My name is Phy Sorn, I am 69 years old now. I have 9 siblings, but one died since childhood, so left only 08. In Pol Pot Regime, 04 members died, 3 girls, 1 boy. That does not include my relatives. There were so many died. My niece lost 2 or 3 children. I lost 4 children: 3 girls, 1 boy. I have been living in this village since. I am so illiterate. My father did not allow me to study at all because he was afraid that I could write a love letter to a man. He is so ancient. He did not allow me to study. Someone came to ask for kid’s enrollment, but my father did not allow and he sent me to hide near the rice bush. Phal, my brother who stayed at Vat Pre Rung, could enroll to study instead of me while I stayed at home, did household chores, cooked and feed my 8 siblings. My parents do palm work; tiring job. I cooked for siblings. I am the eldest; next one is Phal.
I had never been to school; my father did not allow; he said I am a girl, no need education, no need knowledge. Even a woman whom I worked with for 3 years wanted to take me to USA for only one year. I was 14 years old, and when she finished the job, I was 15 or 16 years old. My mother allowed me to go, but my father did not. He is so strict and too ancient. I was illiterate.
I remember the time when I worked with the master (Mrs. May Ebihara). I cooked and washed clothes for her. Two people worked for her: I and another older woman. That time the money was expensive. She offered 300 riel per month; it was a lot; the gold for 1 chi was 310 riel. There was no water. I need to carry water from a well to put into a container for washing clothes. She liked me because I was so honest. Since I was so honest, she liked me so much. That time she went to Kampot, left her money at home. I was at my home. Then, I went to work; I went up and saw her money. I was so surprised because I had never seen a lot of money. I took the money and gave to my father to keep for her. She went for one week. Two days after she came back, I did not ask her, because I wanted her to reveal it. She did not remember she left the money. I asked her if she left the money. She was surprised. I gave her the money, and she hugged me. She liked me so much since that. She asked Judy (Dr. Judy Ledgerwood) to find me. I am so honest in my whole life- so honest.
In every morning, she left for a village in Svay Lech, near the district office. She had an interpreter, Mr. Chhuon, who went along with her to the village. She went out every day, observed what people did in harvest season, took photos; she walked every day and quoted about Cambodian history.
American house was near the school. The road was full of forest. She did not come back till 10 pm, till late at night . My father told her not to stay too late at night, afraid of ghost. What is ghost? She asked? How does it haunt? My father said ghost sounds ngue ngue. (laughing). That night, there was kite flying called Khleng Pnong. She ran to my house. She called my father and mother like her own parents. She told my father about the sound ngue ngue . She said “father, ghost hunts me with the sound ngue ngue”. My father said no it is a kite flying, not ghost. She looked and took photos. She took note everything about Phum Svay. Never free. She had breakfast, dressed up and left every morning with an interpreter and came back at around 11 am. She lived here for 3 years. Every night, children gathered. She had a lantern and children came to sing; she played with them on the stair at night. She was like Khmers. Though she is foreigner, but her characteristic is good. Some Khmers could not be good like her.
After she left, I did construction work at Prek Troap for about 1 year. Then when I was 17 years old, I got married with my husband. My life was hard. We were very poor. My parents were poor.
