A picture is worth 1,000 words
Pictured is my uncle and I. He was 16 and I was 9. It was taken on the Indonesian Island of Galang, where we were held as refugees in 1980. For 8 months we lived among other refugees while awaiting approval for resettlement to the U.S.
My uncle and I escaped from communist Vietnam after many failed attempts. Out of the pot and into the fire: we spent the next six days and seven nights on a small wooden fishing boat with over fifty other men, women, and children and little food and water. We ran out of these life-saving resources only a couple of days into our journey, not to mention battling storms and the ongoing threat of pirates who've been known to rob, rape, and kill. Though the storms were scary, they brought us relief as we were able to collect a little water to keep us alive...barely. It's a reminder in life that the same storm that threatens life can also give life, if you cease the opportunity.
In this picture I was wearing a brand new pair of shorts my mother had sewn. You see, we never had anything new...ever. The shirt was a hand-me-down and was a girl's shirt. Man, I hated that shirt! But what I wouldn't give to have the shirt and those shorts in my hands, right now. When I look at the picture, I see two boys who had no idea what feat they'd just gone through and how they've just cheated death. Most importantly, I see two boys, while having no idea what was ahead, were ready for whatever came their way.