May 22nd, 2010  |  By Round Earth Media

In Search of Shovels

Roger Rumpf and Jacqui Chagnon on their porch overlooking the Mekong River. | Mary Stucky

Per capita, Laos is the most bombed country on earth. For nine years, every day, around the clock, the United States rained bombs down on much of the country. The bombing was intended to stop Communist supply routes running through Laos into Vietnam. Many of those bombs, called cluster bombs, are about the size of a tennis ball and never exploded. So years after the war ended, the bombs were still claiming lives every day.
On a recent trip to Laos, reporter Mary Stucky met an American couple who worked to stop that death toll by buying up shovels.

May 13th, 2010  |  By Round Earth Media

GLOBAL HIT: Alexandra Bounxouei

Alexandra Bounxouei - the Lao Princess of Pop - isn't your typical pop star. | Photo by Mary Stucky

You could call Alexandra Bounxouei the Britney Spears of Laos – she’s young and vivacious, with a legion of devoted fans around the world. But she’s also a classically trained violinist. Mary Stucky has the story of the Lao Princess of Pop.

March 20th, 2010  |  By Round Earth Media

Jhai Computers

School children in Laos use computers donated by the Jhai Foundation. | Photo by Michael Beebe

School children in Laos work on computers donated by the Jhai Foundation. | Photo by Michael Beebe

Back in 1966 Lee Thorn was a young American serviceman in the Vietnam War. His assignment: loading bombs onto planes bound for Laos, a small country west of Vietnam. The bombing was meant to stop supplies that America’s North Vietnamese enemy was bringing through Laos to Vietnam. Countless Laotian civilians died in the bombing and for years Lee Thorn was tormented by those deaths – until he went back to Laos and found a way to help people there. Mary Stucky reports from the village of Champasak, in southern Laos.

November 6th, 2009  |  By Round Earth Media

Mekong Dams

The Mekong River flows through 6 countries. | Photo by Mary Stucky

The Mekong River flows through six countries. | Photo by Mary Stucky

In the United States, Canada and Europe, some old hydroelectric dams are being torn down, rejected as environmentally destructive or too expensive to repair or replace. But that’s not the case in parts of the developing world, including Southeast Asia. There dams are being built along the biologically rich Mekong River and its tributaries. In just one small country, Laos, seven large dams are currently under construction, and over 50 more are on the drawing board.  Some see this as a major threat to biodiversity.


November 6th, 2009  |  By Round Earth Media

Bomb Hunters in Laos

The mother of nine year old Hamm who was killed when a cluster bomb exploded.

The mother of 9-year-old Hamm. The boy was killed when a cluster bomb exploded. | All photos by Mary Stucky

The world economic crisis caused a steep drop in the price of metal but that hasn’t stopped a strange and extremely dangerous enterprise in the jungles of Laos. Every day kids and adults trek into the forest looking for scrap metal they can sell for cash. They find fine gauge steel – bombs — or pieces of them — left over from the Vietnam War. Many of these bombs never exploded. Mary Stucky reports from Laos on this deadly business.


November 4th, 2009  |  By Round Earth Media

Crossing East

The Chinese Teahouse restaurant in Plymouth, MN.  |  Photo: Mary Stucky

The Chinese Teahouse restaurant in Plymouth, MN. | Photo by Mary Stucky

Mary Stucky is proud to have been a contributing producer to this Peabody award-winning documentary series about the history of Asian-American immigration to the United States.


June 1st, 2007  |  By Round Earth Media

A Walnut Grove Welcome

A Hmong home in Walnut Grove.

A Hmong home in Walnut Grove. | Photo by Mary Stucky

Walnut Grove, Minnesota was the real life setting for the TV series “Little House on the Prairie.” But its population and business community was eroding until Hmong refugees from Laos showed up. They received such a friendly reception in Walnut Grove others followed. Now Hmong refugees make up a third of the town’s population. And Walnut Grove is prospering and growing. (more…)

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