Author Nhung Tran-Davies relives her family's story as refugees from the Vietnam War and their journey from a Malaysian refugee camp to their new home in Canada
Oma has been in hospital,
for four suns and three moons
Thinner, silver-haired, and wrinkly
She smiles She hugs And then she asks,
"What's your name, my dear?"
In the warmth of her love we press close,
holding her hands
Then Mama says
"Let me tell you a story, about a woman
Across the ocean, across the sea,
in a land of green papayas, mandolins,
and rice paddies "
Green Papayas is the story of a family's time with their aging grandmother (Oma) who is in hospital Through Mama's recollections of the past they are reminded of Oma's courage in shepherding her family through war and across the ocean to safety They learn of the past hardships that defined their grandmother and which gave them the opportunities to accomplish their dreams in their new home in Canada After Oma passes away, they cherish the memory of this remarkable woman, and the sacrifices she made to ensure that her children and grandchildren, would be free to dream
The lessons shared by Mama about the sacrifices made by Oma to get the family safely to a new home across the ocean ensures that her legacy will live on through her grandchildren