Research and Practice in Adult Literacy – a friendly group


Rose, Glenroy Neighbourhood Learning Centre

I was born in Vietnam, but my parents are Chinese, so I speak Cantonese. After Vietnam had divided into two countries, South Vietnam and North Vietnam, the civil war began. Later on North Vietnam took over South Vietnam and united North and South, and they became one nation, the communist country. The people in the South, because of different policies, escaped Vietnam to seek freedom.

Together with my parents, young brother and two cousins, we left Vietnam. It was very dark and I saw a lot of people were waiting to get into a vessel at the beach. Those seven nights and eight days for me was a very extremely terrible period of time. When the vessel began to sail, some people started to vomit. After two days, the vessel nearly sailed into international waters. The captain saw a vessel was going towards our vessel. All of us were very happy. But unfortunately, that was a pirate ship. When the pirate’s ship was close to our vessel, the pirates started to shoot machine gun into the sky, tried to warn us not to move until the pirates jumped into our vessel. The pirates wanted to find our expensive things. For example: diamond, gold, American dollars. After they found a lot of expensive things they felt very happy. At that time, I was frightened because they had a terrible face. They looked like Captain Hook who acted in the movie, but it was a real person.

Time went by. I arrived in Australia. It was morning, about 7 o’clock on 17th of July in 1980. I felt very cold. I was on the bus. I saw the road was very quiet and the houses were exposed to bricks that were around the house. I wanted to go back to Vietnam, but now I like Australia.


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