Thobour – From Room in the Inn to the Gulf of Alaska

April 11, 2022


One of our Room in the Inn guests boasts remarkable physical strength – he can do a push-up with just two fingers on a single hand! But what’s also noteworthy is the emotional strength he’s demonstrating by embarking on a new adventure.  

Thobour, who goes by Bour, has journeyed across the country to a dock in the Gulf of Alaska to join the crew of a fishing boat. The ship will sail 200 miles off the coast, casting 60-100 yards of net to catch cod. Bour is hopeful this new career will give him a stronger financial foundation to help support his family, including his 10-month-old granddaughter. He’s looking forward to building new skills and hopes the experience will “hopefully make me a stronger person – in a lot of ways.”  

Bour’s family fled Cambodia during the brutal Khmer Rouge regime; he was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. He was two years old when his family arrived in North Carolina, where they struggled to acclimate to the new culture. That made him vulnerable to bad influences and poor role models, but he’s ready to close the door on his difficult past. 

“I want to be happy,” he says. “I’d like to be thought of as fair, honest, sincere, hardworking, and trustworthy.”  

“He’s super kind and always helping others,” says Room in the Inn coordinator Ashley Brown. “It’s been a pleasure to have Bour in the program.” Volunteer intake coordinator Bill Taylor connected Bour to the career opportunity, and Myers Park Presbyterian Church volunteers donated the bedding and supplies Bour needed for his seabag.  

We are proud of Bour for taking this courageous new step. Join us in wishing him a bon voyage!