June 22, 2015
Theu’s Story
By: Diverse Elders

Theu’s Story

Born July 7, 1946, Kampong Thom, Cambodia
Arrived April 17, 2004, Long Beach, CA
SCSEP Participant, Office Assistant, United Cambodian Community, Long Beach

theuMy daughter was living in Long Beach. That is why I came to America. After one year, I decided to stay here. I miss the family I left behind in Cambodia. I miss the relationships with my neighbors when we would sit down and talk. I also miss visiting with my friends and going to the city. In America, I am able to see the doctor for my physical check-up, vision and dental. Another thing I like is that there is a variety of food to eat.

I got involved with NAPCA through the Cambodian Senior Nutrition Program in Long Beach. They referred me to NAPCA, so I submitted an application. NAPCA assigned me to the United Cambodian Community. I am so lucky to be in this jobtraining program. I feel useful and I am helping myself. I enjoy being able to meet and help people and learn new things. Everyone at the agency is friendly and helpful. I have learned so much that I did not know before. I learned to fax documents, make copies and answer the telephone. Now, I am learning computer skills at the United Cambodian Community and I take English classes.

I was a single mother of six children in Cambodia. I lost my husband during the Khmer Rouge era. I had to sell clothes and work long hours from 7 in the morning to 9 at night. At my elder age, I had to ride a moped to get around to do business to help my children. This is what I did until I came to America. I tell my children to get an education so they will have a job to support themselves and their families. I am proud of having raised my children. I don’t want them to suffer as I did.

This story originally appeared in NAPCA’s Southeast Asian Voices publication.