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KLVH-CMONICA Interview Part 4

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Moderator: So...and then, Moderator: um after that... Moderator: Did you guys... Moderator: what did you guys... Monica: After that, Yeah. And after that, we say, "Oh." "Maybe, oh, we..." "And we heard..." Yeah. Om Poh, he heard like a, near the border of Thailand, they have like a camp. Refugee...a refugee camp. So... we decide to go. Yeah, Monica: along the camp. Moderator: Om went to Thailand? Yeah. Moderator: And so, you, Moderator: when did you go away? On that time, Om Sey cannot go yet. Because she have baby sick, know? me Own. She pregnant with me Own. Moderator: She pregnant with Cheata? Monica: With Cheata. So, Om Poh, br...he brought Mak, and Bang La and Bang Leak. Three people go first. Yeah. So I go over there. We stay in, what they call, they call... First time we stay in, they call, Chomuom Cha, Yeah. Moderator: What is that? This...that one in a..nother village. Another camp too, but, it like a, actually, it like a... We call, on that time, we don't have Kao-I-Dang yet. Yeah. Moderator: Have what? They not, a, they don't have Kao-I-Dang yet. This one on the way to... like a, Khm...Khmer Rouge Pa ra... You know? Moderator: Is that another camp? No. It, Khmer Rouge. They make another group, that the army, you know, they call, Pa Ra. Yeah. They live in that place. So.. The people, uh, from the, the Thailand people, the Thai, the Thai, that bring food come over here and then, the people, go buy it. Yeah. For transfer to a, to, another province to sell. You know. Moderator: Mhmm. Monica: Yeah. Moderator: So... Moderator: you eventually got Moderator: to the refugee camp Moderator: in Thailand? No, after that, we heard that they open, Kao-I-Dang. Moderator: Okay. Yeah. One that stay close to, Mak, one boy. He sell some ice cream, every morning. And then, he the one, who come, you know, come with a... The, the car, that they transfer the people go to the Kao-I-Dang camp. So he ride the car go see first. Is a really have a camp over there? Have like a... Moderator: He went to assure... Monica: some organization. Wanna make sure, yeah. And when he come back, he say, "Yeah." "They have some" "American people over there." "They have like hospital." "They have a school for" "the children.." Moderator: Mhmm. Monica: So we decide to yeah, early in the morning... We wake up, like a, about 4, or 5 o' clock. Yeah. To come, yeah. Wait for the car. To come, Kao-I-Dang. Moderator: And how long would it take to get there? Its not that long. Moderator: Oh... Monica: Yeah. Moderator: Were you scared at all? Moderator: Or Monica: No. Moderator: were you excited? Monica: No, no. We kind of okay. Because, yeah, we saw American people to help you bring stuff, go out to the car, you know, go into the car. Yeah. So, we kind of, think we like, a, Moderator: Saved? Monica: A lil saved. Yeah. Moderator: So, when you got to the camp, Moderator: were you happy? Moderator: Were you relieved? Uh....when we live in the camp, we kind of better. Because... Yeah. And, we have one sewing machine. That, we brought with us. Like a... they have... so we kind of, Om Sey and Mak, sewing, sew clothes. To, can make money, to buy stuff. Yeah. Moderator: So..when did you Moderator: did you guys all apply to Moderator: come to America? Moderator: At that point? Monica: Yeah. Moderator: Did you guys try Moderator: to get sponsored? Monica: Yeah, Om Poh, yeah. apply us, because, he was a soldier. Yeah. Moderator: And so, when did you find out Moderator: that you were going to America? So when we have they post the name. Yeah. Moderator: And they were sending you to Moderator: Carrollton? Monica: Yes... No. The first time, like a, we come Thailand. and we stop by, uh, Myroet first. Myroet camp first. Yeah. After we stop by My...Myroet camp, camp about, 5 or 6 months. And then, that what I start how I know, Pa. Yeah. Moderator: Through the school? Monica: When, yeah, in, Monica: Myroet camp. Moderator: Mhmm. So, ah... Bang Leak, Bang La, and Om Poh, go to Pa. Uh, Pa, when Pa teach English. So... I go to see him, too. To check, you know. That what I heard, he teach good, did that. And then I just go. Want to take class with him. But, yeah, I go to look at him, what he take, yeah. Moderator: Did you like him? No, actually I don't like him. This time. Moderator: Why didn't you like him? Because, when I go all the time, I saw, the class is full. But he.. know, sit down and eat, you know. And then, I think, teacher, kind of, you know, yeah. Moderator: Wait...I don't... Moderator: If the class is full.. Moderator: and he just stop teaching and eat? Its not stop stop, teaching, but, you know, I think, he don't care much about the people. That what I think. So I kind of, don't like him much, You know? I just, think in mind, I said "Wow." Yeah. The class is still full, but it full of student, but he still sit down and eating. I go to sit, two, three times, I still see the same thing. Yeah. And then I never have the chance to take class with him. Because I, kind of, I think he kind