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Meet Samuel, the rising star of Digital Glarus!

Behind all the hard work of renovating the coworking space ...

Posted on June 9, 2016

Hello our dear readers! Today we have a very special posting to share with you. We are very happy to introduce this new person who has joined our team at Digital Glarus. 

This is an interview of Samuel, who's renovating our Digital Chalet Schwanden with his own hands.

Anybody who meets Samuel for the first time is warmed by his kind heart and good humour. Samuel has never been a painter or carpenter before, he's learning how to do things for the first time at Digital Chalet. He measures the walls, makes plans, visits shops to buy brush and paints, primes the walls, filles in cracks of the old walls of Digital Chalet, and gives each rooms a new skin. 

Although now Glarus is his home, it is not where he is from. His life back at Eritrea was unbearable and he had to escape his country alone. After a long journey he reached Switzerland as an asylum seeker, without knowing a word in German. 

Samuel is fluent in English and communicates well in German, and dreams being an IT worker here. Dear readers, meet Samuel, the rising star of Digital Glarus! 

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What is your name?

My name is Samuel Hialu.


Where do you come from? Where is it?

I'm from Eritrea, it's at the horn of east Africa. Between Saudi Arabia and Sudan.


How far is it from Switzerland?

I think by direct flight, it could have been 8 to 9 hours. But it took much longer for me. I didn't come by plane here. I first went to Sudan and then arrived in Zurich..


Tell us a bit about your hometown, what it is like.

My hometown was a nice city. It has a perfect weather, always summer. They had buildings built by South Koreans, and my family used to live there too. We had moden infrastructure, and had all sorts of things, like hospitals and so on. It was a nice place.


And why did you have to leave? was because of political reasons. I was forced to go to the military, and in Eritrea you serve in the military for unlimited period. It's forever. I know people who started like 15 years ago, and they are still there today... and I refused to do that. I refused to live as a soldier. That's why I had to leave.  


I see. How long have you been in Switzerland?

4 years, in Glarus.


And, what do you find difficult from your life here?

Integration part was, and still is, very difficult. Getting to know the people is not easy. And the culture is very different form where I come from. I haven't been to Europe in my life before I came to Switzerland.


What kind of differences, for example?

European culture is very different from Eritrea. I can not say for the whole Africa, but where I come from, if anybody asks “How are you?” people always answer “Good.” It doesn't mean that they are doing well or happy. You just say everything is good. Even if you have a tank over your head you say “I'm good.” But in Switzerland, you can't do this. If anything is actually wrong, you have to speak about it. This is a huge difference from my background. It's still difficult. I learnt many things from Swiss people, how to do things differently.


How are you learning? By making mistakes?

Yes, all the time. You know, I make mistakes without knowing that they are mistakes. Then people would come to me and tell me what is wrong. The other day for example, I was working in Bad Ragaz, and the chef was explaining something in front of everybody. I was standing there listening, with my arms crossed. Then the chef approached me and told me crossing arms was considered rude in Switzerland. I was totally taken aback, because back in my home country it is not impolite at all. It was just a normal thing to do..Well, this is just a tip of an iceberg of many differences I learnt.


What do you do for project Digital Glarus, and for how long?

2 months now, I'm doing some renovations to make the space look nicer. I filled in the cracks in the wall, painted the walls, installed shower curtains.


The works you're doing for Digital Glarus, have you done something similar before?

No, it's my first time.


And aside from renovation , what else are you doing with the company ungleich?

I'm learning the basics of html, css, how to create a homepage. I learnt to make my first homepage. 


It looks cool. Especially because we remember how it looked when you just started.

Yes, it was just a blank page with texts. Now I have tables, and pictures, I'm learning new stuff everyday. It's really cool.


Tell us what you like about the project Digital Glarus?

I really like the fact that I'm learning something new everyday, especially something I'm interested in learning. I'm very happy here. And, it's good to see the company ungleich growing. It's like, I'm growing, and the company's also growing. We're growing together. It's very good.


Here I meet people through Nico, through ungleich, who are very different from people I meet in my daily life. I didn't have anybody who are interested in IT around me. Only here, I get to connect with people in IT and it's very nice. I get to meet with professionals like web developers, startup founders, IT students, who come to the coworking space, and I talk with them. It is really cool to get to know people, I think it's one of the things that make you grow.


And what do you find difficult in the project?

Nothing. Really nothing. It's usually people who can make things difficult, but you guys here at ungleich make things really easy for me. I'm very good here.


What is your goal in the near future, and what are the challenges getting there?

To be a person working in the IT, that's my near future. To do that, I think I should be strong, and stick to my plan. I should work very, very hard...It's the first interview I ever did in my life, I don't know how I'm doing. I feel like I don't know what to say.


Don't worry, you're doing great! And last but not least, what is your dream?

At the moment, (getting emotional) I'm a person with no profession. My dream is becoming someone with a profession, a profession in IT. That is my dream.



That's the interview of Samuel, our rising star of Digital Glarus! But of course this short interview is not enough for showing what a great person he is. By the way, if you're working in IT, Samuel could actually use your help a lot in learning tech stuffs. If you have a generous and curious heart, write to him through his homepage or email, or come by at Digital Chalet Schwanden and say hello to Samuel! Our project Digital Glarus needs your love for growing big and becoming meaningful. 

We'll be back soon with more stories! In the meantime, we hope to cowork with you in Digital Chalet. Book a date by mailing, come and let's cowork!