Between 1964 and 1973, in an offshoot of the Vietnam War, the U.S. military dropped 4 billion pounds of explosives on Laos. Up to 30 percent of those bombs did not detonate, and they remain in the Laotian soil today as UXO—unexploded ordnance—contaminating more than one-third of surface area of the country. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and injured in UXO accidents since the war officially ended. Nearly half a century after the last bombs fell, US bombs remain a widespread threat to the Laotian people.
Jerry and I spent more than seven years traveling in Laos, talking to farmers, scrap-metal hunters, people who make and use tools from UXO, and the bomb-disposal teams working to render the land harmless. With their words and photographs, they reveal the beauty of Laos, the strength of Laotians, and the daunting scope of the problem. We aim to educate readers—especially Americans—about this little-known legacy of war, and encourage a renewed commitment to redressing historical injustices and building positive peace. (Also, check out our documentary film, ETERNAL HARVEST, scheduled for release in 2021!)
This Way More Better
Attend the coronation of a Cambodian king, and explore East Timor’s caves of ancient art. Trek through endangered Borneo forests with tribal hunters searching for pig. This Way More Better: Stories and Photos from Asia’s Back Roads takes readers on an armchair adventure spanning 11 countries in a dozen years. Join us as we journey into the heart of Asia, to tell the stories of people living in some of the most remote—and crowded— places on Earth.
This Way More Better, featuring Jerry’s photos, explores the intersections of humanity, history and environment—with copious food and drink to nourish the journey.
Cambodia today is in many ways shaped by its Khmer Rouge past. The genocidal regime of 1975–1979 and the following two decades of civil war ripped the country apart. This work examines Cambodia in the aftermath, focusing on Khmer people of all walks of life and examining through their eyes key facets of Cambodian society, including the ancient Angkor legacy, relations with neighboring countries (particularly the strained ones with the Vietnamese), emerging democracy, psychology, violence, health, family, poverty, the environment, and the nation’s future.
Along with print sources, research is drawn from hundreds of interviews with Cambodians, including farmers, royalty, beggars, teachers, monks, orphanage heads, politicians, and non-native experts on Cambodia.
It was an age without GPS and the Internet, without high-tech monitoring and instantaneous reporting. And it was a time when women simply didn’t do such things. None of this deterred Sharon Sites Adams. In June 1965, Adams made history as the first woman to sail solo from the mainland United States to Hawaii. Four years later, just as Neil Armstrong very publicly stepped onto the moon, the diminutive Adams, alone and unobserved, finally sighted Point Arguello, California, after seventy-four days sailing a thirty-one-foot ketch from Japan, across the violent and unpredictable Pacific. She was the first woman to do so, setting another world record.
Six weeks after her first sailing lesson she bought a boat, and within eight months she set out to achieve her first world record.