They only did palm work, rode cyclo in dry season and do farming. Since my parents had many kids, we never had enough to eat. We borrowed and paid back in rice after harvesting. My parents were tired till they died. After I got married and had kids, I am a bit better, Pol Pot regime came. So my parents never had happiness. When Judy showed my father’s picture. I cried; I could not hold my tears. He was so tired. But he did not want me to do construction work. He can be tired but did not want his daughter to work. He is so strict and ancient. Life of palm man is so tiring. I got up since 4 am with my mother to find wood to help family. I am the eldest, and I am so tired. After I got married, I am a bit better. After marriage, I moved to live in Phnom Penh with my in-law sister and mother. My sister-in-law got married before me with custom officer but they had no child. They had big house. I lived with them till the beginning of Khmer Rouge regime. They loved me so much and lived together until I got 7 children. We loved each other. Their house was behind Tuol Sleng School. I always stayed at home and my husband worked. My mother-in-law helped me a lot. One of her son was a custom officer and made lot of money and my husband was a policeman. In the past, we could survive though few people work, unlike now. The day my mother-in-law came to look for a daughter-in-law, it was not unbelievable that she chose me. There was another girl living in Leak and she was so rich. My cousin asked my mother-in-law to look at me at Svay Leck, but she said I am so poor. My mother-in-law came in, I was preparing rice for grinding and I did not wear proper clothes. I saw many motorbikes came in and I looked at them. I knew nothing. My mother-in-law kept looking at me; my husband did not see me, only the mother. She observed me doing many works. She then asked mother of Aunty Tat about my name. She was told that my name is Sorn. She said she did not go anywhere else because she liked me and my name showed that I am so kind; she liked me. My husband did not see. It was only one week for the process of asking for engagement and marriage. She said she did not go to see any other girl, only me. Then she returned to Phnom Penh. That night, my husband came with many motorbikes. My house is simple with wooden stairs. I could not believe my fate. I was poor but I was so fortunate. They were rich but they asked me for marriage. I was so shy; I did not dare to serve them water to drink. My father asked a few young girls to prepare porridge and I was with them too. They saw me through kerosine lamp light. I did not see my husband’s face at all when he and other came to observe me. I saw only his picture not face to face. (laughing) They agreed to arrange a marriage and they prepare for dowry and clothes. It was so quick because only a week to prepare for it. People admired me a lot; it was a famous wedding. So many high ranking people like custom officers, colonels attended and there were so many cars. They said I was born in a poor family, but it was a happy wedding with many cars. My husband’s friends who are police officers also attended. If my husband lived in same village, people might say I made love with my husband before marriage because since the first day of my marriage, I was pregnant my first son. I was requested to dance the night of my wedding, but my father did not allow because he was afraid that another man who also loved me made trouble. My husband’s friends kept asking me to dance; I did not.
During the dance, Yeay Suong, a woman living near the main road saw a fire fell on my house. They made a betting. The woman is still alive. They said I will be pregnant. Right, I was pregnant. It seemed my son was supposed to be with me. I was so young, I did not know anything; I was only 17 years old. I still wanted to be happy. To be honest, I was having serious morning sick, so I played a lot, such as jumping rope. My husband was sad. I am young; my husband was 8 years older than me. He tried to console me and he was sad. My husband joked with his mother that he did not want a young wife anymore; it was so difficult. I did not know how to care about my husband. My mother already told my mother-in-law that I could not do many things; I only knew how to cook few kinds of food; she told the truth. My mother-in-law told her not to worry; she never let me cook even after I delivered my son. It was my fortune. My husband went to work and mother-in-law gave him some money for gasoline and gave me some money for food and the rest of money would be used for saving with tong tin. She helped her only son a lot; she had three children, a son and two daughters. That time, they had a car. It was so great to have car that time. She helped a lot. I played bay khom with my nieces and nephews and every Saturday I cried; I wanted to go home. At home in Phnom Penh, I had nice food; so I miss my mother, my siblings. When I had nice food, I miss my parents. On Saturday and Sunday, I visited home. My husband sent me to visit my home. My husband was so kind and he bought a lot; he bought big fish cost 320 riel while gold costs only 310 for one chi. That fish was big and long, about my husband’s high. He was so kind and helpful brother-in-law to my siblings; he loved my family. My mother-in-law also liked me.
