When my family lived in the Kayah state of Burma, they lived in a war. The Karenni had been waging a war of resistance ever since Burmese forces invaded our state on August 9, 1948. At that time, many people feared the Burmese soldiers because they assassinated and burned the villages. Then everyone moved to different places and my family lost many things. For example, my family lost house and peasant during the Burmese soldiers destruction the Kayah villages.

The Karenni and Burmese civil war did not end. I cried out when I heard the weapons shoot out bullets. I felt mournful because of the war. My family could not sleep day and night. My life was so difficult living in a war because the place was horrible and dangerous. My eyes teared when I slept because I worried about my family. My brother almost got killed when he went outside, since then my father took him to stay inside of the campus house.  

Later, my family moved to Thailand to a place of safety for my family to live. My family was a resilient and gracious people with a great sense of humor. They had a very strong work ethic, and did not complain. I lived out of a basic belief that life is difficult, so I do what I have to do in order to survive. My family demonstrated great dignity and provided for themselves and helped their fellow Karenni people. They are not easily offended by outsiders and were very appreciative of any kind of help they received. Unfortunately, it was very difficult for my family to ask for help because my family did not have any money to pay for them.

Then President Obama “opened the door” for immigrants to come to the U.S. I came to the United States from Thailand with my family. My family took airplane flights to Japan, United States and Los Angeles, California to get to Oakland. Everything was strange to me and totally different from my country. I did not know how to speak proper English and write correctly. I felt ineffective and ignorant. I had a difficult time understanding English when my teachers taught me. It’s very difficult to learn a new language, and the English language is one of the hardest to learn in my life. Thus, I will learn to develop an attitude about English and be confident.

My family took care of me so that we could find a better life. My parents worked day and night to help us. My life is better now, but all I want is to be able to keep my education going and have a good future. I succeed to walk through the doors of opportunity because this will open the door to my new life.

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AuthorRefugee Transitions