Travelogues

Trip Information

Laos
No Points for My 100th
No Points for My 100th (4)
Trip Date:2007-01-18 - 2007-02-12
# Photos:39 [View]
Countries visited:Cambodia, Laos, Thailand
Viewed: 2656
Other than visiting Angkor Wat, the significant reason I went to Cambodia is to hopefully find my mother childhood hometown. Over the years, I listened to her talking very fondly of her childhood and hometown, especially her last few months in the hospital. She and her father lived in a house on a river. She told me story of how she spent her innocent days, in the morning with her father in the plantation on the island collecting fruits and vegetables, taking them to the market to sell, and in the afternoon, on the river taking care of the daily chores with her mother, laundry, fishing, cooking. During her break she played with the neighbors on the beach, swam in the river. Unfortunately her happy innocent days did not last for long, both her parents died young due to illness. She moved to the city to be with her sister and her husbandís family. They did not welcome her with open arms. They didnít want her to live with them. At the age of 16 or 17 she was forced to marry my father, a Chinese immigrant, because her sister couldnít take care of her any more and did not know what else to do.

A few years after she married my father, the Vietnam War escalated and Cambodia was being affected by the war and prior to the Khmere Rouge invasion. They moved north up to Laos. Thatís where I was born along with 6 brothers and 3 sisters. When Communist took over Laos in 1975, life became difficult. My parents sent two of my older brothers to a refugee camp in Thailand. They immigrated to France. My older brothers worked hard and sent us enough money to escape to Thailand. My whole family went and stay in the refugee camp, we left my oldest sister behind because she was married and her husband did not want to leave. Living in the refugee camp for 3 years, We applied for immigration to France and United States. France was slower in accepting immigrants. Our application to the U.S. came through, and thatís where I am now living for over 20 years.

This led to the second part of my trip, visiting my own childhood village in Savannakhet, Laos and Reuniting with my oldest sister and my childhood friends was such an emotional overwhelming experience filled with tears and joy. When we escaped Laos when I was just 10 years old, Iíve never dreamt that I would be returning one day. This is quite an emotional journey. The joy of the homecoming is over shadowed by the pain of delivering the news of my mother's passing to my sister. Seeing my older sister again and her children some of whom I have never met was a bitter sweet experience that I will not soon forget. A few month after I returned to the U.S. My sisterís health steadily declined, and she too passed away to join my mother.

Hope you enjoy some of these photos for they meant much to me personally. Your comments are very much appreciated.
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