A farmer wanted to marry my younger sister, but my husband did not agree. My parents did not make decision; my husband did. My husband made decision and not agree to let my sisters got married with farmers. My sisters got married with better officials like one got married with a marine man and two with policemen. Our livings were a bit better, but then our [country’s] situation went worse. That is why I was so sympathetic to my parents since they did not enjoy happy living with us yet. I helped my siblings a lot. I also got love from my husband who was kind and did not discriminate with the poor. He did not call me by my name. He called me neang. I miss my husband; I pity him. He is so literate. He was the sports police with ranking. It was great to have ranking like rank 1 or 2 that time because we had subordinated soldiers who served us at our home. I have seven children. I had lived in Phnom Penh. I bought a house at my hometown too—the house of Ta Pech and Yeay Nuon. It was a very big house. I also sometimes came to stay at my hometown when I felt lonely. Ta Pech built that house, but one year later, his daughter was crazy. The old man, father of Aunty Tat, knew and she said that that house did not belong to Ta Pech, but would belong to me, so I only needed to save money to buy it. He seemed to guess it right. I told her not to joke because if Ta Pech heard it, he might be angry, but she said just wait and see. They lived for only one month, then they begged me to buy it. It costs 60000 at that time and it was very expensive. I bought it; it was a big house, 8 m x 12 m , so big. I stayed there when I wanted, but mostly I was at Phnom Penh. I have 7 children. I delivered only 6 times, because my I got twins for the last delivery. My twins were one boy and one girl. The girl died when she learned walking, so I left only the twin boy. I stayed in Phnom Penh since and Pol Pot Regime arrived. Oh, I forgot to mention. At my hometown, people lived happily. It was until  that they (Khmer Rouge soldiers) forced people to go southward. Those who came from the village and moved southward were called the 17th April people. Those who stayed at the south were called old people. Villagers the village who liked my husband told him to take his family to go away because they will force villagers to go south. People who were forced to go south stayed there for almost a year. My husband changed his workplace from Phnom Penh to Kampong Tuol. Me too, I was still there, and we rented a house for about 2 or 3 months near Kantout [market]. Villagers [from my hometown] also fled and moved to stay at Vat Pre Rung. My husband’s subordinate soldiers helped us a lot. We were better off, so they helped us. When we could not bear anymore, we ran to Phnom Penh. We were in Phnom Penh for a bit longer time till they overthrew Phnom Penh.
They dropped bombs, at west Svay village, so many holes. My aunt’s house was completely damaged. My house, at the middle, was still ok, only damaged the ladder. Then, they removed it [during the Khmer Rouge regime]. I was in Phnom Penh for about a year, including Yeay Eng and those who was able to escape from collection my Khmer Rouge to move southward. We ran to Phnom Penh, mostly they moved to live at O Bek Kha-om. My sister, Eng, lived at Beung Tum Pun, and I lived with my mother-in-law. My parents lived with Eng in Beung Tum Pun. Two siblings were with me, a younger sister and a boy. They were single and lived with me. My parents were not living with me. They lived in Bung Tum Pun. They dared not to live with my mother-in-law since I already lived there.
When Pol Pot came in, since 12 pm till 5 or 6 pm, there is no rice for my children to eat. We fled and escaped [from Phnom Penh]. My husband cradled my younger son on his belly since he had a big belly and Khmer Rouge soldiers kept looking at him. My younger sisters, Srey Pov and Srey Poch helped cradle the kids. We kept walking and had rice till 6 or 7 pm on the day Phnom Penh was controlled by Khmer Rouge. When we arrived and slept at Chhbar Ampov, other people told us that they saw my parents did not bring have anything, except a small package on their shoulder. I was headed to Kien Svay. They did not allow me to head for National Road Number 2. They told me my parents went to village. I went across rivers in Kien Svay through Prek Touch, Sa-ang Prek Touch. Villagers at Prek Touch were militaries; they told me not to go back to Kantuot, since soil is not fertile. They told me further that if I wanted to go, I should go to Koh Thom because soil there was fertile. I did not go since I was a part from my mother. I walked; I searched for my mother, and I met my mother at Po Pring village. I was there for about one month; I lived here and I grew corns. I took palm leaves to set up a cottage for staying for about half a month. Then my husband searched for wood to build a cottage to live. My cottage was located next to the unit chief’s house. That man is still alive nowadays. My husband was very kind. He paid for others to drink. Ta Kong sold palm juice and showed respect to my husband, but [during the Khmer Rouge regime] they pretended not to know us and they called us capitalist. In the village, my father worked on palm work; he did not give it to his grandchildren, but he was kind and offered palm juice to Ta Kong and Ta Chhem to drink. They did not recognize us even we used to be neighbors before.
