Karna had been trafficked to Malaysia, sent to work at a factory. The compound was all inclusive, complete with a bunkhouse, cafeteria, and store, but the workers weren't permitted to leave. Karna struggled to adjust in this new environment, where people were speaking Malay, Tamil, Bengali, and a little Hindi, but no Nepali. After more than a year, Karna negotiated his way out with one of the bosses and immediately looked up the UNHCR office in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. They reviewed his documents and called their counterparts in Nepal. His story was confirmed and Karna was soon on a plane back to his family and his hut in Beldangi I.
Devika Pradhan rises early each morning to stoke the open flame of her cooking fire, boiling enough tea for her three grown children still asleep in the next room of their bamboo hut. At the time, the growing population of southern Bhutanese, who are mostly Hindu and of Nepali origin, was viewed by the Bhutanese Government as a threat to the nation's traditionally Buddhist society. Using threats, imprisonment, and torture, the Bhutanese regime coerced the refugees into leaving.
8,000 miles away in Carl City, Minnesota—literally the other side of the world—her fourth child Jeeban, 22, rolls out of bed around the same time, microwaves an old cup of coffee, and catches a city bus from his apartment to the restaurant where he works.