Hello. My name is Piseth and I am 15 years old. I live in Samrang Village. I am now a Level 3 student at the TASSEL School. I live with my parents and my nine-year-old brother, Rit.
I love the TASSEL School. I especially love studying with foreigners two times per week. I never miss class, but one day a month I must miss class to go to Battambang City to receive medicine for my mother and I. My mother and I have HIV. I was born with HIV. We do not tell many people about our illness because the people in the village are scared of HIV. Even my relatives with whom we used to share land were not kind to us because of our illness. They tried to kick us out of their land so many times. They even killed our chicken so that we would leave. We were very sad because we are poor and we had no money to find another house. But the TASSEL foreigners found out about our situation and helped us. They and my Cambodian teachers at TASSEL found us a new house to live in! It is a small house, but we are so happy because our relatives do not bother us. The house is also very near the house of my TASSEL teacher, Teacher Sophal. Teacher Sophal, his mother and his father are very kind and often visit us to make sure that my mother and I are okay.
My father does not have HIV, but he is old and cannot work too much. At around midnight, he often goes to the forest to catch birds with a sling shot. He is very good at catching birds. Sometimes he can catch two birds with just one stone. But sometimes, he cannot catch anything. I want to help him catch birds, too, so that our family can eat, but he does not allow me to go with him because he says it is dangerous. Also, he wants me to sleep at night so that I can be healthy and go to school. But on Sundays, I go catch fish with my friends. Later, we eat the birds and fish that we catch.
Teacher Joji and all the TASSEL teachers are so kind. They took my father, my mother and I to the hospital so many times. One time my father had a seizure for more than six hours. The TASSEL teachers came and took him to the hospital in Battambang and stayed with him for two days. My mother and I could not stay at the hospital because we had to take care of our cow.
My goal is to become a teacher or a doctor. I want to be like the foreigners who always help other people.