Week 4 has nearly come to an end at the Hotel Institute Montreux (HIM) and this week was very eventful.
To start, we attended sports day on Sunday and watched our school compete against many other schools which are part of the Swiss Education Group. Needless to say, our school kicked butt and won 3 trophies, including #1 overall winner of the sports day. It was really fun for our school to celebrate and come together knowing we did an extraordinary job.
The weather in Montreux has been crazy from sunny to rainy to sunny again as well as the week. Midterms are coming and I am doing my best to prepare for 10 classes next week. In addition to this, we have our African themed banquet that we are preparing for, which is really fun. We are organizing a 80 person student event with the theme being, “A Wild Jungle Night”. You can check out the website I made for more information (himbanquet.com). Recently, we had our trial cookings and promoted our event, dressed as members of an African Tribe. The group on the right, our “competition” are doing their banquet on The Great Gatsby.
Of course, I did say this week was very emotional. On the other side of the earth, back home, at my other school I previously attended, a huge tragedy did occur the not only rocked my world, but the world of many students and family.
On Tuesday, the last day of classes at my school, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a student carried a firearm on school and started shooting students. My phone even went off since I’m still in the UNCC database with the following words.
Students ran and hid as police swarmed the vicinity and apprehended the suspect after he had fatally injured 2 students and put 4 more into critical condition. My mom worked next to the same building where the shooting took place and luckily few just a few minutes earlier before the shooting started. My friends were not in the vicinity.
One student, Riley Howell, 21 and environmental studies major, who was unable to run or hide took the last resort and jumped at the shooter and tackled him to the ground to prevent the deaths of more students. Unfortunately, he was killed in the act and is honored as a hero preventing the lives of others. Ellis Parlier, 19, a computer science major was also killed. The suspect has apprehended and taken to jail.
To know something happens like this on a campus, especially your own school, is unreal. It is shocking. It is sick. It rocked our community. It rocked our home. It rocked our world. It was nothing less than a horrific tragedy and to think someone would behave so senseless with complete disregard of humanity and people is sickening.
As we do our best to cope, we come together. As students, as family, as a community to not only mourn the loss on this terrible day but to also unite as one and be #CharlotteStrong
One never knows what can happen each day nor what the outcome is and events like these can unfortunetly happen to anyone. Bad things happen. But more importantly, we are not be defined by tragedies but we are defined by how we respond to them. I think it applies to all of us and our lives, no matter what happens, that event should not become the influence of your life. What does is what your reaction is to it and how you respond to it.
Yesterday, our school united as one and sang together. 30,000 students. Praying. Grieving. Supporting. I pray for the families impacted and for the recovery of the other students. For our campus. For peace and healing. For strength. For moving forward.
Now, the university is empty. Students have left classes, exams have been suspended and most staff are off. What is a vibrant, exciting and incredible university is now a ghost town.
But we will not let something like this tear us down. Nor defeat us.
We will stand for what is right, remember those who have fallen and unite together for one cause and show our humanity. love and compassion.
We will support others. Love others. Show compassion for others.
This journey will be long.
It will test us to our core.
But we will get through it.
We will rise stronger than ever. More together than ever.
For me, the vigil was extremely touching and think it should be watched by everyone: https://livestream.uncc.edu
I wish you an safe upcoming weekend. Use the time to relax, enjoy life, unite with your family and show your love and appreciation for others. Thank you for reading and I look forward to connecting with you next week.