Archive for America

Chin National Day

Posted in burmese, Chin, documentary, ethnic event, fort wayne indiana, refugee, youth with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2011 by yearningtobreathefree


Chin people of Burma, many of whom are refugees, gathered on February 19, 2011, in their new home, Fort Wayne, Indiana, to celebrate Chin National Day.

This video, featuring young people dancing traditional Chin dance, is part of John Gevers’ “Yearning to Breathe Free” documentary exhibition currently in production.

© John Gevers, NEW MEDIA BREW, Inc. All rights reserved.

Video of images from documentary exhibition

Posted in Buddhist, burmese, documentary, muslim, refugee, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2010 by yearningtobreathefree

I produced this video featuring images made thus far for the documentary exhibition, Yearning to Breathe Free. Of course, there will be more to come, but I wanted a more engaging way of displaying my work up to this point.

Video and images © 2010 John Gevers, NEW MEDIA BREW, Inc.

Burmese soldier turned promoter of democracy. Myo Myint, part one

Posted in burmese, documentary, Myo Myint, refugee with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2010 by yearningtobreathefree

Myo Myint in Umpiem Mai refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border, June 2008. © Nic Dunlop. All rights reserved.

It is time to begin telling the story of a Burmese political refugee who has become a friend of mine since we were first introduced nine months ago. Myo Myint’s story is an amazing and inspiring and horrific tale. I will bring his life’s many facets to you in installments in the coming months.

If this whole endeavor I’ve named Yearning to Breathe Free should end prematurely and never result in a fully produced exhibition and/or documentary, at least I have met Myo Myint. We share the same middle-age decade, possess similar body types — except he’s missing some of his, and we share a love of literature. Oh, and we both like beer.

And that’s about where our similarities end. Our life experiences are vastly different. So different that it’s almost laughable . . . but for the fact that his tales make you want to cry. And herein lies the poignancy of our having met and become friends — a Westerner born into a democratic, free land and an Asian born into a one-party-ruled, brutal land — now both living in the middle of America.

A benefit, I think, to the United States of America opening her arms to offer refuge to those needing a new home is a rich worldly awareness that refugees bring into the lives of all of us.

So. Where to begin telling you about Myo Myint? For nearly five years now, a soft spoken, courageous Irish-born photojournalist and author, Nic Dunlop, has worked to share Myo Myint’s story in a documentary film. The movie is nearly finished and will soon air on HBO. I’ll post its air date here when it is known.

As an introduction to Myo Myint and my own storytelling of his life, I am posting the movie trailer here. Thanks to Nic’s kindness and permission, I will be illustrating Myo Myint’s considerable tale on this blog with Nic’s photographic images, as well as with my own photos, video, and scans of the few articles Myo Myint was able to conceal as he smuggled himself out of Burma and the torment of hell . . . .

Burma Soldier feature documentary, directed by Nic Dunlop, Annie Sundberg, and Ricki Stern.

A LeBrocquy Fraser / Break Thru Films production.

Cultural diasporas in our midst

Posted in burmese, documentary, immigrant, refugee, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2010 by yearningtobreathefree
Merrilee Beckman of Iowa City, Iowa, wrote the following after viewing Yearning to Breathe Free blog entries. I found her information on cultural diasporas in today’s world so helpful that I asked for approval to post her thoughts as a blog entry. She attributes many of her thoughts to the writings of Jeremy Rifkin, author and social thinker.
Guest blogger Merrilee writes:
I know the Burmese focused on here were pushed out of their country by a vicious military who have no moral qualms about the death of their own people.  They are a people with a powerful sense of communal and religious identity.  It used to be that immigrants to our country assimilated fairly quickly.  Most of them were more than ready to leave their pasts behind and become Americans.  The whole idea of ‘starting over’ was part of the American Dream.  Today it is so different.  The entire world is experiencing a great migration upheaval.

Isa Lawan Dambazan, born in Nigeria in 1964, keeps one foot in Nigeria and one in Fort Wayne, Indiana, because he has family in both places. © 2009 John Gevers.