My children, Ol and Ra used to live in Phnom Penh. When they came to live in the village [during the Khmer Rouge regime], Pich, son of Chem-kong, asked my children to harvest grass for cows, but they did not know how, so they cried. He hurt my kids. My kids who lived in Phnom Penh did not know how to do; they knew only how to study. Another child who was a son of the old peole asked why he hurt my kids, and then they had argument. [Pich] accused him that he was on the new people’s side.
They hurt me so much. I lived near the rice mill place, and they scolded me even when my kids cried. My kids were hungry and cried, so they could not sleep and they blamed me. They were even stronger than Bun Rany. I told people that Yeay Chhem was stronger than like Bun Rany and A Pich was just like Hun Manet now. I was just too angry. They are still living now.
One day, after having porridge, I took a nap with my kids; my kids wanted to go to toilet a bit. I told him to come back soon because it was so hot. My son was on his youth age. It was destination. The kid of the neighbor went to dig for crap; my son saw the new hole of crap, then he only borrowed the tool to dig the crap. Seeing that, [Khmer Rouge soldiers] shot him to dead. A lot of blood and a soldier carried him for me. My son is the second after the first one. I cried a lot, but he was still alive, so I begged them for help. They said he deserved to die because he was too hungry for crap. I was too upset with their words. They sent him to hospital; my son told me not to worry. He was ok and I took water for him to wash his face. My husband dared not give him water to drink. The next morning, my son died. That morning, I and my son, Ol got a ripen Chan fruit to visit my son. When I arrived at hospital, he had already taken for burry in the south of the temple. They took me to see his grave. The nurse told me he died and they buried him last night. I dared not put rock on his tomb because I was afraid it was heavy for him. My husband cried.
Oh I did not finish the story. Then, my son died. I was too hungry. At night, my husband and I got two ripe palm fruits too eat while our children were sleeping. We were too hungry. We, 7-8 members had only porridge and there was porridge with leaves, so my kids could not eat. So I took only rice grain in porridge for my children to eat. It was too hard. At night, my husband and I got a ripe palm fruit and we ate. They saw our light and they came in to scold at us that we ate such kind of food; that is why, we got diarrhea and could not work. They took my head and my husband’s to touch each other very strongly. I did not tell this story to my kids. They hurt us so much; I was so upset. They ate rice, but we ate porridge with leaves.
Then, they asked us to go to Pursat. They wanted to kill us, but not yet killed us, and then they sent us to Pursat. We were happy for the trip to Pursat. However, Eng, and other people did not go. At Pursat, for the whole day there was no rice to eat. Yeay Wan, Yeay Worn saw us go to Vat Kork Kark [for trip to Pursat] since 3 pm till morning, so they gave me two cans of rice. I made porridge for my kids at Vat Kok Kark. At 7 am, they took us [on truck]. Kong wrote a letter. They were about to kill my husband though we did not make any mistake. They knew our background since Kong gave the letter to the driver. We were in group 2. There, the driver gave letter to head of group 2; so they knew our background. They took my husband for education. He worked a lot and so hard. He was order to plow though he never did it before, but he was alright. He followed others. I pitied my husband. When he came back from plowing, he brought back crabs and snails for our food. We were at Pursat for less than a month, then they sent him for education. I did not know the term ‘education’, so I prepared for him pen, book, plates, spoons. I was told to go for education for only one week. I prepared for him. I smoked cigarettes since long. He got clothes to exchange for tobacco because he said I smoked a lot; he did not smoke. I prepared for him. I did not even think that they sent him to die. For one week, at around 2 o’clock I went to ask Ta Song. Ta Song is still alive; he is at Damnak Trach, Pursat. I went there three times since the Khmer Rouge regime was over. Around Pchum Ben I like offering to the monks because I used to stay at that pagoda. Ta Song was the one who took my husband there. I asked him it was one week, why my husband did not come back. I did not know. He told me to take care of myself well because my husband took care of himself well there. I did not know anything. Then, they changed me from Vat Damnak Trach to Tumneap Chrey. I was shaking with Aunty Tat’s nephew. Kids took stuff to move for a place to stay. I kept shaking under the Kokoh tree. They saw me shaking and they said maybe I will not be alive until new rice. Former Khon was shaking in front of me, and he died the next morning. I lived there. I was shaking till my belly became so big like being pregnant. I discussed with a woman; I told her that my husband was sent for education for only one week, but now it was almost one month. I did not know. She said till 9 months and 10 days he would be back. I did not know and replied that why it was so long. I did not know that 9 months and 10 days meant he would be born next life. They told me he was sent to be killed; I was shocked.
