My Life is like a Volcano by Kerkphon Ketboonsai (age 12)

My life is like a volcano because sometimes it gets hot and sometimes it gets steamy. Also you never know when it will explode. Only scientists can tell you. When I was in Thailand, I fought a lot, but in the U.S.A. I never try to fight with anyone. When I am angry, I’m like a volcano, but after 2 minutes, it is like nothing happened. This volcano is young, high and covered by snow. I have to work hard and at the same time when I go to school. The name of this volcano is Kerkphon. This volcano is slowly moving and has a lot of patience. I will not give up because I will try the best I can. Also when I study English, math and science, those are very hard for me to learn. I hope I can learn to control the volcano when I grow up.

I am a Thai boy. I can speak two languages, little bit of Thai and Lao. I lived in the countryside, as a farmer. I lived in a small village. There are 1,500 people in my village. They were so friendly, and if they saw you they would say, “Come eat rice with us.” Anyway I went to school and when I finished school, my grandmother came and picked me up and we went home. She said that I had to talk with my mom about going to the U.S. I was so surprised because I had never seen my grandmother come and pick me up before. And before I left my village, I drew my picture on the black board in the school and told my friends that I was going to America. I gave my grandmother a hug and I said goodbye to everybody in my village. They were so sad because I was the funny guy, and usually I liked to talk a lot. Somebody drove a car to the train station for me and I got on the train. On the way to Bangkok the train was broken and I had to wait for another train to come and pick me up. When I got to Bangkok I felt frustrated because there was a lot of traffic and I felt sick. I had to go to the U.S. embassy 2 times, and answer many questions. I needed a lot of paper work such as a picture, my dad’s signatures, and health papers. When I finished with that paper work, and they told me that I could go to America, I felt so happy. My mom hoped for me that she wanted me to have a better life, good future, better school, good job, and be a good person. I came to the U.S. by airplane. I took 3 airplanes. This was the first time that I sat on an airplane and I felt excited. It was fun because they have games on the airplane. And I hoped I could go visit my village again. I will never forget my own languages.

My life in Thailand was not so good. My mom has a big family and her goal is to build a new house for her mother. Also, when my mom went to the store, sometimes she didn’t have money with her, and that was why my mom’s family had a lot of credit debt. She had to go to work when she was 14 years old. And I didn’t have brothers or sisters. When I was in Thailand, I didn’t live in Bangkok. My family lived in the countryside. We grew a lot of rice. We lived as farmers. I lived in a small and quiet village. My village had 1,500 people. Almost every house had water buffaloes. The water buffaloes were helpful, and they could help you to plow. Some people who didn’t have money had to sell their water buffaloes. Sometimes I saw the water buffalo at my school. I can still remember the sound of water buffalo and the smell of animal poop. The water buffalo loved grass and my school had a soccer field, and had a lot of grass.

At school I was very kind, friendly, helpful, and a little bit creative. I made a lot of friends. One of them was my girlfriend. My girlfriend was kind of smart, and creative, also helpful and friendly. Anyways I had this teacher in Thailand. His name was Suriyan. He was a very smart teacher. I did a lot of activities with him, such as growing mushrooms, drawing pictures, and playing soccer. In my village in Thailand, there was only one teacher to teach everything, like reading and writing, history, science, and, math. I know that my mom has a big family and I need to earn money and sent it back home, so maybe she can build a new house for my grandmother.

On my first day in the U.S., I was scared and cold. I felt excited when I stepped out from the airplane. I was so confused because I didn’t know what my dad and my mom were talking about since they spoke English. The people there were so different from my country and also strange. They wore different clothes, spoke different language, ate different food, and had a different climate. In Seattle there is a lot of rain and wet. The east side of the Washington is dry. When I sat in the car on the way to our home, I felt a little sick. When I got home, there was no bed for me to sleep. I was also scared of ghosts. The house is big and has a lot of rooms. Two weeks later I went to school, I was nervous, sad, and scared. I couldn’t speak any English. And when I wanted to go to the bathroom, I had to wait for half of the day. I met a Thai girl, her name was Gaynapark. She was a nice person, and she told me the way to go to the bathroom. After school finished, it was the Halloween so I went to trick or treat and I got a lot of candies. I have studied in SBOC for 1 year. In SBOC there were 3 levels so I started from level 1 to level 3, and now I’m in level 3. Now I think I feel good and better because I know some English. I hope I will not be scared and nervous when I got to a new school.

My life is like a volcano because I had to work so hard when I was in my county. I had to learn to study and take care of the buffalo at the same time. Also, I had to help my grandmother to wash dishes and clean the house. Sometimes I thought the life was easy but when I look back I see that the reality was so hard. And now I am in the U.S. and I don’t have to work so hard and take care of buffalo anymore. My life is easier than before. So for now the volcano named Kerkphon is a dormant volcano. In my future I want to do many things like be a doctor and be a teacher. One thing that I am good at is to be an artist. I hope I can learn how to control my volcano in my future because it might explode again.

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