Written by Jovia Jomey, Year 7
Winner of the Tutors SA Harmony Day Essay Writing Competition 2019 for the Upper Primary Category
Okay, I’ll tell you the adventure of how I got here as Steve Huang, the owner of restaurant ‘Hoa’. It happened when I was twelve in 1957, during the battle of the compass’ ends. It was seventeen days tossing in the water like marbles in a jar within possession of a child. Before this voyage, my family sold off all our assets for a glimmering mineral found in the ground, but carried it through jewellery.
We boarded the vessel that was sustained for ten people but it was seven times that entered. Restricted to four litres of water to carry aboard, we had to survive with such limits. We packed food, but surely that wasn’t going to be enough for this herd.
The boat set off and so did the clouds. We all huddled under the plastic cover. Soon however the rain stopped as we continued sculling down as much life saving liquid as we could. I think it was about four days in when my younger brother started to go pale. We arrived just in time before he spoilt our transport. Then as we got him to stop we laid him at the back, under the shade for three days. We starved as we begged, but no use if you were on rations. The constant rocking of the ‘ship’ made not only me but my poor brother to never retain balance or focus which made the world spin around us as drifted to the wild seas.
A ball of light was setting as the dinner was preparing. It was the same as any other day, a spoon of stale rice and salt. The earth settled as we closed our eyes while we were rocked to sleep like a baby. Some days weren’t so lucky. When I woke up though, my only brother wasn’t blinking. Picking up the skeleton I cried. On the 14th day, I woke weakly from the loss of his body being eaten by the ocean, I found myself under a tall man with thick legs wearing scrappy clothes. My elder sister was under his arm as he tightened his elbow around her collarbones. People were left with fractures after our gold vanished.
“Uncle, save her!”
He flung off his clothes and dived to her aid. My dad brought them in with paddling sticks. My mum muttered something along the lines of, inhumane Thai Pirates.
I wasn’t surprised if that happened again on this dangerous voyage. All the hair in the crew was thrown overboard and everyone was turned to men. My mother was in tears during the search of new freedom.
Through the mist a block slowly revealed as it grew closer towards us. We all started to panic as we thought it was another attack. The males hid what cut my sister’s locks away behind their backs as it grew closer towards us. The splinters and the heavy metal, I couldn’t last.
The weight of the pig dipped our crowded boat.
“Oi, there’s no need to be scared I’m just checking if it’s safe for you to board our ship!”
He wasn’t a pirate because he wore an orange balloon vest with grey lines across it. Wearing navy blue underneath. Our boat was an ant compared to that man’s ship. When we entered though the people aboard wore the same. They fed so much fish, like family. After awhile I spotted land.
“This is Australia!”
Bewildered but jovial we were speechless of our new faith. The man drove us to a fancy door.
“Look at you, all skinny and bony, oh boy you need a good scrub.”
I didn’t disagree. My dad got a job working for my Aunty and then came money for education, then a house and a Vietnamese restaurant. People came, not just Vietnamese people.
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