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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Is For Arriving

My life in the US began in the early months after turning 17, very immature, ignorance, and socially inadequate. My family, along with hundreds other families, settled down in a specific barrack that was assigned to us, at Indian Town Gap in Pennsylvania. We had a small room, enough space to sleep for seven people and came complete with a lock on the door.

As refugees, the only important job for us was to pass the interview for sponsorship. We needed to find a permanent location to start our lives over. The children all had to go to school during the day to learn basic English, and at night gathered at the Community Center to watch a movie or just roamed around the camp.

Life was beautiful for the most part even though we owned nothing to our name besides our clothing. The days and nights were filled with different activities and we were not hungry or thirsty. We lived in a guarded area with protection, and within these walls we still had freedom to explore.

There were always people around us, and everyone mingled with one another. It was like a cult society. We all knew each other, parents to parents, children to children, teenagers to teenagers. Everyone was the same: situation wise, penniless, homeless, country-less, and most importantly no status or rank.

Since having taken French and English back in Vietnam two years prior, I got a jump to Advance English class. The most joyous part of the day for me was to go to school, freely, and liberally making new friends without fear of being punished by my aunt. I had my own group of friends to satisfy the thirst for human relationship.

My English teacher was a lovely lady, whose manners and dispositions I considered an angel! She recognized that I was beyond the level of her class, so she gave me different assignments and books to advance in my studies. I only knew her for two short weeks, for I had to leave after that..

Joining Alphabe-Thursday

(Listed in Teenager Years series) Registered & Protected


  1. In two weeks she sure managed to make an impact if you still remember her!

  2. Mumsy- for real? of course...well maybe it is the beginning of fiction - either way I am impressed, intrigued and ready to learn more

  3. What a great story Mumsy! I love how in that short time a teacher touched your life like that.

  4. yes, most definitely. that is really impressive that you can remember someone so clearly when you'd known them so briefly.

    the photos are lovely.

    thanks for sharing. :]

  5. That was some kind of beginning in the United States. I couldn't imagine living in a barracks with 7 people in the room.

  6. She sounds like a wonderful teacher. I wish you could have stayed with her longer.

  7. We sometimes take for granted all the wonderful things we have in this country. Thanks for the reminder.

  8. I still remember my French teacher. She was one tough cookie!

  9. Mumsy, this narrative sounds like a happy time in your life. I am glad you have some good memories because you deserve them!

  10. Wonderful beginning.

    Regards Mumsy.

  11. Such a hopeful post. This sounds like a whole new beginning; a turning point :)

  12. What an interesting life you have led. I found this to be fancisnating and I was curious as to what year it was.
    Wanted to stop by and wish you a very Happy Easter

  13. Thank you everyone for coming by and support..

    Grandma Yellow Hair, the year was 1975!

  14. Teachers can really have an impact, can't they? I'm glad this one was an angel to you.

    We all need angels in our lives.


  15. I grew up not far from there in PA, but under quite different circumstances....

    Here's to new starts!

    I'd love to hear more of your story....



  16. what a touching story. I'm proud to be an American, when I hear stories like that. I'm not too excited how people act nowadays... Thanks for sharing. {:-Deb

  17. That's interesting you came from germany ? I don't know why I thought that but I'm happy you learnt to speak english because you write really well . Keep blogging mumsy :)

  18. Hi Jackie,

    I'm from Vietnam, as I've mentioned in the post.

  19. I am so glad to see your story had me hooked a long time ago!

  20. I've learned - and you've lived - that when basic needs are met and everyone around you has the same, then even with no material wealth, you can be very happy, because there are no expectations of more, no jealousy, no resentment. I'm not making a case for communism, which was a colossal failure, but materialism is far overrated. Teachers with heart can make a big impact. You arrived (I know, a long time ago). :-D

  21. You comment on my post made my day.

  22. You sure have had an eventful life.

  23. Sounds like you found an inspirational teacher. A pity you knew her for only two weeks as I am sure she would be very proud of how well you write English now. :)

  24. Interesting story! I would have loved to hear more! Don't keep us hanging!

  25. Wow, what an interesting start you had in the US. It's so lovely when people you meet only briefly touch you so deeply.
    I'd love to hear more of your story

  26. Raw thoughts and feelings for sure...

  27. Mumsy, this is so lovely, that after all that time someone recognized you as intelligent and worthy of more challenging lessons. I am glad she inspired and encouraged you.

  28. Mumsy, I am so excited to start a new journey of discovery with you. It's wonderful to see that someone noticed your 'shine' even then.

    We all see it now...I'm glad you had that French teacher. I'm glad you found a path to peace.

    Thank you for linking.



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