Friday, November 18, 2011

Letter to a friend in refugee camp

Tika Ram Ghimirey, who is currently residing in Forth Worth city of Texas states in USA shared his letter to Ram (name changed) who is in refugee camp in Nepal through this online platform. Giving clarification about his letter, he writes: "This letter doesn’t look general, however it’s not too personal either. I am writing to my typical Bhutanese friend in a refugee camp - Ram and Bhumika who are just representations. I always intended to give a general picture in this letter". Check this out:

Hi Ram,

How are you doing these days?

It is good to hear from you that you eventually accepted resettlement. I knew you were always in favor of it but some situations were always unavoidable, it’s very usual.

I also know at this time you are kind of confused, undecided and more eager - the reason being obvious that it is a big decision. You have just applied and it will surely take a while, leaving you enough time to decide what and what not. It is all about moving abroad altogether. Be decided that we will be in foreign land forever. Once you arrive here, going back to Nepal or Bhutan becomes a distant dream. Never bring big dreams to your new home. Simply believe in fortune and understand you will have an easier way of living here. America is not a heaven - as everyone should understand it, but it is certainly better than Nepal or Bhutan. Means of living are better, life is easier. There are more opportunities for job but remember you are doing an entry level job. Earning is far better and you will soon go about 20 times richer in about just 3 months. You don’t have to think twice to buy another laptop for your wife or son.

Don’t worry about American tax system. It is good and perfect. It will take a part of your earnings from your every paycheck but will refund it at the end of the year as a tax return. It is just like your saving account. Because you have a baby, you will be eligible for more tax returns than what you would pay. You will also pay a part of your income for your social security thereby securing your old age.

It is always better to be together in a family. Be sure to bring your parents along with you. They would look after your baby so that both of you would go to work. Remember, kids can be a big burden in a nuclear family in the United States and most other countries!

Ram, if you want to show that you are clever in these matters, don’t forget to bring your differently able sister Bhumika along with you. She will get a good medical treatment and she might be eligible for disability benefits. She might get caregiver services at home. You would find yourself really fortunate for that. She would definitely get a new life here.

Life in America is stressful. You feel alone (so don’t think of moving alone leaving your parents behind) and harassed with American work schedule. Surely, you don’t like someone shouting at you when you are working. If you are not working well, they won't ask you for a reason but simply you will have to look for another job the next day. Usually you are at work and you will have almost no time to enjoy. You may not get to sleep together with your family for the whole week for the same reason. You will get bills after bills in your mail box. You will have a large amount to pay off your bills and rent at the end of the month.

Most of the immigrants dislike America for its crazy schedule and no sitting job and so do our people. America over there and America over here is really different. Majority of my friends regret for being here due to the same reason. However, I don't because I was not influenced by an American fake story narrated over there. I always knew that it would be life full of struggle but still better to live in an advanced country like this than living as a refugee.

Wishing for your better future!

Tika Ram Ghimirey
Forth Worth, TX
United States
(Formerly from Khudunabari camp, Jhapa, Nepal)

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