|Ready to try and demine|
|Using the equipment|
Well I wasn't that good with the metal detector so I suspect my days of finding Roman treasure troves will be limited but with a bit of help from the local staff I eventually managed to discover the MAG badge that had been hidden in the grass. The equipment itself is heavy and hot, the helmet is quite claustrophobic so I really admired the people who do this day in day out especially when I found out that half the armour from the vest was missing as they had been 'kind' and not inserted the various ceramic plates that protect vital organs.
|Frank 'I am German and I will be talking about the War'|
|Washing instructions for the Kevlar....|
Frank did also explain 'thinking' behind a lot of the devices which I found a bit chilling but logical: eg anti personnel mines are designed to cripple/maim rather than kill because an injured soldier will slow down a company more than a dead one and Claymores (mines that have a trigger on them) will take out a range of around 50-100 yards worth of people in around a 120 degree arc and they have the direction of them clearly printed on the front (although this didn't stop some friendly fire incidents). I think the two things that really hit me was the information that it will take a further 20 or so years to remove all the armaments from this section of SE Asia (assuming that current levels of funding continue) and that there has been a doubling of incidents involving anti tank mines over the last year which MAG cannot currently explain but did mean that the death toll increased significantly.
And that they say is that. I will be posting the radio clip some time this week (so excited that we made it on for a contribution of 33 seconds or so to my allotted 15 mins of fame). I am really glad that I took this challenge on and now the aches and pains are behind me can look back on it with joy. My photos are loaded onto Flickr and the link is down the right hand side of the page; but as you can see from the pictures, and hopefully my blog, the thing that most struck me was the children in Cambodia. They made all of the training, the struggle through the peddling and the general pain worthwhile but I wish that I could do more.