“When I arrived in China, I was so surprised to see how developed this country is, and how sweet and friendly Chinese people are. Everything seems very modern, the high speed train amazed me the most. What worried me was how to survive in a country where I do not speak Mandarin”.
Nevertheless, when she arrived with her husband, Alba had help from her colleagues and supervisors. “It was a very relaxing encounter because everybody spoke English, a language I know, and also to learn that we would be taking Chinese classes. We have met a few Latinos here and they all are quick to tell us the best places to shop for things like avocados, or where Latin restaurants can be found.
China is modern and yet so different. People here are very safe as there is very little crime. You can walk the streets day or night without fear. Chinese people care a lot about each other and are quick to help others, especially foreigners."
She definitely misses her family and friends the most, but admits: “I truly miss my Jocotes, the best fruit in the world. I cannot find them in China. Corn atol and tamales are other foods that I miss. But I have no problem with pupusas that we can find here.My husband sometimes cooks them for me. My mother taught him how to make them and he is a great cook”.
Alba also took a bit of El Salvador with her: “I brought two pictures of our Beato Monsignor Romero, one for our home, and another for my office. Beato Monsignor Romero travels a lot! Everywhere I go he comes with me. Also, I’ve brought my folkloric Salvadoran dress, posters, music, a Salvadoran hat for my husband, and a Salvadoran flag to represent my country during university events.”
Migration for her is a life-time adventure as she learns more about China´s millenarian culture everyday. “I love to collaborate with colleagues, and prepare worldwide students to be future global health leaders who will change the world for the better. I feel very proud to represent my beloved El Salvador in every endeavor and achievement I gain”.