My name is Hsar Pwe Doh. I was born in Burma, in the village of Lay Tee, city of Twang Oo. In the year 2000 the Burmese government, which had been at war with the Karen people of Burma since the 1930s, entered the village and began burning everything in sight. My family and I left in a hurry with our few possessions and began a long journey, walking night and day for over three weeks to a refugee camp in Thailand called Umphien. There we made our home for the next 8 years. We lived in a house made largely of bamboo without electricity, running water, or plumbing.
In 2009 I was notified by the UN representative that I had been selected for transfer to Boise, Idaho. I was the only member of my family to be selected, although my parents and two brothers have since joined me in Boise. I settled into an apartment here and got a job as a Sushi cook in a local restaurant.
Right after I arrived in Boise I was told about the bus system and tried to figure it out. I took a bus downtown where I thought I could transfer to another to go to my work. But when I got downtown I couldn’t find the right bus so I walked around in the downtown area for almost 12 hours trying to figure out what to do. Finally the police stopped me, patted me down, and wanted to know what I was doing just wandering around. I believe they thought I was going to do something criminal! When they figured out my situation they showed me the right bus to catch and I went home.
In 2013 I met my wife Dah Soe - on the internet! We’d both come a long way from being in the camp in Thailand! We now have a son named James who was born in May 2015. We are very happy to have been allowed to be in the Habitat program and hope to be in our new home very soon. Our thanks to all of the volunteers who give so generously of their time to make this happen! Thanks again!
This is the 17th home built in partnership with the West Ada School District. Students from Meridian high schools who are enrolled in the residential construction program at the district’s Renaissance Magnet High School have been building in cooperation with Habitat since 2001. Students helped build the Hsar Doh home during class time under the guidance of West Ada School District instructor Greg Grove and Habitat volunteers Dean McKellip and Lee Klosterman.