I Always Have Bad Dreams
This is my story, the unfortunate little girl on the trip to escape communist. My name is Nguyen Phuong Thuy 15 years old. My boat has 68 persons. I left Vietnam on May 19th, 1981. I went with my sister who is only 6 years old. In the morning of May 2nd my boat met Thai pirates, their boat has 8 persons and one short gun, they stopped my boat and obliged all the people going to their boat except some people who stayed in my boat to keep it and some very old(in which there is a blind woman), later they examined our bodies carefully to find gold, then they shot the engine driver but the bullet hit a very old woman and she died immediately. At last they obliged my people to go back Vietnamese boat except me and other girl name Dung, 2 Thai men kept me and one man threw my sister to my boat, then they also threw other girl(she is not belong to my boat) who was staying on Thai boat the day before to my boat. Then they used their boat hit my boat, so it was broken and sank, all of people(67 persons) were died on sea, in which there is also my sister.
I and Dung lived on that boat(first boat) about 6 days then they took us to 2nd boat, 4 days later to the 3rd boat, some days later we must return to the 1st boat and go on until the 2nd boat. I cant suffer any more, so I killed myself by jumping into the sea but Thai men knew and took me out(about 10 oclock P.M.)
2 days later they put me turn to the 1st boat. When I went back I saw a Vietnamese girl. I asked Thai men and they said they kidnapped her yesterday(on this boat pirates oblige and teach me Thai language, they said if I dont know Thai language I will be died; so gradually I can speak Thai with them), 2 days later this boat met a Vietnamese boat, they threw that girl to Vietnamese boat but didn't killed them(because I request they dont kill Vietnamese more, they said if they didn't their friend will do but because my request they let Vietnamese go.) On the days later, I must go to the 8th, 9th, 10th boats, when I stayed on the 10th boat I saw Thai men robbed many things of Vietnamese boat and took 3 more girls, then they gave an oar to Vietnamese boat but all of people cried and begged they gave back engine machine. Thai men became angry so they used their boat(very long) hit that boat and people were died in the sea Even thought 3 girls stayed on the same boat(Thai boat) with me but Thai men dont permit me talking with them(they put me in a private room) until now I lived on Thai boat over 2 months. After 3 nights, they took one girl to other boat, 2 nights later they put 2 girls in front of their boat and shot them, I saw by my eyes 2 girls dropped into the sea. After that I asked why? They said because these girls dont study Thai language.
On the days follow, I was put to the 11th, 12th...14th boat, until on the 15th boat I met the engine driver, he is about 26 years old he said that because he has a pity on me so he don't move me to any more boat except the first boat(because this boat caught me first). I request one to let me go to the land but he said if he did I will accuse them and the 1st boat will kill him. However when he landed to sell fish, he dont kill me and keep me on his boat, after 3 times because he feared police knew, so he took me to his home and 3 days later I must return to his boat(now about September). Some days later he said on September 25th all Thai people who are Buddhist and have parents died must go back to their home and make some good things so their parents can go to heaven, therefore I will die because no one let to to the land or keep me on their boat. After some days thinking carefully, he said he will took me to the land because I don't want me died, later I guide me the way to go when I land in order to find police station, I want after him about 5 meters until I met policemen, he went away. Policemen took me to the police station, while I lived there his sister-in-law usually visited me, after 10 days, they took me to Song khla camp [On the Southeast Coast of Thailand].
Until now even though I feel safety because there are Father Joe [Father Joseph Devlin, SJ], the camp chief and all of people here who are very kind to me but I can't forget the terrible sights on the sea especially the deaths of my little sister, I always have bad dreams....I wonder if I was died on the sea liked other people, may be it's better then...!!!??