My daughter cried for her father; she liked him so much. Neighbors got annoyed and angry but then they pitied us. Not so long, my daughter died. We lived at Tumneap Crey with three of us. They dared not come out at day time because they were afraid the kids of old friends would hurt them. They stayed inside. My youngest girl asked me why we lived like this; why did not we live in very nice house, stay on a very nice mattress like before. I was so sad. When Poch cried, my other kid consoled her, said that Poch please don’t cry, when our father came back from study he will buy Thai clothes for us. I was about to go crazy; I was crazy already. When I became normal again, I was assigned to bury corpse. Among 6 people, only me alive; all died. I did the work for 2 years. So many people died, at least 2 died each day, and in average were 3-4 people per day. They suffered swollen, diarrhea, nothing to eat, especially Chinese. Not many left. Only a Chinese woman named Che Keav is still alive and now she livess at Chbbar Ampov. Old friends pitied her and they put her in a well without water to hide her. There were so many died in my cooperatives, almost hundreds or thousands. I did the work; I covered them and tied them then took them for burry. We buried them in small hill; there was no plain to bury them. We worked hard to bury them. Look at my foot; the corpse fell on me and my foot got serious sickness because they touched with plant.
I did not live together with my mother. That time my father already passed away; they injected him to kill him. He was healthy, no sickness. He got cut with bamboo and blooding, so he was hungry and he asked me to ask for porridge for him. I got a container and begged for porridge. I was just like the beggar. They said my father was healthy and they asked what sickness my father had. I told them that he was really sick and they could come to see him if they didn’t believe me. They gave a little watery porridge for him. I told them to see him; he got cut by bamboo; it cut his vein and the blood kept flowing. Then, they came to see; they saw his blood flowing, they said we should take him to hospital. At around 4, I did not go yet as I thought that I would go to visit him in the morning by bringing blanket for him too; the hospital was not so far. When I was there to take blanket for him, only hammock left, not him. They injected him with water. The place I lived was so harsh. People said my place is an incomparable place. The old people told us that they sent us here for re-education. That place was full of people from Phnom Penh. They told me like that. My life was still going on. I wish I died, but I am still living. My mother died. My brother was swollen. Then he was at hospital. My mother was there too. Then I asked to take my mother to be with me. When I was burring the corpse, my sister cried and shouted to me that my mother died. I asked what illness caused her died. I went to hospital, people there told me she died since about 7 PM. Her tears were full in her eyes and ears. I thought this life when my mother was born again, she might become deaf. I changed her skirt and asked to accompany her to the buried place so that I can know where she was buried, but they denied. They did not allow me to go, to know the place. It was so hard; no one suffered like me. I was crazy when I got this illness on my foot and my son broke his arms when he fell from tree. They took him to hospital and did not hear about him for about one year. My youngest daughter also died at 8 or 9 pm. I hugged her till morning. In morning, I told them my daughter died, then they asked me to bury her. I cannot do it and I asked them to do it for me. They pitied me and they took her to bury. They made 3 steps ladder. Just a moment after they carried