Can you imagine learning a whole new language that’s completely different from your own? Or moving to a new country at the age of about 15 or 16? Well, during the week of Oct. 4-7, the sophomore class of 2007 went on Sophomore Awareness at Camp Androscoggin. During this week, a police officer by the name of Martin Gawron came to speak to our class about his personal life story.

Martin Gawron left Poland to come live in the United States as a teenager. He was brought into a new environment, forced to learn the English language and the way of living as an American. He attended Monmouth Academy for one year, graduated, and built himself a house down the road from Camp Androscoggin.

Even though moving to the United States was hard for Martin Gawron, the conditions were a lot tougher in Poland. He told us his story of how they used to have to wait in long lines for food and other provisions. A truck full of food would come in the morning, sometimes at two or three o’clock. Martin told us how it was his job to rush out and get food so he and his family would be able to eat each day.

Martin told us another story about how he would have to wait in line, sometimes for hours, just so he could get toilet paper. When he came to the United States and went shopping, he was amazed just by the toilet paper aisle. He was baffled by all the different brands and types of toilet paper because in Poland there was only one kind of toilet paper.

Martin Gawron worked at Camp Androscoggin. It was near his home and he wanted to give back to the place what he had been given when he first arrived in the United States. He continued working at odd jobs and even worked at a bank out in the Western United States until he was offered a job as a police officer in Monmouth. At first he hesitated, but eventually he accepted and so he is now working as a policeman. He can speak English as well as you or I and he has a young family.

We can learn something from Martin Gawron. When we think that our life really stinks, we can think of Martin Gawron and remember that there is always someone who has life worse than we do. But you can almost always make your life better than it is at the time being.

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