Heroes, by AUW scholarship recipient Res Phasy
My mum is sensitive. She cares about someone else, especially my cousins because their mother that is my sixth aunt was dead. So my mother often provided food to them. Again she had a very tolerant attitude towards someone else’s faults. Moreover her tear fell down without realizing when she saw old villagers worked hard in the farm.
On Thursdays, she learns about religion. She studies with the holy person in the middle of the village. She wants to improve her emotion and also enforce her belief. She told me “You have to pray five times a day and you should not gossip or prejudice.”
My mother got married and she had two children when she was twenty-two years. My youngest aunt was only three years old when my grandmother died. Furthermore after the death, my grandfather got married. Although the situation of my family is poor, my mother still decided to take my aunt to live with us. My aunt is two years older than my first sister and my first sister is one year older than my second brother. She looked after my aunt until my aunt got married. Now she still looked after my aunt’s son because the place that my aunt lives there is no school.
My aunt that used to live with my mother told me about my parents, “You know I quarreled with your first sister. Your sister was nine year and I was eleven years. Your first sister complained me to your parents. Your sister supposed that your parents will be angry me, but your parents were so calm. They did not fight or blamed me. I love and respect your parents like my own parents.”
I felt how my mother suffered for me. During her pregnancy she worked before dawn into the night. She got up at four am to make food to sell at her little store by the road. In the afternoon, she plodded in the farm. When she arrived at the field she started to transplant under the heat. She worked even though she was sick. Sometimes she felt dizzy and could not sleep, but she never complained. She kept me for nine months and five days. On the fifth January 1989 I was born.
My mum nurtured me when I had typhoid. My brother and I got typhoid at the same time, but I was given IV tubes and my brother was not. My mother had to get up before dawn to make food to sell as usual. She did not have enough time to relax because she had to make food and she ran back to looked after me.
The message of my mum encouraged me. My mum told me, “Only education can bring you to value of life”. I listened and studied hard. I rode a bike to school for seven kilometers. My emotion was strong even I felt tried. As a result I got two scholarships, one from the government to cover school cause and another one from NGOs to pay for room and board.
Education is equally important to my father, he was a wonderful person. His parents died when he was fifteen. He wanted to study, but he could not because he was the main person in the family to earn the money. He had to go to the field instead of studying. He responded to look after his two younger sisters and three younger brothers. My father told me, “Even there is a problem in your life, do not abandon your studies.”
The goal of my father was impressive for me. He was uneducated, but he had a beautiful goal that was supporting his sisters and brothers in studying. The amazing mind did not allow problems to conquer his goal. So he worked hard to earn the money. Accordingly, all of his sisters and brothers went to school.
During the Pol Pot regime my father rescued his kinship. The area of my father’s relative was so cruel and the manager of the village forced the people to work hard and they provided food only one time a day. So my father’s relative decided to escape to my parents’ area. The people did not have a privilege to change the place unless there was a person who guaranteed. My father helped them to ensure that they were good persons. The manager of his village said, “If your relatives break the rule or do something against the rule you will be dead.” My father bravely agreed with the manager.
Gorgeous things happened in my family. I never saw my father drank beer or wine. My father and my mother never had arguments because of another person. My father was polite; he never caused violence. He just thought about earning a living. He respected and loved my mother. Even during Pol Pot he did not have enough food for himself, but he still brought food to home.
I am proud of my parents. The other students’ parents have BA’s, PhD’s or M.D’s. Even my parents got NT (nothing), but I never have regrets to live with them. I had a privilege to get scholarships and I could stand in front of you because of them. I am grateful to my parents.