Dao Ngo is a small business owner who operates a hair salon in Lake Oswego. She was born in Vietnam and lived there until 1989. When Ngo was eight years old, she and her mother and sister fled on a small fishing boat. After being spotted by a fishing boat, they were taken to a refugee camp in Malaysia. In 1992, they left the camp and immigrated to Falls Church, Virginia. Before settling in Portland, Ngo and her family first moved to California. In Portland, Ngo attended Jefferson High School, Portland State University, and later a cosmetology school located in Belmont. An active member of Our Lady of Lavang Church, Ngo now lives in Beaverton with her husband and four children.

The interview begins with Ngo explaining her father’s death, which was a result of his time in a communist reeducation camp. Her father’s persecution was the impetus for Ngo’s family to flee Vietnam by boat. Ngo details her strenuous journey from Vietnam to Malaysia, explains life in the refugee camp and the process of applying for refugee status in the United States. She then talks about living in both Virginia and California before her family eventually moved to Portland. Next, Ngo discusses her education and her decision to eventually open her own salon. Maintaining Vietnamese culture and tradition within her family is important to Ngo. Near the end of the interview, she discusses how she teaches Vietnamese traditions to her children throughout their day-to-day lives. She also discusses how she stays involved in the Vietnamese community through Our Lady of Lavang Church.