Extremely Intense. 

She is a nice girl – a nice co-worker. She was the very first person who would say “Hi” to me when I showed up at work every day. And she asked me how would it be like when living away from home. She is from Venezuela. 

“There is no food there. If you go to the groceries store, there would be nothing. People had to buy food at black market like they were doing something wrong. My family left as refugee, and this way we could find a better life.” 

When reading essays of people who are from Mexican or those that are immigrants, it was hard to understand, as well as hard to not feeling empathy for them. Many people have always thought that except in the US, most other places on Earth are poor and wars going on there every day. But when I think about my own home country, I realized that I have never suffered. The gap between poor and me is the time gap, which also means I would never reach it. My parents were born in poor family. They work on the farm in the evening after going to schools. They tried their best to go to universities, because back then this was the only way to escape poverty. I and many other people in Vietnam was born in wealth. We didn’t have to think much about tomorrow, for there is nothing to worry about. I know there are still places where people are suffering, but it was just impossible for me to understand. 

The point is, at the place where people think was buried in war and poverty in Vietnam, I didn’t feel any hardness. It is just hard for me to imagine other parts of the world are truly in need. 

Here, I want to affirm her because how great she is when she embraces other people into her life and how she encourages her classmates and co-workers. 

I want to pray for Venezuela and many other places, including my own country, that we would find a better way to face these adversities, and that we wouldn’t have to leave our own countries and cultures to find better lives in a strange place. A place where many people look down on us… A place where our beauties are disrespected and devalued. 

I pray that people would sit down and listen to our stories, just like how I sat down to listen to hers. That way, we learn. We learn great things. 

Published by Thi Le


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