Two worlds at once
Millions of humans are in transit each year, and these immigrants bring their culture with them, existing in tight knit communities that keep their cultures intact abroad. Immigrants always did this to some extent but it’s different now because of all our communications technology allowing people to be in two worlds at once.  In the past you’d migrate to a country to stay. You’d write letters home but they took so long that it was hard to keep contact with family and friends in the old country.  The old cultural ways stayed alive for awhile but inevitably faded. Today an immigrant can use the Internet and cell phones to make contact with relatives left behind both constantly and instantly.  Cultures are becoming de-territorialized and mobile in a way that couldn’t be conceived before.  They are no longer bound by geography.

A cultural diaspora in Fort Wayne, Indiana. © 2009 John Gevers.

Split loyalties and allegiances
Cultures are becoming transnational and global, and cultural diasporas have split loyalties and allegiances in a way they didn’t before.  Many of the immigrants are poor, discrimminated against, jobless, and living in squalid conditions in what amounts to ghettos, and because they stick to themselves they are often regarded with suspicion and fear.  And, of course, when the economy is suffering it’s feared they’ll ‘steal’ valuable jobs from the rest of us.  The vast majority of all these immigrants are peaceful, law-abiding citizens.

A Burmese refugee who is now resettled into an apartment complex in Fort Wayne, Indiana. © 2009 John Gevers.

Retaining a cultural diaspora in our midst
For centuries, a people and culture were inseparable from their property and territory.  No longer.  Again, sophisticated communication and transportation technologies now allow cultures to stay linked socially across myriad national boundaries. You can see why people like these gentle Burmese need to retain a cultural diaspora in our midst.  It gives them a way to keep their sense of identity while negotiating their way in a radically strange, new world.  The Burmese in Fort Wayne are one node in a whole postnational network of diaspora going on today. They hold onto their cultural identity as a way to be “both here and there.”  Cultural diasporas are increasingly living in multiple places with multiple loyalties, and it’s the job of their host countries to find ways to help them interact across traditional boundaries.  Having lost the comfort of their geographical boundaries, they must now discover a way to bond with those of their host culture in a way that will draw them into a real community.  How to find a new shared purpose that is as powerful as the bond of their cultural identity?  For them, and for us.

From Burma, a refugee resettled in Indiana, maintaining homeland tradition. © 2009 John Gevers.

“Us-them” divisions and a shared sense of meaning
One of the biggest differences between people like the Somalians in Minneapolis or the Burmese in Fort Wayne is that in modern Western societies there is a highly honed individuality and fewer gender differences/roles.  Both men and women here engage in all kinds of activities that aren’t permitted by tradition-bound, communal cultures.  But when individuals (that’s us) have a shared sense of meaning and undertake a cooperative effort to achieve a common goal,  then the “us-them” divisions tend to disappear, and those cooperating in the common endeavor blend into a single “us-group.”  Those who were “them” become part of “us.”  All stereotypes and prejudices are based on “us-them.” So we have to find a shared sense of meaning.  We have to find opportunities to simply mingle with one another.  That gives us chances to recognize our common humanity.

Mother and child from Burma. © 2009 John Gevers.

Contact is essential, empathy crucial
Contact is essential — interacting as social equals, the way you did when you went to take the pictures posted here.  Empathy is the crucial ingredient for an “us-us” perspective where we can see them involved in the same kind of human activities, showing the same basic human emotions, we have.  That’s what your photos in Yearning to Breathe Free do for a wider audience. They creatively turn strangers into “us.”  You can see their peaceful culture reflected in their faces and in the courtesy they extend. The power of these  beautiful photos takes away the fear of knowing there is a group of foreign immigrants living “near us,” and actually makes you want to meet some of them and get to know them better.

What is the distinction between ‘refugee’ and ‘immigrant?’

Posted in documentary, immigrant, refugee with tags , , , , , , on February 25, 2010 by yearningtobreathefree

Great question! This deserves its own post in addition to being answered on the FAQ page.

The answer is provided by Joe Johns:

Many people don’t see a distinction, however there is a significant distinction resulting from the fact that immigrants have a choice and refugees don’t. Immigrants freely choose to retain or reject citizenship of their homeland whereas refugees are forced to flee their country of origin to save their lives. Although a refugee is still legally a citizen of the country he or she flees, technically it means very little because their homeland affords them no protection, a central concept of citizenship.

Understanding this helps USA-born Americans distinguish the refugee resettlement issue from however they might feel about immigration policy in general, much less illegal immigration. Having said that, what’s good for refugees is often good for immigrants—particularly if the immigrant is seeking political asylum.  So there is common ground between the two when the immigrant is a political asylee as opposed to someone with some means simply trying to better his or her economic situation in America.

