Best lesson taught in the streets? More than one - To always be aware of your surroundings. Nothing is given to you - if you want something, you hustle for it. No matter how much you love the streets they will never love you back
— Buck Billy
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Khan, Stockton CA

First thoughts when you touched down?
I was thinking about my sister that passed away while I was in immigration

What do you miss most about the United States?
Family, most important

What would you tell a group of high school 9th graders about lessons in life?
Stay your ass in skool and get an Education

Best lessons taught in the streets?
Mind your own damn business

Any camping memories?
Nope it was a blur

What goals do you have for yourself?
A house with a stable job and adopt a kid

What was most surprising about coming to Cambodia for you?
Depression i never felt like that in my whole life

 
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Kasper, South LA CA

Childhood memories in wilderness?
Staring down a charging bull in Cambodia

What do you call home?
Anywhere mom is

Any heroes?
The parents and grandparents for surviving the genocide (weakness kills)

What kind of student were you?
A's an B's till the street wars

Best lessons taught in the streets?
Scheme a plan before you execute it.

What has ZIN taught you about teamwork?
Patience

How has ZIN worked with the locals?
We eat, they eat....vice versa

What makes ZIN unique?
Touring with Kings/Warriors

What goals do you have for yourself?
Repay my bad karma, have a resting spot

Most surprising about Cambodia?
I'm not a minority anymore....but some kind of way I am



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Buck, Philadelphia PA

What has ZIN done for you?
ZIN has given me the opportunity to be an owner and shareholder of a company that brings the deportee community together. Gave me a chance to create job opportunities for us and for local Khmers. I’m also building and sharing experiences, learning and teaching our Khmer culture.

If you could be any character from Cambodian history, who would you choose and why?
I would choose King Sihanouk because of his character. He reminds me of myself and the things I want in life. Learning about King Sihanouk and comparing him to the experiences I had shows that even if you got money and power and no matter how much you love your people there will always be envy and hate.

Best lesson taught in the streets?
More than one - To always be aware of your surroundings. Nothing is given to you - if you want something, you hustle for it. No matter how much you love the streets they will never love you back

What kind of student were you?
School - I was never there lol but I’m a student of my and others’ mistakes. My learning experiences was from believing in something, taking chances and living life

What do you think the community could contribute to Cambodia over the next 20 years in a positive way?
In 20 years we will be the mentors and role models for Cambodia. We would be teaching Cambodians different ways of doing things, thinking out the box dreaming big and turning dreams into reality


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Bobby, Long Beach CA

First thoughts when you touched down?
I thought I landed on Mars - the people, land, and homes were so different and it was so hot and dry.

Wilderness memory?
My 5th grade class - we went to Camp Hill for 1 week. It was fun.

Do you have a family vacation story?
An unplanned vacation to Texas to visit our uncle … the Orn boyz. It was a very bad idea - half way on our way got pulled over by a state trooper and we had to dump all of our *** We gave them a chase then got a ticket for the chase and speeding…oh I forgot to say this was at 2 am. So we had to follow the trooper to his court house and pay the fine…all the money I had it was like $500 and some change. Got a flat. I had no money for food and gas and had to sell my gold ring which was $300 for only $50. Did I mention that I left my wallet at home…All bad childhood memories from living in the wilderness.

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Looney, Long Beach CA

First thoughts when you touched down? “Man it’s hot!” lol

Wilderness memory?
My dad taught me to love and respect the outdoors. He would do an offering before we’d eat anything we shot or caught.

When I was 12, I went to a shooting range close to home. I took the hunting safety class. Got certified.

What have you done for ZIN?
Gathered stories from elders through oral histories. Perfected the Khmer folktale about a neak tha, a protector of a large region of Cambodia.

What has ZIN done for you?
ZIN has taught me a lot about my country, about where I come from, about who I am. ZIN has opened up doors for me. It’s my first real job in Cambodia. I’ve learned to run a business, put a business plan together, and launch a start up company.

What makes ZIN unique and different from others?
Our stories. The history we’ve begun to share with our guests has a lot to do with the Khmer Rouge and our history as refugees.

We keep it exciting. We’re not boring. We keep our guests guessing by using our quick wit and humor.

It’s also original because it’s a way to support our community and work alongside locals too.

What goals do you have for yourself?
Help as many of the other community members as I can. And also to change the locals’ perception of deportees as bad people, criminals and to show them that we are kind hearted people. So, I guess overall I want to be accepted as Cambodian, as Khmer, as good people.

I also have a dream of putting Cambodia back on the map. Through ZIN I realized how hip Cambodians were before the war. The war really took us back in time and the country hasn’t recovered. I hope to be part of the change.