Fwd: Travel pool report #2

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Lee, Carol" >
Date: September 7, 2016 at 11:10:29 AM GMT+7
To: "Gabriel, Brian A. Jr. EOP/WHO" >
Subject: Travel pool report #2

Pool entered COPE at 10:24am. POTUS was listening intently to Thoummy Silamphan, a survivor who was telling him about the organization's work and his story. Hey stood in front of a large chalk board hat was covered in messages written in pink chalk. "Peace," "Courage," "You go home," "Love," "Shine," "Luke 2016" were among the scrawlings.

Prosthetic legs of all sizes, some with socks on their feet hung from the ceiling, were lined on a bench in front of the chalkboard, and piled up on a table against the wall.

There was a basket full of crutches nearby and a table with some prosthetic hands on it. It was very hard for pool to hear the conversation. TV mic may have picked up more.

POTUS told Mr. Thoummy he was proud of him. He asked how old he is. Mr. Thoummy said he is 29.

Ben Rhodes, Susan Rice and Josh Earnest were standing nearby.

Mr. Obama then walked a few steps to Soksai Sengvongkham. Pointing to the legs hanging from the ceiling and displayed on the table he said these are the traditional prosthetics.

POTUS asked him how many victims do you see every year. He replied quite a lot but said the number of new cases has gone down each year.

Mr. Obama walked through the traditional Lao house model set in he middle of he room, and after a few moments he exited the other side.

He was met by Thippasone Soukhathammavong.

They stood behind a small table with various bombs set on top.

POTUS then met two women who help clear the mines. They each held metal detectors, which looked like ones people sometimes use on the beach looking for things in the sand.

The equipment is used to detect the bombs. POTUS asked the women what happens when they find a bomb. The women were asked and responded through an interpreter. It was not audible to your pooler.

POTUS asked if they destroy the bombs themselves.

Again the answer was unclear but they seemed to say they put a marker on the spot and come back later.

POTUS asked them how many bombs they've discovered. One of the women said she's been working on this for 20 years, she's lost count.

He told the women they are doing very important work.

He asked for all of them to take a picture, and they all posed together as Pete Souza snapped a photo.

POTUS exited at 10:39am. Pool assembled for his statement. Separate pool report on that.

Your pooler will listen to her recording on the flight to see if any additional quotes are audible. If so, will send.

Carol Lee
The Wall Street Journal

Show Comments