Posts tagged Legacies of War
Phoung, Washington D.C.

At the refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand, my kids and I came first; my husband joined us later. The Thai police, regarded us very low and looked down on us because we were refugees. Some of us were Generals back in Laos, but they still treated us very low. They bullied us. They didn’t allow us to come in and go out the refugee camp easily. If you had a daughter, they would bother you even more.

(Pictured with her daughter Channapha)

Read More
Mary, VA

My name is Mary Than, but my Lao name is Rattanaphone Sangbouasy. Initially when my family crossed from Laos to Thailand, we lived there for three years before my father put us in the refugee camp. My mom and dad took a risk and my father was killed for it. It was 1977, I was 8. Being that young, you don’t realize that war was there. You know, you go swimming and climb trees, but I remember at night time the bombs going off, the glares over the Mekong River. My mom would always say, “Oy, hai mon ma sa” - let the war come and let it be over with, because she was tired of moving us from one area to another area. Even though I’m 46 years old, that memory, that part of you it never goes away. That legacy, it’s bad but it brought us all here together.

Read More
Kingsavanh, Washington D.C.

My first summer job was in San Francisco when I was a foreign student at U.C. Berkley, studying political science. I came the United States in 1973 from Laos, I’m not a refugee. My first professional job was a bilingual social worker, I helped refugee resettlement for 25 years, and then I retired. Then I became a Lao language instructor at Foreign Service State Department, in fact I still do that right now, and I’ve been broadcasting at Voices of America for 3 years.

Read More
Phitsamay, Lowell, MA

My first memory of the refugee camp was waiting for the U.N./Red Cross to come with food rations, and I remember that this other older lady didn’t have any children and my mom would loan me to her because if you had more children you get more food. So once I week I pretended to be her daughter. Whenever I would go with Mae Ba I would get a lollipop, so of course I always wanted to go with her.

Read More