Sengsoulixay was the name which my parents gave me when I was born. They gave me this name because I born while the sun was rising in the summer. Sengsouly means “the sun shines,” and Xay mean “Victory.” I’m so proud that I’m Lao, where the land of million elephants lived, people smile in a friendly manner to guests, and the country is peaceful.
My nickname is Lar. I’m thin, tall, tan skinned and black haired. I’m sociable and friendly. I love to talk to people, in order to get new ideas and change my opinions. I don’t like to stay at the same place, I like to explore new things all the time because I know people have unlimited knowledge. At present, I’m year four student at The Lao-American College in Vientiane. In my free time I love to read magazines and books. I especially like short stories and novels such as The Da Vinci Code, Around the World in 80 Days, and Romeo and Juliet.
Let’s go back to my history. I was born on April 4, 1986 in Khammuan Province, an area surrounded by jungle and cliffs. My father, who is tall and thin like me, is a native of Khammuan. He has been a soldier since he was teenager. At that time, Laos was involved in the war with the United States and Vietnam.
After the war was over, my father stopped his job, and went back to take care of us. I lived with a big family: three brothers and five sisters. I’m the youngest. My family’s occupation is based on agriculture, which means my parents worked in the rice field and found natural food in the jungle. For instance, my parents always dig in the ground to find yam beans and bamboo shoots to make a good meal for us.
From autumn to winter, form the liquid to the ice, I grew bigger. I remember one day in the rainy season, when I was six years old. It was a very hot day and I was walking with my sisters and my parents from our rice field, along the street to my village. Suddenly, the sky became overcast together with blustery winds. So, my parents took us to hide in a nearby cave. Later, there was a torrential rain for two hours. After the rain stopped, I saw my rice fields under water because of flooding. Then, we went back to our home immediately.
I also remember the day when my father and my grandmother had a big conflict. My mother, who has been washing the clothes outside, ran into the house and took my father out. My sisters, brothers and I hid in near the corner of the house because we were scared. Then, we were banished from my grandmother’s house. After the conflict stopped, my parents took our clothes and walked toward the Saybangfai River. We followed him like the Army followed their commander. Oh, so poor, I thought in my mind. I kept going, while following my parents. I noticed, many people looking at us. Some laughed and some gossiped. “Those people are so rude and terrible,” I told my sister, who walked close to me.
When we reach the Saybangfai River‘s bank, my father and my two brother, who were 17 and 19 years old at the time, went to the forest with my father to cut the trees. My mother and my sisters cooked lunch for us. My two sisters, who have curly hair, played together with me. The weather was very hot, but I didn’t care. When we felt tired, then we stopped. Later, my brother come back, we had lunch together, and made shelter together. It was such a poor life, but we were not poor in our hearts. Which means we have to fight against poverty, we must be patient, and walk forward to get our goal. This is what my father taught me at that time.
To be continued.