— Joe Johns is director of Missional Living at Fellowship Missionary Church and a board member of The Reclamation Project, both in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Bye-bye, see you tomorrow!

Posted in Buddhist, burmese, documentary, refugee with tags , , , , , , on December 31, 2009 by yearningtobreathefree

Min Myat © 2009 John Gevers.

Min Myat: a man of conviction and commitment

Min Myat goes to work each weekday at 2:00 in the afternoon. He doesn’t drive and his job is 85 miles away, so he pays someone else to drive him. After working a shift at the Tyson meat factory in Logansport, Indiana, he is driven back to Fort Wayne where he arrives home around 3:00. In the morning.

His wife works weekends, so it’s rare for them to spend much time together at home in their small, tidy apartment in southeast Fort Wayne.  His two daughters, ages 6 and 9, are off to school soon after he arrives home from work. “At least we get to see each other long enough during the week to say, ‘Bye-bye, see you tomorrow!’” he said with a laugh. “Even though we live under the same roof, we actually live separately.”

Despite his odd, long hours working in a pork production factory 1½ hours away, the 36-year-old Burmese refugee doesn’t grouse. Instead, he exudes a decided peacefulness. His elderly father, also a Burmese refugee who lives with his son and family, conveys the same gentle quietness and, in fact, often soothes the apartment with his violin playing.

Min Myat's father, Mya Sein. © 2009 John Gevers. All rights reserved.

Committed and responsible

“Before coming to the United States, I knew that I had to work when I got here,” Min Myat said. He started his job just a month after arriving in Indiana from Thailand in June 2008. “I am the person responsible for my family, and I have to work to provide for them.”

In Thailand, his job paid the equivalent to $100 U.S. each month. Here, he earns $400 each week. He is thankful for the wage but points out that he did not pay taxes or housing costs where he lived previously. Despite the burden of having to pay those expenses now, he said he accepts it and feels life is better in his new country.

Another new language to learn

Min Myat’s schedule hasn’t allowed time to take an English as a Second Language (ESL) class, but he would like to. “I work with white and black and Mexican people, so I’m picking up a little communication just by working with them  — enough to get by,” he said. “But I want to know more.”

He is no stranger to having to learn a new language to establish life in a new country. After he fled Burma and its military government in 1994 at the age of 21, he landed in neighboring Thailand. For the first year as a displaced person not speaking the native language, the best job he could find was in farming, plowing and cultivating vegetable plants. It proved to be very hard work for the strong-spirited, yet slightly built man, so he committed to studying the Thai language, hoping to find a different job.

Min Myat. © 2009 John Gevers. All rights reserved.

National politics, not party politics

“I really wanted to learn the language so that I could help the Burmese people living inside Thailand. This was national politics, not party politics,” he said, making the distinction because he had fled Burma and the harsh treatment and party politics of its ruling military government.

Conviction at a young age

“I don’t like the Burmese regime because they are a dictatorship, and I have always been against the rule of a dictatorship,” Min Myat said. As a 15-year-old boy, he participated in Burma’s student-led August 8, 1988 (8888) democracy uprisings and demonstrations against the military regime. It ended just weeks later after thousands of demonstrators were killed fighting for the end to one-party rule.

Family ordered into forced labor camps

When the military put a bloody end to the demonstrations and took over state power, they ordered all Burmese families to go to labor concentration camps, Min Myat said.

“They ordered me and my family to do forced labor inside Burma. There’s nothing we could do to deny this forced labor imposed by the military government,” he said. The government ruling Burma since that time is known as SPDC, which stands for State Peace and Development Council. They renamed the country Myanmar, a name most Burmese who have fled their homeland refuse to use.

“Wherever the military government wants to build a new road or paint a new building, they order the Burmese to do the forced labor without any pay,” Min Myat said. “They are afraid that if Burmese people have free time, they will discuss politics and be against them. The military government also doesn’t have much money and, therefore, cannot pay for labor, so they exploit the Burmese people as forced labor,” said the man who now works hard and long hours at a distant job as he establishes a new – but free – life in a democracy. He wants only to provide for his family and ensure that his children receive a  good education.

Min Myat © 2009 John Gevers. All rights reserved.

