December 19, 2008 in City

‘I hope my children get higher education’

Nou Vang
Kathy Plonka photo

Nou Vang and her children Wachong, 3, center, and Houaha, 5, visited the Christmas Bureau on Monday. Vang emigrated from Laos when she was 17.
(Full-size photo)

To donate

• By mail: Spokesman-Review Christmas Bureau, P.O. Box 516, Spokane, WA 99210

• Online: Online donations can be made with a PayPal account or credit card (a processing charge of 2.9 percent plus 30 cents will be deducted from such donations).

• In person: Deliver your donation to the guard in the lobby of the S-R offices in Spokane at 999 W. Riverside Ave. or in Coeur d’Alene at 608 Northwest Blvd.

To our readers

Christmas Bureau recipients come for food vouchers, toys and candy. Reporter Rebecca Nappi is collecting recipients’ stories.

Age: 38.

Lives in: Spokane.

We are from Laos. We are Hmong. I have been in the United States for 20 years. English is very hard to learn. I didn’t finish high school because I got married when I was 17. I came to Spokane from California. I’ve been in Spokane here for 17 years. I married my husband. He was from here.

How did we meet? He was coming for New Year’s in California. He and my aunt were talking about me, and he found my phone number from my aunt. He came to see me and he only met me for 30 minutes when he said, “Can you marry me? If you marry me, you will have a good life.” I said, “I’m not sure.” He said, “I know you are looking for love, and if you marry me, I’ll love you and take good care of you.” He’s Hmong, too. He was right. He loves me very, very much.

I like best about the United States the freedom, and we have more opportunity for education and to work hard to support the family. I like America, because we don’t have to work on the farm. My husband works at Nott-Atwater (a gasket manufacturing company in Spokane Valley).

I’ve told my children about my country. We got up early in the morning and put food in a basket and carry the basket on the back to go to the farm where we worked on the farm all day long until the sun came down, then we came home, fed the chickens and prepared dinner and sleep and get up early in the morning and go back again. Lots of hard work. I don’t want my children to do that.

I hope my children get higher education and get a good life in the United States. I want them to learn the easy way in the United States.

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