Who knows where my love for the Spanish language and Latin American culture was born? Perhaps it was while listening to my mom sing “Que Será Será” before I went to sleep when I was little, or thinking I was hilarious while reading the board game instructions in “Spanish” to my little sister when the words still looked and sounded like jibberish to me. Maybe it was that time my aunt and cousin had friends from Spain visit them in Wisconsin. They were all standing in the kitchen at my house talking when I got home from school and I skipped in boldly, waved and said, “HOLA!” To which I was hugged and kissed by the visitors. I looked nervously at my aunt who said, “Hola doesn’t mean just ‘hi’ in Spanish.” I scurried just as quickly out of the room thinking, Well, what does it mean?
Approximately sixteen years have passed since that day, and in the mean time I have learned that “hola” does mean hi/hello; it was the cultural difference that accounted for all of the extra hugging and kissing. A cultural difference that I’m a fan of– Hispanohablantes are warmer and very genuine in my experience…
I am currently training to spend the next two years as a Community Economic Development Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay. My wandering feet have spent time living in Curitiba, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; and Medellin, Colombia. You can read about all of those past adventures on this blog, too.
The thoughts and opinions represented on this blog are mine alone and do not reflect any position of the Peace Corps or the United States government.