It’s sure I would be arrested one day.

“The military government in Burma wants to show its power by ordering people to work for them for no pay,” Min Myat said.  “And if you deny their orders, they will show you their power by arresting you. We were very against the military government, so the military was very much against us. I decided I could not live in Burma because if I lived there, it’s sure that I would be arrested one day.” A fate some of his friends and relatives have realized.

After fleeing his homeland for Thailand and learning the Thai language, he organized a small group of people who assisted Burmese families living in the Thai refugee camps when they needed medical attention at health clinics and hospitals. Min Myat became an interpreter for his fellow countrymen in their temporary host country and made some money in the position he created for himself.

Playing role of peacemaker

He is quick to point out that the interpreter  service also helped improve relations between the Burmese and the Thai clinic owners. Burmese refugees are given no legal resident status in Thailand and, therefore, tensions can run high between the races. By opening lines of communication, Min Myat played peacemaker.

He went on to help establish a school on the Thailand side of the Thai-Burma border where many of the refugees live while enduring years of uncertainty — awaiting resettlement. And there’s no guarantee there will be resettlement options for everyone. Not many countries currently accept even limited numbers of refugees needing a safe new country to call home. Min Myat became a teacher in the school for 300 Burmese children refugees. In that role, he learned a bit of English — a skill he now needs to further as he starts yet another new life in a different country.

He and his wife had their two children during the 14 years they lived in Thailand as refugees from Burma, but he fretted knowing their future was limited there.

Min Myat © 2009 John Gevers. All rights reserved.

Living in limbo

“Even I had no documentation, no residency permit, no citizenship,” he said. He and his family, like most other refugees, were living in limbo, barely carving out an existence with no real home and a doubtful future.

“I knew my children were going to grow up, but they would not get a good education inside Thailand,” Min Myat said. “So I decided we needed to move to another country.”

He and his wife applied to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as political asylum seekers. That was 2004. They waited through four more years of uncertainty before being granted admission to the United States.

Fear even of the police

“Living in the United States is better than living in Thailand or Burma. In Burma, everybody is afraid of the police. Yes, even the police!” he said. “We were afraid they were going to arrest us because the government oppresses the people in all ways. And they take bribes.” He explains that in his home country one can call the police for help, “but you have to pay them some money in order to get any help.”

Min Myat also reports being afraid of the Thai police because he and his family had no residence permit. “Thai police are the worst bribery-taking police in the world,” he said.

One of the biggest benefits, in fact, that Min Myat sees to being in the U.S. now is that he and his family do not have to be afraid of the police. “Here, the police are friends of the people,” he said. “You can even shake hands with every policeman here. So I believe this is a better life for me and my family.”

Living room shrine to Buddha. © 2009 John Gevers. All rights reserved.

Buddhism:  ancient and flexible

Min Myat and his family are Buddhist and he finds comfort in the freedom to practice their religion where it’s a guaranteed right. He brought with him Buddhist teaching books and, in addition to attending the two Buddhist monasteries in Fort Wayne, he teaches his children his religion’s principles and impresses upon them the need to obey the teachings of the Buddha and of their elders and teachers.

“Buddhism is a very ancient and flexible religion,” he said, and it provides an important touchstone for his family as they straddle far different cultures. There is a shrine to Buddha in a corner of the apartment’s living room where a television set would be more likely. Min Myat’s father proudly showed prayer beads displayed around the family’s Buddha statue. They were made by cousins who remain inside Burma and inside prison for going against the ruling military regime.

Mya Sein with prayer beads. © 2009 John Gevers. All rights reserved.

Longing for change

Min Myat finds purpose in providing for his daughters and believing they will become well educated now that they’re living in the U.S. He is driven by knowing that he must work and save to pay their educational fees in the years ahead. He longs for the day when there will be change in the political system of Burma. And he envisions a day when he and his family can go back to their home country.

“My hope is that my educated daughters will then be able to help solve problems for the Burmese people,” he said. “That is my hope.”

Teen refugee flees and flourishes

Posted in burmese, documentary, muslim, refugee with tags , , , , , , , on October 5, 2009 by yearningtobreathefree

The free Flash Player is required to play the video above. http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/otherversions/                             For those unable to view the video, a transcription appears below.

