My journey from Bhutan to Nepal, and US

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  • Speech

Mon RaiI was born in Bhutan on January 1, 1988. I studied there up to the first grade. Then, due to the political situation, we were compelled to leave our country. So, we went to Nepal in February 1993. We lived there for 19 years as refugees in the camps. It was such a miserable life. We didn’t have sufficient food to eat, no sanitation program, no good health services. It was like a hell. We didn’t have citizenship or good jobs. We raised our voices to the government to return us to our home country but it was all in vain. So at last, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) helped us to resettle in the United States.

So I decided to leave the refugee camp in order to have a good life and jobs in the United States. I decided to leave in 2008 but due to some problems our process was suspended. I was disappointed. It was a difficult task to make good decision in a short amount of time. It was difficult to arrange to leave. It was difficult journey from our country to the United States. We had to make transfers in different countries. Finally, we arrived at our destination, i.e St. Louis. I hoped it would be a better life than in the refugee camp in Nepal.

When I came to St. Louis, Missouri in the United States, my heart was full of hopes and dreams. I was so excited when I arrived at the St. Louis Airport. My relatives and social worker from the International Institute were there to receive us. I was so delighted. The social workers from the International Institute were so friendly and I was so impressed with them. Now, I have to face different problems like language and culture.

The International Institute was helping us to overcome our problems. They also provided us food, shelter, money, health services, job readiness and English language classes. It helped us to adjust to the new environment. Now, I am ready for jobs, and to face the problems by myself. I learned the English language and the history about the United States.

Now, I am searching for jobs. This has been the most challenging thing for me in the United States as well as learning the routes to get to different places. We have a good apartment to live in , a car for transportation and citizenship in the United States. I am so glad to be here in the United States. I’ll be a good citizen and help those who are in need of help. I want to give thanks to the people at IOM, who helped us resettle in the United States, and the International Institute for good assistance.

Thanks,

Mon Rai
Bhutan (Druk)

Editor’s note: This is a speech delivered by Late Mon Rai at the Thanks Giving Event at the International Institute of St. Louis in 2012. The Bhutan News Service has published the unedited version of his speech.