SWANNANOA – Vietnamese refugees Tuan Luu and Binh Nguyen can't stop saying thank you for the opportunities this country has afforded them. After decades of hardship, made only worse by the Recession, the two celebrated Tuesday as one 17 families now qualified for a home in Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity's newest subdivision in Swannanoa, the organization's first development in the eastern part of Buncombe County.
"Our story is very horrible," said Nguyen, 39. "We have so many things now to be thankful for."
When Luu and Nguyen came to America from Vietnam in their early 20s, they had $100 in their pocket. They didn't understand U.S. currency. They couldn't operate the pay phone to tell their estranged family they had arrived. Because they didn't speak English yet, they couldn't ask anyone for help.
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