My name is Bandhana Phuyal. I am 13 years old and currently attend middle school as an eighth grader. I was born in a country called Nepal in a refugee camp, but my parents were from Bhutan. I was born in a country where there was no hope of living a better life. We were under a roof where we never knew when the wind would blow it away. Our food was given to us by the government but it was unhealthy, and our education was not good either. In 2008, when I was 8 years old, the United States government started to accept Bhutanese refugees to their country, so my parents thought about our future and decided to leave the refugee camp and come here for a better life.
On May 7th, 2008, we arrived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We didn’t know anything about the language barrier, how to use things in the house, or where to buy food from. For a while my family and I regretted coming America; we thought everything was too difficult and we were so lonely and scared. Still, we knew giving up was not a good idea so we tried hard to adapt to our new country- its rules and its people. After five months, I started going to school from the second grade. I barely understood anything the teacher was saying, but there was a class called English as a Second Language (ESL) that I was placed in. After a year I was able to communicate with American people and made lots of new friends; that was the proudest thing for me.
By then my parents had learned basic English and found jobs, and most of my family had come to the United States, so my parents were happy. We never expected this life where we have our phones in our hands 24/7, the technology and everything else. I’m so happy that life gave us another chance to make it better. Today I’m so proud to represent myself and my country through Children of Shangri-Lost, and I would like to say thank you so much for giving me this chance.
I’m a girl with a dream of becoming a doctor and I hope to contribute to making a better society. I am not afraid of falling down and getting hurt. In fact, I have the courage to take big steps and do something in life. I’m a girl who believes in confidence and hope.