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By Marc Lutz
Wrangell Sentinel 

Former Sentinel reporter produces podcast about life 'Before Me'

Lisa Phu finishes six-year quest to learn about mother's journey from Cambodia to U.S.


February 8, 2023

Courtesy of Lisa Phu

Lisa Phu, left, with her mom, Lan Phu, during a visit to her reporter daughter in Alaska in 2017. Lisa Phu, a one-time Sentinel staffer, has produced a podcast about her mother's life during the Vietnam war and Cambodian civil war and subsequent escape to America.

As most journalists will tell you, it can sometimes take a while to earn a person's trust. But what if that person is your mom?

For six years, Lisa Phu, a Wrangell Sentinel reporter from 2005 to 2009, worked on a podcast that centered on her mother's upbringing and journey to escape Cambodia during its civil war. And though the interviews took place during two separate visits by her mom to Phu's home in Alaska, it took time before Lan Phu was ready to share her story.

"I asked her for years if I could interview her and she would always say no," Phu said. Her mom acquiesced after being involved...

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