Special Documentary Project by Roger Warner
Here's a tidbit: a micro-documentary, about six minutes long, about a return to Long Tieng. The valley, closed to Westerners for thirty years after the commies took over, is just beginning to open up. Bill and I tried to get into 20A together, and explored a number of leads. But for those particular connections to ease our way in, Bill would have had to stay in SEA much longer than he had planned, and he had important family commitments to fulfill back in Texas. The information Bill and I gathered, however, was enough to justify a second expedition after Bill left.
This time my traveling companion was Mac Thompson, ex-USAID/Laos, ex- skydiver, and an aficionado of homebrew beer. Mac and I figured our chances at about 50-50. Thanks to good luck and Mac's phenomenal ability to bullshit in fluent Lao, we got into Long Tieng for a very brief visit, all that was permitted. But we ended up drinking beer with the base commander, and we believe we have done our bit for making travel there a bit easier for other people in the future.
The short and funky film can be seen on my project website, www.ciafilm.com. (Apologies for the domain name, but it was available, and it's easy to remember.) Go to the main website page, and you should see a link at the bottom of the screen for bonus footage on Long Cheng. Click on it, and be patient, because even with a fast modem connection it can take a couple of minutes to load.
If your computer has any problems, other than loading speed, you should know that the movie is in Flash software, which comes already installed on most computers. If your computer doesn't have Flash installed, you may need to download the latest (free) version as a plug-in for your web browser.
Photos for this trip at: 2006-03 @ http://picasaweb.google.com/mactbkk/200603LongTiengVisit#
Photos for all trips at: http://picasaweb.google.com/mactbkk/?pli=1