Panti Gurung

Utica, NY

Panti Gurung came to the States 7 years ago. She was 24 y/o when she left Bhutan after which she lived in refugee camps in Nepal for 19 years.

“नेपालमा राम्रै थियो, बस्नको समस्या भएपनि। राम्रो गरेको थियो संस्थाले [UNHCR]। अमेरिका त सोचिन कस्तो होला भनेर पनि! संस्थाले राम्रो ठाउँमा त लग्न खोजेको होला नि भनेर बसेँ।”

(“Nepal was good even though there were problems with where we could stay. The organization [UNHCR] had done us well. I did not even think about what America might be like. I just assumed that the organization [UNHCR] was taking us to a good place.”)

“गाह्रो गार्है हो यहाँको जिन्दगी तर छोराछोरीले काम पायो, त्यसैले सुबिस्तै छ। ५ जना छोराछोरी छन्। उनीहरुलाई त केही गाह्रो भएन हामीलाई जस्तो। आयो, गाडी निकाल्यो, काम पायो! सानो चाहीँ पढ्दै छ। म चाहीँ आएको ३ महिना देखि बिरामी परेर केही गरेको छैन, दबाई खान्छु र घर बस्छु मात्र।”

(“Life here is fairly difficult but my children found jobs, so it is okay. I have 5 children. They had no difficulty here, unlike us. They just got here, got licences and cars, and got jobs! My youngest is in school. Me, three months into moving here, I got sick and have been since. So, I just take medicine and stay home.”)