“I do everything with my hands. I talk with my hands. I use my hands to pray to the Buddha. I cook food for my family. We clean the house and wash the floor. Before I came to America, before I had electricity on my farm, I do everything in my house. I washed clothes with my hands. We had no washing machine.” Back then Cuc’s list of responsibilities included six children, her husband, and his elderly mother.
Cuc's older brothers and sisters worked hard so that she and her younger brother could go to university. Cuc taught math from 1970 - 1976. She then stayed home to take care of her children, coming back to teach in 1985 for the next thirteen years.
"When I stayed home, we go to fields and we grow rice. We look after the field and help with rice harvest. I had someone to help me pour the seed and pull the weeds. And then when the plants grow, we put water on the field for about three weeks and then change the water. We pump the water from the river stream to the field. We have a machine that goes from farm to farm to harvest the rice and we take the rice to the factory and they pay us."
Since 2008 Cuc has lived in Mankato with her daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. She has five other children and three grandchildren still in South Vietnam. “I don’t know how to use the computer, but I do know how to use the tablet. I use Skype to connect with my children there." Cuc recently returned from a much appreciated visit with her family in Vietnam.