Updated: Feb 13
AMIS Day 2020 was, very simply, a celebration of international friendship. There were over 100 guests, including students from 17 countries, and people spanning 4 generations (ages 3 months to 92 years). The enthusiasm was contagious. From the moment people arrived to the time they left, conversation, laughter, and joy filled the venue. For some, AMIS Day 2020 was their first taste of AMIS. Others have been part of AMIS for many years.
Desserts were abundant, representing countries such as Brazil, China, Germany, and Jamaica. People gathered, shared desserts, chatted, and some enjoyed Valentine crafts. Irene welcomed everyone and led the group in some "icebreaker" questions. The program began with Philip Gold and Peter Vu, a GSU graduate student from Vietnam, performing a fabulous rendition of "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" and an original piece on guitar and piano. PBS Television host, Mr. Rogers, who wrote "Won't You Be My Neighbor?", loved people and wanted each child (no matter the age) to know that they are special "just by being you". What a great parallel to AMIS.
The program continued with a panel of four students studying around Metro Atlanta. They shared about themselves, things they have noticed about America and Americans, and how AMIS has shaped their time here. One said, she offended a person when she (respectfully in her eyes) greeted a person as "Auntie", and was returned with, "I am NOT that old!". They agreed that Americans are friendly and cherished opportunities to spend time with Americans and other international students through AMIS. Several agreed that the weather in Atlanta is crazy (and I think most would agree).
Irene closed the formal program with a heartfelt thanks and an invitation to get involved or stay involved with AMIS.
More pictures can be found on Facebook: