Cluster Bombs in Casing

Cluster Bombs in Casing
76 milion of these individual Bombies remain unexploded in Laos. This is a mother pod that failed to spring open and cast it's deadly cargo.

Project Pineapple

Remember, go to Archives for full story at bottom of picture column

SPECIAL UPDATE FOR AMERICANS
FOR NON AMERICANS PLEASE PASS ON TO YOUR US FRIENDS AND CONTACTS
PLEASE VIEW SITE
http://www.handicap-international.us/our-fight-against-landmines-and-cluster-bombs/in-brief/
AND FIND LINK TO
National Senate Call-In Day to Ban Cluster Bombs MAR 30
but keep up the pressure after this date
MAKE SURE YOU CONTACT YOUR SENATOR

ALSO for those who wish to make donations to Handicap International, a co-founder of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, and now widely recognized as a key international lobbyist on weapons of war, please got to:
http://apps.facebook.com/causes/285080?m=96aaaf39

Be sure to contact your political representative too wherever you are.


PROJECT PINEAPPLE INITIATED WITH A MOTORCYCLE RIDE THROUGH INDOCHINA TO PUBLICISE THE CLUSTER BOMB ISSUE.

Laos was carpet bombed along the Vietnam border to wipe out the VietCong's supply lines, the multiple trails known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Now, the issue is still being swept under a diplomatic carpet.

The Iraq war opened on 19th March, 2003, with Cluster Bombs being dropped. I was in Laos walking through remote villages on a water well project when I got the news on my short wave radio. Those same villages were carpet bombed 35 years earlier and still living under the threat of 76 million unexploded Cluster Bombs.

Billions of dollars continue to be spent on Iraq but a mere 500 thousand dollars annually on clearing unexploded Cluster Bombs in Laos.

The Vietnam War ended on 30th April 1975 when the last ten marines were choppered out.

I used the Belarusian 125cc Minsk motorcyle to ride from Hanoi, Vietnam, through Laos and Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City between 19th March and 30th April representing respectively the start of Cluster Bombs being dropped on Iraq and the final withdrawal of US marines from Saigon.

Visits were made to various relevant projects and programs both for clearing unexploded bombs and supporting the victims.

Should you be in any of these countries it is worth
finding out what you can about this 'forgotten' problem. Rural children and adults are still dying and being maimed every day.

Please email any comments to : project.pineapple@yahoo.com

Remember to go to Blog Archives at bottom of Picture column for the full story.

See you around

Robert


Project Pineapple Logo

Project Pineapple Logo
Inside the shape of a BLU26 Cluster Bomb is the result it can cause.

One Reason for the Name Project Pineapple

One Reason for the Name Project Pineapple
America versus China

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Heavenly Hana, from Aberdeen to Hanoi

Monday, 16th March, I finally roll into Hanoi City. The Vietnam guide book I found on the top a wardrobe in Xam Nua, Laos, with written on the cover, 'Good luck.....you'll need it' seems to have done the trick. It's maps lead my directly to the door of the Little Hanoi Hotel in Hang Ga street in the old quarter. This is where Dominque, a photojournalist from UK, was booked in for next day. We were put in touch by Jack working in the Frontline Club in London after a visit to it's AGM last year. She did a great job in getting sponsoship funding to get over here to cover the Cluster Bomb issue.

Parked the bike nearby and went to find Cuong Motorbike repair shop. Phuc, his brother, said to bring the bike along and it would be ready next day. Picking up the Minsk, 200 meters along Hang Bo Street, the clutch cable broke. Yep, Andy in Luang Prabang said sure the bike would make my Hanoi destination. It did, plus 200 meters. Had that cable given way up in them there Lao mountains, ahhhgggg. Pushing the bike the last few hundred meters I couldn't thank the owner of that guide book enough for their good luck wishes.

Later in the evening I met 'Hana', Hoa Anh Dao, and her friend, another Cuong. Hana I met in the snowdrifts of Aberdeen last year in a hostel, never seen snow before. Learning she came from Hanoi I quickly explained the project and to my amazement her Vietnamese friends were Minsk bikers and could help with everything. She is Media Marketing. And they have done. It is fantastic, opening the doors to alternative bike servicing and the local media. We worked out the project name together. Thanks Hana.

Visiting another Minsk repair shop, Trong's, Hana had arranged for other friends to meet there, having lunch in a 'Quan Bia', beer restaurant, with draught Hanoi beer, stir fried dog and pork shank, local clear corn liquor shots. Along came Dat, short name, short man, big heart, big contact. Dat is a Minsk biker having toured Vietnam extensively and reporter for a group of 4 magazines. Visit his ride report and meet the man. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=418961

Ben from Australia got in touch after meeting someone in a coffee shop in Bangkok. He came specially to Hanoi to be part of the ride. What a guy. He's an old bike racing hand with thirty two trophies to his name and a commitment to ridding the world of the Cluster Bombs. He emailed Steve, an Oz poiltician, to tell him about the project. Welcome to Project Pineapple, Ben.

A fellow guest at the Hotel, Aussie Luke, a computer engineer, got hold of my hand drawn logo and put some smart touches to it maintaining the initial concept. Thanks Luke, great job.

My Minsk sorted by first fix: fork seals, boots, chain guard, levers, cables, wheel bearings, brake light switches, air filter. Dat took us to Trong's for second fix: rubber seal for carb to filter, refit foot brake, adust speedo dial, grab spare headlight bulb and spark plug. Set.

Down to Lao Emabassy to submit visa application as returning to Vientiane Cluster Convention early April, Cambodia Embassy for eventual tour of NE Cambodia, end of Ho Chi Minh trail. Ha Trang, the street of bag and zip repair, saw my saddle bags clips and rucksack sorted.

