In Cambodia (Kampuchea) he was a student until Pol Pot took over the government and then he was sent to the countryside where he endured great privations for five years. In 1980 he escaped to Thailand. Under the sponsorship of the International Institute he came to Boston.
He is now studying electronics in the morning and English in the afternoon. His sister to whom his letter is addressed has reached Florida. Dear sister,
The sun goes to the west and hides the body of the mountain. The gloom falls slowly over Boston. The moon rises little by little from the dark clouds and shines brightly with golden flashes of light to the earth. The winter wind blows through the forest outside of the house. I feel a little cold. I put on some clothes. Then I get a pen and write a letter to you.
The fresh leaves become yellow and fly slowly one by one to the ground. The birds are not enjoyable anymore. They are busy making nests. Winter had arrived. On Dec. 5, 1981 the sky had plenty of white small pieces and fell slowly, covered the city like the rain. Do you know what those were pieces They were snow. It was the first time I saw the snow. I was very happy. I took some snow and some coconut, boiled green beans and put sugar on it. It was delicious like the glass-ice we ate in our country. The boys and the girls were very happy too. They made a snow-man, threw snow-balls, skied. . . .
What do you play in the winter? Especially at the Christmas or New Year? Where do you go? Are you cold? In the winter I feel little cold because my room has a heater. If I go out I put on a coat, a hat, gloves, boots.
Yesterday I had a letter from you. I was very glad and surprised about the progress of your English. You're so smart. I hope you will have a good life in the future.
Thank you very much for sending your picture to me. I will care it well. Why is your face in the photo sad? Don't worry so much. I still am your good brother. I don't think anymore. You said in the letter Sopheap will marry after a few months. Please help me to send my congratulation to her wedding. What about you! When do you marry?? I hope you will have a husband who is a gentleman , clever, handsome, kind and rich. . . .
To wish you peace, joy and happiness for Christmas and the New Year!!! Sincerely, Lay