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Voices of the Valley: Meet Bee Hang

Voices of the Valley: Meet Bee Hang

Image: Voices of the Valley: Meet Bee Hang

From: Thailand, Current City: Menomonie

I was born in Thailand. I was the fourth child in my family. I had three brothers and four sisters including myself then 5. Life in Thailand was difficult, finding food or money was so hard to find. We lived day by day and worked to find food. But the kids didn’t know anything because I remember I was like 5-6 years old and playing with friends. I had so much fun with my friends. After a few years, I grew up and I didn’t have the chance to play around. I must present myself as a woman and work chores in the household if not I would be punished. I started to help my mom and dad. I worked in the fields to earn some cash to buy food and clothes.

We also had a garden; we planted many varieties of vegetables. The country was poor but we all lived happily with joy. The county was about to close because the Thai government did not want the Hmong to live in anymore, so the UN accepted people to go to the USA. In 2000, my dad passed away and in 2004 my family and I came to the United States. Before we came, we had to leave everything behind and take what we could. When we were on the bus to go to the airport, it was so sad. I was thinking that, “Is this the end, I cry that I have to leave my country behind.” Everyone was crying and hurt, they left their country and their families. It was such an emotional moment.

Life changed in the USA, everything I imagined is different from what I thought. It’s difficult and I started to learn English like a kindergarten student, but I was 13 years old. It was very embarrassing for old people to learn like kids. I had no friends. After that, middle school, high school, then college was fun. My family moved to Menomonie WI. I moved too after college. I stopped going to college for a couple of years. I decided to go back to college because I felt like I was losing my English. I had a major that I wanted to go to. The ELL teachers are so kind and friendly. They teach slowly so we can learn easily. My life is very busy, I work two jobs, I have two girls, and I go to school. I am happy with my life; I have learned many things even though it’s difficult.

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