I started out to be a very poor person with some of the other Chinese. We lived in poor weather stained stone homes clustered together. We were called the "Puntis" that means, "soil of the ground." But one day another group that was poor like us came and we were already having our own problems. They even took the stream water from us that we were using for our farm. They took it for their own farms. They were called the Hakas. Me and the others had a war with the Hakas. The tension and unhappiness in village was not good.
One day, an agent from a foreign land came and promised us good housing, money, food and what me and all the others wanted was good living if we would go with him to work in the fields of his land very far away. So, me and some others left with him. We were put on a big boat that was taking us to Hawaii.
But something bad happened, some of my best friends didn't make it on the trip to Hawaii. I was heartbroken. I made it the whole way there. I went because if I got the money I could probably send it to my family and it was only a five year contract, then I would be free.
When I got off the ship everything was green and lush. There was plenty of water. To me it was way different from what I was used to, our land Kwantung, was dry but his land had lots of waterfalls and was a little sunny. I thought this place was rich so I was happy I came. Then a mountain caught my eye and in China mountains mean good luck. I felt even luckier, "Good sign," I said.
The next day I started work, it was real hot like as though I was a couple inches away from the sun. I got mad because we were paid only $3.00 a month working 12 hours a day 6 days a week. I thought $3.00 was real big money, in China that would be a lot if it were American money, but not so around here. When I went to a store to buy something, I could hardly buy anything at all. I needed suitable clothes now, no one wore Chinese clothes in the fields. I needed food too. If this money is hardly worth anything, how could I send some money back to China for my family? I needed blankets, footwear, and food.
I worked hard in the fields, one day I was so tired, I went to bed early. It was kind of nice to have a soft bed. The next morning a man came barging in and said "Get up its time to go to work" but I was still sleepy so he took out a whip and whipped me like a dog. I got up and marched to the fields and started to work. I knew my place and my duty. I never saw my homeland again.
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