Being a first generation American, its always inspiring to look back at where I came from. Both my parents had to leave their countries when they were kids to avoid persecution. My mom left China and dad left Vietnam. Today we will talk about my mom's journey.
  1. She was born in Chaozhou which is in Guangdong province of China.
  2. When she was 4, her family decided to leave to Hong Kong for a better life.
  3. My grandpa was already there.
  4. Unlike the USA, you couldn't just pack your bags and leave whenever and wherever you pleased.
  5. Nope we are talking about communist China in the 1960s.
  6. So one night they left and headed toward water. Even though you could easily get to Hong Kong by land, it was not advised to do so.
  7. Instead they got on a tiny boat towards Macau.
  8. Once in Macau, they took a even smaller boat/raft into Hong Kong.
  9. A man carried my mom on the boat because my aunt was just a newborn so my Grandma had her.
  10. The smuggler running the boat told my grandma if the baby made any noises they were going to dump her in the sea.
  11. Thankfully that did not happen as my aunt did not make any noise. My grandma said the gods were looking out.
  12. Once they got near Hong Kong they were dropped off.
  13. My mom remembers the man carrying her and climbing up a mountain/hill once they got to land. She said his hands were all bloody from the climb.
  14. Hong Kong was still very rural then unlike today but they were able to make it in and reunite with her dad.
  15. The crazy thing about this story is that growing up I would hear situations like this throughout history and always think it was a very long time ago and doesn't happen now.
  16. But the truth is that this is still happening today, people are risking their lives to get to a better place everyday. Sometimes these refugees are seen in a negative light thanks to the media.
  17. I know I have been guilty of thinking that the people trying to leave are the ones that are jobless or have nothing going for them.
  18. When in many cases its the opposite. You have to have money to get a chance to leave.Growing up in America its just hard to put yourself in that point of view because its not even something you have to worry about.
  19. My grandpa was a successful businessman in China, but he had to leave to avoid the government from taking anything they wanted from him.
  20. I still can't even imagine having to leave a country I am used to all my life, to a totally new one as a child with nothing. I am very thankful to not be in that situation.Thanks to my grandparents and parents I do not have to.
  21. Next time you see your parents/grandparents tell them how much you love them!