(For English version, please scroll down)
參觀博物館是很多人旅遊時也會做的事，這是一個了解當地歷史和文化的好機會。不過上回提及的 COPE Visitor Center 就不是一般的國家博物館，而是一個 NGO 的小型展覽。這個地方在旅遊書上未必會找到，因著 UN 同事的介紹我們就在星期天去參觀一下。
一進去覺得氣氛有點像之前在泰北 Maesot 參觀過的 AAPP，不過那個是關於緬甸的 Political prisoners，所以應該更少人知道它的存在。一進去看見牆上掛滿不同類型的 UXO 照片，再走前就看到一間竹滕屋，內裡掛了一些廚具和器皿，是由鄉郊的人從一些很少機會再引爆的 UXO 裡提取金屬而製（雖然危險性還是有的）。另外，展覽中也有介紹義肢製作的過程及 COPE 如何協助人們復康。
Mission 6: To visit an exhibition in order to understand the history and culture of the country
Visiting museum is a common practice during travel as it is a great opportunity to know more about the history and culture of the country. The COPE Visitor Centre mentioned in the last post also holds a small-scaled exhibition regarding the UXO (Unexploded Ordnance) in Vientiane. This place is not usually shown on travel books and we went there because of the recommendation from the colleagues in UN.
The atmosphere of COPE Visitor Centre was quite alike that in AAPP located in Maesot (a city in Northern Thailand), which I visited before. However, AAPP centre should have even fewer visitors since it promotes the issue of political prisoners in Myanmar, which is a more sensitive issue.
Many pictures showing various kinds of UXOs were hung on the wall at the start of the exhibition. There was a bamboo house where some kitchen utensils were shown. Those were made of the metal extracted from UXOs and there was a possibility of explosion during the production (though the possibility might have been assessed by the local people). Besides, the process of making prosthetic limbs and the work of COPE were introduced.
Since there were not many visitors in the exhibition room (maybe just me and my two friends), the atmosphere was a bit tense and I was abashed by the hill of accumulated prosthetic limbs. The drawings from the children affected by the war and the bombs also impressed me. It was quite cruel to ask them to recall the memories in war and draw them out. The captions emotionlessly described the tragedies, which showed the children’s helplessness during the war.
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