Tri Huynh

As Interviewed by T.H., March 20, 2019

Tri Huynh: In His Own Words

My name is Triney Huynh, and I’ll be interviewing my dad, Tri Huynh, about his immigration into the U.S. when he was 17.

I escaped Vietnam by boat, and I went to the refugee camp in Indonesia. I lived there for 6 months and then I got interviewed by the US, and I got accepted to come here. It was 1987. I’m what they call, “boat people”. 5 days on it, without food or water. I mean, very little water. Every day they give you a little cup of water, and I’m really thirsty and thought I would die. There’s no food. Thirsty, you don’t feel like hungry. Thirsty, you know, thirst, you can die quicker than when you’re hungry. Y’know uh it’s a small boat with 120 people on it and there’s no room, all you can do is just stand there, stand up and people sit on your feet, and then when you get tired you sit down and other people have to stand up because there’s not enough room. You cannot move, it’s just like a pack. There’s one guy, y’know big guy, big man, he was uh, he was panic. He say that other people try to kill him. He just get, y’know, crazy. He died when we get to the oil fill. And then that guy died the next day, because he got a fever. He was crazy. They throw... they put it in a plastic bag or something like that. They dump it into the water, so that person sinks down. Yeah, it’s, it’s the... in the ocean, if you die in the ocean, they have to bury you in the ocean. That’s the rule, y’know? So, they put it in a bag, with a rock. So they sink you down. They throw you in the water and start to sink to the bottom of the ocean.