Your Problem: During this Genocide Awareness month or any other month, you talk to a survivor of the Khmer Rouge and the Kao-I-Dang Refugee Camp in Thailand whose lost his entire immediate family, and you wonder: how did he survive?
Short Answer: Find a way to read the story of The Last One by Marin Yann.
We learn how he found food, and drank water in Khmer Rouge Cambodia.
We learn how he managed to avoid getting killed by Khmer Rouge soldiers.
We learn about the thoughts that crawled his mind while surviving.
We learn about how thoughts of religion are processed by a young boy.
We learn how he dealt with the emotional turmoil of losing his mom, his dad, his older sister, his younger brother.
We learn about the harsh sociality reality of a refugee camp.
We learn how he found his way into America.
Disclaimer: This isn’t the story of every Cambodian under the Khmer Rouge and/or surviving Kao-I-Dang Refugee Camp.
Long Answer/Story: This is Marin Yann’s raw story, directly from him written in his own English. It took 10 years for him to write. It’s a story of a worst-case scenario come true. It’s a story of improbable journeys, the story of a young boy braving the wild and tumultuous physical and social worlds of Khmer Rouge era Cambodia. The story told through the perspective of a little boy is a living example of the randomness of life, at its best and at its worst.