“We had lost everything. My family became poor. We didn’t even have a place to sleep. We didn’t have food to eat.”
Place: Ban Do Ki Ta, Ban Nai Soi, Mae Hong Son, Thailand
Nye Reh shared his story as a letter.
Everyone has something that changed their life on earth.
I would like to write about an event in my life. I think I won’t forget this event until I die, because it completely changed everything and my family became very poor. It all happend in 2005 when I was ten years old. I was a sixth grade student at that time.
I have tried to forget this bad event happened – but I cannot.
It all starts with me coming back home from class. My father said, he wants to eat fish. “Let’s go to fish.” So my father and I went to the farm to catch some fish. My mother stayed at home and to cook dinner for our family. We caught a lot of fish.
My father said he was hungry so we prepared to go back home. Suddenly, my mother arrived and told my father, “Your friends were looking for you and are waiting for you at home now.” My father and I went back home as fast as we could. My father went ahead and my mother and came behind. When we arrived just outside of our village a man was waiting for my father. I think he was my father’s friend because he spoke to my father kindly. My father went back to our village with the man. My mother and I followed behind.
When we got at home though, people arrested my father and put him in handcuffs. I was so scared and my body started shaking. Then they phoned his friends. After a few minutes, many Burmese policemen arrived to our house. They were looking for something, but I did not know what they were looking for.
Then my grandfather arrived and asked them why they were arresting my father. They did not reply anything and hit my grandfather. They arrested my grandfather, too. They hit my father and asked him some questions. I was too young that time and didn’t understand what they were asking. I knew that they had many guns and saw they were pointing the guns to my parents’ heads. They were looking for something until 12 AM, but couldn’t find it.
In the end they took my father, grandfather and two of my uncles to the police station. I was so scared and worried for my father. My father hadn’t eaten dinner yet.
On from this moment, my family was so scared. We did not sleep at our home. We went to sleep at my father’s friend’s home. My family didn’t get sleep that night, I heard them crying all night through. My body kept shaking until the next morning.
When we went back home in the morning, some of our household furniture had been stolen. Later, I heard some news about my father. My father had been in touch with Karenni soldiers. That was why they had come to arrest him.
I thought it was rumors. They did not have any evidence to arrest my father. I believed that they wanted to take money. We had to sell our home to give them money. We had lost everything. My family became poor. We didn’t even have a place to sleep. We didn’t have food to eat.
They asked for a lot of money from my mother. We gave them a lot of money, but they put my father to the jail for about three years anyways. My mother cried every day. I so pitied my mother, but I couldn’t do anything, because I was too young to work. We did not have money to continue my education, so my brother and I left school to help my mother. My mother was so sad about that. My family worked very hard. Many people blamed my family, because we did not have a place to live. We did not have food to eat. But, I don’t judge them. I believed that they will understand my family one day.
When my father was released from the jail, we prepared to leave Myanmar as fast as we could, because the Burmese military was still bothering my family. We left my native land on March 10, 2009. I still miss my native land and my people, but it is impossible to go back to see my native land and my people. I also want to help my people. I will be back to my native land to help my poor people when I finish school.
Sometimes I dream that this happens again and I wake up at night. Then my tears flow, because I was I am so scared. This event changed everything in my life. I assumed that it is a kind of bad experience I faced in my life. I don’t blame them who changed my life to be a refugee.
I have a dream, that is to stay with my family in a peaceful country. I pray for everyone in the world,“Let’s escape from bad situation and not face bad experience as I did.” I wish my people will escape from this bad situation and live with their family in a peaceful country.