Memoir of a Thirteen-Year-Old Girl

Surviving the Cambodian Genocide

Our T-Numbers 1979 - Chenda and I continued to use the last name that Pa had changed from Chhi to Kim to evade being discriminated against for having Chinese heritage. We changed it back to Chhi when we applied for American citizenship.

First, they took Em's T-Number photo, then Chenda's. When it was my turn, I remember the guy saying, "Smile a little bit for me, pretend you are going to America!"

Our T-Numbers

Can you imagine how it felt? After four years surviving starvation, forced labor camps in and out of dense jungle; we finally escaped to Thailand. Less than two weeks later, we were in the middle of Bangkok, waiting to be transported to USA.