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Bo Bo’s Refugee Story
​Bo Bo is from Myanmar (Burma)
I want to explain something of my experience in my country. I came from Sui Bo, Myanmar. I had a variety of experience in my country.
I went to High School Number 3, An Sing Township in Rangoon. I was a high school student. The school fees were very high and my parents could not afford to keep me in the school, so I dropped out. My family, especially my parents, they work today and we eat today by daily labor. I stayed with my grandfather and mother, and they cared for me when I was very young. My father and mother worked every day out, so I didn’t spend much time with my parents. Mostly I stayed with my grandfather and mother.
When I went to school my experience was limited. I went to school and studied and ate and slept and time passed. In 1988 my grandparents passed away so I went back to stay with my parents. My older brother and sister got married so I rarely saw them. I asked my parents to continue school, but they said son, you know our situation, and you cannot go back to school. They encouraged me to be a Buddhist monk. One of the monks came to my house and they talked to my parents. They stayed one or two days in my home, then my parents sent me with them to become a monk. But then after that my parents reminded me that I have an uncle in Thailand. I followed what they told me. I would not deny them. My desire was to get a job and get some money and support my parents. I asked the monks to travel to another country.
Everyone has to separate from their parents. Their situation is hard so I decided to leave the country. Everyone knows that under the shade of parents life is calm and easy and enjoyable, but I left those things behind. I arrived in Thailand in December 2000, and I met my uncles there. I told them I wanted work, but they told me not to, and they kept me studying in the school. But when the school closed for summer vacation I got a temporary job. That’s how I stayed there for…I don’t remember how long.
I heard there was a resettlement program for refugees so I signed up. I hoped there was a chance for me. At last my dream was fulfilled because on April 10, 2013 I got a chance to come to the United States.
I got a very new and exciting life here in the U.S. The living standard is very high for me and the daily life and the economy and politics are very high. I try to learn some culture and traditions but I don’t understand because it is very complicated for me. Many things I’ve never seen in my life. Many things I never heard in my life, and things I’ve never tasted. Everything is new. I feel like my life has begun again. Now I am studying. It is only 20 days I have been in the U.S.
Thank you very much.
Bo Bo offered his story through participation in the Pre‐Employment Project. This is an employment service for new arrivals provided by our DHS partner, the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) of Portland.