Wooden Log

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic
The story is about a boy struggling to save his father.

Submitted: October 13, 2011

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Submitted: October 13, 2011

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Wooden Log

Before I begin my story, let me flashback briefly by talking about my birthplace, how I was raised, and ended up in US. I was born in Bhutan, a small agricultural country in Southeast Asia. We were the people of Nepalese origin living in southern part of Bhutan, so we used to speak a different language than that of the Royal King. Finally, we were forced to leave our country because we were different race than Royal King. More than one sixth of Bhutan’s population was forced into exile during the 1990s, making Bhutan one of the highest generators of refugees per capita in the world. 107,000 of our people have been sheltered in refugee camps in south-eastern Nepal administered by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

Many of our people died of starvation. My parents struggled a lot to run my family, but there were very little opportunities for people like us. We were highly skilled but remain under heavy restrictions. Being relocated in a small refugee camp in eastern part of Nepal and no outlet, our world became our camp. With the effort of our people and organization called Caritas, we started school in our camps. Making ourselves comfortable became difficult due to rustic living conditions like having to sit on the floor for several hours. All we had was blackboard and a teacher in school. In such a school, I finished up to 10th grade. Cooped up inside for so long, our reality never reached to outside world. Slowly we started realizing that we cannot stay in such a prison forever. So leaders of our community asked help for UN to for third country settlement. Like a baby that cries out we were heard by the UN and agreed to resettle us to various developed countries, such as the USA, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Norway and other European countries. Finally, I and my family were resettled in the United States.

Sometime before coming to the US, in summer of 2004, at that time I was only 13 years old. My whole body was sweating and I have to walk ten miles carrying six feet long log of wood. After just a mile, I was suffering with unbearable pain in my shoulder. The weather was so muggy that my clothes started to cling to my body. The stones and sand I stepped on were extremely hot causing my feet to barely touch the ground. Walking in a narrow valley where river Ratuwa has made its way, I move forward as long as my legs could carry me. Suddenly my legs slipped into the slippery stone and I fell down taking the log with me. I could barely move my body because the log fell over me. I cried there for a moment but my tears were lost in a sea of sweat. After thinking my family I started to cry again and pray to the God to give me strength. “Chandra”, I heard a voice which was approaching nearer and nearer. I saw him. It was Ramesh, my childhood best friend causing me to quickly wrap my tears. He helped me to stand up, but my left foot was bleeding. Ramesh went to the river, dropped his shirt in the water, and came back to clean my wound.

Looking back, when I was in kindergarden, a classcaptain bullied me. He always asked me to bring pencil for him. One day I forgot to bring him a pencil and he slapped me. Ramesh saw that and he quickly went outside of the class and pulled a bamboo stick from the garden fencing. He came back to the class and went straight for classcaptain. The bully was so frightened that even I was sure that Ramesh was going to hit him, but in the meantime the class teacher entered and the bully was saved. From that day onward, I was never bullied again. Ramesh and I used to eat in the same plate. In our country eating on the same plate reflects strong friendship. Even today, my dad loves Ramesh like his own son.

Coming back from my daydream, I was able to move my legs. We both went to the river and drank riverwater using our hands. I asked him about the journey and he said that we just covered half of it. We were supposed to carry logs from this valley to Damak city. People need logs for the constructions of buildings and we were paid in return. Carrying logs on your shoulders is not easy task to do. We both started our journey again. Before the sky was so clear, and now within an hour, it was filled with clouds. Monsoon rain causes heavy rainfall in Southeast Asia, so much so wet wood becomes heavier. Even as the logs which we were carrying became much heavier, we did not give up and continue our walk. Even as the water level increased we were determined to continue our walk. I knew that this river has taken many lives and this is what made me nervous. Our destination, Damak city was on other side of the river and we still had to cross. The only way to get across the river is by holding each other’s hand. We both hold our right hand together and started crossing the river along with logs. Ramesh told me to cross the river walking diagonally, so we did. The fast moving water waves went all the way up to my nose. Stepping up on the big stone, we were finally reached the other side of the river.

We reach Damak city in the dusk and got eighty rupees each for the day work. Ramesh gave me all his money but I refused to take it. He stood infront of me and said, “Your father loved me like his own son. He always loved us equally, so we both have to help him for his surgery.” I was speechless. My father had heart problem and we have to do his operation immediately. My mother died when I was two years old. I cannot remember her face but I have her picture and I see all my hopes in her eyes. I was raised by my father and sisters. I need money for his surgery that is why I went to valley to carry woods. Ramesh and I went to the camp secretary and asked him to help my father. He referred my father to AMDA Hospital to have the open heart surgery. I know one hundred and sixty rupees was not enough to pay for my father’s operation. Yet, I gave that money to camp secretary; anyway he did not accept it. He simply told us to do well by serving our community. I thanked him heartily. That is why, this story and my father is still with me.


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