More children from the Mien Village.
The people of Laos amazed us with their laid back, welcoming, hassle free friendliness. This is all the more extraordinary given their relatively recent history. The US initiated an undeclared and therefore illegal war in Laos in 1964 which continued until 1973. B52's bombed the country at the rate of one plane load every eight minutes for twenty four hours a day. They dropped 260 million bombs, amounting to half a ton of explosives for every man, woman and child in the country. More ordnance was dropped here than was used during the entire Second World War. This gives this poor country the doubtful distinction of being the most heavily bombed country in world history. Much of the munitions dropped included cluster bombs, many of which failed to explode on impact. These still reap their deadly harvest today. Indeed while we were there a young girl, probably not unlike this sweetie in the photograph, found one and tossed it in the air. It killed her and seriously maimed her playmate.