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April 4: International Mine Awareness Day

Kulen Intl Mine Awareness Day 140404 01b

How often do we think about where we step?

Kulen Intl Mine Awareness Day 140404 01a

How often do we consciously note the placement of our feet?

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How often do we veer from the path because we want to take a shortcut or see a different scene?

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What is it like to live in a place where shortcuts can be deadly?

Today, we hike through a mountainous area of Cambodia that soldiers occupied during war. The fighting ended years ago, but the landmines remain. No one has ever come to clear them—only farmers who burn the hillsides before planting vegetables and fruit trees.

We meet a woman living on this mountainside. We chat with a family—husband, wife, daughter and grandson—taking the bananas they harvest to market. They are civilians, but they still live with the remnants of war.

It is simply coincidence that our hike today takes place on the International Day of Mine Awareness. Worldwide, millions of people live among fields and forests contaminated with landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war. Read more here.

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