This riveting story appeared in the Pattaya Mail on 21 August 2022 --

Frequently wiping away tears, Rose of Myanmar shared the gut-wrenching tale of her life: Alone:..the most moving talk in the history of the Expats Club.

“I’ve never seen a more riveting speech in my life than this one right here.”

 “This story can change lives for people. The things that you’ve shared – the things that you’ve gone through – have been so hard, so rough, but there might be one other person – or there might be many other people in the world – who are going through stuff like this and facing stuff like this. Whether it’s online… or in person… your story can change the next person’s life.”

 “The most moving talk I’ve ever been too. I had tears in my eyes. Rose is an inspiration for everyone in how she has overcome the traumas in her life. It was worth the price of a flight from Australia just to be at this talk.”

On Wednesday 17th August, a spellbound audience sat in pin-drop silence through the most moving talk in the history of the Pattaya City Expats Club.  Frequently wiping away tears, Rose of Myanmar shared the gut-wrenching tale of her life: Alone: My Life as an Abandoned Baby in Myanmar. The talk was poignantly illustrated by paintings done by Rose – even though she only took up painting in February this year. The talk was all the more remarkable because English is only her fifth best language after two Myanmar languages, Thai and Isaan…
“Two years ago, I stand in a hotel room in Chantaburi. And Ren ask me why I crying… And I said, ‘Because the first time… I happy in my life.’”
Rose’s father died while her mother was pregnant with her. Before he died, he asked his best friend to look after his wife and soon-to-be-born child. But instead of doing this, this friend started up a sexual relationship with his dead friend’s wife. In this traditional Myanmar village, this was considered bad and wrong. They were told to leave the village.
Her mother’s elder sister told the pregnant mother she had to give the baby to her and leave the village. And because she would look after the baby, she had to get possession of the father’s house and small farm. Her stepmother already had five surviving daughters.
Her stepfather died when Rose was four. So the stepmother got the house and farm which should have come to Rose. Even so, Rose was never treated as a member of the family.
The stepmother sent her own children to school but refused to spend money on Rose. So Rose would watch her friends and sisters go to school while she was all alone all day. “I wanted to go to school.”
Her step-sisters consistently told her she was ugly and dumb and not really a sister. ‘She tell me I very ugly, I stupid, I black.’ At the age of 8, Rose was so upset by the abuse of a step-sister that she attacked her. The older and stronger stepsister bit her so hard on both knees that she still bears the scars.
One day a neighbor was missing money. The stepsisters just decided that Rose had stolen it so they hit her with a thick wooden stick. Hit her on her face and mouth and hands and head…
As a child, the villagers called Rose ‘Black’ because she had dark skin. She was told she was very ugly and would never get a boyfriend or a good husband.
When she was 12 years old, a neighbor told her that she could find work in nearest city. So she went on a two-hour bus trip and started working in water-bottling factory. This led to a slightly better-paying job as a house-keeper.
“Some months I work for nothing because my eldest sister come and take my money from my boss.” She worked for this family for over a year with not one day off. So she asked for two days off to visit her village.
When she went back to the village, there was a strange woman there with her stepmother. The woman said that Rose could get much better job in China. “I’m very exciting. I want to find money for my Mum because they never hug me, never speak good to me, never look at me good, and I don’t know why they hate me…. Maybe I can find money, come back to my Mum, my step mum will love me. I think money can buy everything. Can buy family. Can buy love.”
So she went with this woman. In the far north city of Muse, she was handed over to two other women who took her across the river into China. Then there was a long bus trip. Rose gets off the bus with one of the women who walks her into a Chinese village and a particular house in it. The woman says to her: “You have to stay here. You have to work here…. This room you have to sleep… Don’t worry about the money. We send to your Mum already.”
“I very happy. My mother have money, she maybe love me. She will be happy because I find money for her.”
After dinner, she is told to shower and relax. After the shower, two men follow her into the room. The door is locked the door. “And two men raped me. I scream and I cry. I not had period yet… and I have blood in my body. I very scared. I never see blood like this. I very hurt. And they hit me when I scream. Do everything very bad. Smell very bad… I have to sleep with blood and hurt.”
In the morning she is taken to a farm where she is made to carry “Night soil” to fertilize sugar cane. If she didn’t work fast enough, they hit her on the face.
“Night-time, when they drunk, they rape me again. And they hit me again… I’m crying every day.”
“One day the grandmother came to my room, and I beg her: ‘Please kill me.’ More than one year they rape me. They hit me every day.”

One day, she was screaming so much as they raped her, that they covered her mouth and strangled her. Then they threw her into the yard and threw icy water over her. She was so cold, she couldn’t see. She was thrown into the dog house with their dog. She talked to the dog. ‘Let me go out this house. If I cannot go out this house, let me die. “This dog go out of the kennel to poo. So Rose realized she hadn’t been locked in the kennel. So she got out of the kennel and decided to climb the wall to escape. She didn’t know that there was broken glass cemented into the top of the wall. She sliced up her body on the broken glass pulling herself over the wall. Bleeding, she jumped from the top of the wall.

This riveting story appeared in the Pattaya Mail on 21 August 2022 --

To bear witness to the rest of Rose’s story, go to