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There's a downside to being in Laos (or Vietnam, and to a lesser extent Cambodia). That's "UXO" or UneXploded Ordinance. They live with the violent ghost of the Vietnam war, and it still claims 40 to 60 people a year (mostly children playing in the fields) and probably a good number of water buffalo as well. They're trying to clean it up, but don't have a lot of money to put toward sweeping an entire country for mines. As a Canadian, I can't really conceive of living under these conditions. The Plain of Jars sites are very carefully marked out to indicate which areas have been cleared and which haven't. Despite this spectre hanging over the fields, it was a very peaceful and beautiful way to spend a day.

Image 20051229-PlainOfJarsUXOSignage.web.jpg, size 72695 b
Image #20051229-PlainOfJarsUXOSignage
Photo © 2008, Giles Orr 
Last modified: 2008-05-17 by giles