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Lway Gay Moo


Lway Gay Moo was born in Burma in 1997 while her family was on the run from Burmese soldiers. After another outbreak of violence, her family fled the Karen State for a Thai refugee camp in 1998. She and her family came to the United States on August 22, 2013. She is a student at Washington High School in St. Paul, MN.




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Lway Gay Moo Transcription

“Bitter Turns to Sweet”

My name is Lway Gay Moo. I was born in Burma on October 12, 1997 in the jungle beside the river in a destitute place. The jungle was full of trees and vines. At that time the weather had gotten cooler. The war was going on between Burmese soldiers and Karen soldiers at the time I was born. My family had to run until my mom gave birth in the forest. It was not safe to give birth in the village because the soldiers already ran into our village and burned it. When I was born, it was hard and difficult for my family because earlier that year my dad got shot by Burmese soldiers on his back and leg, and the wound that he used to have was still in pain. When I was born, my mom did not have any clothes and to swaddle me. So, my uncle cut my dad’s sarong in half to swaddle me. My mom did not have any healthy foods to eat. She got only salt and rice to eat because we were in the forest, so it was hard to find the foods. When we were in the forest, it was like we were in hell because we did not hear the birds sing or any other sound in the forest. All we heard was the sound of gun shots and it was too loud, like thunder. A month after my mom gave birth to me, my family got out in that forest and moved to Karen Htee Ma Ta village, which is [in] Karen state. My mom had to work hard in that village to feed our family. The war started again in 1998, when I was 1 year and 3 months, so my family found a way to move to Thai refugee camp. My family had a long trip to walk, like a month, and, at that time, I was little, so my mom had to carry me on her back. The first day when I got to the refugee camp my mom put me down on the ground. At that time, I was really hungry and after I saw peoples’ plate on the ground, even with only rice, I ran to a plate and started to eat like a dog because I was so hungry. The reason why I write my topic as a bitter turns to sweet because, in the past, my family had to face a lot of difficult situations, but now we were in a better place which is American. And I felt like I was in heaven because I did not have to run to escape from soldiers anymore. I did not hear the gunshots again. I believe that, if I work hard in this country, my future with get brighter. I will become educated, be successful, and reach to my goals.