her, Sivorn’s mother, the one who stayed at regional hospital, told me that the boy Ol died yesterday. In fact, he was still alive. My daughter’s corpse was carried and after they told me about the death of Ol, I became crazy, I both cried and laughed. I went crazy. A Pros and A Da hided from me when they saw me [as I was like crazy]. However, they did not kill me. I got crazy when my illness became so serious till my flesh fell down. I stayed in commune hospital. At night, I missed my kids, so I walked across the forest. My foot was hurt and bleeding. I searched for my kids, but they hide from me because they were afraid of me. They asked me to stay in regional hospital or I would die if I stay here. I begged them not to go because my kid just died, but they disagreed. The head of hospital said I must go; I would die if I stay here. Yeay Van told me not to take A Pros along for he would not find his work place; it was too far. I said I would die if I go. Yeay Van stayed at hospital there. They did not allow Pros to go with me. I was smart that time; I asked my son to wait for me first near the road. Then we went together by ox cart. So, Pros is still alive. I did not know where Da and Ol were. We were separated; they died. Pros and I stayed at hospital. My youngest son was shaking and they put him separately. It was flooded near the hospital. So my son, Pros walked to the hospital after he got off from a buffalo. He was sick to bed for 9 months, but the day I went there, my son, Ol could walk and stood at gate of the hospital. He saw his brother and called Pros. I thought my son already died, but why this sound was like Ol’s. I saw him, standing there with his broken arm. Till now he could not turn his arm yet; it is straight. He called me mother! I saw him and I felt so excited because people told me he died.
I stayed at the regional hospital for about one year till my foot was recovered. They gave me a lot of food unlike village. My youngest son was shaking and he was place at a separate place. My eldest son well served us. We were there for about 9 months. They did not allow us to leave hospital yet because my foot was still hurt. They well treated us. On Saturday, they served us desert. I ate but I saw my kids died in front of my eyes and I dropped the plate. I took a waste container to cover my head-I was crazy. I thought I would never be recovered. My eldest son always well took care of me for about a year. His arm is still like that. He was a bit lucky; he got a job and got some education. I asked to leave hospital and they agreed. When I arrived at the cooperatives, they thought I died, but then they came close and welcomed me by touching me until I got a bad fever for two days. They served me rice; I could not eat, I vomited. Then they burnt rice and put it with water for me, then I ate and still alive. By 1979, those whose husbands were taken away [for education] were selected again. I was sent for harvest. There were so many Sleng fruits. I picked some of them, chopped them and kept them. In evening, they knocked the door to take us for killing. On day, the unit chief came and asked why I had so many chopped Sleng. I told them the truth that in the evening, they took people for killing, so before they took me I will took the Sleng. I told the truth. Then Mrs. Em told me not to be calm. She told me that all decisions were made by her. She knew me and my husband’s background and told me not to be worried and to throw the Sleng away. Before the regime ended, they knocked the door and brought people for killing and left so many children. I and Kmao’s mother already told each other to take care of our kids if one is taken for killing. Kmao cried and a militiaman came and asked why. Kmao told the truth that her mother would be taken for kill.