19th March, 'official' start of Project Pineapple, saw a meeting in an Hang Trong Street coffee lounge with Dat's and Hana's friends who were interested in helping with the project's planning of places to visit around Hanoi and the route south.

It was decided to postpone the actual riding departure until the weekend when the local guys and gals have free time for a couple of days to visit relevent sites and start on the road of the Ho Chi Minh trail.

1 comment:

  1. i visit your site n i got more information then other visited last month
    was good enough then last what i had gone throught






    part time job

    "

    ReplyDelete

Another Good Reason for Name Project Pineapple

Another Good Reason for Name Project Pineapple
This cluster bomb, known as a pineapple, which is still active, is in the collection of Tourist Information at Phonsavan, Plain of Jars, Laos

Two Good Reasons for Image on Project Pineapple Logo

Two Good Reasons for Image on Project Pineapple Logo
Cope publicity staff Soksai 'plays' Project Pineapple logo

Mr Ta, No Arms One Eye, Cluster Bomb Victim

Mr Ta, No Arms One Eye, Cluster Bomb Victim
This is what the ride is about, to stop the perpetrators of these weapons

An Animated Mr Ta Gesticulates....

An Animated Mr Ta Gesticulates....
....as best he can during interview with COPE's Cluster Bomb display behind

'Handling' His Misfortune by Selling Maps at War Museum, Sai Gon

'Handling' His Misfortune by Selling Maps at War Museum, Sai Gon
This victim armless, one legged, one eye, is pragmantic, I shook his 'hand' with both of mine

Arms and Legs All Over The Place

Arms and Legs All Over The Place
That's COPEs limb fitting centre, not going out of business soon, unfortunately.

Colourful Collection of Cluster Bombs

Colourful Collection of Cluster Bombs
A tasty collection, you can see why kids enjoy playing with them

Togehter We Can Make It Happen

Togehter We Can Make It Happen
Bomb Awareness Day in Vientiane, is that an American flag I see before mine eyes?

Out of Nong Across to Along and The Hardest Trail

Out of Nong Across to Along and The Hardest Trail
The Along villagers build this crossing during the dry season with a hefty toll on the otherside

War Vet Wonders Where The Good Times Went, And His Leg

War Vet Wonders Where The Good Times Went, And His Leg
The restrained display opposite the City Opera House on Le Loi Avenue, Sai Gon

International Artist Supports Project Pineapple

International Artist Supports Project Pineapple
Man Winkler's contribution to the project , see blog entry, April 22

Little Remains After 40 Years of Scrap Hunters

Little Remains After 40 Years of Scrap Hunters
Too big with rusted bolts for the recycling confirms you are on the Trail

Forest Fire

Forest Fire
Sunset on Lao at the Viet Nam border. Imagine these skies on real fire 40 years ago.

Descendant of First Generation Clearance Team

Descendant of First Generation Clearance Team
Pigs, Dogs and Children were the first to clear UXOs before western conscience finally activated, see website

Jettisoned Fuel Tank Takes to the Air Again

Jettisoned Fuel Tank Takes to the Air Again
B52s dropped their supplimentary fuel tanks after their deadly Cluster Bomb missions

UXO Lao Xekong meet Project Pineapple

UXO Lao Xekong meet Project Pineapple
Mr Tawee and some of his crew receiving COPE's brouchures

Mountain Villagers Have Little But The Land They Live On

Mountain Villagers Have Little But The Land They Live On
Why should these people be suffering from the war remants so flagrantly scattered 40 years ago?

Complex Weaving Designs Take a Complex Comprehension

Complex Weaving Designs Take a  Complex Comprehension
Villagers skilled in weaving intricate designs easily capable of searching their mountainous forest floor plan

Unstoppable Road Development of the Ho Chi Minh Trail

Unstoppable Road Development of the Ho Chi Minh Trail
Parking a Minsk even for a moment can be hazardous

Minsk 125cc 2002

Minsk 125cc 2002
Your going on that? remarked Tony, the web man.

What's that Minsk doing up there?

What's that Minsk doing up there?
It's on the way to my 'local' mechanic in Luang Prabang of course.

My 'Local' Mechanic

My 'Local' Mechanic
Hey Joe, Second Gear, not Top Gear

A Jarring Ride

A Jarring Ride
Phonsavan, Pathet Lao stronghold

Hanoi, Minsk's Second Fix

Hanoi, Minsk's Second Fix
Snagging repairs after first fix

The Ride Kickstarts

The Ride Kickstarts
Project Pineapple departs from Bach Mai Hospital, Hanoi

The Big House Pitstop

The Big House Pitstop
Not reaching the start of the Ho Chi Minh Trail on the first day we make a pitstop at this fine traditional Big House.

Cam Thuy, Start of the Ho Chi Minh Trail

Cam Thuy, Start of the Ho Chi Minh Trail
Outside the restaurant, our last meal together before they head north and I south

Project Pineapple Riders

Project Pineapple Riders
Ben from Australia, with 32 biking trophies to his name, rides the Minsk in Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh's Birth Place

Ho Chi Minh's Birth Place
Not far off the Trail to which he gave it's name, Uncle Ho's house

Phong Nga Cave's now Toothless Mouth

Phong Nga Cave's now Toothless Mouth
Like Venice, Cave Gondaleers have time

Spooked at Trail Crossroads

Spooked at Trail Crossroads
Tien with Jokers Alain and Ludivec

Moody Mountains of Mordor

Moody Mountains of Mordor
The Spooky crossroads of the Trail

Friendly French

Friendly French
Missing a gear change causes a photo op returning to the caves

Chain of Events cause Delays

Chain of Events cause Delays
Tuan speedily replaces clutch and drive chain