All posts filed under: Lao

Living Iu-Mien and Khmu: The Route Forward, Back Through Time

This is the first in a series from Janit von Saechao about discovering her Iu-Mien and Khmu roots. I haven’t always been open about my identity as a Khmu and Mien person. I remember as an elementary school student, when teachers and peers asked what my ethnicity was, my instinctive reaction was immediate deflection. This was a conversation I hated having. The comments of, “what are you?” and “where are you from?” drew feelings from my child self that I wasn’t equipped to handle. The person asking never knew what they were getting themselves into and I was never really ready to explain. So I resorted to replying with saying I was Lao or Thai, even as I knew that these were not my truths. There were various reasons I chose to misidentify. In honesty, some of it was intentional. I wanted to belong to something that was already understood, something that others could conceptualize without me having to scramble in search for words to communicate the complexity of my peoples’ stories. After all, how …

Canadian Universal Health vs The Great American Gamble

The day my twins were born, my son developed an infection in his leg. It was an excruciating ailment, one that came on without warning and left him unable to walk or even move. It was also a big mystery; doctors weren’t exactly sure what it was, or how to treat it. My husband spent the next eight days shuttling him back and forth to the hospital. While I tended to our newborns at home, they logged hours on the pediatric floor. Each day brought a different round of testing for our young son. His little body was put through it all: x-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, and bloodwork. That was a draining week for all of us. Most days, we struggled just to keep him comfortable. The hospital had every test result back within 12 hours each day. But waiting isn’t easy – especially for a hormonal mother who can’t stay off Google. I spent sleepless nights worrying about sprains, Lyme disease, even cancer. WebMD became my best friend and worst nightmare. My insane penchant to …