Wang Ger (Photo: Mike Hazard)

Wang Ger (Photo: Mike Hazard)

Wang Ger, also called Joe, has been trying to teach me to speak more words of Hmong.

“I have learned English; you can learn more Hmong.”

I am not a good student, but he does not give up.

Patriarch of an illustrious family, he called me brother, kwv, one ­Sunday.

Kwv is what an older brother calls a younger brother.

As Joe’s older than I, I answer, tij laug.

Touched, I teared up. Ua tsaug/thank you.


Mike Hazard decided to make a picture story of a person every day for a year, posting them on Facebook in an album called 365 Friends. He’s had so much fun, he can’t stop. He is a current recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. With Legacy funding, he will click photos within walking distance of home for a collection called LOCAL COLOR.

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