Blog 1: Initial Impressions

Having been in Hermosillo for a few days, I already have so much to say about it! When I arrived, my host mom and my host sister, Nancy, welcomed me with open arms and an array of balloons. That pretty much describes the culture here: open, inviting, fun… everything is a fiesta here, you know? People talk with animated gestures and big smiles, offering me more and more food until I can eat no more. It is normal to get together with different groups of friends every night, and Nancy has a lot of friends, I try to follow along, but my Spanish is no bueno… and by that I mean practically non-existent. I pick up a few words here and there, especially when Nancy shows me around the local university, such as bibliotecha (similar to bibliothèque in French or biblioyoteka in Tagalog).

When we visited Nancy’s school on Wednesday, something I thought that was unique about it is that they have a song “#LaSalle300 One Heart. One Commitment. One Life.” Basically, it celebrates the 300 year anniversary of the death of Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, a French priest who founded La Salle schools. It goes like this:

There was a man in France
Who dreamed a way to teach
Who left his life behind
and followed Jesus prints.
Within th’unequal world
of greed and poverty
he spread the seed of hope
he lit the light of peace.
Une fraternité continue la mission elle
guide avec la foi et aide ceux qui souffrent
Avec zèle ils enseignent leur amour
gagne les coeurs et donne raison de croire.
Tu peux changer des vies.
If he decided taking option for the others he wanted to be and learn
together, preaching by example,
always sowing With his presence We all learn from the star trail
We all walk through the star way


Hoy vamos tras sus pies
Nos une un corazón
sintiendo nuestra fe
viviendo nuestra unión.
La hora de la verdad
sembrando la ilusión
mirada más alla
La Salle vive hoy

I love the way it unites the three languages into a song. For Nancy and her schoolmates, it is a song that they all know and care a lot about. It is an important part of their school culture. I have linked a video because WordPress is not allowing me to put it in the post:

Pictured above is dinner at Anna Lucia’s house

When I was at dinner on Wednesday night with all the girls, the father of Anna Lucia said that he thought I was Latina. I seem to get that a lot here—people speaking to me in Spanish as if I have some sort of understanding. I really do wish that I did, because that way I could better communicate with my host mom and younger host sisters. Nancy’s whole family smiles so much at me and have welcomed me into their life with open arms. Everyone is so warm and affectionate; it reminds me a lot of Filipino culture. The city of Hermosillo also reminds me so much of Manila (with less traffic haha). I truly wish Americans were more like this. I feel like to a certain extent, I fit in more with this culture… Americans are so hard to read, you know? I love being surrounded by people and more, by people who are happy. Back home, everyone kind of deflects their sadness and depression on one another, and you have to interpret the unspoken tension in conversations. Here, everything is out in the open, especially since this is a smaller city and everyone knows each other. When I’m here, I feel like I can finally breathe and stop thinking about all the problems I have back home. People are so free here, dancing to music in a language I can’t understand but I already love. The way Spanish slips across my tongue—the language is so passionate and expressive, just like the people.

2 thoughts on “Blog 1: Initial Impressions

  1. More power to you Gabrielle. Interesting insights and observations. We’ll be vicariously following your journey.
    Have fun and always take care! 🙂


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