of, you know, arrogant or something like that. I say, "And he don't talk." Monica: Yeah. Moderator: He is a quiet one. Yeah. He don't talk. Moderator: Yeah? So... Monica: Yeah. Moderator: did you, um, Moderator: so have you guys been talking Moderator: for awhile then? Yeah. Moderator: Yeah, and, he left before you. Yeah, actually we, we stay in a, Myroet about, I think, 5 or 6 months and then, we moved to Philippines. They transfer us to the Philippines. Moderator: Mhmm. Monica: Yeah. So... when we went to Philippines. Yeah. Philippines and then, I meet him. We in the same class. And then, one girl ask me, "You come from Myroet, right?" "Do you know him?" "I...I.." "I, that what I heard," "He's a English teacher." "And he teach very good too." "A lot of student." And then I say, "Yeah, but," "actually, he kind" "of, arrogant." "I don't like him." I say that. You know? Moderator: So, was he like a hot shot? Moderator: Did all the girls like him? No... Your dad, is kind of, different before. Uh, different from right now. Moderator: Yeah? Monica: Yeah. When, you don't know him, you don't like him. He don't talk. He just sit down. You know, when I have class with him, he sit down at the window. And then, sometime he lit, a cigarette and smoke. And then he, you know, I don't know where he thinking. Yeah. So we kind of don't have time to talk with him. Yeah. Moderator: So... Monica: But... Actually, when, we, when we plan, they arrange the party, yeah. He kind of lead in the class, you know. So, when, talk about the cooks. Do party. We need to cook, right? So, we plan together. So, we start talk. Moderator: So, you guys planned a party together? Monica: Yeah, uh huh. Yeah. Moderator: That's when you guys Moderator: really started to talk? Monica: Yeah. So, we, yeah, we start to talk. Yeah. Almost school end. Yeah. Moderator: And so, you guys were just friends? Yeah, so we just friends. And, one of my friend, uh, she want him to teach, us, she want, him to teach, you know. About the grammar, some stuff. So... Yeah. So... every night, yeah, we have one hour, together, that he, he a teacher. In my friend house. Yeah. So on that time, we start to know each other. Yeah. Moderator: So...Pa left for America? Monica: Yeah Pa left before Mak, about, I think, 2 or 3, month. Moderator: 2 or 3 months? Monica: Yeah. He have name first. And... we have failed on test, because Om Sey have problem with TB, something, you know? Moderator: With what? What they call? TB TB test. Moderator: Tuberculosis? Monica: Yeah. Monica: Yeah, uh huh. Moderator: Oh, okay. Monica: Yeah. Moderator: Oh. Yeah. Oh, he have name first. So when he left... Yeah... Moderator: So Monica: I...yeah, I just, go, you know, say, "Bye" with him, you know? Moderator: Did you like him yet? No, not yet. Moderator: Okay. Monica: Yeah. We don't like each other. Yeah. Moderator: So, when you found out that you Moderator: were going to America, Moderator: were you excited? We just exchange you know, the address. Like a, I have Om Poh, California address, in Carrollton. and then I gave to him. Yeah. So, we like uh, when he come to United States, he send Mak a letter. He say, "Yeah." So I know his address. Monica: Yeah. Moderator: Yeah. Monica: Yeah. Moderator: So, Moderator: were you excited to be in America? Moderator: What did you think about America? The first time, that I, you know, when I take off from the plane. Yeah. The big thing that it, it kind of strange to me, it, a tall building. And then, the street, you know, yeah. The highway. But, when, I just wondering, I say, "Wow" I don't see the people. Yeah, where the people? I just see the car. You know, like a, on the parking lot. Yeah. Moderator: And so, you were sponsored Moderator: to come to Carrollton, Texas? Yeah. Because my brother here. So on the time, we live together. Moderator: Who were you sponsored by? You know, Om Poh sponsored by some organization. But, when you say, they ask you, "Do you have friends" "or relatives" "in where?" They send you go there. And then, Om Sey and Mak, answered that we have brother in Carrollton. So, they send us to Carrollton. Yeah. Moderator: Oh, okay. Monica: To Texas. Yeah. Moderator: And, so you lived in Carrollton? Yeah. We live in Carrollton. We a lot of people in there, in three bedroom, or something. Yeah. Moderator: And what was your first job in America? My first job in Am.. America, is sewing. Moderator: Sewing? Monica: Om Sey is sewing too. Monica: In Prophecy, yeah. Moderator: Mhmm. Yeah. Moderator: And how long did you do that? I think, before I married, after I marr... uh, before I'm married. Yeah, I'm single, I, got a job and then, when I have a job. Yeah. About, almost... two year. Yeah. Moderator: And so... In Prophecy, in sewing Yeah and when I, go back, when, after I... Yeah. I have a job and I go back to work. After one month or two month, I go, back to work. Yeah. And then, I still sewing. But the sewing, you know, is not make, profit, you know. Like a, they give you, like a $4.00 an hour. And they give you, like a, they count the piece. If you sew, sleeve, they cost like a how much for...per ticket.. If