Daung Nwe Aye is a 16-year-old Burmese refugee who was born in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border after her parents fled Burma and its oppressive military rulers. Daung was three years old when her mother and father and their two children were granted admission to the United States. They settled in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Daung with Dad and Mom

Daung with her parents and a harvest from their garden.

Technically a second generation refugee/immigrant, Daung shows in this 11-minute video interview how quickly a refugee can assimilate into a new culture, including picking up “teen speak.” She talks about her family and friends, the importance of her Muslim faith, how she finds high school in America as a non-native-born citizen, about her home countries, and she tells of her aspirations. She wants to become an OBGYN physician, and we think she will achieve that. And much more.


The transcript of John Gevers’ interview with Daung Nwe Aye follows:

DNA: (My name is) Daung New Aye [do ang •  n’way • ee].

JG: And how do you spell that? (See above.)

DNA: I’m sixteen.

JG: How old were you when you came to the United States?

DNA: When I came here, I was three-and-a-half. I was born in Thailand, and, um, I lived in a camp for a little while. Currently, I’m attending school to get my diploma so I could go to college and go to med school. I want to become an OBGYN (physician). I love children, and I want to, like, help them  — help woman and help childrens come into the world.

JG: And where do you go to high school here in Fort Wayne?

DNA: I go to Northrop High School. I like it a lot. My best friends are, like, um, Vietnamese and there’s Malaysian and I have a lot of Burmese friends.

In the United States, we have the right of freedom of speech and religion. I’m a Muslim which means my religion is Islam, and, like, I really care about my religion. Like, I don’t wear a hijab (head covering) and I don’t pray five times a day, but, like, I remember who I am and, like, I still have dignity about myself, you know?

It’s Ramadan right now, and I’m fasting; I try to fast every day. I wake up before the sun comes up and I eat and drink water so I stay hydrated during the day, and then, um, (when) I have to stop my fast, I say this prayer. And then, so like, for the rest of the day I can’t eat or drink or, like, it’s even bad to fight with my little brother or fight with anyone, you know, it’s not good. I can eat when the sun goes down.

JG: Let me make sure I understand, so: You wake up before the sun comes up and you can eat a little bit and drink at that time?

DNA: Yes.

JG: And then the sun comes up and then no food and you try to be good and not argue or what have you for the whole day. And then when the sun goes down, you can have a regular meal again?

DNA: Yes.

JG: Okay. And how often do you do that during Ramadan?

DNA: Um, for all thirty days or, like, as many days as you can.

JG: Okay, and I’ve heard there are parties at Franke Park during this time?

DNA: (chuckling) Parties?

JG: Yeah, have you heard of those?

DNA: (still chuckling) Yes. Those days are the best because it’s the end of the month, and there’s like a feast and all the Muslims, well almost all the Muslims, um, gather at that place and we all pray and then we all eat. And all the kids have new clothes and so do the adults. And, like, the little kids – if you go around and say, “Salaam — — Ead,”  the adults will give you a treat or, like, a few dollars because you were good.

JG: You’re living in Indiana. Do you like it here?

DNA: I like Indiana because it’s, like, a very good place for families to grow up and live, but I also like to, like, go to New York City and to the beach and places like that.

JG: It’s a really Christian area (Indiana). The majority of people are Christian. Does that cause you any problems or do you find that people let you live just like you let them live?

DNA: I can live like I live, like, sometimes in school, like there are kids who, like, are biased or racist, and they’ll say things like, “Ha! You’re a terrorist” or, you know, “You’re Asian!” And so, like, sometimes it hurts me, but I just forget about it cause I still know who I am and, like, I shouldn’t – I know better than to let their words hurt me.

JG: Have you always felt that way or has it become easier as you’ve gotten older?

DNA: It’s become easier as I got older.

With my rights as living in the United States I’ve got freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to live how I want to, and the people, they can come here and they can live how they want to. The new people (refugees and immigrants) they can go out and go to school, have an education if they try hard, but, I think, for the people that’s already living in the United States, it’s for them to make the new people feel welcome and feel like – even if you don’t like them, like don’t say mean things to their faces or like snicker at them when they walk by.

JG: Do you have any desire to go back to Thailand or to Burma to visit?

DNA: Yes.

JG: Do you?

DNA: I really want to go to Thailand and Burma. I want to, like, visit all the cities, like, even the countryside, the cities. Especially like the places I lived in and the places my parents met and where they lived in.

