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Mario and Symphonie interview transcript

May 12, 2008  

In keeping with the spirit and theme of the International Week celebration, "Your World, Your Story," Outlook invited nine members of the university community -- some from other countries, some from the United States with international experiences -- to interview one another on camera.

Today's video features Mario Grijalva, originally from Quito, Ecuador, and Akron, Ohio, native Symphonie Smith. Read a transcript of their conversation:

Symphonie: I see that you are from Quito, Ecuador. I was wondering what was one thing that you've missed the most since you?ve been here in the United States?

Mario: What I miss the most is my family and the culture. Latin America has a very extended and strong family structure in general, and that is what I miss the most.

Symphonie: When you came to the United States, was there anything here that you found really comforting or anything that you found to make yourself feel more at home?

Mario: The people here are wonderful. The kindness: they are always smiling, always polite, it's a very welcoming environment.

Symphonie: Was that just for the OHIO campus, or did you find that everywhere?

Mario: I think Athens and Ohio University are very welcoming and the amount of kindness that people exhibit towards international communities is remarkable.

Symphonie: We both marked Thanksgiving as one of our favorite traditions here in America. What do you like the best about Thanksgiving?

Mario: Beside the wonderful food, I think that the tradition of getting together with friends and family is what I like the most. It brings people together and allows for sharing and really wonderful moments.

Symphonie: Dr. Grijalva, could you explain a little bit about your research?

Mario: My research is based primarily on the premise that knowledge and science can help to alleviate the suffering of people in developing countries. So I work to research on a disease called Chagas Disease, a disease that affects the population in rural parts of Latin America. What I am trying to do is to find ways in which we can eliminate the disease and help improve the health of that people.

Mario: Symphonie, I am curious about what did you like the most about your visit to Mexico?

Symphonie: I liked the culture and the music and the food. I really enjoyed different music and trying different things... and talking to new people.

Mario: While you were there, what do you miss the most about your home?

Symphonie: I didn't really miss much about home while I was away. It was a really wonderful experience, and I was thinking more about my surroundings at the time. If I had to say that I missed anything, it was my new niece. I had a new niece born just before I went away, so I was thinking about her because I knew that she would grow up really fast while I was away.

Mario: You spent quite a bit of time down there. Once you came back, how did you feel about yourself?

Symphonie: When I returned from Mexico, I felt like I had been missing out on so much of the world. I was initially interested in learning Spanish. When I came back, I was interested in learning about different cultures that speak Spanish, be it Spain or Latin America or South America.

Mario: What are you plans for future travels?

Symphonie: I plan to go to as many areas and countries and cities that I possibly can; to improve my Spanish and to learn about as many different cultures as I possibly can. I am absolutely positive that Mexico is different from Chile and Argentina.



Related Links
Mario and Symphonie - watch the video:  http://www.ohio.edu/outlook/07-08/May/519.cfm 
International Week 2008 - Telling stories of the world: http://www.ohio.edu/outlook/07-08/May/503.cfm  
International Week 2008 schedule: http://www.ohiou.edu/internationalweek/schedule.html  

Published: May 12, 2008 11:58 AM  

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