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Lar Soe




Lar Soe was born in Mae Lae refugee camp in Thailand in 2000. When the family was being processed to leave the camp her father was away working in Bangkok, so they had to leave with their father. The family arrived in Saint Paul, Minnesota on February 3, 2011.




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My name is Lar Soe. I was born and raised in Mae La Thailand refugee camp. Life as a refugee is not always as safe as you think. There was no hope left for my parents. Every morning was a new day but the food was always from the day before. Because of that we needed a better life. I talked to my grandparents on the phone and told them to bring me different type of fruits when I got to America. I would call out those fruit names such as apple, banana, grape and more. As a child I always wanted to ride a plane, when the plane flew above the village the children would wave their hands and run after the plane and shout “BYE BYEEEEE!.” When we came to begin our new life my mom came as a single parent because my dad didn’t have the ID, which caused a problem so he was left behind alone. The day we got the ID’s my dad was at Bangkok working. Before we left the camp, we had a celebration and prayed for a safe trip. Early next morning my family started to prepare to go to the truck station where groups of families waited for a truck and were ready for a better life.The time came, we got inside the truck and I saw my dad with his red eyes, tears on his cheeks and hand waving to his children slowly. On the way to Mae Pot all I heard was hiccups from the people crying. The place at Mae Pot smelled sickly. The place where we stayed for a week looked like a hospital in the 1800’s. Staying at Mae Pot was like we were in the jail because we couldn’t leave the fence. We only got to eat breakfast and dinner, and there was no snack to eat. The time flew by and we get out of Mae Pot. We went on a long ride to Bangkok and I saw the beautiful and gold temple in Thailand for the very first time. At that moment I felt like I was in heaven and my eyes went wide. We stayed at Bangkok Hotel for a day and that is also my very first time sleeping on a bed. In the morning we went out to the airport. On the plane is where my family’s journey started to get challenging. When we got on the plane my mother had to take care of my little sister and I had to watch over my 7 year old brother. In the plane my brother kept on throwing up and I cleaned up his mess because I wanted to help my mom since she didn’t have a helper. Inside the plane I didn’t know if it was morning or night time and my heart was dark and I felt lost. I didn’t speak English so all I could ask for is water because that was the only English word I could say. When we get off the plane the airport smelled like coffee to me, and the water had no taste. We had to take off our shoes and, jackets for the airport security. I had to pull my brother and chase others so we wouldn’t get lost at the airport. I was weak and tired but I still kept on going. We have to follow the worker. The moment when my shoes started to get wet, smoke came out when I breathed and my body started to shake. I was confused. I was cold! When I finally met my grandparents again after 2 years I was happy. They brought me the fruits that I had asked for. Sadly, I didn’t eat the fruits because they didn’t taste the way I expected. My family made it to St.Paul Minnesota on February 3, 2011. Over the journey I’ve learned that even when you go somewhere with your single mom to a place that you’ve never experienced before you’ll make it to your destination and you will have a good life.