JG: What do you think about all that’s going on in Burma right now?

DNA: I think it’s . . . I don’t know what to do, like . . . . I think it’s really bad and I wish . . . I wish that even if it’s not like in this generation, in the future generations – even if my parents don’t get to see it – that Burma becomes free and, like, the people that ran away, the students, they could go back in Burma and not be shot or arrested.

I volunteer a lot and my parents, um, both of my parents are in the Committee of the Burmese Muslim community. So, like, if there’s an event going on, I’ll go and, um, I’ll go help and interpret. English is really easy for me.

JG: Do you have any ideas as a young person as you are, when you see the new refugees from Burma coming to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and you see them in their apartments – I’m sure you’ve visited them – do you have any ideas of how our society could help them more than we already are?

DNA: Our society could help them more by helping them learn English, and we are; it’s just giving them reasons why to learn. Many of them understand that, like, it’s very important to learn English, to pay your bills – the electricity bill, the water bill, everything – and then, if you want to work, you have to learn how to speak English so, like you could pay for all that.

JG: So trying to get them to know the importance of the language is one thing. Is there anything else?

DNA: Many kids that grew up here – even the Burmese kids – are very different from the new . . . the new kids.

JG’S NOTE: As you’ll hear her explain in a moment, Doang tries not to refer to recently arrived refugees as “refugees.” She prefers “new kids” or “newcomers.”

DNA: Like some of the girls here, they just stay home and clean and they can’t leave the house unless it’s to go shopping and – like grocery shopping – not to hang out with friends that much. And, like, I don’t want to influence them in a bad way, but I want to, like, just hang out with them, and, like, to see what it’s like to, like, be with other people, other races. Because when you like . . . it’s just like going back to kindergarten: it doesn’t matter about what race you are or, like, how old you are, where you came from, because you just meet someone and you act like you’re best friend.

JG: And why aren’t the girls that are coming over with the families recently from Burma . . . why aren’t they allowed to go out very much?

DNA: I’m guessing it’s because where they lived back in Thailand (in the refugee camps), it was like that. Like, girls didn’t get to do . . . girls didn’t get to have as much freedom as the boys did.

JG: Is that tradition?

DNA: Yeah, that is tradition.

JG: Is that heavily influenced by the Islamic faith, do you think? Or would that be even in the Buddhist families? Do you have any idea?

DNA: Yeah, Buddhist and Islamic faiths.

I try not to call the refugees, like “refugees” because I’m afraid, like, especially in front of them, I don’t want them to feel like they’re lower than me. Or like somebody will ask me, “How long have you lived in the United States?” (I reply,) “Oh, I’ve been here since I was three – eleven, ten years.” And they’re like, “Oh, really? You must know a lot of English; we don’t know anything.” I don’t want them to feel like they can’t learn and they can’t try hard to fit in here.

JG: And do you think that by calling them “refugee” it puts them in a different, ah, class, different category?

DNA: Yes.

JG: I see. And do you think that my calling somebody a refugee does the same thing or is it because you’re also Burmese and . . .

DNA: I’m a refugee myself and I fled Thailand and Burma with my parents.

JG: What would you say to an American, a native-born American, who doesn’t think that refugees and other immigrants should keep coming to the United States?

DNA: Like even though the refugees come here and they have to live off food stamps and cash money (assistance) for a while, they don’t get as much money to . . . some people only get $48 a month for, like, a family of six people, but over there it’s even worse. They don’t get to eat meat or the vegetations. Some people are really malnourished over there and they’re punished. Even in Thailand, I think they’re like discriminated (against), too., because the people from Burma came into Thailand, and they’re kind of illegal.

JG: Are you happy here?

DNA: I’m happy here. I get to live in a nice house and my parents care about me. They care about, um, my brother’s and my education a lot. Like, they don’t want to see us – well, I don’t think any parents want to see their kids fail or be bad, but I’m like really thankful that my parents work really hard for us to live like this.

JG: What about the rest of your life? Do you allow yourself to think ahead and think what you want?

DNA: Yeah, I always think about what I want. Um, I think about . . . I can see myself, um, coming to visit my parents all the time. Um, like always seeing my family on the weekends. Um, I plan on getting married with my parents approval when I’m older, like when I’m able to have a good life, and financially stable to have a family.

# # #