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Manu

I was born in Bhutan but had to leave when I was only ten years old.

I was moved to a refugee camp in Nepal where I lived for twenty-five years.
It was a hard life in the camp as the organisations and agencies who came during the twenty-five years had limited rations. Often, we got small portions or basics like rice, sugar, oil and lentils every fifteen days. But these were not usually enough to last the fifteen days.

While I lived there I managed to find some small space for gardening, which I love to do.

After twenty-five years in the refugee camp I got married. My husband and I moved with our two sons to India to work for a few years. In Nepal, it had been hard to find a job and this did not change when we moved to India - my husband managed to find work as a security guard but it was hard for me to find work as I had no experience due to those many years in the camp.

When I first moved to New Zealand we had to spend six weeks in Auckland where they gave us an orientation on how New Zealand works, how the systems work, what the food is like etc. This was very helpful as everything was new to us. I started learning English before I moved over, but it was and still is hard to remember it all so I am still studying now that I live here.

In 2010 my parents moved to New Zealand. My dad has always had health issues and I usually cared for him when we lived together in the camp. In 2014 we managed to move my family to New Zealand - I had missed my parents very much and with them moving to NZ as well I would start caring for my father again.

Momo Said offered me my first job, and I love having work! I also love the people that I am working with. I wish we could make even more momos so I could work more!

My sons are both studying and through Momo Said they also have the opportunity to work, which is important for us a s a family as well as for each their development.

I still very much miss living out in the countryside where it is less busy but I like Christchurch and I still have my big herb and vegetable garden at home, which I love sharing with my friends and family.
Plus, in Christchurch I can easily go bowling which is great as it is also one of my favourite things to do.

Adjusting to a new lifestyle was difficult but now that I have a job that gives me work experience I am hopefully that this will lead to more opportunities.

Translated by Joy K.