All posts by Wennicha Yang

Wennicha – 2nd post

Sometimes we have to travel across the world to realize that everything we need is where we’ve always been – home.

My experience feels similar to “The Alchemist.” It’s a story about a boy who follows his legend because of a dream he had about going to the pyramids and finding a pot of gold. As he follows his legend, there are people that he meets along the way that help him, and others that negate his journey. He also meets his soul mate and doesn’t want to continue his legend because of infatuation. However, he eventually continues his legend in fear of regret, and digs the pyramid to only find out that the pot of gold he had dreamed of was actually hidden underneath his house.

I visited “Pha Nok Kok Village” with my classmates. It’s a Christian Hmong Village in Chaingmai and it’s been established there for about 50 years. We rode go carts, learned how to shoot bow and arrows, learned how hemp was made, and saw their beautiful acres of farmland.

Something that stood out to me throughout this trip was that many Hmong-Thai youth struggled very much when speaking Hmong. The Hmong students who I met at Chiang Dao Boarding School had a difficult time communicating to me, and some of the younger Hmong villagers that I met today also had a difficult time speaking Hmong to me too. I came to Thailand expecting to greet and converse in Hmong with Hmong brothers and sisters; I had the misconception that my people who lived here were the keepers of my culture. However, I now realize that we are all keepers to our culture. All around the world, Hmong people are assimilating, losing culture, and having conversations about how to preserve ethnic identity. At home in MN, we are no different than the Hmong-Thai. We struggle being Hmong, but we are also experts to our culture and people. I am where I need to be. We don’t have to travel thousands of miles to understand our history. There is not one place where everyone is perfectly Hmong. We are living it with the trauma and happiness of our parents and grandparents. We are living it currently with our education and profession.

My idea on being a Hmong person has definitely felt more pusposful since being on this trip.

1st Blog – Wennicha

Hello Everyone!

My name is Wennicha. I recently graduated from the University of MN with my B.S. in Family Social Science. Someday, I would love to be a professional trauma counselor. I enjoy healing people through simple acts of listening, validating experiences, and making sure people feel valued and loved. Right now, I am exploring the realm in being a spiritual healer – in which I hope to master in the future.

One interesting hobby of mine is photography! I discovered photography during my 2nd year of college because I was immensley stressed and needed an outlet. For one, I like to express my thoughts and feelings through the art of photography. You can check out some of my work on my Facebook Page: WY.WENNICHA. My photography focuses on the elements of LOVE, LIGHT, and POWER. When I capture people’s humanely expressions and experiences, it brings me happiness and peace.

I did not bring my camera to Thailand though, because my goal for this trip is on connection – to be spiritually, mentally, and physically “IN.” Nonetheless, I am challenging myself to take bold pictures with my iPhone 5s to bring back memories for a lifetime. As a photographer, I’ve learned that you don’t always need a big camera to take great pictures  I am excited to see what I can direct and capture.

I am extremely excited to be on this trip to SEE Thailand. I have been dreaming about this journey since I was a young girl. My father would tell me stories of Thailand – how beautiful he remembered the jungles, and how delicious the fruits were there in comparison America’s fruits. As a Hmong American, they say that going “back” here to connect with other Hmong people and my roots grounds me even more as a human being – and that I find a piece of myself that I cannot find in America. I am excited to discover what that piece may be, and what depth it’ll add to my life

I am excited to connect and learn more about the NGOs that we will be visiting as a group to learn more about sex trafficking and drugs. I’ve always wanted to visit these organizations. I want to know about their impact, their struggles, and how I can contribute to building a safer world for women and children.

Overall, I feel very fortunate to go on this trip with my peers. I am a Hmong American, student, daughter, sister, partner, friend, and healer – and I am excited to see how this will impact my experience in Thailand. This is my last study abroad trip as a student, and I plan to make it meaningful. Thank you for reading. <3

Much Love,