Stories of transformation from Laos and beyond in the words of leaders taking on contemporary issues through business, creativity, and advocacy.
I thought she would tell me that her land was contaminated with unexploded bombs when I asked her what motivated her to become the Team Leader of one of Mines Advisory Group's badass all women bomb clearance teams.
Instead, she was silent. Against her will, gravity pulled tears from her eyes. Her team of friends looked on in disbelief. No one had known that when she was 8, her father was farming and hit a live cluster bomb that killed him.
Nothing in my broken Lao vocabulary of food and drink words was appropriate to respond with. In a panic, the only thing I could think to do was give her the peacebomb cuff bracelet off my arm and put it on hers. A teeny gesture. When I saw her again almost a year later, she was still wearing the bracelet inscribed beauty will save the world. I hope she knows she is that beauty.
I met Noy in 2016. When I met Rebecca Rusch the following year, I knew I had to find a way to travel with her back to Laos and introduce the two daughters. Living thousands of miles apart, they shared the experience of the same war. Both daughters hardly knew their fathers.
Rebecca's father was an Air Force pilot whose plane crashed over Laos. She rode 1,200 miles down the Ho Chi Minh Trail to find his crash site over forty years later. Noy's father was farming and came upon a cluster munition that took his life.
Both daughters are now on a mission to clear the 80 million unexploded bombs from land in Laos. Rebecca is following her father's words to Be Good. And Noy is following her heart to heal the land of her family and friends.
A Bomb's Journey is a short film Red Bull made to chronicle Rebecca's return to Laos, meeting with the brave MAG women clearing the land, and the ARTICLE22 artisans of Ban Naphia producing the Be Good Collection of jewelry. Each piece helps Noy and her team clear 12.5 m2 of UXO from the land in Captain Rusch's name.
A Bomb's Journey short film by Red Bull
"Every bracelet clears 12.5 square meters of land in Laos, in my dad's name, through my foundation. I now have a the Be Good Foundation, just became official 501c3. It's been a process but I'm taking my bike, this film, and these bracelets as a way to use my bike to make a difference. That can involve adventures, or bracelets, or movie tours. It's actually super exciting that "my business" has evolved into still feeding my soul with adventuring and cycling, but now this who bigger part of it which is to help people heal by riding a bicycle." - Rebecca Rusch