Happiness through hardships

Fibi Kim, Reporter

It was evening when I found myself alone in my backyard, thinking about memories I had for my home country, Burma, and what it would be like to live in whole different country. Knowing that I had to leave everything behind and start a new life in another country at the age of 10 was nerve wracking. I never dreamed that I would actually spend my youth years going to school in another country, as I am right now in the United States.

Burma is not a place where many people can live peacefully being that the government is under a dictatorship. My dad went to Malaysia ahead of my mom, brother and I. It took 7 years before my family could live together, as a whole again, in Malaysia. On my way to this country, the hardships I had to face were indescribable. I remember them clearly as the greatest challenges that I have had to experience in my whole life.

As a little girl, running away from the Burmese army was challenging. We would walk in the dark where no one was allowed to make a sound or even use their lights because we were afraid that we might get caught by others, especially the Burmese army. Almost all of our movement took place during the night or before sunrise and then the rest happened during the day. That way it was easier to hide and be cared for by our agency. I almost lost my shoe in the mud when we were walking in the corn field and even stepped on cow poop accidently.

One night, we were about to go to the other side of the country near Thailand. Our leader put more than 30 people in a small fishing boat and made us cover ourselves, that way it would be harder to get caught. When we got to our destination, we had to keep going. Again, we were put in a small car with about a total of 20-30 people in it. The car wasn’t like anything here in the U.S, it was bigger. Normally, around 10 people would fit in this kind of car, but since there was not enough cars for us, we had to squeeze into just the one car. It almost summer, which made it all the more difficult.

One of the hardest things I had to face among all the others was when I passed barb wire between the border of Burma and Thailand. We had to go as quickly as possible and got on the barb wire by ourselves. The wire was too tall, so it gave me more trouble to cross it by myself. During this time, there was no one who could help me. So, I struggled by myself, which ended up ripping my jeans in between my legs. I was really embarrassed to walk with my ripping pants. There was no time to change my clothes on our way. I finally got across the border into Malaysia with ripped jeans.

Going back through my past, there were a lot of times when I felt like I wanted to give up on life. But, all of the things that I experienced, they all have the answers. That answer is where I am right now. I can study as much as I want and have more freedom and enjoy my life within the best country in the world, America. If I hadn’t had faced those hardships back then, I probably wouldn’t be able to live the life I am living now and be happy. I always told myself the same thing over and over again. That life rewarded me for all that I’ve been through in the past. So, I truly believe that there is happiness behind each and every hardship that we face.