THE REBIRTH OF HOPE
My Journey from Vietnam War Child to American Citizen
Sau Le Hudecek
Genre: Memoir / Inspirational
Publisher: Texas Christian University Press
Date of Publication: June 15, 2017
Number of Pages: 160
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Born in a demilitarized zone during the Vietnam War to a Vietnamese mother and American soldier, Sau Le arrived in the United States as a young woman with only twenty dollars in her pocket. Though bullied and abused since childhood, she nevertheless came to her new homeland armed with courage and determined to build a decent life for herself, her infant son, and her traumatized mother. This is the story of how she overcame every conceivable hurdle—significant culture shock, a daunting language barrier, serious illness, heartbreak, and betrayal—to become a landlord, a successful business owner, a joyous wife and mom, and a woman blessed with generous, loyal friends. She describes an arduous journey, both physical and emotional, from a place of terror and utter despair to a life overflowing with love and prosperity. Ultimately, this is a story of hope, something Sau Le thought she’d lost long ago in the minefields of Vietnam. Her goal is both to uplift and to remind everyone born on American soil that anything in this land is possible for those willing to put dedication, faith, and passion to work.
Praise for The Rebirth of Hope:
“Sau Le has an innate abundance of beauty, wisdom, loyalty and dignity which led her to overcome unbelievable challenges and fully realize her dream in America. Thus proving once again that adversity builds character. I couldn’t put it down.”
—Dan Jenkins, bestselling author of Semi-Tough
“Sau Le lifted her head and walked through years of hard work and determination, inspiring other women along the way! Every word of her personal journey was written to remind all of us!”
—Robin Sanders, Sanders Travel Agency
“An inspiring story of a Vietnam refugee’s journey to achieve the ‘American Dream.’ This book is a lesson for everyone.”
—Martin C. Bowen, financial executive
“To have written this remarkable story is one more example of the focus and tenacity that Sau Le Hudecek has shown in achieving her previous goals. You will remember this gripping tale of resilience and courage.”
—Gail Williamson Rawl
“A truly inspirational story of a fearless person who overcame unbelievable odds to make a better life and obtain the ‘American dream.’”
Excerpt from The Rebirth of Hope
We talked about my family and my readiness to be in America. I wanted to answer everything correctly.
And then the interviewer asked a question I didn’t expect, one that would reveal a new dimension in the world of my self-esteem, a part of me that would soon open in a way I would have never imagined.
“I hope you do not mind if I ask you an unusual question,” the American interviewer asked me, communicating easily and politely in Vietnamese.
“I do not mind,” I replied. I wasn’t about to complicate my interview if I could help it. He was free to ask whatever he needed to know, as far as I was concerned. And who was I to say what is an unusual question? None of this was usual to me.
“I am curious why you wear white makeup? Your skin is more of a brown color. It seems odd that you would wear white makeup on skin that is darker.”
I stared at him for a moment, not comprehending the question at first. And then I realized he thought I had a choice. So I answered, “This is the only color of makeup we have in my town and in my salon. I do not have any way to acquire any other color makeup. There is no makeup for my skin color.”
He paused, and smiled. And then he said something I will never forget: “Where you’re going, you won’t have to wear the white makeup anymore.”
He was telling me I was going to America, where I would find the right makeup for my face. The candle in my heart flamed brighter.
After this interview, my life changed forever. From this moment on, my family and I were essentially wards of the United States, although we still lived in Dam Sen. Everything, from room and board to all transportation for our numerous appointments, was funded by the United States government. Before this moment, my family and I had to work hard just to scrape by. Now this far-away place, this country that was still a stranger to me, was taking care of us.
We would leave Vietnam in November 1992.
Sau Le Hudecek owns a successful salon in Fort Worth, Texas, while still serving her own elite clientele. In 1993, she arrived in the United States at the age of 22 and was sworn in as a citizen in 2001. She lives with her family in Granbury enjoying the sunsets from their home on the lake.
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