Vietnamese Interpreter, Food Demonstrator, Rock Climber

Journey to America – My Brothers’ Experiences

Our Boring Boat Trip

Chí, Hiếu, and Mạnh sat close to my mom in a small room at the bottom of the boat. Hiếu is the youngest girl in our family and older than Mạnh. He saw his older sisters placed in the other room next door. He didn’t know where daddy was. “Maybe Daddy was up above with my cousins.” He wondered.

Chí did not feel sick or funny when he was on the boat. He was given food but it was stale and didn’t taste good. Later on, there was no food left. The only thing that was left was lemons. My mom squeezed some lemon juice from the lemon into Hiếu, Mạnh and then Chí’s mouth.

To Chí at first, the lemon juice was pretty sour. The kind of sour that made your mouth puckered yet somehow it was refreshing at the same time. Chí slowly licked the leftover residue around the contour of his lips. Again my mom squeezed a few more drops into Chí’s mouth. This time the lemon was no longer sour but sweet like sweet flavored oranges on a hot summer day. “Wow! That was some good lemon! Where did mommy find that one?” Chí wondered.

How long have we been on the boat? Was it a week or a month? It seemed like a long time. One late afternoon while sitting quietly next to his mommy, Chí heard a bunch of yelling and commotions above the ship. “There’s another ship!” Someone yelled. More food was lowered down. Was it shredded chicken or beef? Yummy!!! It didn’t matter what it was. Everything tasted so so so good.

Island Hopping

We arrived at an island. Everyone came ashore. Hiếu, Mạnh, and Chí were standing on the beach waiting for our parents to be searched by the officials. Chí didn’t see any of his older sisters’ insight. “Where could they be?” Chí inquired quietly to himself.

After all the search was completed, our dad found a long bucket. My mom cooked some porridge and poured the porridge into a bucket. It was just plain cooked rice and lots of water but Chí remembered it tasted so good.

Not too long after that, we were led to a big house. That was where we spent the night. The next day we were transported to another island. Somehow we went from one island to another. Finally, we settled on one island with a beautiful beach.

Stones Rocks Ocean Sea Seacoast Coast Landscape
Stones Rocks Ocean Sea Seacoast Coast Landscape

Learning How to Swim

We played on the beach. We went swimming and fishing. Our cousins, Anh Huy and Chú Thưởng said to Chí and Mạnh, “how would you like to learn how to swim really quickly?” Chí asked quickly “how?”

“You will instantly know how to swim if you let a dragonfly bite your belly button,” said Anh Huy teasingly.

Chí thought it over. He wanted to know how to swim badly but then what if it’ll hurt.

After contemplating the cousins’ proposal for a few minutes, Chí replied “No way!!! I don’t want my belly button to be bitten. I will learn how to swim myself.” With that being said, Chí jumped right in and learned as much as he could with Anh Huy and Chú Thưởng’s help.

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