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Saw Dah

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Saw Eh Tha Dah was born in 2001 in Ban Don Yang Refugee Camp in Thailand. His family was from Burma, but were forced to flee in fear of the government. He and his family moved from the refugee camp to Saint Paul, Minnesota.

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0:02:59

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Please contact Immigration History Research Center staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

Transcription

Hi my name is Saw Dah, and this is the story of my journey.

Thailand is not my home country but I lived in the camp on the border. My family ran away from the Burmese government just to be safe. We lived in peace but there was no hope. Not enough money to make in the camp and not enough education. It was a black hole at night when you wanted to find the road. We started packing things up to go to America where we could afford enough money and the children could get more educated. In America we would have hope and happiness.
I remember getting up on the truck full of people and crying, leaving family and loved ones behind. I came with my mom, dad and three older sisters. I do not know what I left behind because I was young. I remember the last time I hung out with my friends but I was ready for my new life in America. The road was muddy and hard on the way to Thailand. In Thailand, we got new shirts, pants and shoes. I felt fresh and rich. We stayed in a hotel in Thailand for a night and the next morning it was time to go on a plane. My heart was racing fast. I was so excited and felt like I was in heaven.
The plane was the worst part of my journey. The sound of the plane was dizzying and I was so dizzy and I threw up on the way to U.S.A. Things changed, I still don’t miss Thailand that much for being a tiny community. In Minnesota there is a lot of food and money.
I started my new life here in St.Paul. Life in U.S.A. was hard at first but we got used to it and it was a good country to live in. Going to school for the first day was fun, but I did not understand what other kids were talking about. I felt stupid and embarrassed when I didn’t know how to speak English. I got a good lunch and loved the school. Years went by I had to move to four different schools. I have been doing a lot of things. The city was bright and the road was wide and clear. Living in St. Paul is hard, the weather is cold and very hot in different months. I had to go through all those years just to get to used to my new life. I always had to go to appointments to get checked. Every clinic smells medicinal. Years went by I get used to this new stuff. I enjoy living in U.S.A. and hope to have success in the future.