HOF028: Oudom Pravat

Oudom’s father died when he was 4 years of age. His family lived in poverty as his mother struggled to make ends meet. As a result, he was sent to live with his aunt, uncle and cousins until his early 20’s.

Once the political and economic situation in Laos became untenable for him, he was able, as a single male, to escape from Laos with the help of friends. He was ferried across the Mekong River to Thailand where he was apprehended and held by Thai Police. He remembered a frightening event during which he was interrogated by a police offcier who had pointed a gun at his head while acussing him of being a Vietnamese spy. He eventually succeded in convincing them that he was Laotian, not a spy.
During his stay in Thailand, he spent 2 years and 5 months in the Nong Khai refugee camp. During his stay, he met a young woman and eventually married her.

After their long stay in the camp he, his wife and step-brother were accepted to immigrate to Canada. They first settled in Winnipeg where his daughter was born. Later, the family moved to Ottawa briefly and then to Toronto where he found employment. During his twelve years stay in Toronto, the family welcomed two sons. The family eventually moved to Ottawa where they settled permanently. To this day, he and his wife remain employed, but expect to retire in the near future. His daughter married, his first son, moved to Toronto where he works for a financial company. His second son became a mechanic and continues to live in Ottawa.

The fellow mentioned that he was very grateful to the sponsors that supported him during his stays in Winnipeg and Ottawa.
To this day, he is very happy that he was able to leave his war-torn country and settled in Canada where he worked, raised a family and lived in peace.