World Traveled IB Student Visits Harvest


An International Baccalaureate student visited Harvest on January 16, 2015. His name is Gabriel Kaypaghian, and he and his mom presented pictures and videos of their life in China and other places that they have lived around the world. His mom explained that he was a TCK, which stands for Third Culture Kid. Third Culture Kids live between many cultures and are constantly entering new worlds. They always move and have many homes across the world. “TCK’s are usually multi-lingual and open-minded of different cultures,” said Gabriel’s mom.

She also stated all of the places that Gabriel has lived. He was born in Mexico, then moved to Mexico City, Rome, Tunisia, Guadalajara, Washington D.C., and now they both live in China. Gabriel said that being a TCK is good because you meet new people and experience new places, but you also leave everything to move to somewhere new.

Then Gabriel started talking about his life in China. He said that in China the air sometimes has a lot of pollution and when it does, you can’t go out and walk around without a mask to cover your nose and mouth. He said he likes the food in China and that people in China eat scorpions, worms, larva, and other creatures that we don’t eat here. “The traffic is bad in China and a lot of people have “tuck-tucks” which are like mopeds,” said Gabriel.

He really enjoyed playing rugby and soccer in China too. He said his school in China is an IB school and it only has 11th and 12th graders in it. He said that the best skill he has learned through IB is to manage your time well.

Then Gabriel told us about his accident that put him in a wheelchair. He described it as a night that was supposed to be perfect. He was on his motorcycle and just dropped his girlfriend off at her house. He was heading back to a restaurant where all of his friends were, when suddenly everything went black. He said his friends found him first after they left the restaurant wondering where he was. Then, his mom showed up along with an ambulance. The ambulance took his mom and him to the hospital where he blacked out again.

When he woke up, he found out that the list of damage was long. “I thought, Why me?” Gabriel said. He needed about five surgeries and had to be flown to the United States for special care that they couldn’t provide in China. Gabriel was in a hospital bed for three months straight. After, he had to go through physical therapy and speech therapy.

Gabriel said that through all of that he learned some lessons. He said, “Be thankful for privileges” and use them responsibly. “I shouldn’t have been driving an illegal motorcycle without a helmet,” Gabriel admits. He said he is also thankful that the U.S. has clean air. Some tips he gave the audience were to visit as many places as you can when you are a older and to think twice before you do something.