Luckiily, they did not take us for killing. I wished I died. After I was back from regional hospital, I went to transplant rice seedlings. In morning at 4 am, they asked us to work under the rain. I walked and I was so hungry and cold. I followed people in front of me and regime people were behind us. I whispered to myself that may the sacred spirits kill me now; I did not want to live. I did not know they were behind me. They shouted why I said like that. I told them there was no Saturday or Sunday, I better die. I wish I died, but they did not kill me. Till the last day, they even proposed me for a marriage. If I agreed I would become a widowed for the second time. He loved me since when I was single, but my father disagreed because he thought the musician may not have only one wife. He disagreed. There were two people who loved me there and their wives already died. They proposed me three times, but I disagreed. I did not want it, in my life I need only one time; I pitied my children. They were tough to me, and I was also tough back. I said that if so, please look after my 3 kids; I would die but I would not agree. They could not do anything to me. Then the revolution day came. At other places, liberation began since before the New Year, before the lunar month of Phalkun, but for us the liberation was until lunar month of Pisak. Vietnam entered but they did not reach my place. Old people of Khmer Rouge went up the mountain and they sent militiaman to call us to go with them three times. The unit chief told us that if we followed them to the top of the mountain, we would be killed. Then Van, the unit chief, told us to run. It was about 4 pm, and he told us that we should go, don’t stay or we would be killed. He was old people , but he pitied new people. He did not work hard as new people; new people died a lot. Van was a good person; he pitied us. I did not know where to go. My children, Ol and Da looked for pots and plates. They got two buffaloes. Ol took care of buffalo so he took them as our transportation. About 50 people, families went through the forest. If they came after us, many would be killed in the forest. The whole night until morning, we reached national road and we saw Vietnamese. Khmer Rouge soldiers told us that if Vietnamese saw us, they would take us in row by clinging our noses. I was shaking when I reached the National Road. I think I had little sin because I asked my son to take buffalo to take my kids first across the main road. Vietnamese troop saw our buffalo was difficult dragging my children up the road, they came to help my children and told them go further.
It took us one month and three days we walked from Pursat to here. People here were happy 3 months ahead of us, since the lunar month of Phalkun. We were asked to dig the holes till 10 pm. They were about to kill us. Aunty Nhor, an old people, told us, the widows, both old and new people would be killed. She told us that they had plan to keep only 3,000 people, healthy and good-looking women to breed with Chinese. All cried at that time. Then we were apart. Before separation, the unit chief brought 3-4 damleung of gold for me to keep. I kept it for two or three years in order to return it back. When Vietnamese came in, they all went up the mountain and gold was still with me. I kept waiting for them to return the gold. When I was near the national road, near Chamkar Khnol, I saw the lady who gave me gold to keep. So I gave it all to her. She did not even give me a little. Friends said to me that I was too stupid. They were angry that I was too stupid. I dared not to do so; I thought it belonged to them.
It was so hard for me. I left and slept at any place with my kids. My youngest daughter is working near Prey Sor. It took one month and three days to arrive my hometown. we slept at any place at night. Buffalos were loaded with rice, pots, and plates. I usually slept near quiet road at night. One day when I was about to sleep, Vietnamese soldiers came and called us to go to their office since they were afraid that Khmer Rouge soldiers could come and kill us. My buffaloes were so good and patient. They were so pitiful; they sent us here. At Ta Noy village, my cousin, Mr. Heang went to take me from Ta Noy. I came to live here and join solidarity group, Krom Provas Dai. Krom Provas Dai meant we did the work together.
We did work together, but we were divided into different labor force level. I was in labor force Number one, while my son, Da, was in labor force number two and Pros was in labor force number three. People told me not to worry because I had kids. They told me that I could use my son for climbing palm tree for sugar to exchange with rice. But I did not want my kids to do palm work. I worked hard. I cooked porridge in morning and cooked rice in evening for my kids to go to school. I was so poor. My relatives gave me rice to live. Also commune gave me too. I came to live here which was a cow shelter before.
I joined Krom Bovas dai. Those who had so many kids got more. I got little; we had more labor force in group 2 and 3. Later, they distributed rice fields. One person could get 16 acre. I was not so clever, but they asked me to be group leader. I took control and look after them for about a year. I was not good at harvesting or doing rice farming. Though I am a daughter of farmers, but I was not good at farming. Then, I asked them to quit from being the group leader. So I asked my brother, Phal, to work in Phnom Penh. I worked at Rumdoh Cigarette Company. People who work there get a lift by car in the morning. They told me to sew a pack this size clipped on waist to put cigarette to sell outside. After hearing that, I told them that I did not want to work anymore.
Then, I came to work in a utensil company near Vat Neakavorn since my brother, Phal, was a governor of Khan (district). I worked there for eight years, but it was too noisy. Later, I stopped working there and asked to work for Dr. Judy at Borei Chulsa in Takeo Province. [When I went to work in Phnom Penh] they took away my rice fields. I have only a plot left since my younger son, Pros, studied in the village.