Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pay Lay's Writing

Here is Pay Lay hauling rocks last season.

We asked Pay Lay to write an article for Urban Grown, the newsletter of KCCUA. She wrote it in beautiful Karen script and it was translated by our sweet friend Htee Law Sue. Here is what she wrote:

First of all, I would like to thank every staff of the New Roots for Refugees who assists us to become successful farmers. I’m Pay Lay, with 5 children. I’ve been living in Kansas City, Kansas almost two years, and I’m from Burma. This year is my second year as a farmer in this program. Being a farmer is my first occupation in the United States and it’s also the career I hope to do in the future. I know some basic knowledge and background about farming as I used to be a farmer in my own country. However, it wasn’t the same as farming here. We planted rice and corn and vegetables. Mostly, we planted on the hill or the mountainside as we couldn’t afford to buy flat land. We had to work harder there so I prefer farming here as its more convenient and I get a lot of support and encouragement.
I really enjoy being a part of this project and I’m glad for having a good chance to do the things I want. For me, financial problems and limited English are two of my biggest concerns. I don’t have enough money in my own pocket to start this business. For example, I don’t know where to get the seeds, plan my business and more than that I feel like I know nothing. However, the staff helps us as much as they can and work hard for us to learn more about farming every year. The program starts everything for us even small things. They provide equipment that we need, financial help to buy seed, pay water bills, and so many necessary things to do farming. I learned to become a better farmer last year. In the meantime, I learn to do business and learn new English words as well.
Not only earning money and learning about farming, my family also gets to eat fresh vegetable without chemicals in it. I’m so proud to keep my children healthy and have a happy life. One advantage for me is I have plenty of time to spend with my children and husband when compared to other jobs. I think farming is a good career to start for the people like me that know little English. My friends in my community also support me so it gives me more strength and encourages me a lot. I took all of my leftover vegetables from the market to my friend’s houses last year. I did it the whole season. I sold all of my vegetables and kept some for my family so we don’t have to buy vegetables from the grocery store.
At last, I would like to let everyone know that all of us, the farmers will try our best and work really hard this year and in the future. Each year we continue, we all want our farm to improve, cultivate more and earn more money.

Pay Lay


  1. That was fantastic! Pay Lay, thanks for sharing, and Htee Law, great job translating. (Tell Htee Law not to forget us at Donnelly, and that she needs to come visit sometime!)

  2. Great to read Pay Lay's story!
    I miss working with all of you and can't wait to visit in August.