I lived in a small village in Burma when I was a child. When I was seven I had to move to Thailand with my parents and two brothers. I stayed there until 2014 when I came to Canada with my mother on August 19th. My oldest brother is still in the refugee camp with his wife and daughter. The second oldest came to Canada with his family and in-laws in 2007.
Growing up in Burma, my parents grew rice. We had a mango tree and a banana tree. We kept chickens and pigs. There were about 30 houses in our village. They moved the rice fields around. They would cut down the jungle plants to make a new field and let the old field turn back into jungle. Some people kept an elephant. It could carry heavy logs when they were making a wooden house. Some houses had metal roofs but many used big leaves that we could find in the jungle.
The Burmese soldiers came and fought. They killed my grandfather. Karen people don’t get citizenship in Burma. Sometimes the soldiers came to our village. They did bad things. My parents decided to go to Thailand. We walked for two weeks. We crossed the Salween River in a small boat. We lived in a refugee camp called Eh La Lu. Then they closed that camp and we moved in 2003 to Mae La Mu camp. I lived there 11 years. We applied to come to Canada and had interviews. We had medical exams. Finally, we said good bye and got on a bus for Bangkok. We stayed there overnight and then flew to Canada. Now I study English at the Multicultural Council. We are happy.