you don't make profit, you got, $4.00 an hour. If you make, make more than that, you can make some, extra money. So we tried very hard on that time. We sew and then, like a, never go on break time. Yeah. Because we, you know, when we come, we alway think about, yeah, we try to, working hard to make money. Monica: You know? Moderator: Mhmm. Yeah. Moderator: So how did Pa play into this? Moderator: You guys were writing letters back and forth? Moderator: Then, he... Moderator: asked you to marry him? Yeah. Yeah, after, yeah. Moderator: After? After I, I work in Prophecy for awhile. Yeah. And then Pa, yeah, sent a letter, say, "Uh," "over there, it cold." "Now he save some money." "About $5,000." But he decide not buy a car yet because he don't think he can stay over there. He gonna move somewhere. And he ask Mak. He say, "Mak" "Uh," "over there," "you have more job?" I say, "Yeah." "in here," "we got a lot of job." And he say, "Do have more Khmer people?" I say, "Yeah. Uh huh." And he ask Mak, say, "If I go," "can you ask your brother" "to help me find a" "apartment to stay," "or something." I say, "Yeah, okay." Yeah. Moderator: And so did he ask you after that? Moderator: Or before all that? He ask after that. Yeah. Moderator: So, um... Moderator: How many siblings did you leave? Moderator: Or how many siblings are still in Cambodia? How many what? Moderator: How...did you Moderator: Didn't you have like a sister in Cambodia still? Now I still have one sister. Moderator: One sister. Monica: Yeah. My, my brother was, passed away, I think, 2, 3 years ago. Monica: Mhmm. Moderator: Okay. Yeah. Now, I only have 1 in Cambodia, 1 in Canada, 1 in California, and 1 here. Yeah. So we still have 5. Moderator: Still five of you guys? Monica: Yeah. Moderator: So was it, um, Moderator: you went back to Cambodia in '94? Yeah. I went back. Went to Cambodia in '94. Yeah, that first time that... Yeah. Moderator: Is it strange? It kind of... It kind of sad, when, you go back. You know? Moderator: Yeah. Monica: You almost cry in your heart. But, you cannot. Your tear, it not come out. Because, it, when you compare, to that country and our country, It much, much, different. You know? And, that remind you was, when you on Khmer Rouge time too. Its sad... so... that remind you bad, when the bad time, yeah. And good time together. So, we cry, we laugh, yeah. Yeah. Moderator: How about the same question that I asked Poh? Moderator: Why do you think you survived? Uh, I think Ming survive, I think is a miracle. To me its luck. Because, when I told them about my past, they ask me, "Why you can survive?" I say, "Its a miracle me." Because on that time, I cannot walk. You know? Yeah. I even walk, and I even, cannot eat either, you know? Yeah. So I think, I say, "Its a miracle." And its luck. Maybe, it, you know. I think, its, good thing that my, parent do it, that what he say. "I think my kid" "gonna receive that." "I do all good stuff for my kid." "That, that what I expect." "And I come this country," you know? I hope too. I say, "I don't want my kid to be," you know, I don't want my kid to be suffer like me. Yeah. I want, to, my kid, to be, have more, educate, you know? Actually I tell you the truth, I really want one girl. But, I don't want to, you know continue. Because I just plan two only. So I say, Pa, ask me to want it, to have another one. But I say, "No." I plan only two. Yeah. Because, I can...I say, "I cannot support my kid." "Yeah, I have two," "maybe." "Yeah, I can support my kid, to" "go to school, yeah." Yeah. So, that my plan. I want my kid to be, to be educate. Not look like me. Yeah. Because I started from nothing. So, I want to be my kid, is better than me, is better than his dad. Yeah. That what my plan. Yeah. And I alway, want to remind my kid too. Because, I have very, you know, very bad time, on that time. So, I not try to tell myself yeah. To be working hard. And you know, support my kid. And my kid, try to be, remember all the, the bad time. That I been through. Yeah. To know it, my mom start from zero. But now, at least he have the roof for me to survive and he support me go to school. Yeah. And I so proud of my husband, too. That he come here and then, you know, we have good time, bad time together. We work so hard. You know? To save money for my kid. Yeah. That on that time, we have a small kid. He went to school, and then he go, to work full time. So, what do you think, you know? And I work full time school and I take care my kid too. Yeah. So I try to let my kid know, you know, how hard we been through, you know? So... try to remember, yeah all the stuff that I your parent been through. That, yeah. So you have to be better than your parent. Yeah. That what my plan. Yeah. Moderator: Kay mom, I love you. I love you too Kown. Yeah.

Video Details

Duration: 23 minutes and 5 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Khmer Legacies
Director: Socheata Poeuv
Views: 86
Posted by: khmer legacies on Feb 6, 2009

Fourth and final part of an interview with a Cambodian genocide survivor conducted by Khmer Legacies.

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