More Mawi: LIFE Luncheon with Mawi Asgedom

Hedy Gutfreund Co Editor in Chief After LIFE speaker Mawi Asgedom’s engaging speech at assembly, students had an opportunity afterward to sit down with Mawi and ask questions about his experiences as an immigrant and about his views on global citizenship.   I had a short opportunity to sit down with Mawi about his perception of the Latin community over free Quest-prepared sandwiches and cookies. He says that he hopes that “the message of contributing to one’s community” really got through to the students, because that’s “at the heart of the community.”   He also said that his favorite part of the day was spending time with students in small groups, because he thinks “it’s exciting to see how students use the incredible education opportunity they have here at Latin.” He also said that he was excited to sit down with the seventh graders who read his book for summer homework, as “no one is crazier than a seventh grader. I’m excited to join the madness.”   He then took more questions and answers, telling more of his personal experiences both as an immigrant and as a Harvard student. He pushed the importance of studying abroad, which he did for four months in Spain. We told him about Project Week, which impressed him, because he is glad to see that our school is following the higher education trend of focusing on a global perspective.   Finally, he told us a story about one of his first Halloweens in America, which was a paradigm of the difference between Ethiopian and American culture. He and his friends accidentally made it seem like they were taking the whole bowl of candy from an elderly lady, which was a huge violation of respect in Ethiopian culture. And finally, he articulated what it means to not be in your homeland. “It’s all those little things that are impossible to replace but represent home,” he said finishing up the lunch Q&A.]]>