is difficult to grasp. After we arrive in a village and set up camp...
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Project Phongsali 2013: Often, Women Who Lead Us To Ordnance Insist On Bringing Someone Else Along.

March 16, 2013
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Project Phongsali 2013: Often, Women Who Lead Us To Ordnance Insist On Bringing Someone Else Along.

When providing villagers with “rapid response” to their discovery of dangerous ordnance we sometimes face a dilemma rooted in the cultural practices of the village.  It’s women and girls who find much of the ordnance that we are asked to destroy.  It follows then that, often, it’s a female who must lead our mostly...
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Project Sekong 2013: We Clear Land. Villagers Plant More Coffee. We Sell Their Coffee. 100% Of The Profit Supports Our Work

March 14, 2013
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Project Sekong 2013: We Clear Land.  Villagers Plant More Coffee.  We Sell Their Coffee.  100% Of The Profit Supports Our Work

Our organization’s most successful fundraiser to date was our recent sale of Lao coffee grown on the Bolaven Plateau, near our present worksite. I love coffee, and I begin every day with a pot brewed from locally grown Arabica beans. But my confidence in this coffee as a fundraiser soared as supporters in the...
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Project Sekong 2013: Unsolved mysteries at the Plain of Jars

March 12, 2013
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Project Sekong 2013: Unsolved mysteries at the Plain of Jars

The Plain of Jars, in Xieng Khuang Province in the north of Laos, is likely to be designated a World Heritage Site, and has frequently been touted in guides as worthy of every traveler’s bucket list. The huge stone jars for which the plateau is named were carved from solid blocks of stone by...
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Project Sekong 2013: We Take Pleasure In Re-connecting Families

March 10, 2013
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Project Sekong 2013: We Take Pleasure In Re-connecting Families

The United States is now home to more than 150,000 Hmong-Americans. Readers of this blog are probably among the tiny percentage of Americans who can correctly identify Laos as the country from which most of those new residents began their journey out of Asia. (The funniest incorrect answer to the question, “Where did the...
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Project Sekong 2013: Buddhist Temples And Monks

March 8, 2013
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Project Sekong 2013: Buddhist Temples And Monks

Laos is largely a Buddhist nation. In communities throughout the country, in villages, towns and cities, Buddhist temples are a prominent fixture and the monks who reside on temple grounds are a common yet colorful sight. In the early morning hours, usually just at the break of day, monks will walk single file through...
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