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Eh Paw's Story: What A Life

By Susan Gitenstein Assadi
A home is a place to live with a family and enjoy with friends. It’s a place where you build memories in your lifetime. A home is where the heart is, and whenever you go its inside you, no matter what. Home is where you can be free and be yourself. My parents faced difficulties in their entire lives. My parents wanted me to have good education, that is the reason we immigrated to U.S.A. I was born in Thailand refugee camp, I have three brothers and two sisters, my parent was born in Burma. I lived closed to the river and my house is made from bamboo, some woods, and on the top is cover with leafed so that when it rained the rain won't go through the house. Life is hard in Thailand because we don’t have enough food to eat, cloths to wear, sometimes when my sandals were torn apart, I had to go barefoot to school because my parents didn’t have money to buy me new ones. In refugee camp we had to pay to go to school, so my parents left my siblings and I at the house with my grandparents to take care of us while they go to earn money to feed us, get new shoes, buy new clothes, and send us to school to get a good education. It's hard to find a job there. I made so many memories with my childhood friends, sometimes after school we went home and played around the house with my friends until our mom called us for dinner time. Other days we can't play because we must do our homework and help our mom cook. I could hear the sound of water flowing in the river, the raining fall on top of the leafed, smell of my parent cooking, and the smile that I wear on my face every day and every morning to show my parent, friends, and teacher when I get to school. One day my parents decide to come to the U.S. we waited about one and half years to come to the U.S.A. This is my memory of what home means to me before coming here. When I got out of my last plane, we saw our manager waiting for my family and me. Everything changed, when I look around, I saw a lot of cars, tall buildings, beautiful houses, people wearing nice clothes, and street lights. When I enter my new home is so nice and cleaned, they had everything that we don’t have or use in refugee camp like, light, refrigerator, air conditioning, etc. My family are happy and sad at the same time. At first it was hard to communicate with friend in school since I can't speak English. Despite these challenges we made our apartment a home. Now we live in a house and it is home for me and my family. Today, I like my home better here because I get to go to school for free, I can do whatever I want, and be whatever I decide when I grow up. I still miss my birth place even though life is way better in this country, because of our opportunities. One day I will make my family proud by seeing me become a nurse and helping refugee people and others.
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Susan Gitenstein Assadi