HOF037: Mean Bonn TAING

During a Khmer Rouge congregation, Mean and a family carried off their escape plan towards the Thai mountains using survival tactics to avoid detection and determine time, geography and navigation. Unfortunately, the dry season meant water was scarce and going days without food or water was not uncommon.

Several times, while starving and exhausted, they accepted that their time was due, until a miraculous incident, whether it was a massive frog, a swarm of fireflies, or a fisherman’s belongings, rejuvenated their spirits and carried them forward.

Once they arrived in Thailand, they were imprisoned for being illegal immigrants. Mean pleaded his case as a refugee but was sentenced to forty-five days in jail. However, he received the sympathies of the correctional officers and given a degree of free range during his sentencing.

He was then sent to the refugee camp, where he worked as a French translator for a Canadian official who immediately approved his immigration papers. In Canada, he continued his translation services and volunteered for a sponsor group for Cambodians, where he met his wife and now happily shares grandchildren.