Searching for Sophal's Brother
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.
Oral History Item Type Metadata
What happened after that? My mother start to search among the people that coming on the boat with us. We are only a small part of it that come from where my grandmother live. There are some other people from the boat. We don’t know where they came from. But we allowed to walk within, you know, the crowd. So after we settle down, my mother start to wander, go outside where our sleeping quarter is, and she’s starting to ask around. “Where do you come from? Where you used to live?” And then, miracle: she came across the guy that used to be my oldest brother neighbor. It was a miracle, with all the thousands of people, you know, that she was asking. And then he say, “Oh, yeah, I saw them. He’s wife is really pregnant right, and he’s used to have a pharmacy and he used to sell medicine, blah-blah-blah.” And my mother say, “Yes, that’s him. Where are they now?” And he say, “They are at the town that was outside”—it’s the town called Siem Reap. And my mother trust him and came back, and now she start looking for the guy, the gentleman—the Khmer Rouge that took my father watch and the radio. Now she gather all her strength and nerve, asking a favor: “Can I please go to Siem Reap looking for my son? And my son is there.” And to her surprise, they let her go. They say, “Okay, you allowed to go, but leave the rest of the family here.” And she came home, she came to our sleeping quarter and say, “They allowed me to go, and I know where your oldest brother is and I’m going to find him.” And she took my fourth brother with her, and off they went. And I remember she had a small bag of rice with her, and they just go.
Very, very brave thing. Now, she did not know where Siem Reap is. She do not know if that man tell her the truth. Or that he could just say he see somebody. But she tell—he tell her, “Go to look at the sun, southeast,” and stuff like that. And that’s how she found my brother.