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Old 08-12-2009, 04:09 PM   #15
Suqsuda OP
Secret Sharer
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Oddometer: 166
We were in the village Sen Phen at the end of our third day of riding. We had a couple hours of daylight left to wander the village. There is no electricity or running water in Sen Phen; water is fetched from the Bangfai river:

U.S. aircraft jettisoned their empty fuel canisters, which the Lao cut in half and use as canoes:

The village is located in the Phanhop Valley, where traffic on the Ho Chi Minh trail was funneled into a natural bottleneck between mountain ranges. As such, it was heavily targeted. U.S. pilots nicknamed this area the 'Bowl of Fire.' Maybe that's what it looked like from a B-52 with the bombs exploding at night. Bombs are all over the village:

This bucket was obviously made from part of a downed U.S. helicopter or jet:

This house is built on cluster bomb casings and the siding is of aluminum parachute flare canisters pounded flat:

Cluster bomb casing used as a planter:

Another hut built with bomb casings:

This ordnance looked live. The Lao call the yellow sub-munitions 'pineapples.' You can see why a child would be tempted to pick one of these up:

The children were friendly and curious, the adults more wary and standoffish, but not unfriendly.

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