Interview of John Bul Dau
Question: What was it like when you escaped from your house and had to live life on the road?
Answer: It was very difficult having to find food and water especially since I lived in the desert. Finding food was very hard because food was very scarce. We would sometimes go days without food or water. Those days were extremely tough. When we did find food, there never really was enough to make us feel satisfied.
Question: What was it like living in the camps in Ethiopia?
Answer: Living in the camps definitely was not easy. I was in charge of a large group of boys, some were older than me and some were younger. I had to make sure we received our fair share of food. I also had to tend to the people that were sick and I had to take care of some of the funerals of the boys who were in my group who had passed away. It was a very hard time for me.
Question: What was it like living in America for the first time?
Answer: Living in America for the first time was like nothing I had ever been through before. Living in a completely different culture was probably the most challenging. Having to adapt to the way Americans live was very hard. Just things like going grocery shopping was something far different then what I am used to.
Question: What was it like being apart from your family for so long not knowing if they were alive or not?
Answer: It was very challenging living all those years in Ethiopia not knowing if they were alive or dead. I had to consider the possibility that they might not have made it through the invasion that our village faced. When I traveled to America, I found out that they were alive and I called them. One of my brothers answered the phone and we talked for a while. When he handed the phone over to my mother, she didn’t believe it was me. She said that her son died many years ago. It was amazing for me to think that my mother didn’t think I was alive. However, after answering some questions that she gave me, she believed it was me.