The soil is very red here

(from Amanda Koster’s blog, while leading the SalaamGarage trip to Vietnam 1/2010)

dong ha, vietnam.
where i am sitting there ‘was’ a war going on.

the soil is very red here. it has a hi iron content. there are bombs in this soil. explosives which are still killing people, maiming people, blinding people, etc. people who have/had nothing to do with any conflict between north and south vietnam, or the united states or anything. kids who went out to play, thought a ‘bombie’ (cluster bomb) was a toy and kicked it. they may loose their site, legs and arms while their friends die right beside them. this is how it happens.

today i interviewed and photographed a few landmine survivors and victims (there is a difference here).

i am meeting these folks, seeing these places, learning about how things are now, post war. things are good and bad.

yesterday, january 15 quang li told me 14 people have died this year in quang tri province from explosives.

blair (exec. director of peacetrees vietnam) said it will take over 200 years to clear all the explosives in the soil in vietnam. over 200 years. 200 years. how long will this war last exactly?

besides iron i imagine there is a lot of blood as well. the soil here is very red here.

  • Dean Forbes

    “The soil is very red here.” Wonderful way to lead into the story.

  • Jason Rogers

    ? just heard Amanda Koster speak at TEDx in San Luis Obispo. I’m travelling to Cambodia and Vietnam in January for a month and wanted to find a place to visit land mine survivors. I’m a photographer myself and wanted to capture their images and their story to share with others back here. Where can I find someplace to visit?