Fahm Finh Saechao Laos I made my first trip to the garden when I was three weeks old, on my mother’s back. That was 1932. I went that way every day until I could walk; then my parents taught me how to weed. I worked with them on the farm until I grew up. In our village, we were all farmers. We grew our own food, and if we had extra, we traded it for other things we needed. In the old village, we grew opium and traded it for clothing. The old people smoked the opium—they had lots of pain from working hard all of their lives. Life was very hard, but the farm was important to us. That is how we survived. My name is Fahm Finh Saechao, and my husband is Yao Vang. We are Mien people from Laos. I married when I was thirty years old and had no children of my own. Yao Vang had a son from his first marriage, who I adopted. Later we adopted two nephews after both my brother and my sister passed away. The country was at war. We had to move to a different village three times before we left Laos. When the communists came, people who had fought with the Americans were very scared. They were captured and often killed. The Mien people were in great danger. The communists were following us, and we couldn’t stay there anymore. We walked for seven days, and we took a boat across the Mekong River to Thailand. We walked from there to a refugee camp, where we lived for about four years. Then we were able to arrange our interview with the American government and were allowed to come here. We do have a better life. We are thankful to the American government for bringing us here. We are happy to be able to live in our house. We are thankful to the city for our P-Patch to grow our food. That part of my life has never changed; I am still in the garden. I have pain and my body is weak, but I am still very happy when I am outside working.