When Mangal Rana Magar first stepped off the plane, he was lost. An immigrant from Nepal under refugee status, he could barely speak any English. He came to Reynolds his junior year.
“I like the way they teach us and the education system and everything. I like the teachers and students from Reynolds. I like everything from Reynolds,” Rana Magar said. “(School) is very complicated over here. You have to take an advanced placement class to get into college, but in Nepal we only have free education up to 10th grade and then later on we have to pay money and we couldn’t afford it.”
Rana Magar described the differences between the United States’ and Nepal’s education systems. He stated that in Nepal, students stay in one classroom the entire day and the teachers change instead.
“Everything is different over here. My mom and dad don’t know how to speak any English and they have never been to school in their life. When I speak to my family they don’t understand what I am saying because of my accent,” Rana Magar said. “It’s a lot less complicated right now, I have taught my mom how to count (dollars) and she can now understand me with my accent.”
Education was not the only thing that was different, but athletics as well. Rana Magar played varsity soccer both years of his high school career.
As a kid in Nepal, he and his friends didn’t have a soccer ball to play with; so, they would wrap plastic into the shape of a ball and play soccer with it. These memories and his families were what he said he missed most about his home.
Unfortunately, horror struck when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the center of Nepal close to its capital on April 25.
“My family and everything is OK. My family lives in the eastern part of Nepal and the earthquake occurred in the center… They have experienced nothing like the center of the country has but they do feel (tremors),” Rana Magar said.
He also appreciated the reaction he received from teachers and students after the quake: “I just want to thank everyone for all the support with what is going on in Nepal,” he said.
Editor’s Note: Senior Spotlight stories appeared in the May 2015 print edition of Pine Whispers. Enjoy!