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Eh Sar

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Eh Sar, a Karen refugee, was born in Thailand in 1998. Her older brother and parents were born in Burma, but the family was forced to enter a Thai refugee camp in February 1998. Eh lived in Meh Ka Kan Camp and Mae La Oo Camp before her family resettled in St. Paul, MN, USA in June 2011. She is a student at Washington School.

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Eh Sar Transcription

“My Story in Refugee Camp”

My name is Eh Sar. I was born on June 10, 1998 in Thailand. I have four siblings, two brothers and one sister. I live with my parents. Both of my parents were born in Burma. Both of my parents escaped from the Burmese soldiers.
In February 1998 my parents entered the refugee camp in Thailand. At this time my mother was pregnant with me. They faced many obstacles and issues because the camp was moved several times. This made it unstable for our family to live. Finally the camp was permanently established and it was called Meh Ka Kan Camp. The United Nations established to help the people and build a school to teach children. My brother was born in Burma and both of my younger siblings and I was born in this camp. When I was five year old I went to nursery school. Every morning my mom sent me to school with my brother, and after she left I was crying. When I went to nursery school I didn't know anything, the only thing that I know was crying and missing my mom. My dad was went to find a job to support our family. After I passed the nursery school I had to went to elementary school. We lived in there about seven years and we have to move to another place.
In 2004, the Thai government relocated this camp to Mae La Oo Camp. When I lived in Mae La Oo Camp all my of my siblings had to go to school and learn education. Both of my parents had a hard time because they both didn’t have a job and money. Me and my siblings didn't know that our parents were depressed. People in this camp were not allowed to go out and find a job. They just lived a normal life such as farming, planting or growing something to eat and support their family. Every morning I had to go to school and wear a school uniform. Girls had to wear a white t-shirt and blue skirt. We couldn’t wear pants. Only boys could wear them. I lived there for 6 years. Meanwhile, the American government opened a door for the refugees to apply for resettlement in the U.S. My parent applied and we were accepted to come to the U.S. We arrived in St. Paul on June 5, 2011 around midnight.
When my family arrived, we received many supports. After we settled in Minnesota, my family lived happily and the living conditions are much better for us. I started to attend Washington Magnet School in eighth grade in 2011. When I first came to school I didn't know how to speak English and didn't even know anything or understand what people said. My first year of school was so difficult for me to communicate with teachers and other people when they asked me a question. When I came to school every morning I felt like I wanted to go back to refugee camp in Thailand. I didn't have any friends when I first came to Washington School, but three weeks later I tried to talk with other people that speak the same language as me and make a new friend. English is my second language and it is a hard language for me. A few years later, I can communicate with my teacher and other people. Now my life is better than before. I am proud to tell my immigration story.